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Research and Innovation

Health supervisors

Higher Degree by Research
Menzies School of Health Research

The location of CDU makes us the ideal university for research into Indigenous populations and tropical illnesses.

For over 30 years, improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous populations has been the dedicated work of Menzies School of Health Research, one of 澳大利亚’s leading medical research institutes.

位于基民盟校园, Menzies is also a global leader in researching tropical illnesses and the effects of the tropics on child health and development.

“Our goal at Menzies is to address the health inequalities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous 澳大利亚ns. We do this through meaningful research in partnership with the community,” said Heather D’Antoine, Associate Director, Aboriginal Programs.

To find the latest research opportunities with Menzies please go to their websitefor honours, Masters and PhD projects, or download the handbook by clicking here.

Faculty of Health

The Faculty of Health offers research expertise in midwifery and women's health, birthing on country, primary health care, mental health, cancer and chronic conditions. The Faculty’s strategic plan has prioritised its research engagement in strengthening the Faculty’s major research foci, research impacts, and research support environment. The Faculty has been engaging in high impact research outcomes that make a difference in the lives of people in the Northern Territory, 澳大利亚 and internationally.  The team has a strong track record, with more than 20 currently funded projects and many national and international collaborations.

Molly Wardaguga Research Centre

The Molly Wardaguga Research Centre was a strategic investment by CDU in 2019. Established in honour of Burarra Elder and midwife who worked extensively to improve health outcomes, with a vision of returning birthing services to Indigenous communities and Indigenous control. The vision of the Centre is to support women’s cultural and birthing aspirations, especially in remote locations through research and use this to dismantle the barriers imposed by westernised approaches to birthing and maternal healthcare. Read more

Mental Health and Supportive Care Research Group

The Mental Health and Supportive Care Research Group endeavours to better health and well-being outcomes through the development and implementation of evidence-based psychosocial interventions. Our researchers here, in the Faculty of Health, and our adjunct national and international colleagues have worked with government, non-government and community-based health agencies to contribute to health and well-being-enhancing initiatives. In particular, we have expertise in clinical trials, community-based approaches, implementation science, and service evaluations. As our name suggests, our program of work is comprised of two core themes: mental health care and cancer supportive care. We also engage in undergraduate honours and postgraduate research supervision and research mentorship. Read more

The Faculty of Health also offers research opportunities across a range health disciplines, including psychology, social work, health sciences, sports and exercise science, nutrition, occupational therapy and biomedical science.

Located in 澳大利亚’s Top End we are uniquely positioned to explore issues of national and regional importance such as Indigenous health, community resilience, disaster preparedness, allied health and mental health.

We are committed to develop evidence-based strategies for building more resilient communities.

To find the latest research programs and opportunities with the Faculty of Health please visit our website.

Meet the supervisors

Bart Currie

Professor Bart Currie

Professor Currie leads the Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases team within the Global and Tropical Health Division at Menzies School of Health Research, Northern Territory, Darwin.

Research interests:

  • infection
  • melioidosis
  • bulholderia pseudomallei
  • scabies.
Associate Professor Anna Ralph

Professor Anna Ralph

Anna is the director of Global and Tropical Health at Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, 澳大利亚. She is a National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Fellow, and is the Clinical Director of Rheumatic Heart Disease 澳大利亚, as well as being a practising medical specialist in General Medicine and Infectious Diseases at Royal Darwin Hospital.

Research interests:

  • rheumatic fever and,
  • rheumatic heart disease in 澳大利亚n Indigenous populations
  • tuberculosis control.
Meet Anna
jaquelyn hughes

Dr Jaquelyne Hughes

Dr Hughes is a clinician researcher, passionate about making a difference through new knowledge acquisition (research) to understanding:

  1. pathways (mechanisms) of decline in kidney health and
  2. the experience of health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and
  3. defining and testing innovations in kidney health. 


Meet Jaquelyne
Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan

Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan

Heidi heads Child Health Laboratory Research and is Director of HealthLAB at the Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Northern Territory, 澳大利亚.

