La Trobe researcher wins Premier’s Award

La Trobe University researcher and proud Yorta Yorta woman Dr Mishel McMahon has won the inaugural Aboriginal Researcher award at the prestigious Victorian Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research.

A researcher in social work and Indigenous Academic Enrichment Advisor for La Trobe University’s Shepparton campus, Dr McMahon was awarded a $5000 cash prize at last night’s ceremony in Federation Square.

The award recognises Dr McMahon’s exceptional work on the principles of First Nations childrearing which provides the healthcare profession with a greater understanding of Aboriginal parenting.

“I’m honoured have been recognised for my contribution to deepening understanding of Aboriginal childrearing, which dates back thousands of years,” Dr McMahon said.

“I hope my research will improve understanding of Aboriginal childrearing within policy and practice and deliver positive outcomes for both Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal families and children.”

In response to the news, La Trobe University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous) Professor Dennis McDermott offered his congratulations to Dr McMahon on winning this significant award.

“Mishel’s findings on First Nations childrearing has the potential to have great impacts on Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal parenting,” Professor McDermott said.

“Communicating so effectively with First Nations community leaders has resulted in a deeper understanding for the health profession.

“In addition to her research, Mishel plays a crucial role as Indigenous Academic Enrichment Advisor for La Trobe’s Shepparton campus, where she encourages the Indigenous community to consider studying at La Trobe and then provides important pastoral care and guidance while they are students with us, helping them succeed.

“We couldn’t wish for a stronger role model than Mishel for our students.”

The 25th Victorian Premier's Awards for Health and Medical Research were held on 25 March at Federation Square in Melbourne.

Three of the 24 shortlisted finalists are La Trobe academics, as well as La Trobe alumni:

  • Dr Amy Baxter – NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellow at the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science
  • Dr Wendy Bunston – Associate lecturer in clinical social work, family therapy and infant mental health
  • Dr Mishel McMahon – researcher in social work and Indigenous Academic Enrichment Advisor, La Trobe University Shepparton campus

The Victorian Premier's Awards for Health and Medical Research launched in 1995 and is a joint initiative of the Victorian Government and the Australian Society for Medical Research. More information on the awards can be found here.

Media contact: Georgia Brown – 0456 764 371; Claire Bowers – 0437 279 903 or Dragana Mrkaja – 0447 508 171