About Us

Valuing First Nations patients’ and their families’ lived experiences, strengths and priorities is essential to addressing gaps in—and decolonising—Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ healthcare; and that’s exactly what AKction and the Adelaide Nursing School are working together to achieve in the treatment of kidney disease.  

AKction: Collaborative action research group

Like far too many chronic conditions, kidney disease impacts First Nations peoples at higher rates than others in our community; it also occurs at younger ages. First Nations voices have historically gone unheard in the quest to close this gap. But AKction2 and the Adelaide Nursing School are listening.

“We’re collaborating to bring together First Nations community members, health professionals and researchers to generate positive change,” say project co-leads Kim O’Donnell and Janet Kelly. “That’s delivering improved cultural and clinical care experiences, and outcomes.” 

By breaking down the meaning of the acronym “AKCTION”, the key principles and goals emerge:  

Aboriginal - Aboriginal leadership, ownership and governance over all AKCTION activities puts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and community in the driver’s seat. Leveraging an enormous breadth of lived experience, the AKCTION team of patient experts are now also NHMRC and MRFF Chief investigators, supported by Aboriginal project staff. Such self-determination is a super-power.

Kidney Care - The burden of kidney disease and the burden of treatment for kidney failure is immense for Aboriginal people. “Kidney care” is more than just treating biological illness - this means care of the whole person, their family and community.  

Together - This single word defines ACKTION. AKCTION1 and 2 have brought together patients, community members, Aboriginal health practitioners and staff, doctors, nurses, allied health, researchers, students, professional organisations and health services to advance a common goal in a way that is unprecedented yet absolutely essential to progress. 

Improving Outcomes - The pendulum must swing away from disastrous outcomes for Aboriginal people with kidney disease, towards equity in health and thriving. AKCTION and its team are motivated by what they see happening every day to patients, family and community members - improving outcomes is core business.  

Now - The time is now for ACKTION. With many national and local activities and initiatives all occurring at the same time, the AKCTION team have become integral to everything from inaugural First Nations kidney care Guidelines to a national taskforce for improving kidney transplant access. 

AKction vision

First Nations Peoples in South Australia who experience kidney disease are strong, are speaking back to the health system, are engaged and leading decolonising practices, in a culturally safe, anti-racist health system supported by effective, respectful partnerships with communities, health professionals, researchers and allied health services.

Indigenous governance and data sovereignty

AKction supports Indigenous Governance and Data Sovereignty by First Nations People having involvement, ownership, and control of their knowledge and the way research is conducted at all stages of data collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination. For example A2RT members hold roles as chief investigators and are positioned as co-researchers and co-authors on research activities. First Nations members may additionally choose to be identified in publications to acknowledge their ownership of their knowledge and position data belonging to a real identifiable person. This also acknowledge that First Nations ways of knowing, being and doing belong to individuals, their families, and communities.

Working together agreement

The Working Together Agreement (WTA) is a living document, guiding the way that the AKction2 teams work together.

Working Together Agreement