"Bringing together the world’s oldest living culture and its newest science" — Mick Gooda, Chair of NCIG Board, 2013
NCIG is giving voice to ancient wisdom and connecting with modern technologies.
NCIG was formed at the recommendation of leading Indigenous Australian thinkers and advocates
The Centre was established when the ANU put the future of a research collection in the hands of an Indigenous consultative committee, agreeing to abide by their recommendations. The consultative committee regarded the collection as having immense cultural, historical and scientific importance, and recommended the formation of a centre to manage the collection for research that aimed to provide benefit to Indigenous Australians. The National Centre for Indigenous Genomics was established in 2013 under a governance board that consisted of a majority that was both Indigenous and external to the University. An esteemed panel of scientists, ethicists, health practitioners, and policy and governance experts – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – has served proudly on the Board.
Indigenous-led governance is the key to success
Confident in their vision for the collection, successive Boards of NCIG have established a policy framework, now supported by the National Centre for Indigenous Genomics Statute 2021, a work culture and a track-record that has delivered a model of research governance that has drawn forth respectful, innovative and collaborative approaches for management and use of the NCIG Collection.
The NCIG Board leads public debate and policy discussion, advocating for the inclusion of Indigenous Australians in national initiatives to integrate genomics into the health system. The Board called on the Commonwealth Minister for Health with success to appoint an Indigenous representative to the Genomics Health Futures Mission Steering Committee. A number of Board members and NCIG’s Indigenous Community Engagement Coordinator were invited to join the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group to provide expert advice to the jurisdictional Project Reference Group on Health Genomics, which is responsible for implementing the National Health Genomics Policy Framework under the Clinical Principal Committee of the Australian Health Minister’s Advisory Council (AHMAC).
NCIG Board members past and current, along with a network of eminent scholars, co-authored NCIG’s recent clarion call setting out the requirements for effective Indigenous inclusion in genomics. This important paper, Clinical and population genomic data for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, is crucial for equitable provision of expanded carrier screening in Australia, was published in the August 2020 issue of The American Journal of Human Genetics. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.06.005.