I spent my early years in Dublin, Hobart, and Mt. Isa (an interesting outback high schooling experience). I relocated to London for university (BSc Hons Applied Psychology and Sociology at University of Surrey) and began my research career (University College London, Royal Colleges of Physicians, City University). I moved to Sydney for a PhD in psychology (Western Sydney University) and then shifted into public health (via the Kirby Institute, UNSW). I found an academic home at Sydney Health Ethics, School of Public Health (Sydney University). I am a settler on the lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation.
I use my academic resources to understand and advance the health of socially disadvantaged people and communities. Engagement with LGBTIQ and First Nation peoples profoundly shaped my approach to academia. I am committed to working ethically with communities to undertake meaningful research that produces knowledge for advocacy, health promotion, and service design and delivery.
I have a strong and continuing track record in research on the health of sexuality and gender diverse people (primarily health related to tobacco, alcohol and other substances, and sexual and reproductive health), with a specific expertise in LBQ women’s health. I lead the longest running periodic survey of LBQ women’s health and wellbeing in the world (SWASH), and collaborate on several projects about LGBTIQ substance use. Check out my research projects page. I’m open to supervise/examine honours, postgraduate, PhD projects on the health of sexuality and gender diverse people. I favour qualitative methodologies, but I’m pragmatic so I use methodologies that will generate knowledge that can be used to produce positive outcomes for communities.
For over a decade I’ve been working with ACON, Australia’s largest HIV prevention and LGBTQ health promotion organisation, including as a member of their ethical review committee (2011-2016), and on their board of directors (since 2012). I have collaborated with ACON on several research projects, including SWASH.
Through my teaching, I provide people with the intellectual and practical tools and confidence to undertake good quality qualitative research. I lead qualitative health research teaching on the Master of Public Health, University of Sydney. I was the Academic Director and Course Coordinator of the Master of Qualitative Health Research for six years and have over 10 years experience teaching qualitative health research, qualitative study design and methodologies, and qualitative analysis and writing to university students and community members. You can do my short courses in Qualitative Research in Health or Advanced Qualitative Analysis and Writing.
I am an Associate Professor in Qualitative Research in Health at Sydney Health Ethics (School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney), and a visiting fellow at the Australian Centre for Health Engagement, Evidence and Values (University of Wollongong).