Kerry Copley has worked for AMSANT since 2009, developing and supporting implementation of a CQI strategy for all Aboriginal primary health care services across the Northern Territory. She has been involved in developing the National CQI Framework and the ABCD (Audit and Best Practice for Chronic Disease) Partnership. Kerry was an Associate Investigator on the Lessons from the Best Research Project and is a Chief Investigator on the LEAP (Leveraging Effective Ambulatory Practices) Research Project. She has substantial experience in primary health care management and CQI roles. Prior to AMSANT, Kerry was Deputy CEO for the Divisions of General Practice in the Northern Territory.


Renee Blackman is a Gubbi Gubbi Woman from the Sunshine Coast and her inspiration to pursue a career in health came from her grandmother. Renee has over 20 years of experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health across a number of clinical and managerial roles including Aboriginal Health Worker, registered nurse, health service manager, and academic, including teaching and research. Formerly with the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health in Brisbane, she is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Gidgee Healing, the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service in Mount Isa, bringing diverse service experience from urban to remote communities. Renee holds adjunct appointments with a number of University Institutions – James Cook University, Griffith University and is a member of the National Indigenous Advisory Committee to Headspace National.


Dr Paul Burgess is a jointly qualified General Practitioner and Public Health Physician with 18 years of experience in remote primary health care in the Northern Territory. He is active in senior clinical governance roles in the NT and nationally, advising on significant PHC reforms. He brings to STRIDE significant skills in continuous quality improvement; data-driven health care improvement; community engagement and development; health services research and evaluation; health strategy and planning; chronic conditions care; and health workforce reform.


Dr Sean Taylor is descendent of the Dauareb Tribe, one of the eight tribes of Mer Island in the Eastern Torres Strait region. Sean is the Executive Director Aboriginal Health Practitioner for Top End Health Service, Northern Territory Government.  He has over 20 years of clinical experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health working at different levels across Australia in a range of academic and research areas, as well as clinical practice. His doctorate (completed 2017) provided epidemiological evidence to support development of community level interventions to address some of the most important risk factors associated with Type 2 diabetes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in remote regions.


Associate Professor Deb Askew is a Conjoint Associate Professor, General Practice Research at the Primary Care Clinical Unit, University of Queensland, and Research Strategic Lead, Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (formerly Inala Indigenous Health Service – IIHS). She was previously the inaugural Research Director at IIHS for seven years and grew the research program from five projects to more than 30, including two NHMRC-funded multisite RCTs investigating ear health for Indigenous children.  Deb assisted to establish the Inala Community Jury for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research, and the ongoing facilitation of this research reference group.



Following her father’s line, Associate Professor Sandra Campbell is an Aboriginal woman from Mandandanji country in south-west Queensland. She is an Associate Professor at the College of Nursing and Midwifery at Charles Darwin University.  She has a professional background in nursing and midwifery, with research skills built on a foundation of providing primary health care in Indigenous communities in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Victoria. She has a Master’s degree in epidemiology and in 2013 was awarded her PhD on the importance of improving the health of Indigenous women of childbearing age before and between pregnancies to impact on the immediate and long-term health of the next generation.


Associate Professor Michelle Dickson is a Darkinjung/Ngarigo (NSW) academic in the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, and has worked in Indigenous health service delivery and health professional education for 25 years. She is Program Director of the Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion program for Indigenous health professionals, and the Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Public Health. Michelle is a Chief Investigator on the NHMRC funded CRE Partnership ‘Pathways to Better Care and Outcomes for Aboriginal Young People’ and has national and international collaborations in Indigenous health. Her local network includes communities and health services in most states and territories, across government, non-government and community-controlled sectors.


Emma Walke is a Bundjalung woman from the Ballina, Cabbage Tree Island areas of Northern NSW. In her combined roles as academic lead of Aboriginal Health Education at the University Centre for Rural Health and Head of Indigenous Health – Sydney Medical School, both at the University of Sydney, Emma works with medical and allied health students from New South Wales, Queensland and Canberra to impress the importance of understanding, care, listening and non-judgment when providing health care services to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. She has worked on over 22 research and evaluation projects since 2011, and has completed a Master of Philosophy (Med), studying the experience of Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander peoples use of DAAs on the North Coast of NSW.


Kathleen Conte is an Adjunct Faculty member with the University Centre for Rural Health, the University of Sydney, and member of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, where she conducts research and consults with policy makers in Australia and the World Health Organization on large-scale implementation of preventive health policy.  She is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor at DePaul University in Chicago, IL, and lives in Portland, Oregon.  She is an emerging expert in the application of systems theories and methodologies in preventive health and is a named investigator on the successful renewal of the $15 million NHMRC-funded Australian Prevention Partnership Centre. With considerable experience with participatory action research, in both Australia and the United States, she brings international collaborations with American Indian tribes and researchers in the US to STRIDE.



Professor Andrew Searles is both an Executive Manager and Leader of the health economics team at the Hunter Medical Research Institute. After being awarded his PhD in 2010, Andrew made the transition to academic in 2013 from employment in industry as an economist and Director of Research in a private sector research role.  A major component of Professor Searles’ research effort focuses on impact assessments. Specifically, this has entailed the development of a framework to measure research translation and research impact. This framework is being used in funded NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence. This work builds on his PhD where he designed and implemented an impact framework to capture the flow-on effects from a major trade agreement with potential impacts on the Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Professor Searles has presented his work nationally and internationally, and has actively contributed to policy in Australia through invited briefings for Federal Parliamentarians on the PBS and other economic issues.