Kimberley Aboriginal Health Planning Forum

Kimberley Research Subcommittee

Dear researcher,

The KAHPF advises that the moratorium on applications to conduct Aboriginal health research in the Kimberley will be maintained until December 2020.

Any existing research that has been endorsed by the KAHPF Research Subcommittee and approved by WAAHEC can recommence, providing the researchers have been in touch with the clinics and communities their research engages with, and these communities and clinics support the resumption of the research including visits from the research team.

We thank you for your understanding and wish you well with your research endeavours.

On behalf of the KAHPF Research Subcommittee

Yours sincerely

Julia Marley, Chair

The Kimberley Aboriginal Health Planning Forum (KAHPF) involves all health services and other agencies with a role or interest in improving Aboriginal health in the Kimberley. In late 2006 KAHPF started processes to guide research in the region. This included establishing the KAHPF Kimberley Research Subcommittee.

Please note that this is a Subcommittee of the Kimberley Aboriginal Health Planning Forum. It has representation from services across the region and is not part of any one organisation. This is a research review committee, not an ethics committee. It reviews all health related research projects that are to be conducted in the Kimberley.  This includes all student research projects.

Researchers are required to demonstrate that appropriate consultation has occurred before applying for Ethics approval. The Subcommittee aims to work constructively with prospective researchers to assist them to get the best possible local input and advice in developing proposals. Therefore the Subcommittee requests that they are informed about research projects early in the development phase and prior to ethics approval being applied for, although the Subcommittee is also happy to look at proposals at any stage in the process.

The Subcommittee has a short standard form (see below) that potential researchers are requested to fill out and return as a word document by email to Emma Carlin and Erica Spry as well as Please note that there is currently no funding for a Secretariat and due to a lack of administrative assistance and Erica’s and Emma’s current workload they are only able to allocate a few hours a week to processing all of the projects that come to the Subcommittee.

Please follow the links below for more detail on the processes for carrying out health research in the Kimberley.

The objectives of the Kimberley Research Subcommittee are to:

  • Encourage a cohesive approach to health research in the region to enable the region to derive maximum benefit from any research activity that occurs
  • Develop and recommend to KAHPF strategies to minimise any negative impact of research on the people and health services of the region

In all of its work the Kimberley Research Subcommittee undertakes to:

  • Operate in a manner that is accessible, accountable, respectful and inclusive
  • Operate in a collaborative manner which builds on existing structures and networks wherever possible
  • Work to support actions and initiatives which consolidate and strengthen existing services
  • Maintain its commitment to cultural security

The role of the Kimberley Research Subcommittee is to:

  • Coordinate regional identification of research priorities
  • Provide regional input into the conduct of research in the Kimberley
  • Provide advice to potential researchers
  • Provide advice on whether a project is research or evaluation / audit
  • Facilitate the formation of networks between researchers
  • Regularly notify KAHPF about the research projects being carried out in the region
  • Provide advice and recommendations to KAHPF on matters of health research in the region
  • Provide advice to the WA Aboriginal Health Ethics Committee (WAAHEC) and other ethics committees as appropriate

The Kimberley Research Subcommittee does not have:

  • Decision-making powers as an entity which cut across the authority of individual health service governance and management bodies
  • Any mandate to grant ethics approvals for research being proposed in the region

Subcommittee members:

  • Derby Aboriginal Health Service (Dr Lyn Henderson-Yates)
  • Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council (Vicki O’Donnell, Rob McPhee, Erica Spry, Dr Lorraine Anderson)
  • Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service (Dr Renee Bauer)
  • Kimberley Population Health Unit (Dr Pippa May)
  • Nindilingarri Cultural Health Services (Maureen Carter)
  • Ord Valley Aboriginal Health Service (Sharon Benning)
  • Telethon Kids Institute – Kimberley Office (John Jacky)
  • The University of Western Australia (Associate Professor Julia Marley – Chair, Prof David Atkinson)
  • WA Country Health Service – Kimberley (Dr Sarah Straw)

Membership of the Subcommittee is by nomination from stakeholders in the region. Other organisations or individuals seeking to join the Subcommittee should write to the Chairperson of the Subcommittee stating their reasons for wishing to join and the contribution they can make to the Subcommittee’s work.

For advice contact:
Associate Professor Julia Marley
Chair, KAHPF Kimberley Research Subcommittee
08 9194 3200 or

or Emma Carlin and Erica Spry for administrative enquires.

Below are links to further information on carrying out research in the Kimberley:


Advice for researchers (100KB .pdf)

KAHPF Research Project Form v3-1 (46 KB .doc)

KAHPF Research Project Annual Progress Report Form (41 KB .doc) Due 30 June each year

KAHPF Research Project Final Report Form (84 KB .doc) Due once a project is completed

KAHPF Kimberley Research Subcommittee’s terms of reference (35 KB .pdf)