HOT NORTH Newsletter – September 2020

HOT NORTH News – Opportunities & Announcements

It goes without saying that COVID-19 has significantly impacted our lives and work this year. Like many programs, HOT NORTH has not been immune from the disruptions caused by COVID-19. Many of our researchers have had to suspend their activities due to travel restrictions and all HOT NORTH workshops and symposia that were to be held this year have been postponed. We have, however, been granted a 12-month extension to use our existing funding up until December 2021. This will allow our award-holders extra time to complete their projects and we also hope to arrange a full program of regional workshops and our final annual scientific symposium next year.

However, we are pleased to detail in this newsletter some of the activities that have been able to proceed as normal, particularly in the key areas of knowledge translation and capacity building. HOT NORTH PhD student Vicki Kerrigan and Indigenous Training award-holder Stuart Yiwarr McGrath launched the innovative “Ask the Specialist” podcast series in June, in which “The Specialists” Larrakia Elder Bilawara Lee, Tiwi Elder Pirrawayingi Puruntatameri and Yolŋu leader Rarrtjiwuy Melanie Herdman answer doctors’ questions about working with Aboriginal patients at Top End hospitals.  And after a very successful first year, the Catalyse Mentorship Program is relaunching soon. Applications close on 21 September.

We have also used the past few months to start to collate and report the impacts to date from the program. The subsequent HOT NORTH Impact Report has been published and distributed to participants and health sector stakeholders. I want to thank all who contributed to creating this exciting chronicle of achievements and personal reflections, which is both a recognition of the activities established to date and an advocacy tool for continuing the work towards improving health outcomes in northern Australia and its near neighbours.

As always, we encourage you to share our newsletter with those in your professional community and anyone else you think may be interested.

If you or someone you know is keen in joining the HOT NORTH initiative or attending one of our workshops, please feel free to get in touch with us at

Professor Bart Currie
Director, HOT NORTH