Professor Lesley Barclay AO

Professor & Head of UCRH
University Centre for Rural Health, School of Public Health

T: +61 2 6620 7231
F: +61 2 6620 7270
W: Related website
Curriculum vitae

Biographical details

Lesley Barclay's leadership is exemplified by her Council membership of NHMRC for 6 years and she served a similar time on the first Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care. She is currently a Board member on the Northern Rivers (NR) Board of Regional Development Australia also sits on the Board of the NR General Practice network. She applied for a role leading the UDRH in Lismore after 5 years working in the Northern Territory to expand her contribution to rural Australia. [More...]

Research interests

Professor Barclay is an educational leader, health services researcher and systems reformer whose projects have improved services in remote and urban Australia and internationally. Much of her recent research has been rural, remote or indigenous focussed. She has been a chief investigator on 14 Group 1 grants, including a NHMRC Centre of Clinical Excellence and has led 9 of these.

Current national competitive grants*


The Australian Regional Birthing Index (ARBI)
Barclay L, Morgan G, Donoghue D, Oats J, Grzybowski S, Dunbar T, Kruske S, Kildea S
NHMRC Project Grants ($473,512 over 3 years)

* Grants administered through the University of Sydney


Family studies; Child health; Maternal health; Rural health; Health services and management

International links

China. (Womens and Childrens Hospital in Sichuan; Second Univerity) Recently completed joint ARC Linkage grant; shared publications. Attempting to get other research funded.
Indonesia. (Ministry of Health and Health Academies in Kalimantan and Makassar) AusAID and World Bank consultancies that contributed to the educations of health professionals, improved services and capacity building.
Samoa. (Ministry of Health and National University) Nearly 20 years of consultancy and research funded by WHO and AusAID; this has produced numerous reports and 2 research based books that are jointly authored by myself and Samoan colleagues.
Canada. (Canadian Centre for Rural Health Research at University of British Columbia) Shared grants and research collaborations.


2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008


  • Bar-Zeev, S., Barclay, L., Kruske, S., Kildea, S. (2014), Factors affecting the quality of antenatal care provided to remote dwelling Aboriginal women in northern Australia. Midwifery. 30(3), 289¿296. [Abstract]


  • Turkstra, E., Gamble, J., Creedy, D., Fenwick, J., Barclay, L., Buist, A., Ryding, E., Scuffham, P. (2013), PRIME: impact of previous mental health problems on health-related quality of life in women with childbirth trauma. Archives of Women's Mental Health. 16(6), 561-564. [Abstract]
  • Fenwick, J., Gamble, J., Creedy, D., Barclay, L., Buist, A., Ryding, E. (2013), Women's perceptions of emotional support following childbirth: A qualitative investigation. Midwifery. 29(3), 217-224. [Abstract]
  • Bar-Zeev, S., Barclay, L., Kruske, S., Bar-Zeev, N., Gao, Y., Kildea, S. (2013), Use of maternal health services by remote dwelling aboriginal women in northern australia and their disease burden. Birth. 40(3), 172-181. [Abstract]
  • Swain, L., Barclay, L. (2013), They've given me that many tablets, I'm bushed. I don't know where I'm going: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' experiences with medicines. Australian Journal of Rural Health. 21(4), 216-219. [Abstract]
  • Monk, A., Tracy, S., Foureur, M., Barclay, L. (2013), Australian primary maternity units: Past, present and future. Women and Birth. 26(3), 213-218. [Abstract]
  • Sheehan, A., Schmied, V., Barclay, L. (2013), Exploring the Process of Women's Infant Feeding Decisions in the Early Postbirth Period. Qualitative Health Research. 23(7), 989-998. [Abstract]
  • Barclay, L., Longman, J., Schmied, V., Sheehan, A., Rolfe, M., Burns, E., Fenwick, J. (2013), The professionalising of breast feeding-Where are we a decade on?. Midwifery. , e32-33. [Abstract]
  • Rumbold, A., Kruske, S., Boyle, J., Weckert, R., Putland, S., Giles, L., Barclay, L., Kildea, S. (2013), Can the fetal fibronectin test be used by remote dwelling pregnant women to predict the onset of labour at term and delay transfer for birth in regional settings?. Rural and Remote Health. 13, 2126. [Abstract]
  • Hansen, V., Pit, S., Honeyman, P., Barclay, L. (2013), Prolonging a sustainable working life among older rural GPs: solutions from the horse's mouth. Rural and Remote Health. 13(2), 2369. [Abstract]
  • Bar-Zeev, S., Kruske, S., Barclay, L., Bar-Zeev, N., Kildea, S. (2013), Adherence to management guidelines for growth faltering and anaemia in remote dwelling Australian Aboriginal infants and barriers to health service delivery. BMC Health Services Research. 13(1), 250. [Abstract]
  • Rix, E., Barclay, L., Wilson, S., Stirling, J., Tong, A. (2013), Service providers' perspectives, attitudes and beliefs on health services delivery for Aboriginal people receiving haemodialysis in rural Australia: a qualitative study. BMJ Open. 3(10), e003581. [Abstract]


