Our History

The HealthInfoNet commenced in September 1997 as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Clearinghouse. Our origins, however, can be traced back to 1981, when the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies established a research fellowship to enable the collection, synthesis and dissemination of information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Our founding Director, Professor Neil Thomson, was appointed in May 1981 to that research fellowship, which involved two main functions:

  • research (involving primary data collection and analysis, and the synthesis of a wide variety of data and other information obtained from academic, professional, government and other sources)
  • dissemination and exchange of information.

Our work in the late 1990s focused on adapting these functions to take advantage of the expanding internet – which assisted the first function, and revolutionised the second.

Our current name – which was adopted in 2000 at the time of a major re-development of the resource – reflects the fact that our functions are well beyond those of a ‘clearinghouse’.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.