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Telethon Kids Institute

Professor Jonathan Carapetis AM

Professor Jonathan Carapetis AMProfessor Carapetis has forged new directions in translational research through his leadership of two research institutes; Menzies School of Health Research and Telethon Kids Institute. Professor Carapetis completed his doctoral studies to document the burden of RHD in Indigenous Australians in 1994 and has been at the forefront of domestic and international disease control efforts over the last two decades.

Professor Carapetis is Chief Investigator of studies into improving secondary prophylaxis delivery, genetics of RHD and the END RHD CRE. He is the Australian lead investigator on the GAS vaccine project CANVAS and the co-director of RhEACH, an organisation providing technical support for RHD control in developing countries.

The University of Western Australia

Professor Dawn Bessarab

Professor Dawn BessarabProfessor Bessarab is Director for the Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health at the University of Western Australia. She is an Indigenous woman from the West Kimberly and is of Bard (West Kimberley) and Yjindjabandi (Pilbara) descent who graduated with her PhD in 2007.

Prior to joining the University of Western Australia, Dawn worked as an Indigenous Health Researcher at the Centre for Health Innovation Research Institute at Curtin University where she collaborated with people working in the field of chronic disease; cardio vascular, cancer and ageing. 

She has extensive experience across the Western Australian public sector, specifically in the area of child protection, family violence, alcohol and substance abuse and the criminal justice system. She has worked for the Department of the Attorney General across courts and tribunal services, and the Department of Child Protection (then Community Development) as a social worker and an Aboriginal child protection worker.

Professor Bessarab is interested in the application of Indigenous research methodologies such as ‘yarning' and the translation of research into policy and practice. She advocates the importance of understanding the cultural traditions of Aboriginal people and is engaged in research looking at interventions and collaborative approaches to addressing health issues affecting Aboriginal people. Dawn is a chief investigator on a number of NHMRC grants and her expertise in Aboriginal research is highly regarded. 

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute | University of South Australia

Professor Alex Brown

Professor Alex BrownProfessor Brown received his Bachelor of Medicine in 1996 and Master of Public Health in 1999. He completed his PhD in 2010 with thesis on ‘Kurunpa [Spirit]: Exploring the Psychosocial Determinants of Coronary Heart Disease in Indigenous Men in Central Australia’.

Prof Brown has extensive experience in working in rural/remote communities, primary care and hospital settings, and has led detailed and extremely challenging fieldwork in Aboriginal community research.

Menzies School of Health Research | Charles Darwin University

Professor Bart Currie

Professor Bart CurrieProfessor Currie leads the Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases team of the Global and Tropical Health Division at Menzies. 

He is also an infectious diseases physician at the Royal Darwin Hospital and since 2000, Professor in Medicine at the Northern Territory Medical Program through Flinders University. 

He is Director of RHD Australia: the National Coordination Unit for Australia’s Rheumatic Fever Strategy, and also leads the new NHMRC-funded Tropical Disease Research Regional Collaboration Initiative (HOT NORTH). 

Menzies School of Health Research

Ms Heather D’Antoine

Heather D'AntoineMs D’Antoine received a Diploma of Nursing in 1978 and a Diploma of Midwifery in 1987.

She worked as a remote area nurse, gaining experience in health service delivery. In 1990 she received a Bachelor of Applied Science (Health Science), followed by a Masters of Health Economics (Aboriginal health) in 2006. 

She has worked in health research since 2001 and is currently the Associate Director for Aboriginal Programs at Menzies School of Health Research. 

Telethon Kids Institute

Professor Nick de Klerk

Professor Nick de KlerkProfessor de Klerk has over 35 years of experience in biostatistics and epidemiology and has published widely in the areas of occupational respiratory disease, cancer epidemiology, child health, and biostatistics, with over 400 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

The University of Western Australia

Dr Dan McAullay

Dr Dan McAullayDr McAullay completed his doctoral studies in 2010 on ‘Primary health care and maternal, infant and child health of Western Australia’.

His postdoctoral work has focused on supporting ethical and culturally appropriate practices in research, fieldwork, or projects or that involve Indigenous Australian issues, people, or knowledge or that impact on Indigenous people or communities.

Dr McAullay is an investigator on the CRE to improve health services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute | Monash University

Professor Graeme Maguire

Professor Graeme MaguireProfessor Maguire’s clinical and research experience in rural and remote sites across Australia (including Alice Springs, Darwin, the Kimberley, Christmas and Cocos Islands, and Cairns) provides critical insight into the challenges of rural and remote medical practice and undertaking research involving Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islander peoples in remote Australia.

Professor Maguire received his PhD in Respiratory Health and Disease in Aboriginal Australians in the Northern Territory in 2004.  

Menzies School of Health Research

Associate Professor Anna Ralph

Associate Professor Anna RalphA/Prof Ralph is a staff specialist in Infectious Diseases and General Medicine at the Royal Darwin Hospital and also an NHMRC Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the Menzies School of Health Research.

She is the Clinical Director of RHD Australia, theme leader for Antimicrobial Resistance with HOT NORTH (Improving Health Outcomes in the Tropical North: A Multidisciplinary Collaboration), and is a steering committee member of the following organisations: Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Network, the Australasian TB Forum, and ACTNet (the Australian Clinical TB Network).

A/Prof Ralph currently oversees a trial of a health services intervention to improve secondary prophylaxis in the Northern Territory. Other RHD-related projects she leads include ‘On Track Watch’, a participatory action research project, and the ‘SP Plus’ study, with the Northern Territory Centre for Disease Control. She is also a lead investigator in a DFAT-funded tuberculosis study to improve contact management in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute | University of Melbourne

Associate Professor Andrew Steer

Associate Professor Andrew SteerA/Prof Steer is a paediatric infectious diseases physician at the Royal Children's Hospital. He is Director of the Infection and Immunity Theme, and Group Leader of the Group A Streptococcal Research Group, at the Murdoch Childrens' Research Institute.

He is a Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for International Child Health in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne.


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We invite partners, collaborators, and institutions to join us as researchers, advocates, and colleagues in this work. 

We’d love to hear suggestions of what you’d like to see prioritised in efforts to address RHD, or to provide feedback on any of our research projects. 

Get in touch: 

Phone: (08) 6319 1648

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