Emerging Health Leader - Torres Strait Health Phd Graduate

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26th June 2009, 12:53pm - Views: 910

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Another emerging health leader - Torres Strait PhD graduate 

June 26 2009

The awarding of a Doctorate to Torres Strait Island woman, Sanchia

Shibasaki, on Thursday Island tomorrow has been welcomed by the

Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health (CRCAH) as further

evidence of an emerging highly-educated and skilled Aboriginal and Torres

Strait islander health workforce.

CRCAH CEO, Mick Gooda, said Dr Shibasaki represented a new generation

of Indigenous health professionals whose work is playing a critical role in

closing the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander peoples,

and other Australians.

“There is a substantial body of research evidence indicating that the

development of a skilled and professional Indigenous health workforce is an

essential prerequisite for improvements in Indigenous health,” said Mick

Gooda. “Sanchia is the latest young Indigenous person to join this group and I

congratulate her on her outstanding achievements.

“She is living proof that our people are both ready and capable of developing

and managing effective health programs,” he said.

Mr Gooda said that Dr Shibasaki, who received a CRCAH scholarship, was

one of a small group of Torres Strait Islander women to be awarded a


Dr Shibasaki will be presented with her Doctor of Philosophy in Epidemiology,

Population Health and Health Services by Torres Shire Mayor, Mr Pedro

Stephen at a ceremony this Saturday at 6.30 pm at the Port Kennedy Hall on

Thursday Island.

Dr Shibasaki, who was born and raised on Thursday Island, started her

tertiary studies with a Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences (Physiotherapy),

going on to work at the Ingham Hospital and then for five years as a resident

physiotherapist at the Thursday Island Hospital before she successfully

completed a Masters degree in Epidemiology and Population Health. 

She then moved to the Northern Territory, working in Darwin before

commencing work as a CRCAH Research Fellow at the Aboriginal-controlled

Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Primary Health Care Service in Alice



She was granted a National Health and Medical Research Council scholarship

to undertake her Doctorate of Philosophy in Epidemiology, Population Health

and Health Services at the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute,

Australian National University.

Dr Shibasaki said her PhD, the Information Atlas Project, identifies information

management practices needed by primary healthcare services to provide

chronic disease management, with a particular emphasis on diabetes patient

management. Information and health data management is an increasing

challenge for services delivering primary health care.

“A key component of effective primary health care of patients with chronic

diseases is the management of data and of information and the appropriate

use of information technology,” said Dr Shibasaki. “The challenge for the

sector is its capacity and capability to strategically use these information

resources to effectively care for patients with chronic diseases. 

“I am very proud that my studies are contributing to improved capacity and

efficiency of health services to properly manage patients suffering from

chronic diseases particularly diabetes which is in epidemic proportions here in

the Torres Straits and throughout Indigenous Australia.”

To compliment her health expertise Dr Shibasaki is currently studying a

Graduate Diploma in Professional Management at Australian Institute of

Management (AIM) and in July was awarded an NHMRC Training Fellowship

for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research.

She is particularly pleased to be graduating on her island home so her family,

including father Bill Shibasaki, mother Sariba Shibasaki, her siblings and her

wider family and friends could attend the celebration. 

For further information:

Alastair Harris CRC for Aboriginal Health - 0409 658 177

Dr Shibasaki - 0447-040-224

Please note attached photo of Dr Shibasaki and that photos from her

graduation will be available by contacting Alastair Harris on Monday June 29.

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