Indigenous Epidemiology and Health

Research Overview

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians face greater challenges in health than many other Australians.  Research that draws on the strengths and knowledge of Indigenous peoples and communities present great opportunity to understand the pathways to health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of all ages and to identify avenues for prevention of avoidable morbidity and mortality .

The Indigenous Epidemiology and Health Unit is led by Professor Sandra Eades.  Sandra, whose family are Noongar from the Minang, Goreng and Kaniyang clans in south-west Western Australia was Australia's first Aboriginal medical doctor to be awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy. She has made outstanding contributions to the field of epidemiology of Indigenous health in Australia, as well as national leadership in Indigenous health research.  Professor Eades also undertakes the role of Associate Dean (Indigenous) for the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

Our group’s research covers a range of key health areas across the life course: perinatal health, early childhood and adolescent health, mental health, cardio-metabolic health, physical disability and cognitive/brain health (dementia prevention).  The unit uses observational, interventional and mixed method study designs. Studies include multi-state cohort studies, population data linkage studies, primary care based prevention-based intervention trials and qualitative research to understand and address the factors contributing to the elevated burden of disease among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The group seeks to bring strengths based perspectives to their work and incoorporate Indigenous knowledge and perspectives in all research questions.

The Unit is leading the Centre of Research Excellence in Aboriginal Child and Adolescent Health, involving collaboration across Australia, with the mission to change the life trajectories of Aboriginal children and adolescents by tackling the big four preventable causes of chronic disease: early childhood developmental delay, smoking, over/under nutrition, and injury.


Professor Sandra Eades - Indigenous Epidemiology and Health Unit Head

Dr Alison Gibberd - Research Fellow

Dr Lina Gubhaju - Research Fellow

Dr Robyn Williams - Aboriginal Research Officer (WA-based)

Dr Tabassum Rahman - Research Fellow

Dr Raja Dhungana - Research Fellow

Tessa Cutler -  PhD Candidate

Ben Harrap - PhD Candidate

Chris McKay - PhD Candidate

Nicoletta Psilos - Research Assistant

Prue Steer - Research Coordinator