Mayi Kuwayu Study

Culture is a powerful health determinant and is the missing link in Australia’s approach to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing, but we need the evidence to prove this. The Mayi Kuwayu study will provide this evidence and a pathway to Indigenous health equity.

Mayi Kuwayu means "to follow Aboriginal people over time" in Ngiyampaa (Wongaibon) language. The Mayi Kuwayu Study is the largest study of its kind, undertaken to inform and improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing.

Australia's First Peoples have long said that strong culture is related to good health and wellbeing but, despite this, culture has been overlooked as a powerful health determinant. The Mayi Kuwayu Study aims to provide evidence to show the impact of culture on health and wellbeing, and the cascading benefits associated with investment in culture.

This ground-breaking study has the potential to change the landscape of how Australian people, policies and health programs view and address Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Currently we do not understand what causes almost 50% of Indigenous health inequity, with socioeconomic factors only contributing to half of 'the gap'. Fifty percent of the equation is missing. We believe culture is the missing link.

Mayi Kuwayu builds on their pilot study which showed that Aboriginal rangers, who have a stronger connection with culture and country, were twice as likely to have high life satisfaction and 50 per cent more likely to have very high family wellbeing. This is one of the first times that the impact of cultural participation on health has been quantified. The Mayi Kuwayu Study will now explore this vital link on a national scale.

This study has been created by and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and is led by Wongaibon (Ngiyampaa) man, Associate Professor Raymond Lovett.

To maintain independence the Mayi Kuwayu Study does not accept funding directly from government. Philanthropic support is critical and will directly benefit the Indigenous voices, cultures and people in this ground-breaking study.

For further details about the Mayi Kuwayu Study, you can read about the project on the RSPH website or visit the dedicated Mayi Kuwayu website.

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