Project Steering Committee
Please click the names below to expand the profiles for each member of the Project Steering Committee.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre
James Cook University
Dr Felecia Watkin Liu is a Torres Strait Islander woman with giz roots from Erub, Mabuiag and Badu in the Torres Strait. She is a Senior Lecturer in Indigenous Australian Studies, James Cook University (JCU), Cairns. Felecia graduated with a PhD from JCU in 2010, and her doctoral research involved an intergenerational study of Torres Strait Islanders living outside the Torres Strait. As the Director of Research Education, Felecia has co-ordinated the Indigenous Australian Studies postgraduate program which won an award in teaching excellence from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (now OLT). In 2009, Felecia was awarded JCU’s Supervisor of the Year (Early Career Supervisor); and the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. Her research interests include Indigenous knowledges in teaching and learning; Indigenous identity; and Indigenous methodologies. Felecia is Principal Investigator on the ARC Indigenous Discovery Project, titled ‘Measuring Indigenous Research Benefit’, 2015-2017.
Manager of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institut
Mr Gregory Pratt is descended from the Brown family of the Noonucal tribe of the Quandamooka people of Stradbroke Island. As a boy, he spent much of his childhood with the Gugu-Yalanji people of Cape York, growing up in the township of Laura. With the support of his community and his family, Greg undertook study at the University of Southern Queensland, where he graduated with a degree in Psychology. Greg has a significant work history and track record as a project manager, clinician and policy advisor. Greg’s track record includes managing nationally-funded, complex partnership projects and he has extensive experience working with the health service sector, policy personnel and researchers. His current role at QIMR Berghofer focuses on implementing and developing a transparent and needs based approach to research that benefits Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health; to support process that questions not only the role of biomedical research in furthering indigenous health, but the role of the indigenous health in supporting biomedicine to realise its potential.
Director - Indigenous Health
The University of Queensland
Dr Maree Toombs is the Director of Indigenous Health at the University of Queensland, within the Rural Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Toombs holds a Childrens Hospital Foundation Fellowship and leads three NHMRC project grants and part of a number of other research grants. Her expertise is in mental health amongst Indigenous Australians and exploring the interface between Indigenous and Western research methodologies. Dr Toombs is the chair of Carbal Aboriginal Medical Services, a leading health facilities servicing the Darling Downs region. Dr. Toombs sits on a number of National and International committees. Her current role, in addition to research, includes curriculum development. Dr. Toombs has >20 years’ experience in teaching and developing curriculum with an Indigenous perspective and has published a text book, Indigenous Health perspectives:The wombat in the room’, which is widely used in Medical and Health Faculties across Australia. Dr. Toombs is the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship that focused on working with Universities in Canada to improve retention rates for Indigenous Students.
Director - Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research
Central Queensland University
Associate Professor Roxanne Bainbridge is from the Gungarri and Kunja nations of South-Western Queensland. She is the Director of the Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research at Central Queensland University Australia. A/Prof Bainbridge’s is a medical anthropologist with interests in improving the integrity and quality of research evidence as a contribution to the health and prosperity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. She currently holds a 4 year Career Development Fellowship from Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council. A/Professor Bainbridge has multidisciplinary expertise in the public health equity research specifically the social and cultural determinants of health across the life course, health service research, psychosocial resilience and social inclusion. Her methodological expertise is in high impact applied research conducted in participatory and action-oriented research and evaluation approaches embedded in systems sciences. Specific proficiencies are in practical research impact assessment and evaluation; integrated quality improvement; health services research; evidence synthesis; grounded theory; and auto/ethnographic approaches. She has led research across a number of projects in Aboriginal health and wellbeing (e.g. mental health, palliative care, social and emotional wellbeing, resilience, suicide prevention, mental health, cultural competencies and health promotion) and education (e.g. engagement, pedagogy, school transitions, inclusive practice and mentoring).
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Leadership
Central Queensland University
Professor Adrian Miller is of the Jirrbal people of North Queensland. He is currently the Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Engagement and BHP Chair in Indigenous Engagement at CQUniversity. His previous appointment was Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous Leadership at Charles Darwin University. His previous positions include Academic Director of Indigenous Education and Research and Professor of Indigenous Research at Griffith University, Professor and Head of School at Southern Cross University, Founding Head of the Department of Indigenous Studies at Macquarie University and Deputy Head of School at James Cook University. During the past 23 years in higher education, his experience has been in management, leadership, academic program development, teaching and research. He has a research track record in competitive grants totalling over $20M with both the Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council grant schemes totalling over $15M. He has a strong interest in applied and translational research and twice been awarded Australian College of Educators Teaching Award. Professor Miller has strong leadership experience and proven capacity for achieving positive outcomes for Indigenous communities in health and education. He is an Honorary Follow of the Menzies School of Health at Charles Darwin University and Adjunct Professor for the Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University.
