Meet Ty Madden, Research Associate, The George Institute
Ty Madden works on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program under the Injury Division at The George Institute. With over a decade working on Aboriginal research projects across NSW, Ty brings valuable community engagement experience to his research at The George.
“I am a proud Gadigal man from the Eora Nation of the Sydney metropolitan area. Over the last 14 years, I’ve gained a lot of experience working at Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations in the Health Sector, Education, Children, Family and Community Services and the Public Service at a both state and commonwealth levels. This has given me opportunities to travel to many Aboriginal communities across NSW.”
Ty has also been involved in NSW Aboriginal Community Consultation for Closing the Gap and planning for the next ten years, which included over 30 NSW Aboriginal communities in the consultation process.
“It was a privilege to be part of this. It involved going into communities and seeking input on their needs and the aspirations of Aboriginal people moving forward in terms of Education, Housing, Justice, Child Protection, Social & Emotional Wellbeing, Land & Water, Economical inclusion, Culture and Languages.”
At The George, Ty is currently working on a project on discharge planning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children following burn injury, to facilitate a safe pathway from hospital to home for First Nations’ children. Improving community health outcomes based on cultural understanding is clearly what Ty wants to focus on in his research career.
“I’m interested in Aboriginal health and research methodologies and the way we work with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. Community consultation is both essential and rewarding and helps to build strong relationships for the research we undertake at The George Institute.”
Designing health policy without cultural understanding and knowledge creates gaps that are hard to fill. Ty’s work focuses on bridging the gaps between community knowledge and healthcare to inform policy and care models for better health outcomes. He is optimistic about the Closing the Gap Partnership between the Commonwealth Government, state and territory governments and other partners, that was established in March 2019.
“The Partnership invited our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and communities to co-design the new agreement. It is promising that the Government sits at the table and listens to our needs to improve the system so that it can lead to better health outcomes for our people. I think a big part of the systematic changes are to acknowledge that we can all play our part in the heath sector and generate more research to improve life expectancy for our first Nations people.”
A keen traveller and food aficionado, when not working Ty is busy honing his culinary skills or planning his next trip!
“I enjoy experimenting with cooking Thai, Italian and Mexican dishes and enjoy seafood with salads. I like listening to my music when at home relaxing and especially when cooking. I’m addicted to travel and have been to many destinations around the world from a young age. My favourites would be the Thai Islands, London, Cape Town and New York.”
He has had to control his urge to travel during the pandemic but believes the ‘new normal’ came with a few positives.
“I thought it was a great time to reflect on the normal day to day things that we like to do and take for granted, like going out for dinner at our favourite restaurants, socialising with family and friends. One great thing to come from the COVID lockdowns was all the activities and things you could do in your spare time around the house that you have put off for a long time. Even taking the garbage bin out to the kerb each week became an honour rather than a chore!”