PhD, Griffith University School of Medicine
In 2016, Vanessa Lee graduated from the Griffith University School of Medicine as its first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Public Health PhD graduate.
Her research identified the important role of the Aboriginal staff in balancing the local Aboriginal community’s needs with the organisational requirements of the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service.
"Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services are best positioned to meet the health and social needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Dr Lee said.
"However governmental requirements imposed on these services often meant that they were in a constant state of organisational change.”
Parallel to her PhD, Dr Lee was instrumental in the Public Health Leaders in Indigenous Education Network reviewing the Master of Public Health program implementation of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander core competencies in curricula by Australian Universities.
"From 2011 to 2015, I was the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Vice President of the Public Health Association of Australia and this coupled with my teaching expertise and my PhD will enable me to apply my epidemiology and socio-epidemiology knowledge to enhance the means of which services are delivered to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” she said.
Dr Lee has been a director on the board of Suicide Prevention Australia since 2016.