Research interests:

  • child health (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, Asia-Pacific region)
  • haemophilus influenzae
  • bronchiectasis
  • streptococcus pneumoniae
  • otitis media.
Meet Heidi
Michael Binks

Dr Michael Binks

With expertise in biomedical science, clinical trials and epidemiology, Dr Michael Binks leads a collaborative and multidisciplinary research program dedicated to achieving sustainable improvements in the respiratory health of Indigenous children.

Research opportunity:

Projects with the capacity to support PhD students are clinical trials of evaluating perinatal vitamin D supplementation, antenatal vaccination and neonatal probiotic therapy as key preventative strategies against early childhood acute respiratory infections. 

Meet Michael
Dr Kamala Thriemer 

Dr Kamala Thriemer

Kamala Thriemer is a senior researcher and lecturer at the Menzies School of Health Research.

Research interests:

  • malaria elimination
  • public health strategies
  • primaquine
  • plasmodium vivax.
Meet Kamala
Professor Benjamin Tan

Professor Benjamin Tan

Professor Benjamin Tan is the Head of School (Nursing) in the Faculty of Health at Charles Darwin University. Benjamin’s interdisciplinary programs of research focus on empirical development and the evaluation of evidence-based supportive care interventions for cancer symptom management.

Research Interests

  •    Cancer symptom management
  •    Integrative medicine
  •    Evidence-based practice for chronic disease management
Meet Benjamin
Professor Yu Gao

Associate Professor Yu Gao

Yu practiced as a Resident Obstetrician in a large teaching hospital in China for a year before being chosen to conduct doctoral studies at Charles Darwin University, completing in 2008.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Yu
Associate professor Yvette Roe

Dr Yvette Roe

Yvette has more than 25 years’ experience working in the Indigenous health. As an Aboriginal scholar, Yvette’s research and priority has been to identify opportunities to improve health outcomes for First Nations peoples by delivering and evaluating services that are client, family and community focused.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Yvette
Professor of Primary Health Care Sue Kruske in Alice Springs

Professor Sue Kruske

Professor, midwife and child health nurse, Sue Kruske has worked in the primary care setting for over 30 years.  She has a background in midwifery and child health nursing and worked for many years in remote Indigenous communities.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Sue
Dr Sarah Ireland

Dr Sarah Ireland

Sarah is an early career researcher, medical anthropologist, nurse and midwife. She has expertise in cross-cultural qualitative research methods, especially collaborative approaches with Aboriginal people.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Sarah
Professor Sue Kildea

Professor Sue Kildea

Professor Sue Kildea is internationally recognised as a midwifery leader at the cutting edge of Indigenous maternal and infant health and Birthing on Country Service design.

She has strong links with Indigenous researchers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Organisations across the country, built across a 35-year career in clinical, research, education and policy.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health.
Meet Sue
Associate Professor Sandy Campbell

Associate Professor Sandy Campbell

Aboriginal public health researcher with Masters (ANU) and PhD (UniSA) qualifications in epidemiology, Sandy was born on Mandandanji country her Indigenous ancestry follows her father’s family line. Sandy has a professional background in nursing and midwifery.

Research interests:

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • rural and remote health
  • Aboriginal health
Meet Sandy
Marilynne Kirshbaum

Professor Marilynne N Kirshbaum

Professor Marilynne N Kirshbaum is Chair of the Human Research Ethics Committee and was previously Head and Professor of Nursing at CDU.

Research interests:

  • cancer-related fatigue
  • chronic fatigue
  • physical exercise in cancer care
  • energy medicine/integrative health and wellbeing
  • art, music and dance for wellbeing
  • development of theory.
Meet Marilynne
Dr Sophie Hickey

Dr Sophie Hickey

Dr Sophie Hickey is an applied sociologist and postdoctoral researcher at the Molly Wardaguga Research Centre. She currently manages the Indigenous Birthing in an Urban Setting (IBUS) Study.

Research interests:

  • health services research
  • midwifery (maternal and infant health)
  • Aboriginal health
  • public Health
  • social science
  • participatory action research
  • institutional ethnography
Meet Sophie
Dr Michelle Moss

Dr Michelle Moss

Dr Michelle Moss is a lecturer/ researcher and course coordinator in Creative Therapies in the Faculty of Health. She has been at the forefront of therapeutic/ healing practice development for remotely based Aboriginal children and families.

