Who We Are
The Partnership is led by Associate Professor Renae Kirkham from Menzies, with expertise provided by a range of Chief Investigators and Associate Investigators according to each project within the Partnership. The Steering Committee meets once a quarter to provide oversight on the direction of the Partnership’s program of work and research activities. The Steering Committee includes academics, investigators and representatives of key partners in each region including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and the Northern Territory peak body, Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT).
The Diabetes Across the Lifecourse: Northern Australia Partnership’s – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group (ATSIAG) was established in 2017 to provide an independent Indigenous perspective on the management and conduct of the Partnership. Currently the Advisory Group is NT-based but we hope to work with partner organisations to broaden representation across Northern Australia. The Advisory Group plays an important role between individuals and communities participating in the various projects within the Partnership and the Partnerships’ Lead Investigator, Steering Committee, and higher degree research students.
Regions also have Clinical Reference Groups and Working Groups made up of key stakeholders from partner organisations and communities who provide input and guidance on the key elements of each project.
Principal Chief Investigator & Partnership Lead
Professor Louise Maple-Brown MBBS FRACP PhD
Deputy Director Research and Principal Chief Investigator
Louise Maple-Brown is a Senior Endocrinologist at the Royal Darwin Hospital (NT, Australia), Deputy Director Research (April 2023) and Senior Principal Research Fellow at Menzies.
Louise established the Diabetes across the Lifecourse: Northern Australian Partnership. The partnership includes several large NHMRC-funded projects, including the Youth Type 2 Diabetes Models of Care, Northern Territory and Far North Queensland Diabetes in Pregnancy Partnership and The PANDORA (Pregnancy And Neonatal Diabetes Outcomes in Remote Australia) Cohort Study.
After completing the majority of her physician and endocrinology training at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, Louise moved to Darwin in 2002 to pursue her passion of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities to improve health outcomes. Louise was Head of Department of Endocrinology at Royal Darwin Hospital (2012-2022) and founded the NT Diabetes Network in 2018 (inaugural Chair 2018 -2022). She was a member of the Australian Diabetes Society Council (2014-2022) and the Council of the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society (2011-2014). Louise has been providing clinical diabetes services to urban and remote NT communities for over 20 years. She is a current member of the NT Clinical Senate.
In 2020 Louise was awarded the Australian Diabetes Society Ranji and Amara Wikramanayake clinical Diabetes Mid-Career Research award and in 2021, Louise was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.
Associate Professor Renae Kirkham PhD, BPsycSc, B.A
Principal Research Fellow, Lead Diabetes across the Lifecourse: Northern Australia Partnership
Renae Kirkham is a leader in public health with expertise in Implementation Science research and qualitative research methodologies. As Lead of the Diabetes Across the Lifecourse: Northern Australian Partnership, Renae plays a key role in supporting a large program of research that aims to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to break the cycle of type 2 diabetes and related conditions.
Since joining the Partnership in 2015, she has secured over $9 million in research funding. She has extensive experience in models of care research, particularly focusing on increasing the appropriateness and accessibility of health services to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Renae currently supervises three Ph.D. students (two as primary) and two master’s research project students. She has supervised multiple HDR students to completion (one Ph.D.; five masters).
Dr Elizabeth Barr (BPod, GradDipPod, MPH, PhD)
Research Fellow & CRISP Lead
Dr Anna Wood (PhD)
Senior Research Fellow & PANDORA and Coronary Artery Calcium (CAC) Lead
PANDORA Project Officer
DIABETES IN PREGNANCY
Dr Matt Hare (PhD, MBBS (Hons), BmedSc (Hons) FRACP)
Senior Research Officer
Tara Dias (Masters Public Health, Master Public Policy)
Senior Research Officer
Project Officer & Stakeholder Engagement
Project Coordinator, Central Australia
Associate Professor Renae Kirkham (PhD)
Deputy Lead, Darwin
Dr Stefanie Puszka (PhD)
Research Fellow, Darwin
Project Manager, Darwin
Dr Angela Titmuss (PhD, B Sci Med Hon,s MBBS Hons, MPH, FRACP)
Senior Research Fellow, Paediatric Endocrinologist and General Paediatrician, Darwin
Evaluator, Alice Springs
Project Coordinator (Top End)
Community Liaison Officer (Top End)
Community Liaison Officer (Top End)
Project Coordinator (Central Australia)
Community Liaison Officer (Central Australia)
Project Coordinator (Far North Queensland)
Project Coordinator (Western Australia)
