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Senior Lecturer, UNSW Sydney

Sally Nathan’s career has been focussed on what it means to effectively engage consumers and community, in particular those who have been historically excluded from participation and decision-making in societal organisations and structures, including complex health systems.

Sally has been working in a research capacity at the University of New South Wales since 1999. Sally is the Convenor of 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. Sallly was recently awarded a Faculty Learning and Teaching Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (2010).

Sally’s research at UNSW has focused on the use of innovative methodologies and methods to measure and understand complex social processes and social change and this has included research into consumer and community participation in health as well as research approaches which engage and partner directly with vulnerable and marginalised communities and the organisations that represent and advocate for them. Sally has published on consumer/community participation in health service decision-making and governance (PhD awarded in 2013), advocacy by the non-government sector, capacity building for health development, adolescent drug and alcohol treatment (in partnership with the Ted Noff’s Foundation) and refugee settlement.

A team of researchers led by Dr Nathan 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 in 2014 for three years: 2014- 2017: ARC Linkage LP140100429; 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) and Ferry Mark.

Sally was first Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council Linkage funded three-year grant of $341,000 plus partner funds over 3 years: Social Cohesion through Football (2009-2011), a cohort impact study investigating the implementation of a sport for social development program with key findings released in a report launched at UNSW on October 19th 2012 – the resulting media reached well over a million Australians through electronic and print outlets.Sally is also part of a team of Chief Investigators on a recently awarded NHMRC Project Grant of $869,730.47 over 4 years: Sexual and reproductive health and behaviours of young offenders in NSW & QLD. Sally was a member of the Steering Committee and under took the in-depth consumer participation study as part of an ARC Linkage study into accreditation of health services: The Examinations of the relationship between accreditation and clinical and organisational performance (2005-2007). In the past few years Sally has been developing collaborations with non-government organisations in the Asia-Pacific region to build capacity to work alongside communities in research and in their response to ongoing and emerging public health issues including Non-Communicable Diseases and HIV/AIDS.


  • 2001–2015
    Dr Sally Nathan, Senior Lecturer