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Associate Professor Michelle Kennedy

Michelle Kennedy


Associate Professor Michelle Kennedy is a Wiradjuri woman who has grown up on Worimi country. She is an NHMRC early-career researcher, partnering with Aboriginal communities to place the power in their hands and address priority areas to improve Indigenous health. 

Michelle brings 16 years of experience working with Aboriginal communities and Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing to the health research space to deliver health research that is appropriate, engaging and meaningful for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Michelle is the Assistant Dean Indigenous Strategy and Leadership for the College of Health Medicine and Wellbeing at the University of Newcastle, the Executive Manager of Research and Knowledge Translation at the Lowitja Institute and the Vice President Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander for the Public Health Association.


What are your research interests?

  • Aboriginal Health
  • Social determinants of health
  • Closing the Gap
  • Smoking cessation
  • Maternal Health
  • Aboriginal research ethics


Why did you get into research?

As an Aboriginal woman, I have been personally affected by the early death of my family and community.

The Closing the Gap targets are not being met and new generations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are being born into a society where they will not live an equal life to other Australians. I conduct research in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to improve our lives and the future for generations.


What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

Close the Gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. Particularly in the area of infant and maternal health.

I also want my research to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in the research space as equal partners, encouraging greater participation in research. This participation will result in more meaningful, ethical and empowering research being conducted.


Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Indigenous research methodologies
  • Indigenous research ethics
  • Indigenous research study design
  • Indigenous qualitative research
  • Indigenous health promotion



  • Public Health Association of Australia