Our team

Our First Nations and non-Indigenous team have many years’ experience working with Aboriginal communities, as well as expertise in psychology, psychiatry, perinatal care, parenting, Aboriginal health and all types of research.

Meet our investigator and project teams and learn more about our research, specialisations and expertise.

  1. Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future co-design phase, Lowitja and NHMRC funding  (2018-2022)
  2. Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future Program development, implementation and evaluation phase (2021-2025) Ian Potter Foundation and Medical Research Future Fund

Investigators

  • Professor Cath Chamberlain (1,2)

    Midwife/Professor of Indigenous Health, The University of Melbourne

    Professor Cath Chamberlain
    is a descendant of the Trawlwoolway People (Tasmania), with over 25 years’ experience in reproductive and child health, including program and hospital service management, policy implementation,guideline development, evidence-based practice and research.

  • Dr Graham Gee (1,2)

    Registered psychologist, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

    Dr Graham Gee specialises in Aboriginal mental health and social and emotional wellbeing, particularly resilience and recovery from trauma among Aboriginal people.

  • Professor Stephanie Brown (1)

    Head of Healthy Mothers Healthy Families Research Group, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

    Professor Stephanie Brown is a maternal and social epidemiologist with extensive experience leading large mother and child studies, including studies involving Aboriginal women and children, and families of refugee background.

  • Professor Judy Atkinson (1,2)

    Southern Cross University and Patron We al-li

    Professor Judy Atkinson is a Jiman / Bundjalung woman. She is a national leader in intergenerational and relational trauma, and healing or recovery for Indigenous, and indeed all peoples. Though nominally retired, she continues working with communities in educational – healing work, what she calls educaring.

  • Professor Jan Nicholson (1)

    Inaugural Roberta Holmes Professor at La Trobe University

    Professor Jan Nicholson has made significant contributions to understanding the parenting and family factors influencing the provision of effective preventive and early intervention, including approaches to protecting and promoting parent mental health and parenting.

  • Dr Deirdre Gartland (1)

    Senior Research Fellow, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

    Dr Deirdre Gartland is co-leader of the research program focusing on health, wellbeing and resilience across the life course. She has a particular focus on social adversity and building the evidence needed to better support vulnerable families.

  • Professor Helen Herrman (1,2)

    Professor of Psychiatry, Orygen, National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne

    Professor Helen Herrman is currently President of the World Psychiatric Association. Her work focuses on community mental health care, promoting mental health and the mental health of marginalised groups, including homeless people, prisoners and youth living in out-of-home care.

  • Ms Karen Glover (1)

    South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute

    Karen Glover is a Mein:tnk and Wotjobaluk woman with over 30+ years’ experience working in the government and non-government Aboriginal health and community services sectors, including in policy, planning, service development, management and advocacy.

  • Dr Yvonne Clark (1,2)

    Senior Research Fellow, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute

    Dr Yvonne Clark is a Kokatha and Wirangu Aboriginal woman from South Australia. Yvonne’s experience spans clinical, community, social and academic psychology, predominately with Aboriginal people (in particular with families, children and young people).

  • Dr Fiona Mensah (1)

    Biostatistician, Murdoch Childrens’ Research Institute

    Dr Fiona Mensah’s research focuses on child development and family resilience. She has worked with Aboriginal families and children, families of Refugee background, and families experiencing psychosocial adversities.

  • Dr Caroline Atkinson (1,2)

    r Caroline Atkinson is an Aboriginal social worker and leader in the area of intergenerational trauma in Indigenous Australia.

    She developed the first culturally sensitive, reliable and valid psychometric measure in Australia that determines PTSD in Australian Aboriginal peoples.

  • Ms Shawana Andrews (1)

    University of Melbourne

    Shawana Andrews is an Aboriginal Palawa woman with a background in social work and public health, including Aboriginal and paediatric health.  She currently works as lecturer in Indigenous Health and an Aboriginal Fathering Project, examining the experiences of parenting in the context of family violence.

  • Dr Sue Brennan (1)

    Research Fellow at Cochrane Australia, Monash University

    Dr Sue Brennan is a Research Fellow at Cochrane Australia, Monash University where she produces and facilitates the use of systematic reviews in health policy decision-making.

  • Professor Helen McLachlan (1,2)

    La Trobe University

    Professor Helen McLachlan is a midwifery leader with expertise in research translation and collaborations. She is currently lead investigator on a partnership project with VACCHO and four Victorian maternity services aimed at improving maternity care and health outcomes for Aboriginal mothers and babies.

  • Miss Tanja Hirvonen (1,2)

    Flinders University

    Tanja Hirvonen is a Jaru and Bunuba woman, and grew up in North West Queensland. Tanja is a registered clinical psychologist who specialises in social and emotional wellbeing, health professionals’ self-care and transgenerational trauma.

  • Dr Sandra Campbell (1,2)

    Midwife/Research Fellow, James Cook University Apunipima Cape York Health Council

    Dr Sandra Campbell is an Aboriginal researcher with a professional background in nursing and midwifery in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Victoria.

  • Danielle Dyall (1)

    Team Leader, Aboriginal Medical Service Alliance Northern Territory

    Danielle is a Minjungbal woman from Tweed Heads and has worked closely with her community in a variety of projects and roles. Danielle works for Aboriginal Medical Service Alliance Northern Territory as the team leader in social emotional wellbeing and cultural responsive trauma informed care. Danielle has a background in trauma and healing and has worked closely with families who have lived through traumatic experiences.

  • Pamela McCalman (2)

    Midwife/Researcher, La Trobe University

    Pamela is a Ballarong Noongar woman with Irish, Scottish and Cornish descent. She is a registered midwife and works in research on the NHMRC funded Baggarrook Yurrongi, Nurragh Manma Buliana (Women's Journey) project, as well as the Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future project.

PhD Students

  • Carol Reid

    PhD student, La Trobe University


    Carol grew up in the fruit growing area of Shepparton in rural Victoria. Carol has worked across local catchment in community care and health and is a hospital trained nurse. Carol has a research interest in place-based approaches to further understand the unique experiences and needs of communities
    and individuals.