Robert Monaghan appointed Kirby Institute’s Manager for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research

News | Published on 15 Mar 2021

The Kirby Institute is pleased to announce that Bundjalung man Robert Monaghan has been appointed to the role of Manager – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research.

The role was established at the end of 2020 as part of the Kirby Institute’s commitment to developing and enhancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ownership and leadership of our research and within our workplace.

Robert is a descendant of the Bundjalung Nation on his mother’s side - his family and extended family are from the North Coast alongside the Clarence River at Baryulgil – while there is a long and rich history of descendants from Ireland on his father’s side. He has 25 years’ experience working within the Aboriginal community-controlled health sector with national, state and local Governments, and has worked as a Project Officer with the Kirby Institute’s Surveillance, Evaluation and Research Program since 2014. Robert is also completing a PhD with the Kirby Institute, which is focused on identifying the barriers and enablers for Aboriginal men accessing culturally appropriate health services to enhance the testing and treatment of STIs and blood-borne viruses. Through his work, Robert is implementing nonconventional methods like yarning circles and men’s gatherings to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. Robert competed his Master of Public Health at UNSW Sydney in 2018.

“We are absolutely thrilled and extremely fortunate that Robert is stepping into this critical and overdue new role,” said Kirby Institute Director Professor Anthony Kelleher. “Robert has extensive experience within the community-controlled health sector, and since he joined the Kirby Institute in 2014, he has been extraordinarily generous in offering wisdom and guidance to many of us, especially with our growing and important body of work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and health service providers. I look forward to working closely with Robert in this new role.”

In this position, Robert will lead the development of systems, policies and a cultural framework to support the Kirby Institute’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research, and will hold a position on the Kirby Institute Executive Committee.

“The creation of this role is a critical step in the right direction for the Kirby Institute in its commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leadership and engagement across the full spectrum of research,” says Robert. “I am really excited to be taking on this role, and I look forward to working with my colleagues across the Kirby, and especially, with our incredible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander colleagues and friends in the services and communities we work with.”