Professor Anne Kavanagh appointed to a new Chair in Disability and Health

We are please to announce that Professor Anne Kavanagh has been appointed to a new Chair in Disability and Health within the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, where she will lead the Disability and Health Unit within the Centre for Health Equity.  She will also play a vital role in the soon to be established Melbourne Disability Institute as its Academic Director.

Anne has a medical degree from Flinders University and a PhD in population health from the Australian National University.  She is a social epidemiologist who has worked on a range of social determinants including gender, employment, housing, place, discrimination, and health. Since 2008, she has been Head of the Gender and Women’s Health Unit (formerly the Key Centre for Women’s Health in Society) in the Centre for Health Equity. She has received over 30 million dollars in research funding, mostly from the NHMRC and ARC and has over 150 peer reviewed publications published in the top journals in her field.

Her recent research has focussed on the health of people with disability.  This research identifies how to improve the health of people with disability through improving their living circumstances including employment, housing, and education.

She is Director of an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health which includes 5 Australian and 3 international universities and the WHO.  The Centre aims to identify cost-effective interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians with disability and brings together academics with expertise in epidemiology, health economics, policy and social sciences.  Anne leads an ARC Discovery project on social mobility and disability and an ARC Linkage grant on use of disability employment services and health and wellbeing as well as range of other projects on discrimination against people with disability, the NDIS, monitoring frameworks for measuring inequalities in outcomes for people with and without disability.

Anne plays a key role on a number of disability boards and advisory committee including as a member of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council and the NDIA/Brotherhood of St Laurence Partnerships committee.  Anne’s research is informed by her lived experience of disability and in her ‘out of hours’ work she advocates for better service outcomes for children and adults with disability.

In taking up this new appointment, Anne has relinquished her position as Chair in Gender and Women’s Health.  A national and international search for a successor in this Chair has commenced.  Dr Cathy Vaughan will act as head of the Gender and Women’s Health Unit until the new appointment is made.

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Ruth Hentschel