The National Centre for Indigenous Genomics (NCIG) is established under The Australian National University Act (1991) as a safe, permanent, national keeping place for biological samples, genomic and related data, and documents/records related to Indigenous peoples of Australia. The NCIG Collection is based on material donated for research purposes in the second half of the 20th Century by approximately 7,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples at 43 localities. Additional material has since been donated to the Collection or created within it.
The custodian of the NCIG Collection is a majority Indigenous Board, which is responsible for the Collection’s management and use and for the appropriate addition of new material.
The goals of the Centre are to:
Establish, develop and maintain a culturally safe repository of Indigenous biospecimens, genomic data and records that are of high value for use in research of benefit to Indigenous donors, their communities and descendants, the broader Indigenous community and the general Australian community.
Support research that aims to impact Indigenous health, reconnect families, return ancestral human remains to country and to family, and to gain a richer understanding of Australia’s deep history.
Over the next 5 years the Centre will:
1. Care for the Collection with the highest standards of governance, management and practice, guided by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community
Develop and implement the highest standards of Indigenous governance for biomedical research in Indigenous communities.
Develop and implement new standards of excellence in benefit sharing, sustainability and capability building for Indigenous research.
Develop and implement the highest level of Indigenous ethical oversight of work conducted by the Centre.
2. Apply the highest standards of technical and research excellence to maximise the value of the Collection
Develop and implement processes and practices that enhance the quality, integrity, security, safety, persistence and utility of material in the NCIG Collection.
Build relationships with national and international agencies, to ensure that protocols and processes of the highest standards are applied to sample and record management, laboratory analysis, and data analysis and management.
3. Cultivate partnerships with Indigenous communities, government, and national and international research organisations to advance Indigenous genomics
Work closely with and be guided by national, regional and local Indigenous organisations.
Work with key partners to expand and enhance the community consultation and engagement program.
Engage with major international and national organisations to share best practice.
Investigate and, where appropriate, develop connections with other Indigenous data sets and collections.
Support key research projects and partnerships by actively involving Indigenous researchers and other partner organisations, to deliver genomic data and outcomes of benefit to communities.
4. Secure the future of the Centre
Work with national and international research infrastructure bodies and technical service providers to develop and enhance the value of the Collection.
Promote the work of the Centre nationally and internationally by presenting and publishing reports and results of the Centre’s work.
Elevate the profile of the Centre and communicate the purpose and value of its work NCIG nationally and internationally.
Establish a network of ambassadors, to advocate for and promote the Centre.
Secure the external funding required to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Centre.