Former Australian of the year Professor Fiona Stanley has devoted much of her career to trying to improve the health of Aboriginal people, especially children.
Delivering the annual Hawke Lecture in Adelaide recently, she discussed some of the causes of poor indigenous health, and outlined some strategies for improving it.
Fiona Stanley is the founding Director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research. She is Chair of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth, and holds a chair in the School of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of Western Australia. She is also the UNICEF Australia Ambassador for Early Childhood Development- Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Professor Fiona Stanley
Professor Stanley is the Founding Director of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research; Chair of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth; and Professor, School of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Western Australia. Trained in maternal and child health epidemiology and public health, Professor Stanley has spent her career researching the causes of major childhood illnesses such as birth defects. Her research includes the gathering and analysis of population data for epidemiological and public health research; the causes and prevention of birth defects and major neurological disorders, particularly the cerebral palsies; patterns of maternal and child health in Aboriginal and Caucasian populations; various ways of determining the developmental origins of health and disease; collaborations to link research, policy and practice; and strategies to enhance health and well-being in populations. Her major contribution has been to establish the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, a unique multidisciplinary independent research institute focussing on the causes and prevention of major problems affecting children and youth. She sits on the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council as well as the Australian Statistics Advisory Council. For her research on behalf of Australia's children, she was named Australian of the Year in 2003 and in 2006 she was made a UNICEF Australia Ambassador for Early Childhood Development.