Community Liaison Officer (Western Australia)
” Improving outcomes for women with diabetes in pregnancy in Far North Queensland” “Supporting a more inclusive model of care: Incorporating the voices of women and their families in care during and after a pregnancy complicated by diabetes” PANDORA Wave 2, Diabetes and Pancreatitis in central Australia (DAPINCA) & Diabetes Phenotypes “The influence of in-utero diabetes exposure on growth outcomes and cardio-metabolic risk in early childhood: follow-up of the PANDORA cohort”
Dr Anna McLean, PhD Candidate - MBBS, FRACP
Dr Diana MacKay, PhD Candidate - BA, MBBS, MPH, FRACP
Dr Mary Wicks, PhD Candidate - BTh (Philosophy), BHSc, MPHC (Indig Health), MBBS(Hon 1), GradCert Clin Ultrasound, FRACP
Dr Emily Papadimos, PhD Candidate - MBBS
” Improving outcomes for women with diabetes in pregnancy in Far North Queensland”
“Supporting a more inclusive model of care: Incorporating the voices of women and their families in care during and after a pregnancy complicated by diabetes”
PANDORA Wave 2, Diabetes and Pancreatitis in central Australia (DAPINCA) & Diabetes Phenotypes
“The influence of in-utero diabetes exposure on growth outcomes and cardio-metabolic risk in early childhood: follow-up of the PANDORA cohort”
Prof Alex Brown, SAHMRI
Dr Anna McLean, Cairns Hospital
Prof Ashim Sinha, Cairns Diabetes Centre
Ms Bronwyn Davis, University of Melbourne
Dr Christine Connors, NT Department of Health
Prof David McIntyre, Mater Research
Ms Heather D’Antoine, Menzies School of Health Research
Dr Jacki Mein, Apunipima Cape York Health Council
A/Prof Jacqui Boyle, Monash University
Prof Jeremy Oats, University of Melbourne
Prof Jonathan Shaw, Baker Heart & Diabetes Institute
Prof Kerin O’Dea, University of South Australia
Prof Liz Davis, Telethon Kids Institute
Dr Leisa McCarthy, Menzies School of Health Research
Dr Liz Moore, AMSANT
Ms Margie Cotter, AMSANT
Dr Mark Wenitong, Apunipima Cape York Health Council
Prof Paul Zimmet, Monash University
A/Prof Rae-Chi Huang, Telethon Kids Institute
Prof Richard Saffery, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Prof Robyn McDermott, James Cook University
Ms Sumaria Corpus, Danila Dilba
Prof Maggie Jamieson, NT Department of Health
Prof Tony Hanley, University of Toronto, Canada
Prof Stewart Harris, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Prof Brandy Wicklow, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, Canada
Prof Dana Dabelea, University of Colorado, Denver USA
Dr Patrick Catalano, Tufts University of Medicine, Boston USA
All components of the Partnership have current approval from the relevant Human Research Ethics Committee.
You can contact the Human Research Ethics Committee regarding any complaints or concerns about any of the Partnership projects:
Central Australia – Ph (08) 8951 4700 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Top End – Ph (08) 8946 8687 or email@example.com
Thank you to National Health and Medical Research Council, the Global Alliance of Chronic Diseases, Diabetes Australia Research Program, Channel 7 Children Research Foundation, Australian Government Department of Health, Central Australia Academic Health Science Network and Donations from Ian Albrey and Edwina Menzies.
The Partnership have 2 groups that meet throughout the year. These groups are the Clinical Reference Group and the Indigenous Reference Group.
Clinical Reference Group
The Clinical Reference group was established in 2012 by Cherie Whitbread, with the main aim of providing advice to the management group regarding integration with clinical services and project issues of clinical relevance.
The group meets annually and membership includes members from primary and hospital sectors, both government and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, across all NT.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group (ATSIAG)
*Previously known as the Indigenous Reference Group (IRG)
First setup by Sian Graham in 2017, the ATSIAG has been successfully engaging Aboriginal members of the community to help guide our research and pave the way for positive, respectful, mutually fulfilling engagement.
ATSIAG meetings are held three times a year, and every year one meeting is scheduled to combine with the Partnerships symposium. The symposium offers ATSIAG members, some of whom are not from the health sector, an opportunity to hear the latest diabetes research, engage with researchers and get a sense of how far reaching our research is. Several members attended and contributed to a discussion panel in both the 2018 & 2019 Symposium and advised on strategies to commence youth engagement and health coaches’ program. Importantly the Symposiums have provided ATSIAG members the opportunity to talk with researchers directly and this facilitated knowledge exchange.
Future aims of the ATSIAG include improving engagement with community members, feeding back study results, developing resources to help the community learn more about diabetes and preventing diabetes and obesity in children and strengthening our Aboriginal workforce.
Stay up to date
For program updates, newsletters and upcoming events in each area, please visit the Menzies website.