  • Steenkamp, M., Rumbold, A., Kildea, S., Bar-Zeev, S., Kruske, S., Dunbar, T., Barclay, L. (2012), Measuring what matters in delivering services to remote-dwelling Indigenous mothers and infants in the Northern Territory, Australia. The Australian Journal of Rural Health. 20(4), 228-237. [Abstract]
  • Steenkamp, M., Rumbold, A., Barclay, L., Kildea, S. (2012), A population-based investigation into inequalities amongst Indigenous mothers and newborns by place of residence in the Northern territory, Australia. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 12(1), 44. [Abstract]
  • Barclay, L., Longman, J., Schmied, V., Sheehan, A., Rolfe, M., Burns, E., Fenwick, J. (2012), The professionalising of breast feeding-Where are we a decade on?. Midwifery. 28(3), 281-290. [Abstract]
  • Barclay, L. (2012), Evidence: making an impact. International Journal of Evidence-Based Healthcare. 10(1), 1-2. [Abstract]
  • Shaban, I., Barclay, L., Lock, L., Homer, C. (2012), Barriers to developing midwifery as a primary health-care strategy: A Jordanian study. Midwifery. 28(1), 106-11. [Abstract]
  • Wild, K., Barclay, L., Kelly, P., Martins, N. (2012), The tyranny of distance: maternity waiting homes and access to birthing facilities in rural Timor-Leste. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 90(2), 97-103. [Abstract]
  • Bar-Zeev, S., Barclay, L., Farrington, C., Kildea, S. (2012), From hospital to home: The quality and safety of a postnatal discharge system used for remote dwelling Aboriginal mothers and infants in the top end of Australia. Midwifery. 28(3), 366-373. [Abstract]
  • Josif, C., Barclay, L., Bar-Zeev, S., Kildea, S., Brittin, M. (2012), How participatory action research supported improvements to the postnatal discharge summary system used for remote dwelling Aboriginal mothers and infants in the Top End of Australia. Action Research. 10(4), 387-405.
  • Bar-Zeev, S., Kruske, S., Barclay, L., Bar-Zeev, N., Carapetis, J., Kildea, S. (2012), Use of health services by remote dwelling Aboriginal infants in tropical northern Australia: a retrospective cohort study. BMC Pediatrics. 12(1), 19. [Abstract]
  • Longman, J., I Rolfe, M., Passey, M., Heathcote, K., Ewald, D., Dunn, T., Barclay, L., Morgan, G. (2012), Frequent hospital admission of older people with chronic disease: a cross-sectional survey with telephone follow-up and data linkage. BMC Health Services Research. 12(1), 373. [Abstract]


