Researcher

My Expertise

Youth and vulnerability, drug and alcohol treatment for young people, community and patient involvement in health and health service development, community engagement in social change and public health, consumer and patient empowerment.

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Adolescent health, Child and adolescent development, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public health and wellbeing, Multicultural, intercultural and cross-cultural studies, Mental health services

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Biography

My research program as a public health social scientist is characterised by active partnerships with non-government organisations, including the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health (ACCH) Sector, to improve health equity and opportunities for young people, key groups and communities. New knowledge through this research is used to improve health equity through advocacy, health promotion, and changes to policy and service delivery. This...view more

My research program as a public health social scientist is characterised by active partnerships with non-government organisations, including the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health (ACCH) Sector, to improve health equity and opportunities for young people, key groups and communities. New knowledge through this research is used to improve health equity through advocacy, health promotion, and changes to policy and service delivery. This commitment to equity is also reflected in convening of key courses in the MPH program and teaching in the undergraduate curriculum.

Teaching: Convenor of Foundations in Public Health & Health Systems, Community Development & Qualitative Research Methods courses in the postgraduate programs in the School of Population Health, UNSW Sydney. Awarded the 2019 UNSW Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Research and supervision: Research program involves collaboration with academics across UNSW, in other leading academic institutions and with leading NGOS in Australia. My research program is innovative in its use of multiple methods to examine complex psychological, behavioural, community and socio-political change. Published on consumer/community participation in health service decision-making and governance, advocacy by the non-government sector, capacity building for health development, refugee settlement, Aboriginal health and well-being and adolescent drug and alcohol treatment. In 2018 received the Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision and also the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision. In 2014 received the Dean's Rising Star Award: Significant Contributions to Research.

Grant successes and publications: Career total of over 3.5M with over 2.6M Cat 1 and over 1M in grants as CIA including grants in partnership with the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector and leading NGOs providing services and programs for at-risk youth. Published 57 peer-reviewed articles with an H index of 17 and i10 index of 25. Recognised impact of research with award of the 2020: Australian Therapeutic Communities Association Excellence in Research and Evaluation: Therapeutic Community Research award for ARC Linkage LP140100429, for contributions to the evidence-base for Therapeutic Communities for AOD treatment for young people.


My Grants

CURRENT GRANTS/PROJECTS:

2022-2025: NHMRC Ideas Grant $980K. Chief Investigator in grant led by Prof. Angela Dawson at UTS – Health in a New Home. This project will significantly advance knowledge in refugee health by conducting the first national population-based data linkage study and mixed methods research involving a cross-sectional survey with individuals and discussion-based participatory research with communities in NSW and Victoria, Australia.

2022-2023: NSW Department of Communities and Justice $150K contract funding. Chief Investigator with a team at UNSW to evaluate a trauma-informed care program for children with complex mental and neurological needs who are in out-of-home care in NSW, Australia (The Elver Program).

2021-2022: Creating Chances (Social Enterprise) $100K funded via UNSW Foundation. Lead Investigator  undertaking the monitoring and evaluation of their Positive Youth Development programs using sport in schools in NSW, Australia.

OTHER MAJOR GRANTS RECEIVED: 

2017-2019: The Lowtija Institute. Career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals, $254,351 over 2 years. Lead Investigator. Project is a partnership with other key academics from UNSW and Western Sydney University, as well as Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organistions and local area health districts in NSW, Australia. https://www.lowitja.org.au/page/research/research-categories/health-services-and-workforce/workforce/projects/career-path

2017-2018: UNSW Medicine funded Qualitative Network Hub to build qualitative research capacity at UNSW, $217,258 over 2 years. Dr Husna Razee, Dr Sally Nathan (SPHCM) and Professor Katherine Boydell (Black Dog Institute)

2015-2019: ARC Linkage LP140100429 funded in 2014; Positive life pathways for vulnerable adolescents: The role of a life management program approach. Investigators: Nathan Sally, Rawstorne Patrick, Hayen Andrew, Bryant Joanne, Baldry Eileen (UNSW Australia), Ferry Mark (Ted Noffs Foundation) and Dr Megan Williams (WSU); Budget:  $477,323 over 3 years including $329,557.00 ARC and Partner Organisation cash funding and in-kind partner commitments of $147,766.00.

2012-2015: CI on NHMRC Grant APP1043693 (Awarded 2012) . Scientific Title: Sexual and reproductive health and behaviours of  young offenders (14-18 years) in NSW & Qld. Budget: $869,730 over 4 years lead by Tony Butler at the Kirby Institute for Infection and Immunity.

2009-2011:  ARC Linkage LP0989930 funded three-year study: Social Cohesion through Football, Investigators; Nathan S, Evers C, Jackson-Pulver L, Henley R. A cohort impact study investigating the implementation of a football program over a three year period examining processes and impacts on individual health/wellbeing, social inclusion and cohesion in areas of Sydney with high humanitarian refugee settlement. $341,000 plus partner funds over 3 years.

