Dr Vanessa Lee

PhD (Medicine – Public Health)│MPH (Epidemiology)│BTEC Degree
Snr Lecturer Behavioural and Social Sciences │
Faculty of Health Sciences, Director - Suicide Prevention Australia, Chair - Public Health Indigenous Leaders in Education Network

C43T - T Block Cumberland Campus
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 9538
Fax +61 2 9351 9566

Website Public Health Association
PHILE Network

Biographical details

Vanessa, from the Yupungathiand Meriam people, resides on the land of the Gadigal people. She has a PhD (social epi.), MPH (epi.) and BTEC degree. She is a social epidemiologist, educator and public health/ health sciences researcher within the discipline of Behavioural and Social Sciences, in the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at the University of Sydney.

Vanessa was the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander to graduate with a PhD from the Faculty of medicine at Griffith University. Her area of expertise focuses on preventative health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Recently, Vanessa, as part of a research team, was awarded an NHMRC grant for Implementing evidence into practice to improve chronic lung disease management in Indigenous Australians: the "Breathe Easy, Walk Easy-Lungs for Life" (BE WELL) project.

Dr. Lee is a director for Suicide Prevention Australia and is working with the Mental Health Commission to develop a mental health gateway. She chairs the National Public Health Indigenous Leadership in Education Network and she has been instrumental in integrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content into the faculty of health science’s curriculum.Vanessa holds a number of current expert advisory positions that contribute to changing policies, including the National Advisory Group Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Informatics and Data, Australian Health Care Reform Alliance, and Close the Gap. Vanessa became instrumental in social justice advocacy towards changing policies for the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Vice President of the Public Health Association of Australia (2011 to 2015) and is holding a World Leadership Dialogue on Suicide Prevention at the World Federation Public Health Congress in 2017.

Dr. Lee was previously acknowledged for her role as an Indigenous professional working towards Closing the Gap 2017, with other professionals, by the Prime Minister at a ceremony in Canberra. Additionally, in 2016, Vanessa participated as a panelist on the Sydney Festival Of Dangerous Ideas to discuss the topic ‘Not worth living’, Indigenous suicides. She has also presented her poetry at the Sydney Writers Festival. All of the research, engagement and curriculum development that Vanessa is involved in are directed towards the overarching goal of improving the determinants of health, efficacy and linkages of services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s suicide prevention and preventative health.

Research interests

Vanessahas recently completed her PhD research on the Aboriginal Medical Services. She has local, national and international research experience within the area of public health and Indigenous health.

Selected grants

2016

  • Implementing evidence into practice to improve chronic lung disease management in Indigenous Australians: the "Breathe Easy, Walk Easy-Lungs for Life" (BE WELL) project; Alison J, Jenkins C, Maguire G, Jan S, Shaw T, Dennis S, McKeough Z, Lee V; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/NHMRC/ GACD Request for Applications on the prevention and management of chronic lung disease.

Selected publications & creative works

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Books

  • Coombe, L., Lee, V., Stewart, P. (2013). Review of the La Trobe University Master of Public Health Program. Melbourne, Australia: Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit.

Book Chapters

  • Fredericks, B., Lee, V., Adams, M., Mahoney, R. (2012). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. In Mary Louise Fleming & Elizabeth Parker (Eds.), Introduction to Public Health Second Edition, (pp. 350-372). Chatswood, Sydney, NSW: Churchill Livingstone.

Journals

  • Coombe, L., Lee, V., Robinson, P. (2017). Integration models for indigenous public health curricula. Higher Education Research and Development, In press, 1-15. [More Information]
  • Robinson, P., Lee, V., D'Antoine, H. (2016). 'A foot in each world, a heart in none' - whose responsibility is cultural competence? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40(4), 303. [More Information]
  • Griffiths, K., Coleman, C., Lee, V., Madden, R. (2016). How colonisation determines social justice and Indigenous health - a review of the literature. Journal of Population Research, 33(1), 9-30. [More Information]
  • Coleman, C., Elias, B., Lee, V., Smylie, J., Waldon, J., Hodge, F., Ring, I. (2016). International Group for Indigenous Health Measurement: Recommendations for best practice for estimation of Indigenous mortality. Statistical Journal of the IAOS, 32(4), 729-738. [More Information]
  • Lee, V., Coombe, L., Robinson, P. (2015). Building capacity through action research curricula reviews. Higher Education Research and Development, 34(2), 324-337. [More Information]
  • MacDougall, C., Riggs, E., Lee, V. (2014). Writing a new story for Australia's children. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 38(3), 203-204. [More Information]
  • Lee, V., Hill, P., Jennaway, M. (2010). Researching Reflexivity: Negotiating Identity and Ambiguity in a Cross-cultural Research Project. Field Methods, 22(4), 319-339. [More Information]
  • Lee, V., Ahmed, F., Wada, S., Ahmed, T., Ahmed, A., Banu, C., Akhter, N. (2008). Extent of Vitamin a Deficiency Among Rural Pregnant Women in Bangladesh. Public Health Nutrition, 11(12), 1326-1331. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Mackenzie, L., Hinitt, J., Lee, V. (2014). Australian occupational therapy students' understandings of indigenous health and the needs of indigenous clients. 16th International Congress of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, Yokohama: 16th International Congress of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.