  • Khresheh, R., Suhaimat, A., Jalamdeh, F., Barclay, L. (2011), The effect of a postnatal education and support program on breastfeeding among primiparous women: a randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 48(9), 1058-1065. [Abstract]
  • Thompson, R., Kildea, S., Barclay, L., Kruske, S. (2011), An account of significant events influencing Australian breastfeeding practice over the last 40 years. Women and birth : journal of the Australian College of Midwives. 24(3), 97-104. [Abstract]
  • Nagel, T., Kavanagh, D., Barclay, L., Trauer, T., Chenhall, R., Frendin, J., Griffin, C. (2011), Integrating treatment for mental and physical disorders and substance misuse in Indigenous primary care settings. Australasian Psychiatry. 19(Suppl 1), S17-S19. [Abstract]
  • Perkins, D., Barclay, L., Browne, K., Blunden, L., Fragar, L., Kelly, B., Lower, T., Lyle, D., Saberi, V., Stain, H., Sidford, J. (2011), The Australian Rural Health Research Collaboration: building collaborative population health research in rural and remote NSW. New South Wales public health bulletin. 22(1-2), 23-6. [Abstract]
  • Longman, J., Singer, J., Gao, Y., Barclay, L., Passey, M., Pirotta, J., Heathcote, K., Ewald, D., Saberi, V., Corben, P., Morgan, G. (2011), Community based service providers' perspectives on frequent and/or avoidable admission of older people with chronic disease in rural NSW: a qualitative study. BMC Health Services Research. 11, 265. [Abstract]


  • Wild, K., Barclay, L., Kelly, P., Martins, N. (2010), Birth choices in Timor-Leste: A framework for understanding the use of maternal health services in low resource settings. Social science & medicine (1982). 71(11), 2038-45. [Abstract]
  • Gao, Y., Barclay, L., Kildea, S., Hao, M., Belton, S. (2010), Barriers to increasing hospital birth rates in rural Shanxi Province, China. Reproductive Health Matters. 18(36), 35-45. [Abstract]
  • Dahlen, H., Barclay, L., Homer, C. (2010), 'Reacting to the unknown': experiencing the first birth at home or in hospital in Australia. Midwifery. 26(4), 415-23. [Abstract]
  • Gao, Y., Barclay, L. (2010), Availability and quality of emergency obstetric care in Shanxi Province, China. International journal of gynaecology and obstetrics: the official organ of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. 110(2), 181-5. [Abstract]
  • Steenkamp, M., Bar-Zeev, S., Rumbold, A., Barclay, L., Kildea, S. (2010), Pragmatic indicators for remote Aboriginal maternal and infant health care: why it matters and where to start. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 34(Suppl 1), S5-S8. [Abstract]
  • Harris, A., Zhou, Y., Liao, H., Barclay, L., Zeng, W., Gao, Y. (2010), Challenges to maternal health care utilization among ethnic minority women in a resource-poor region of Sichuan Province, China. Health policy and planning. 25(4), 311-8. [Abstract]
  • Ashwell, H., Barclay, L. (2010), Challenges to achieving sustainable community health development within a donor aid business model. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health. 34(3), 320-325. [Abstract]
  • Barclay, L., Tracy, S. (2010), Legally binding midwives to doctors is not collaboration. Women and Birth. 23, 1-2. [Abstract]
  • Sheehan, A., Schmied, V., Barclay, L. (2010), Complex decisions: theorizing women's infant feeding decisions in the first 6 weeks after birth. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 66(2), 371-380. [Abstract]
  • Dahlen, H., Barclay, L., Homer, C. (2010), The novice birthing: theorising first-time mothers' experiences of birth at home and in hospital in Australia. Midwifery. 26(1), 53-63. [Abstract]
  • Kildea, S., Kruske, S., Barclay, L., Tracy, S. (2010), 'Closing the Gap': how maternity services can contribute to reducing poor maternal infant health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. Rural and Remote Health. 10(3), 1383. [Abstract]
  • Ashwell, H., Barclay, L. (2010), Problems measuring community health status at a local level: Papua New Guinea's health information system. Rural and Remote Health. 10(4), 1539. [Abstract]
  • Dahlen, H., Barclay, L., Homer, C. (2010), Processing the first birth: journeying into ‘motherland’. Journal of Clinical Nursing. 19(13-14), 1977–1985.
  • Khresheh, R., Barclay, L. (2010), The lived experience of Jordanian women who received family support during labor. MCN. The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing. 35(1), 47-51. [Abstract]


