Associate Professor Kootsy Canuto and Associate Professor Karla Canuto
We are delighted to welcome two new senior staff who will commence with Flinders at our Darwin campus in January.
Dr Kootsy Canuto will commence as Associate Professor in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Male Health & Wellbeing, and Dr Karla Canuto as Associate Professor in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.
Kootsy is a Torres Strait Islander man, a descendant of Mabuiag Island (Wagadagam clan) in the Torres Strait, and is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly our males.
“Through my male health research and innate ability to listen, I have developed strong meaningful relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, Traditional Owners, and leaders of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and community organisations across the country,” says Kootsy. “These relationships are of the upmost importance and will continue to guide all elements of my research and personal development.”
Associate Professor Canuto was awarded 2020 South Australia Health and Medical Research Institute Early Career Researcher of the Year for his research work. He has a diverse career across education, training and within the public service. He comes to Flinders from a leadership role as head of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Men’s Health Unit of the Freemasons Centre for Male Health and Wellbeing (NT). His work is supported by an NHMRC Investigator Grant (Emerging Leadership 1) 2020 – 2024, focused on increasing and improving the utilisation and quality of primary health care services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. He also holds a MRFF grant to implement research into a coordinated response to the social and emotional wellbeing needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.
Karla is a Torres Strait Islander, a descendant of the Naghir tribe of the Kulkalgul clan. Her qualifications include a Bachelor of Sports Science, James Cook University (2000) and a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion, University of Sydney (2007). Karla’s PhD was awarded by the University of South Australian, conferred in 2013.
With 20 years of work experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and health research her experience includes community engagement, the development, implementation and evaluation of lifestyle programs, mixed-method analysis, knowledge translation into Aboriginal Health Services and Aboriginal research governance. Her PhD included the development, implementation and evaluation of a physical activity and nutrition program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Karla has experience across a wide range of health research projects all focused on improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; including chronic disease prevention, the promotion of physical activity and understanding cancer disparities.
Karla is also an active volunteer member on the Evaluation Advisory Group for the Indigenous Eye Health Unit, Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne.
Karla comes to Flinders from SAHMRI where she was employed as Senior Research Fellow and Platform Lead of the Capacity Development Platform (Platform) with Aboriginal Health Equity. This role included a lead role in the National Indigenous Research(er) Capacity Building Project and the National Indigenous Researcher Network (IRNet), a Capacity Building project focused on health translation capabilities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander South Australians and IRNet’s component of the NHMRC funded National First Nations Network, led by Professor Gail Garvey, Professor Alex Brown, Professor Sandra Eades and Dr Pat Anderson.
We are absolutely thrilled that Kootsy and Karla are joining the University, and anticipate significant contributions to our rural and remote health activities.