Batchelor Institute » First Nations cancer survivorship among innovative research areas from HDR candidates
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Date:October 06, 2022

First Nations cancer survivorship among innovative research areas from HDR candidates

Research candidates gather at the Graduate School Masterclass in September 2022.

Research candidates gather at the Graduate School Masterclass in September 2022.

Within Batchelor Institute’s bustling Graduate School, PhD candidate Sam Ludwig is exploring the area of First Nations cancer survivorship in the Northern Territory. Through yarning sessions and health journey mapping, Ms Ludwig’s research aims to determine how health services in the NT can best support First Nations cancer survivors.

Ms Ludwig is part of a cohort of Higher Degree by Research (HDR) candidates producing high-quality research in fields such as education, languages, creative arts, and livelihoods at the Institute.

The Graduate School provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research candidates with a unique and robust approach to research practice. It offers both Master by Research and Doctor of Philosophy qualifications, and supports candidates to develop projects that align with First Nations knowledges, experiences, and ways of working.

As part of the Graduate School’s network, research candidates come together twice yearly for masterclasses which can cover topics ranging from facilitated writing to collecting and managing data, research supervision in cross-cultural teams, intellectual property, and graduate futures.

Ms Ludwig was among around 20 students and academics who attended, both in person and virtually, the most recent masterclass held on 12-16 September 2022 at the Desert Peoples Centre, Batchelor Institute’s tranquil campus in Alice Springs.

Her ongoing research project is expected to increase understanding of how First Nations peoples define cancer survivorship and how this might change over time, why First Nations peoples may decide to undertake or not to undertake cancer treatment, and what helps people stay strong during treatment and afterwards. In turn, this will help researchers to argue the case and ensure health services are fully equipped to appropriately support First Nations cancer survivors into the future.

Ms Ludwig is currently seeking research participants who are First Nations people over the age of 18 who have or have had cancer, as well as family members, carers or friends of First Nations people who had cancer and passed away as a result of their cancer or a complication from cancer. Participants will have the opportunity to talk over a cuppa about their cancer story, what being a cancer survivor means to them, and what kept them strong during treatment and afterwards.

The project illustrates the innovative areas being investigated by the Institute’s research candidates, and demonstrates the value of the Graduate School’s research outputs to First Nations communities across the NT and all around Australia.

The final day of the masterclass also saw confirmations of candidature for Beverly Councillor and Cheryl Davis, who are set to add to the impressive depth and breadth of research taking place within the Graduate School.

If you are interested in taking part in Sam Ludwig’s research project in the coming months in Darwin or Alice Springs, contact for a Participant Information Sheet.

To find out more about HDR opportunities with Batchelor Institute, visit the Research page or contact