  • Khresheh, R., Homer, C., Barclay, L. (2009), A comparison of labour and birth outcomes in Jordan with WHO guidelines: a descriptive study using a new birth record. Midwifery. 25(0), e11-8. [Abstract]
  • Ashwell, H., Barclay, L. (2009), A retrospective analysis of a community-based health program in Papua New Guinea. Health promotion international. 24(2), 140-8. [Abstract]
  • Sheehan, A., Schmied, V., Barclay, L. (2009), Women's experiences of infant feeding support in the first 6 weeks post-birth. Maternal & child nutrition. 5(2), 138-150. [Abstract]
  • Svensson, J., Barclay, L., Cooke, M. (2009), Randomised-controlled trial of two antenatal education programmes. Midwifery. 25(2), 114-125. [Abstract]
  • Harris, A., Belton, S., Barclay, L., Fenwick, J. (2009), Midwives in China: 'jie sheng po' to 'zhu chan shi'. Midwifery. 25(2), 203-212. [Abstract]
  • Gao, Y., Kildea, S., Barclay, L., Hao, M., Zeng, W. (2009), Maternal mortality surveillance in an inland Chinese province. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics. 104(2), 128-131. [Abstract]
  • Kildea, S., Barclay, L., Wardaguga, M., Dawumal, M. (2009), Participative research in a remote Australian Aboriginal setting. Action Research. 7(2), 143-163.
  • Ashwell, H., Barclay, L. (2009), Outcome evaluation of community health promotion intervention within a donor funded project climate in Papua New Guinea. Rural and Remote Health. 9(4), 1219. [Abstract]
  • Barclay, L. (2009), Samoan Midwives' Stories: Joining Social and Professional Midwives in New Models of Birth. In: Birth Models That Work. (pp.119-140).United States: University of California Press.


  • Fenwick, J., Barclay, L., Schmied, V. (2008), Craving closeness: a grounded theory analysis of women's experiences of mothering in the Special Care Nursery. Women and birth : journal of the Australian College of Midwives. 21(2), 71-85. [Abstract]
  • Kildea, S., Pollock, W., Barclay, L. (2008), Making pregnancy safer in Australia: the importance of maternal death review. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 48(2), 130-136. [Abstract]
  • Barclay, L. (2008), Woman and midwives: position, problems and potential. Midwifery. 24(1), 13-21. [Abstract]
  • Barclay, L. (2008), A feminist history of Australian midwifery from colonisation until the 1980s. Women and Birth. 21(1), 3-8. [Abstract]
  • Dahlen, H., Barclay, L., Homer, C. (2008), Preparing for the First Birth: Mothers' Experiences at Home and in Hospital in Australia. Journal of Perinatal Education. 17(4), 21-32.
  • Khresheh, R., Barclay, L. (2008), Implementation of a new birth record in three hospitals in Jordan: a study of health system improvement. Health policy and planning. 23(1), 76-82. [Abstract]
  • Svensson, J., Barclay, L., Cooke, M. (2008), Effective Antenatal Education: Strategies Recommended by Expectant and New Parents. Journal of Perinatal Education. 17(4), 33-42.
  • Land, M., Barclay, L. (2008), Nurses' contribution to child protection. Journal of Neonatal, Paediatric and Child Health Nursing. 11(1), 18-24.