Increased National Coverage of Health Research Translation Centres


Northern Australia’s expertise in translating health and medical research into improved health care has been recognised by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Top End Academic Health Partners (Top End Partners), has been accredited for the first time as a Research Translation Centre by the NHMRC, increasing to 11 the number of accredited Centres in Australia.
For the first time, NHMRC has also recognised three Emerging Research Translation Centres – Tasmanian Collaboration for Health Improvement, Western Alliance Academic Health Science Centre, and WA Rural Research and Innovation Alliance. They have been recognised as collaborations that have the potential, with further development, to achieve accreditation.

NHMRC has also reaccredited nine of the ten existing Research Translation Centres for a further five years based on their demonstrated continued collaboration, research excellence, capability and capacity building, and translation of research into health care. 

The tenth Research Translation Centre, Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre, is not yet due for reaccreditation.

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso said collaboration was at the centre of research translation.

“Translating research outcomes into patient care is critical to improving the health of Australians,” Professor Kelso said.

“These Research Translation Centres bring together the partnerships that make that possible. NHMRC accreditation recognises the strength of these collaborations.”

Of the 11 Research Translation Centres now accredited in Australia, four have a regional, rural, or remote focus and seven have a metropolitan or state-wide focus. All accredited Centres, as well as the Emerging Centres, collaborate nationally as the Australian Health Research Alliance (AHRA).

The Chair of AHRA, Professor Don Nutbeam, welcomed the announcement by NHMRC.

“The addition of the new Centres gives our alliance broader coverage of regional, rural and remote areas, and creates even greater opportunities to collaborate nationally to improve the translation of research into routine and sustained clinical practice.” he said.

“AHRA has been working with Top End Partners and the emerging centres for over a year in anticipation of this announcement, and they are already fully engaged with our work.”

Top End Partners has a strong history built over decades in clinical and health services research, addressing the most pressing health issues in Northern Australia in partnership with patients, health services and communities.

The partnership has worked collaboratively to prioritise translational health research supporting
improvements in the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Top End Partners Board Chair and NT Department of Health Chief Executive Associate Professor Jo Norton said the partnership had facilitated numerous successful research translation projects, including a project to ensure more Aboriginal patients receive culturally safe healthcare in their first language.  

“We are already seeing great results from some of our projects,” Associator Professor Norton said.

“The Communicate Project, which aims to improve Aboriginal patients’ experiences and outcomes of healthcare by addressing communication and safety issues, is a leading example.”

“It has shown that the effective use of Aboriginal interpreters can reduce self-discharge, improve dialysis attendance, empowers patients and improves healthcare provider satisfaction”. 

Top End Partners Board member and Danila Dilba Health Services CEO Mr Rob McPhee said that the partnership was essential to helping elevate the voices of patients and community members.  

“At the centre of the Top End Academic Health Partners are health services, including Aboriginal community-controlled health services, that can inform translational research priorities for research and put outcomes into practice,” Mr McPhee said. 

Further information on the NHMRC Research Translation Centre Initiative is available on NHMRC’s

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