National research award for homelessness project

June 2023

The Birdiya Maya Homelessness Research Project has been recognised with a major award as part of the 2023 Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference.

The project, a collaboration between the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) and Wungening Aboriginal Corporation and supported by Lotterywest, aims to develop an understanding of the lived experience of Aboriginal people who live with homelessness and documenting its many contributing factors and consequences including alcohol and other drug use, identify barriers to engaging with accommodation, and provide recommendations for future practice.

The project received Lowitja Institute’s 2023 Tarrn-doon-nonin Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research Ethics Award. Tarrn-doon-nonin is the Woiwurrung term for ‘trust’.

The award recognises a research project in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing, led by an Aboriginal community-controlled organisation, that was conducted to an exemplary standard in line with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ethical principles and practices.

“Our conference showcases transformational community-led research that is grounded in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing, being and doing. Our award winners epitomise that work,” Lowitja Institute CEO Adjunct Professor Janine Mohamed said.

The Birdiya Maya Homelessness Research Project has also partnered with the John Curtin Gallery to host an exhibition, featuring photos, videos, and stories collected across the project to amplify the voice of research participants about their experiences of homelessness. The community report, which outlined project findings to help inform service delivery and policy, was released on June 27.

Click here to read more about the project and here to find out more about the exhibition