A new partnership between Griffith University and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (MAIC) will examine the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders injured in road accidents and their interactions with the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) scheme.
The Hopkins Centre’s Dr Leda Barnett, assisted by Griffith University PhD candidate Andrew Gall, will lead the three year study, funded by a $460,000 MAIC grant and supported by partnerships with Griffith’s Indigenous Research Unit (IRU), Synapse and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.
The research will examine the factors that influence Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to engage with the CTP scheme following a motor vehicle accident, the nature of their experience and ways in which the scheme could better align with their requirements.
“Indigenous Australians living in Queensland are up to six times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than a non-Indigenous citizen, but also 1.4 times more likely to be seriously injured, and 2.9 times more likely to die in an accident,” Dr Barnett said.
“Injury is universally devastating, but the impact may be more detrimental and recovery more complicated for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their families.
“Recovery following injury is complicated by the fact that First Peoples are often reluctant to use organised health care services.”
“There is an urgent need for systems and services to take controlled steps towards redesigning and reorienting schemes to align more successfully with the needs and wishes of First Peoples,” Mr Gall said.
“It is our hope that through this research, we can uncover and develop best practice methods to enable better cohesion with First Peoples and the CTP scheme.”
The project consists of three phases. In 2021 researchers will consult with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across South East Queensland, followed by those in Northern, Central and Western Queensland in 2022.
In the project’s third year, the team will work with communities to develop practical solutions and recommendations, along with implementation plans.
Insurance Commissioner Neil Singleton said MAIC had been working with First Nations organisations for some time to improve the way the CTP scheme engaged with people and that MAIC was particularly keen to support solutions designed with and by those most affected by the scheme.
“These are the solutions that will work in the long-term and that is what we want to see at MAIC – better outcomes for all Queenslanders,” Mr Singleton said.
The research team also includes Professor Elizabeth Kendall, who is director of the University’s Disability and Rehabilitation Research program, Aunty Lauraine Barlow as the project’s cultural advisor, Kevin Cocks AM (DUniv), the former Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, acting as the disability advisor, and Synapse CEO Jennifer Cullen (DUniv), and IUIH COO Donisha Duff representing partner organisations.
Griffith University Pro Vice Chancellor (Indigenous) Professor Cindy Shannon will act as Project Sponsor, while IRU Director Dr Bianca Beetson and Law Futures Centre’s Associate Professor Kylie Burns will carry out research as part of the project.