Dr Aryati Yashadhana is a Research Associate, at the Centre for Health Equity Training Research & Evaluation (CHETRE) UNSW, and a Visiting Fellow, School of Social Sciences UNSW. Her work focuses on socioeconomic, cultural and political determinants of health, intersectional health equity (gender, race, class), and international development. Her research has largely taken place in collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia (NSW and Northern Territory) with a focus on analyzing the cultural dimensions of access in the context of eye health and chronic disease. Dr. Yashadhana works from a place of understanding and respect for Aboriginal cultural protocols as foundational to research relationships. Internationally, she’s worked in in low and middle income settings (Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, South East Asia, Pacific) and been a lead investigator on various projects commissioned by the World Bank Group centred around access to child eye health services (Malawi, Colombia, Pakistan). Dr Yashadhana specialises in qualitative and participatory methodologies, with a particular interest in the application of critical realist and decolonizing theories, the way marginalised peoples and cultures interface with dominant systems and structures, and analyzing access to health systems and services.
Dr. Yashadhana has had outstanding impact for her early career stage, with examples of research and policy impact in the areas of eye health and cultural competence in clinical education and care. She recently co-designed three modules for undergraduate medical students at UNSW with the goal of improving cultural competency skills when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients. She was recently acknowledged for her contributions in the Lancet Global Commission on Global Eye Health where she contributed to co-authoring several parallel articles focused on gender and ethinic diversity in eye health leadership, and access to eye care among racially minoritised groups.
Dr. Yashadhana is currently managing the Australian component of two Canadian Institute of Health Research funded projects with research teams in Alberta and Ottawa, focused on COVID-19 and financial strain, and the role of Chief Medical Officers during the pandemic.