Research interests:

  • creative arts therapy
  • working therapeutically with Indigenous people 
  • working therapeutically in cross-cultural contexts
  • critical pedagogy
  • sociology
  • child protection.
Meet Michelle
Associate Professor Janine Joyce

Associate Professor Janine Joyce 

Dr Janine Joyce is Associate Professor/ Head of Discipline (Acting) at the Faculty of Health at Charles Darwin University.  She is  available to supervise interdisciplinary projects that give practical improvements for communities in the areas of wellbeing, empowerment and resilience/ transformation.  

Research interests: 

  • empowerment and resilience processes in post conflict and disaster community context
  • peace education and building.
Meet Janine
Dr Penny Haora

Dr Penny Haora

A health/maternity services and public health researcher and midwife, Penny is the BOOSt project research manager embedded at Waminda South Coast Women’s Health and Welfare Aboriginal Corporation (Yuin Nation). 

Research interests

  • midwifery (maternal and infant health), including Indigenous midwifery care
  • maternity and healthcare systems
  • Aboriginal health
  • realist synthesis and evaluation
Meet Penny
Daniel Bressington

Professor Dan Bressington

Professor Dan Bressington is Professor in Mental Health at the Faculty of Health.

Research interests:

  • Multimorbidity in people diagnosed with a severe mental illness

  • Developing/testing psychosocial interventions to improve psychosis and other mental health conditions.

  • Mental health literacy/stigma.

  • Complex PTSD and PTSD.

Meet Dan
Dr Daniel Liu

Dr Daniel Liu

Daniel is an Outstanding Future Researcher at CDU and Deputy Lead of the Chronic Disease, Cancer and Ageing Research Group (CCARG). Daniel’s research background is centred on the healthcare of patients with cancer and chronic diseases. Daniel has a distinguished research record as evidenced by internationally recognised publications and success in attracting research funding.

Meet Daniel
Dr Abel Dadi

Dr Abel Dadi

Dr. Abel is a researcher at the Centre for Child Development and Education (CCDE) at Menzies School of Health Research. Abel is currently working on a range of studies in the areas of childhood early development, mid-year school outcomes, and maternal mental health and perinatal outcomes using large-scale, linked, administrative data.

Meet Abel
Dr Bea Staley

Associate Professor Bea Staley

Bea’s teaching and research interests relate to language development, literacy, diversity and difference.

Research opportunities:

  • Caregiver Perspectives of Disability, a longitudinal qualitative study of families and their children and their experiences interacting with health and education systems.

  • Grant-funded project related to the Standard 澳大利亚n English (SAE) grammar acquisition of Aboriginal students who are learning SAE as an additional language.

Meet Bea
Professor Mitchell Byrne

Professor Mitchell Byrne

As a clinical and forensic psychologist, Prof Mitchell Byrne has a broad interest in a variety of applied areas of research. These include: enhancing adherence to treatments; trauma, trauma reactions and resilience; autism and inclusive practices; diet and behaviour; brief interventions in early psychosis; suicide prevention; and consumer behaviour and antimicrobial resistance.

Meet Mitchell

Dr Carol Keane

Carol's key areas of research interest and expertise include complex trauma and complex traumatic stress responses and recovery. Carol is particularly interested in psychological resilience as a protective factor in the traumatic stress domain. In addition, Carol has strong a research interest in clinically applied health psychology and in the development, implementation and evaluation of evidenced based psychological interventions.

Meet Carol
Dr Alison Wang

Dr Alison Wang

Dr Alison Wang received her PhD in Nursing from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Alison’s research areas are centred on palliative care and symptom management in patients with cancer and chronic diseases. Alison has authored over 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has coordinated more than 15 research projects as a key investigator. 

Meet Alison
Dr Andrea Simpson

Dr Andrea Simpson

Andrea is an audiologist and speech pathologist. In 2020, she was awarded a NCSEHE Equity Fellowship in which she examined how universities and academic staff could support First Nations students into the allied health professions.

Research interests:

  • Ethics, Moral Distress, and Clinical Burnout
  • Inclusivity and Diversity in the allied health care workforce
  • Supporting students studying allied health care through innovative curriculum design and assessment delivery
  • Models of patient-informed care
  • Unconscious bias in practitioners
Meet Andrea


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