Research Program 4 aims to build, refine, and test quality improvement tools and processes for application in cross-sector, multidisciplinary chronic disease prevention and health promotion efforts.


Quality improvement (QI) methods, such as those applied in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary healthcare (PHC), are a powerful yet under-utilised strategy for improving cross-sector, multi-disciplinary health promotion and prevention efforts that are necessary to tackle the growing burden of chronic disease.  Program 4 will extend QI approaches beyond clinical services to health promotion and prevention, particularly where feasibility has been demonstrated but uptake and implementation is limited.  Key issues slowing the scaling-out of QI beyond clinical service delivery include access to reliable, timely and actionable data; availability and use of quality information systems; health system, organisational and worker capability for QI in health promotion and prevention; and a limited understanding of QI application in multi-sector, multi-system level collaborations – necessary for tackling ‘wicked’ problems.  Research Program 4 will generate evidence that will improve uptake, implementation and impact of QI for health promotion and prevention, with a focus on chronic disease outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


Program description

Program 4 aims to build, refine, and test QI tools and processes for application in cross-sector, multidisciplinary chronic disease prevention and health promotion efforts. Specifically, we will: i) identify, describe and assess availability and application of QI tools and processes to ascertain needs for refinements and/or development of new tools; ii) assess quality of indicators and investigate the potential for routinely collected data at the local, regional and national levels to contribute planning, monitoring and reporting on health promotion and prevention; iii) describe and assess QI implementation processes, worker and health centre capability to implement QI and identify strategies to sustain an organisational culture of continuous learning; iv) co-design, implement, and evaluate multi-sector QI interventions with regard to impact on chronic disease outcomes in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


Current projects

Ngaa-bi-nya Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program evaluation framework

Funded by Maridulu Budyari Gumal Sydney Partnerships for Health, Education and Research Enterprise – Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing Clinical Academic Group, and UTS; 2018-2020

CI Williams and the Evaluation Working Group.


This framework will guide improvement of culturally relevant, effective, translatable and sustainable programs required for Australia’s growing and diverse Indigenous populations.

More Information

Deadly Ears Storybook

More info coming soon. 

Seed-funded projects


More info coming soon.

Healing Country

More info coming soon.

Projects under development

‘Opening the door from the inside’: Exploring the impact of an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-based workforce model of Community Health Educators (CHEs) on the CHEs, their communities , and the funding and hosting organisations

In development

Gwynn, Turner, AI Conte.


This project will explore the feasibility of the Indigenous CHE workforce model to strengthen delivery and impact of culturally responsive health promotion/ prevention programs in rural NSW communities.

Completed projects

Improving linkages for chronic disease prevention in Indigenous communities: a quality improvement approach

Funded by NHMRC #1121303; 2017-2020

CI Percival, CI Matthews, AI Burgess.


Project aims to improve understanding of the nature and effectiveness of interventions for linking clinical preventive services and community-based programs for chronic disease prevention, and factors influencing linkage success in the Indigenous health context.

B.strong: Queensland Health Brief Intervention Training

Funded by Queensland Health; 2016-2019

Cunningham, Murphy, Thomas, Brimblecombe, Brands, Border, Maksimovic, Bennet, Hammond, Jenkins.


This project aims to build capacity of Queensland’s Indigenous health workers in delivering brief interventions to their clients in key areas of smoking, nutrition and physical activity.

More information

Non-clinical indicators in Aboriginal primary health care

Funded by Central Australia Health Service Centre/ Centre for Innovation in Regional Health; 2018-2020

Moore, CI Percival, AI Burgess.


This project aims to develop robust, evidence-based non-clinical indicators (including health promotion) and information systems to enable reporting and sharing performance data at the service, regional and jurisdictional levels.