 


My Qualifications

2007 - 2013                      PhD awarded in November 2013 

1996 – 1999                      Master of Public Health, University of New South Wales

1985 - 1988                       Bachelor of Science (Psychology) with Honours, University of New South Wales


My Awards

2020 Australian Therapeutic Communities Association Excellence in Research and Evaluation: Therapeutic Community Research award for ARC Linkage LP140100429, for contributions to the evidence-base for Therapeutic Communities for AOD treatment.

2019 UNSW Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching

2018 School and Faculty Awards for Excellence in Higher Degree Research Student Supervision

2014 Dean's Rising Star Award: Significant Contributions to Research

2013 UNSW Faculty of Medicine, Young Investigator Prize

2010 UNSW Faculty of Medicine, Learning and Teaching Award, Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning

Nathan S, Evers C, Jackson-Pulver L, Henley R 2009 UNSW Staff Excellence Awards, Excellence in Community Engagement Group Award, Football United


My Research Activities

Current Projects

2022-2025: NHMRC Ideas Grant $980K. Chief Investigator in grant led by Prof. Angela Dawson at UTS – Health in a New Home. This project will significantly advance knowledge in refugee health by conducting the first national population-based data linkage study and mixed methods research involving a cross-sectional survey with individuals and discussion-based participatory research with communities in NSW and Victoria, Australia.

2022-2023: NSW Department of Communities and Justice $150K contract funding. Chief Investigator with a team at UNSW to evaluate a trauma-informed care program for children with complex mental and neurological needs who are in out-of-home care in NSW, Australia (The Elver Program).

2021-2022: Creating Chances (Social Enterprise) $100K funded via UNSW Foundation. Lead Investigator  undertaking the monitoring and evaluation of their Positive Youth Development programs using sport in schools in NSW, Australia.

 


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

Drug and alcohol treatment, vulnerable youth; sport for social change; consumer and community engagement, Aboriginal health and well being. Qualitative and mixed methods.


Currently supervising

DrPH, Primary Supervisor (Joint) - examining performance measurement in the NGO drug and alcohol treatment sector;  DrPH, Primary Supervisor - examining teaching Aboriginal health and well being to post graduate public health students; PhD, Co-Supervisor of student at UTS examining health data linked to records of adolescents who have attended drug and alcohol residential treatment provided by a leading NGO over the past 15 years; DrPH, Primary - Guiding Principles for Health Policy Evaluation in rural and remote Australia; PhD, Primary - The Aboriginal experience of accessing Rheumatology services in a metropolitan hospital: a qualitative study.

Previous research student supervision

PhD, Primary Supervisor - examining experiences and attitudes to couples HIV testing and counselling in Ethiopia awarded in 2020; PhD, Primary Supervisor - examining young adults life experiences following involvement with Football United in 2019; DrPH, Primary Supervisor, examining health systems strengthening in Papua New Guinea awarded in 2018; MPhil, Primary Supervisor, examining the lived experiences of fathers of boys diagnosed with Duchenne 's Muscular Dystrophy awarded in 2018; Master by Research, Primary Supervisor awarded degree in 2017, Factors contributing to non-occupational falls from ladders in men 50 years and over. PhD, Co-Supervisor: The role of peer educators in promoting quality use of medicines among seniors, 2008.

Numerous Medicine ILPs and Honours including: 1) Finding structure and fitting in: The experience of drug-dependent adolescents in a residential life management program, 2006. 2) An ethnographic study of Football in the Park: An initiative for refugee youth in the Western Suburbs 2008 - Community Development through Sport: Lessons from Football United 3) The role of staff in a therapeutic community for adolescents with drug dependence issues, 2010; 4) The role of social networking and an on-line tool in supporting young people post discharge from a residential drug treatment program, 2011; 5) Examining the long-term health and social outcomes of adolescent residential alcohol and other drug treatment services in NSW and the ACT. A feasibility project (primary supervisor), 2013 6) Refugee Youth Soccer primary-secondary school mentoring program; a pilot study 2013 (co-sup). 6) 2-3 ILP/Hons students each year since 2015 participating in research associated with the Youth Pathways study. 

 


My Teaching

Sally is the Convenor of Foundations of Public Health, Community Development & Qualitative Research Methods in the postgraduate programs in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine and is  the public health and qualitative research expert member of the Independent Learning Project Committee (the research component of the undergraduate medical program) and has an active role in the delivery of the coursework component. Sally has been recognised for her excellence in teaching and supervision over the past decade with consistently high student ratings of her teaching and as a recipient of the following awards:

2019 UNSW Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in Teaching

2018 Faculty of Medicine Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision

2018 School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Supervision

2010 UNSW Faculty of Medicine, Learning and Teaching Award, Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning

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Contact

9385 1061
9313 6185

Research Activities

A team of researchers at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine together with the Ted Noffs Foundation and academics from the Centre for Social Research in Health and the School of Social Sciences have been awarded an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, funded this year for three years. The award of over $250,000 from the ARC together with matched funding of cash and in-kind from the Ted Noffs Foundation will enable the team to do vital research to understand the pathways of vulnerable adolescents and the role of the Ted Noffs Program for Adolescent Life Management (PALM…