The idea for a study arose in the early years of the Coalition for Research to Improve Aboriginal Health (CRIAH) — a joint venture between the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council and the Sax Institute.

Community leaders said they were interested in long-term research of child and family wellbeing that looked at health holistically and included interventions in important areas. The result was SEARCH.

Aboriginal community priorities have determined the direction of SEARCH and include: speech and language development; housing, neighbourhood and environment; ear health and hearing; social and emotional wellbeing; resilience; and overweight and cardiovascular disease.

Funding

SEARCH’s first phase was funded with a competitive grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and support from: the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations; the Centre for Aboriginal Health, NSW Ministry of Health; beyondblue; the Australian National University; and Rio Tinto Aboriginal Foundation.

Phase 2, which has now begun, has been funded once more by the NHMRC as well as the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI). We are pleased to have beyondblue, the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network and the NSW Ministry of Health as partners in this phase.