Report

  • Coombe, L., Lee, V., Baker, J. (2014). Review of the Flinders University Master of Public Health Program, Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit.

Research Reports

  • Coombe, L., Lee, V. (2013). Review of the University of Adelaide Master of Public Health Program, (pp. 1 - 29). Melbourne, Australia: Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit.
  • Lee, V., Stewart, J., Moore, M. (2012). Activity Based Funding and Aboriginal Health - PHAA, (pp. 3 - 9). canberra, Australia: Public Health Association of Australia.
  • Lee, V., Moore, M., Moore, G. (2012). Submission by the Public Health Association of Australia on Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill 2011, Social Security Legislation Amendment Act 2011 and the related bill, 31 January 2012, (pp. 1 - 18). Canberra, Australia: Public Health Association of Australia.

2017

  • Coombe, L., Lee, V., Robinson, P. (2017). Integration models for indigenous public health curricula. Higher Education Research and Development, In press, 1-15. [More Information]

2016

  • Robinson, P., Lee, V., D'Antoine, H. (2016). 'A foot in each world, a heart in none' - whose responsibility is cultural competence? Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 40(4), 303. [More Information]
  • Griffiths, K., Coleman, C., Lee, V., Madden, R. (2016). How colonisation determines social justice and Indigenous health - a review of the literature. Journal of Population Research, 33(1), 9-30. [More Information]
  • Coleman, C., Elias, B., Lee, V., Smylie, J., Waldon, J., Hodge, F., Ring, I. (2016). International Group for Indigenous Health Measurement: Recommendations for best practice for estimation of Indigenous mortality. Statistical Journal of the IAOS, 32(4), 729-738. [More Information]

2015

  • Lee, V., Coombe, L., Robinson, P. (2015). Building capacity through action research curricula reviews. Higher Education Research and Development, 34(2), 324-337. [More Information]

2014

  • Mackenzie, L., Hinitt, J., Lee, V. (2014). Australian occupational therapy students' understandings of indigenous health and the needs of indigenous clients. 16th International Congress of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists, Yokohama: 16th International Congress of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists.
  • Coombe, L., Lee, V., Baker, J. (2014). Review of the Flinders University Master of Public Health Program, Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit.
  • MacDougall, C., Riggs, E., Lee, V. (2014). Writing a new story for Australia's children. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 38(3), 203-204. [More Information]

2013

  • Coombe, L., Lee, V., Stewart, P. (2013). Review of the La Trobe University Master of Public Health Program. Melbourne, Australia: Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit.
  • Coombe, L., Lee, V. (2013). Review of the University of Adelaide Master of Public Health Program, (pp. 1 - 29). Melbourne, Australia: Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit.

2012

  • Fredericks, B., Lee, V., Adams, M., Mahoney, R. (2012). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. In Mary Louise Fleming & Elizabeth Parker (Eds.), Introduction to Public Health Second Edition, (pp. 350-372). Chatswood, Sydney, NSW: Churchill Livingstone.
  • Lee, V., Stewart, J., Moore, M. (2012). Activity Based Funding and Aboriginal Health - PHAA, (pp. 3 - 9). canberra, Australia: Public Health Association of Australia.
  • Lee, V., Moore, M., Moore, G. (2012). Submission by the Public Health Association of Australia on Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill 2011, Social Security Legislation Amendment Act 2011 and the related bill, 31 January 2012, (pp. 1 - 18). Canberra, Australia: Public Health Association of Australia.

2010

  • Lee, V., Hill, P., Jennaway, M. (2010). Researching Reflexivity: Negotiating Identity and Ambiguity in a Cross-cultural Research Project. Field Methods, 22(4), 319-339. [More Information]

2008

  • Lee, V., Ahmed, F., Wada, S., Ahmed, T., Ahmed, A., Banu, C., Akhter, N. (2008). Extent of Vitamin a Deficiency Among Rural Pregnant Women in Bangladesh. Public Health Nutrition, 11(12), 1326-1331. [More Information]

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