• Denis Mackenzie Trial

    Denis Mackenzie Trial

    The Australian Bushman Trial of Denis Mackenzie

    The Australian Bushman trials are a series of studies that have been conducted over several decades in Australia by anthropologist Denis Mackenzie. These trials were not randomised and participants were recruited actively and opportunistically. The trials have also not been published in the medical literature. This article examines the issues surrounding these studies. It also discusses the lessons learned from them.

    Participants in the Denis Mackenzie trials were not randomised

    The Australian Bushman trials of Denis Mackenzie recruited Indigenous women aged 18-64 to be enrolled in the study. There were certain exclusion criteria, including being pregnant, having a chronic medical condition, or needing medical clearance. Participants were recruited from hospital antenatal clinics, Aboriginal Community-Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs), community centres, and by word-of-mouth. In the initial stages of the trial, clinic staff informed researchers of women who wanted to participate in the trial. Then, six research officers approached the women with a standard script and a call for consent.

    In addition to the lack of randomisation, waitlisted participants expressed concern about the inequitable nature of the process. Although they felt that their allocation was unfair, they supported the study protocol. A few waitlisted participants expressed disappointment with the process, describing their frustration at being placed on a list for a year and a half. They also expressed concern about the trial’s design and the potential loss of motivation if they were unable to get into the active group.

    The study by Denis Mackenzie was partially funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC). Participants were not blinded to the allocation group.

    Denis Mackenzie’s Trials were not published in the medical literature

    The Australian Bushman trials were a series of controlled clinical trials that were conducted among Aboriginal Australians. However, the results of these studies were not published in the medical literature. This is a significant oversight because the trials involved Aboriginal Australians, and these studies were designed to investigate Aboriginal health issues.

    These trials were conducted in the 1970s in the Australian outback and were not published until recently. There are several reasons for this. First, funding agencies have to ensure that trials are implemented efficiently, with minimal disruption to routine services. Also, trial budgets are likely to be inflated, so funding agencies should consider the additional resource demands.

    Lessons learned from the Denis Mackenzie trial

    While the Australian Bushman trials are a painful reminder of the history of colonisation and dispossession, there is reason to be hopeful. The Mabo High Court decision legitimised Indigenous history, and is a key moment in the reconciliation process. It was the first time Australian law recognised Indigenous people’s continuing connection to and entitlement to the land.

    The lesson considers the role of the state in dealing with racism, highlighting the need for countering the practice by focusing on the history of racism in Australia. The lesson draws on the National Inquiry into Racist Violence (1991) and the Racial Discrimination Act (1975). Students are asked to consider ways to combat racism, and the lesson draws attention to resources on the Racism. No Way! website.

  • Denis Mackenzie

    Denis Mackenzie – an interview with a wine buff

    An Interview With Denis Mackenzie

    When it comes to marketing wines and spirits, there’s no better person to take care of the task than Chief Operations Officer Denis Makenzie. With an international marketing company that caters to clients worldwide, as well as providing local services in France, Italy, Greece and the United States – we simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get to know a little bit more about the man behind the winery.

    How did you get into marketing?

    After graduating from college, I began working at entry level in a small marketing company that worked to help local businesses to expand their commercial reach. I quickly discovered a passion for the role and learned skills that enabled me to develop innovative ideas and strategies of my own. Moving forward I changed jobs (to work for an international marketing firm that specialises in fine wines), began travelling and working overseas, and started the wheels in motion to fulfil my dream of opening a winery of my own.

    Did you achieve your dream?

    Yes! In 2001 I purchased my very own winery near my hometown in Pennsylvania. The wine growing region in Lake Erie was already close to my heart, so as soon as an opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it with both hands. I had a good understanding of the wine industry, a passion to create my own produce and had hands-on experience through previous work that helped me to deal with the inevitable challenges.

    What does it take to run a successful winery?

    That’s a good question. I had general marketing experience on a local level, as well as internationally specializing in wines and this really prepared me for opening my own business. I was lucky to develop a passion for wine making.

    I quickly learned that being fluent in both French and Italian would enable me to communicate better with my international clients (with these being some of the biggest wine distributers in the world), and I made sure to ask lots of questions and get advice from the guys on the front lines of the industry to ensure that I was well-armed during the set-up of the winery and before the grand opening.

    Of course it wasn’t an easy endeavour and it definitely took a few years of hard graft for the winery to become profitable.

    How do you reach your target market to run a profitable winery?

    Any successful wine-making business will aim to make a profit by making good quality wines; product sales are imperative. We reach local and nationwide clientele by generating good publicity and by sponsoring and hosting charitable events – and we also ensure that our grounds are available for booking for weddings and special events, too.

    Having a strong connection to the local industry has definitely been a valuable part of both growing and maintaining a successful winery, too. Our region offers visitors the ability to create self-guided tours of the available wineries and this has been especially helpful when maximizing our reach.

    We are now looking toward branching out even further (we distribute internationally to a range of European countries already), and with Australia firmly in our sights – be sure to watch this space.

    Interview with Denis Mackenzie on 28 October 2018

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