Our team

Our Aboriginal and non-Indigenous team have many years’ experience working with Aboriginal communities, as well as expertise in psychology, psychiatry, perinatal care, parenting, Aboriginal health and all types of research.

Meet our team and learn more about our research, specialisations and expertise.

Associate Professor Catherine Chamberlain

Portrait photo of Dr Catherine ChamberlainMidwife/Associate Professor, La Trobe University

Associate Professor Catherine Chamberlain is a descendant of the Trawlwoolway People (Tasmania), with over 25 years’ experience in reproductive and child health, including program and hospital service management, policy implementation, guideline development, evidence-based practice and research.

Dr Graham Gee

Portrait photo of Graham Gee.Registered psychologist, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Dr Graham Gee specialises in Aboriginal mental health and social and emotional wellbeing, particularly resilience and recovery from trauma among Aboriginal people.

Professor Stephanie Brown

Profile photo of Stephanie Brown.Head of Healthy Mothers Healthy Families Research Group, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Professor Stephanie Brown is a maternal and social epidemiologist with extensive experience leading large mother and child studies, including studies involving Aboriginal women and children, and families of refugee background.

Professor Judy Atkinson

Portrait photo of Judy AtkinsonSouthern Cross University and Patron We al-li

Professor Judy Atkinson is a Jiman / Bundjalung woman. She is a national leader in intergenerational and relational trauma, and healing or recovery for Indigenous, and indeed all peoples. Though nominally retired, she continues working with communities in educational – healing work, what she calls educaring.

Professor Jan Nicholson

Portrait photo of Jan Nicholson.Inaugural Roberta Holmes Professor at La Trobe University

Professor Jan Nicholson has made significant contributions to understanding the parenting and family factors influencing the provision of effective preventive and early intervention, including approaches to protecting and promoting parent mental health and parenting.

Dr Deirdre Gartland

Profile profile of Deirdre GartlanSenior Research Fellow, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Dr Deirdre Gartland is co-leader of the research program focusing on health, wellbeing and resilience across the life course. She has a particular focus on social adversity and building the evidence needed to better support vulnerable families.

Professor Helen Herrman

Portrait photo of Helen Herrman.Professor of Psychiatry, Orygen, National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne

Professor Helen Herrman is currently President of the World Psychiatric Association. Her work focuses on community mental health care, promoting mental health and the mental health of marginalised groups, including homeless people, prisoners and youth living in out-of-home care.

Ms Karen Glover

Profile photo of Karen Glover South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute

Karen Glover is a Mein:tnk and Wotjobaluk woman with over 30+ years’ experience working in the government and non-government Aboriginal health and community services sectors, including in policy, planning, service development, management and advocacy.

Dr Yvonne Clark

Portrait photo of Dr Yvonne Clark Senior Research Fellow, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute

Dr Yvonne Clark is a Kokatha and Wirangu Aboriginal woman from South Australia. Yvonne’s experience spans clinical, community, social and academic psychology, predominately with Aboriginal people (in particular with families, children and young people).

Dr Fiona Mensah

Portrait photo of Fiona MensahBiostatistician, Murdoch Childrens’ Research Institute

Dr Fiona Mensah’s research focuses on child development and family resilience. She has worked with Aboriginal families and children, families of Refugee background, and families experiencing psychosocial adversities.

Dr Caroline Atkinson

Profile picture of Dr Caroline AtkinsonDr Caroline Atkinson is an Aboriginal social worker and leader in the area of intergenerational trauma in Indigenous Australia.

She developed the first culturally sensitive, reliable and valid psychometric measure in Australia that determines PTSD in Australian Aboriginal peoples.

Ms Shawana Andrews

Profile photo of Shawana Andrews.University of Melbourne

Shawana Andrews is an Aboriginal Palawa woman with a background in social work and public health, including Aboriginal and paediatric health.  She currently works as lecturer in Indigenous Health and an Aboriginal Fathering Project, examining the experiences of parenting in the context of family violence.

Dr Sue Brennan

Profile picture of Sue Brennan.Research Fellow at Cochrane Australia, Monash University

Dr Sue Brennan is a Research Fellow at Cochrane Australia, Monash University where she produces and facilitates the use of systematic reviews in health policy decision-making.

Professor Helen McLachlan

Portrait photo of Helen McLachlan.La Trobe University

Professor Helen McLachlan is a midwifery leader with expertise in research translation and collaborations. She is currently lead investigator on a partnership project with VACCHO and four Victorian maternity services aimed at improving maternity care and health outcomes for Aboriginal mothers and babies.

Miss Tanja Hirvonen

Profile picture of Tanja Hirvonen.Flinders University

Tanja Hirvonen is a Jaru and Bunuba woman, and grew up in North West Queensland. Tanja is a registered clinical psychologist who specialises in social and emotional wellbeing, health professionals’ self-care and transgenerational trauma.

Dr Sandra Campbell

Profile photo of Sandra Campbell.Midwife/research fellow, James Cook University Apunipima Cape York Health Council

Dr Sandra Campbell is an Aboriginal researcher with a professional background in nursing and midwifery in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland, the Northern Territory and Victoria.

Danielle Dyall

A portrait of Danielle DyallTeam Leader, Aboriginal Medical Service Alliance Northern Territory

Danielle is a Minjungbal woman from Tweed Heads and has worked closely with her community in a variety of projects and roles. Danielle works for Aboriginal Medical Service Alliance Northern Territory as the team leader in social emotional wellbeing and cultural responsive trauma informed care. Danielle has a background in trauma and healing and has worked closely with families who have lived through traumatic experiences.

Dr Stacey Hokke

Portrait photo of Stacey HokkeResearch Officer, Judith Lumley Centre, La Trobe University

Dr Stacey Hokke is an early career researcher in the Transition to Contemporary Parenthood Program. Her research focuses on parents’ social and emotional wellbeing, the social determinants of parenting, and gender and health equity. Her research seeks to identify and develop evidence-based strategies that support mothers and fathers in their parenting role.

Dr Shannon Bennetts

Dr Shannon Bennetts Research Fellow, Judith Lumley Centre, La Trobe UniversityResearch Fellow, Judith Lumley Centre, La Trobe University

Dr Shannon Bennetts is a social scientist with a focus on supporting and understanding the needs of parents, children and families. Her research interests include children's language, social and cognitive development, parenting during social adversity, parent and child mental health, work-family conflict and enrichment, and the role of social media in contemporary parenthood and for use in research.

Dr Cindy Woods

Senior Research Fellow, La Trobe University

Dr Cindy Woods is a mid-career researcher and her research focuses on Indigenous health and wellbeing, substance use, patient safety, rural and remote health and pregnancy/birth.

Carol Reid

PhD student, La Trobe University

Carol grew up in the fruit growing area of Shepparton in rural Victoria. Carol has worked across local catchment in community care and health and is a hospital trained nurse. Carol has a research interest in place-based approaches to further understand the unique experiences and needs of communities and individuals.

Leanne Slade

A portrait photo of Leanne SladeAdministrative Officer, La Trobe University

Leanne is an administrative officer with extensive experience working in administration at a cultural institution.  Leanne has a background in early childhood education delivering nature-based programs to children and also has an educational background in psychology.

Hannah Whetham

Research Officer, La Trobe University

Hannah's research interests span psychology and public health. She is passionate about improving outcomes around Indigenous health and wellbeing; social, emotional and cognitive development (especially through supporting mothers and families); and chronic condition prevention and management. She recently delivered a pilot "flying headspace" program in partnership with Port Augusta Royal Flying Doctors Service to remote communities.