About us

The University of Western Australia's Indigenous Ageing Well Research team conduct collaborative health and wellbeing research with and for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Indigenous ageing well research team are a group of dedicated and experienced researchers who work collaboratively in the field of  Indigenous health, wellbeing and ageing well.  They work with service providers, policy makers and older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and the community to focus on improving health outcomes, wellbeing and quality of life, through co-designed projects.  Our centre privileges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people’s worldview, identities, values, experience and knowledge systems.  

The research team is guided by an Aboriginal Elders Governance Group and an Indigenous Data Governance Group and led by Professor Dawn Bessarab a proud Bard/ Yjindjabandi woman from the Kimberley region of Western Australia and Dr Kate Smith.

Research undertaken by the team is driven by community need and priorities.  The team aspires to improve the health and wellbeing of older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and build the capability of the services, systems and communities that support older people through:

  • the generation of new knowledge on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ageing, focusing on better understanding how people age well and how the aged care and community care sectors can better support people as they age. Including the development of culturally safe assessment and clinical tools.
  • building capacity in conducting and translating research with a strong emphasis on deepening and broadening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ageing research, service provision and policy sectors and fostering genuine engagement with communities.
  • strengthening existing and build new collaborative networks locally, nationally, and internationally to foster and support Indigenous ageing research, practice and policy.
  • supporting and building the capacity of researchers, students and the community by attracting and retaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people into the health and ageing well research space.


We are driven by a vision of transformative research that addresses critical challenges and advances knowledge. We aspire to improve the Health and Wellbeing of older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through Community-based co-designed research projects.