Odette Pearson

Associate Professor, BAppHSC(IPHC), GCResMeth, GCHEcon, PhD, FGLF, GAICD

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Public Profile

Odette is a Kuku Yalanji/Torres Strait Islander woman jointly appointed as a Senior Research Fellow with Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit at South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute and the Sansom Institute for Health Research within University of South Australia. Her experience and post-doctoral training in Aboriginal health policy, health systems and inequity comprises a unique comprehensive skillset relevant to existing and emerging complexities of Aboriginal health and well-being. Specifically, Odette seeks to understand how institutional policies and practices drive health and social inequities experienced by Indigenous populations. Her novel approach is the use of community-level information to show and explore the reasons for variations in disadvantage both within the Aboriginal community and between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community. Integral to her research is the inclusion of Aboriginal communities in defining their health and wellbeing and how Indigenous data can be governed in the future to derive greater benefit for the population. Her work traverses evidence-based policy development, health services research and epidemiology to identify and address health and social disadvantage and strengths among the Aboriginal population. Odette has expertise in (1) primary health care contexts and systems and their linkages with health and social services (2) conceptual development of Aboriginal specific well-being frameworks and indicators, and (3) using social and epidemiological research to develop policy for chronic disease prevention and management. With strong community and cross sector engagement her current research activities focus on how to reduce disadvantage by improving health and social system responses to better meet the needs of Aboriginal people.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of South Australia


Award Date: 24 Oct 2013

Graduate Certificate, Monash University


Award Date: 13 Apr 2009

Bachelor's Degree, University of Queensland

Feb 1996Nov 1998

Award Date: 17 Dec 1998


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Chronic Disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Health services research


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