National Centre for Indigenous Genomics
Professor Emma Kowal is Professor of Anthropology in the Alfred Deakin Institute at Deakin University, founder and Convenor of the Deakin Science and Society Network, and former Deputy Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Genomics (NCIG) at the Australian National University. She is a cultural and historical anthropologist who previously worked as a medical doctor and public health researcher in Indigenous health before completing her PhD in 2007. Her research interests include Indigenous-state relations and settler colonialism, racism and anti-racism, and science and technology studies. Since 2010 she has worked closely with Australian National University to establish an appropriate and ethical management strategy for samples previously collected from Indigenous communities, work that has led to the establishment of NCIG. Her research has been published in many international anthropology, health social science, bioethics and medical journals. She has authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications including her monograph, Trapped in the Gap: Doing Good in Indigenous Australia. She has received many grants, including three four-year fellowships from the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council. She has held visiting positions at Yale University, the University of California, Berkeley, the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Nanjing University, China and the Universidade Federal de Santa Caterina, Florianopolis, Brazil. She is an editor of the international journal Postcolonial Studies, Editorial Board Member of the international journal Science, Technology and Human Values, past convenor of the Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society network, member of the National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science of the Australian Academy of Science, and convenor of the international programming committee for the 2018 International Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) meeting. She is an award-winning researcher and educator, receiving the 2014 Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia Paul Bourke Award for Early Career Research, a 2015 Thomson Reuters Women in Research Citation Award, and a 2013 National Citation for Outstanding Student Learning for her contributions to Indigenous studies.
Executive Director Aboriginal Health Practitioner
Top End Health Service (TEHS), Northern Territory Government
Dr Sean Taylor is descendent of the Dauareb Tribe, one of the eight tribes of Mer Island in the Eastern Torres Strait region.
Sean has over twenty years of clinical experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health working at different levels across Australia in range of academic and research interest, as well as clinical practice. He started his career as an Indigenous Health Worker in his home community of Mer (Murray) Island in the mid-1990’s and then became a registered nurse. Sean was one of the first three nursing students to graduate from James Cook University’s (JCU) Thursday Island campus.
Sean has completed a Graduate Certificate in Health: Diabetes Management & Education, Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours), investigating “The association between glycemic control and health literacy in Torres Strait Islanders with diabetes”. More recently completed a Doctor of Public Health (Research) focusing on Diabetes Care and Management in the Torres Strait Region. The Overall aim of his doctorate is to provide epidemiological evidence to support the development of community level interventions to address some of the most important risk factors associated with the health of Torres Strait Islanders in the Torres Strait region with Type 2 diabetes.
Previously, Sean held research positions at the Centre for Kidney Research - University of Sydney, Sansom Institute for Health Research – University of South Australia, Centre for Research Excellence in Chronic Disease Prevention in Rural and Remote Communities – University of South Australia, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention –Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, James Cook University and Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service.
Sean is currently the Executive Director for Aboriginal Health Practitioner, Top End Health Service (TEHS), Northern Territory Government.
Group Leader – Medical Genomics
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
Dr Nicola Waddell is head of the Medical Genomics Group and coordinator of the Cancer Program at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. She is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and genomics researcher who is an expert in the analysis of genomic data. She is co-lead of the Ethics, Legal and Social implications project within the Queensland Genomics Health Alliance (QGHA) and a member of the QGHA community group. She is also a member of Australian Genomics and the International Cancer Genome Consortium. She leads the genomics of several National cancer genome projects including oesophageal cancer and mesothelioma. She is keen to see genomics implemented into the clinic to improve patient outcomes.
Manager, Performance and Accountability Team
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Branch, Department of Health
Dr Daniel Williamson is an epidemiologist with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Branch, Queensland Health. Daniel has over 20 years’ experience working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and has led a number of burden of disease studies, provided advice to both state and federal governments on closing the gap metrics and participated in a number of research projects focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Chronic Disease. Daniel is currently the coordinating principal investigator for the Better Cardiac Care Data Linkage project. Daniel holds Masters of Epidemiology, a Graduate Certificate in Public Health, and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons).
General Manager, Policy
Queensland Aboriginal & Islander Health Council (QAIHC)
Ms Angela Young commenced her career in Canberra as a Government Lawyer with the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. Over the last 13 years she has worked in various roles in the Australian Government. For the past 8 years Angela has been in leadership and senior management roles in Queensland; predominantly engaged in the delivery of Indigenous Affairs programmes; most recently for the Indigenous Affairs Group in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Angela brings with her significant experience in policy and programme development, stakeholder management and Indigenous leadership in Government. She is passionate about creating and leading teams to achieve positive and sustainable change and has a keen interest in working with key stakeholders to develop innovative and responsive, community-led solutions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Angela has a Bachelor of Laws from James Cook University and was appointed as the General Manager of Policy & Research in June 2017.
Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery
University of Southern Queensland
Ms Raelene Ward is a descendant of the Kunja people from Cunnamulla. She has been a practicing nurse for the last 28 years, is a qualified Registered Nurse, Researcher and Senior Lecturer in the Nursing program at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. Raelene has also completed a Masters in Health and more recent PhD in Aboriginal suicide. She has a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills in undertaking research with Aboriginal people and communities bringing into these projects well established networks and rapport with many diverse communities. Raelene continues to establish a profile in suicide prevention in Aboriginal communities producing a number of publications including peer reviewed journal articles, opinion pieces in the Nursing Review, major reports, contributing chapters in several different nursing and education texts books within Australia.
Chief Executive Officer
Apunipima Cape York Council
Mr Paul Stephenson is the current CEO of Apunipima Cape York Council and was Apunipima’s Executive Manager: Primary Health Care between 2012 and 2015 before taking on the role of the General Manager for Australian Regional and Remote Community Services in the Northern Territory. Paul had an impressive and extensive executive leadership and management record within remote and Indigenous primary health care as well as governance through various Board appointments. Prior to working for Apunipima, Paul was an ex-officio Apunipima Board member while employed as Cape York Health Service CEO With a nursing and health management background, Paul has continued to influence the rural and remote primary health care profession with a track record of advocating and being involved in state-level workforce advisory and health service development committees.