The NHMRC has established an advisory committee to seek advice on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and health research issues.

PCIC's functions are to: 

  1. Provide advice to and support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Member of Council and the Chief Executive Officer of NHMRC. 
  2. Provide guidance and direction on achieving the commitments set out in Road Map 3: A strategic framework for improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health through research and the associated Action Plan 2018-21 Triennium. 
  3. Monitor progress against Road Map 3 and the Action Plan. 

The committee is comprised of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives currently on NHMRC Council and Principal Committees and Early Career Researchers. The committee is chaired by Professor Sandra Eades.

The committee members for 2018 - 2021 triennium are below.

Sandra Eades


Professor Sandra Eades is the Dean of Medicine at Curtin University and former Associate Dean (Indigenous) at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. She is a Noongar woman from Mount Barker, Western Australia, and is Australia's first Aboriginal medical doctor to be awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy (2003).

Her research career has focussed on Indigenous health including child and adolescent health, CVD and diabetes, dementia and mental health within primary care and community settings. Over the past 20 years, Professor Eades has made substantial contributions to the area of Aboriginal health and has provided leadership at a national level in Aboriginal research. Professor Eades is Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Chair of the NHMRC Principal Committee Indigenous Caucus and a Member of the NHMRC Council. 


  • Employment - Since 2008 I have been employed by Baker IDI, as an independent medical research institute
  • Board Member: Outback Stores
  • Recipient of: NHMRC Project grant and previously held NHMRC People Support grant. Current, past and likely future application to NHMRC for research and people support


Professor Cadet-James has extensive experience in the field of health and education with a background as a registered nurse and midwife followed by an academic teaching and research career in health sciences. She has experience as a principal and chief investigator on NHMRC, ARC and other funded grants. 

Her research interests lie in community based models to address tobacco and cannabis; maternal and child health; social, emotional and mental health wellbeing; and research benefit and impact. 

She is a co-leader on the Family Wellbeing Empowerment Program now utilised in some 57 organisations/communities across the nation, which assist people to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to make positive changes in their lives. 
Professor Cadet-James has been involved in national Indigenous research reform through representation on NHMRC committees including the Principal Committee Indigenous Caucus, and lead on the writing group for the recent revision of the NHMRC national ethical guidelines for research which involves Indigenous people. She plays a major role in strengthening the capacity of researchers, organisations and communities through teaching, acting in an advisory and mentor role; providing master classes and workshops specifically designed for Indigenous groups to set and take control of their own research agendas.

As a member of the Gugu Badhun nation Professor Cadet-James provides leadership for the Gugu Badhun Djima Research Centre activities.


  • Provided expert advice regarding Indigenous research, ethics and funding criteria
  • Funding: NHMRC project grants. Current, past and likely future application to NHMRC for research and people support
  • Received support for travel, meals and accommodation to attend grant review panels and committee meetings

Associate Professor

Associate Professor John Gilroy is an Aboriginal health sociologist, specialising in disability and ageing research.

He is currently doing research relating to disability services and the NDIS.


  • Board Member: Disability Advocacy Service 
  • Deputy Director: Indigenous Research, University of Sydney.
  • Funding: Australian Research Council.
  • Multiple peer reviewed articles in the last 5 years

Associate Professor

Associate Professor McAullay has considerable experience in health research, policy and practice. He has worked in a number of senior positions in these areas as well as in tertiary education. He is a registered nurse with post graduate qualifications. He has a strong research track record including presentations, publications and grants. His primary research areas of interest include maternal, infant and child health, primary health care and other health services research.

He currently works as Director of the Centre for Improving Health Services for Aboriginal Children (ISAC). He also runs his own consulting company (Dan McAullay Consulting) and is a Director with the majority Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned and managed communication consulting company, Mode Black.


  • Member: Consumer Advisory Panel, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Victorian Branch Council Australasian College of Health Service Management


Dr Pearson is a Kuku Yalanji/Torres Strait Islander woman jointly appointed as a Senior Research Fellow with Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit, South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute and the Sansom Institute for Health Research, University of South Australia. She holds a PhD (2013) from the University of South Australia and Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Indigenous Primary Health Care) (1998) from the University of Queensland. 

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, Dr Pearson seeks to understand how institutional policies and practices drive health and social inequities experienced by Indigenous peoples. 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. Dr Pearson has experience 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.


  • Senior Research Fellow (SAHMRI)
  • Co-Chair: South Australian Aboriginal Health Research Ethics Committee
  • Board Member: Reconciliation SA
  • Editorial Board Australian Health Review: Associate Editor


Professor Yvette Roe is Njikena Jawuru woman from the West Kimberley region, Western Australia who has more than 20 years’ experience working in the Indigenous health sector. As an Aboriginal scholar, Yvette’s research is co-designed with families, communities and service providers, and aims to improve health for Indigenous Australians.  

Professor Roe is a the Co-director of the soon to be launched Molly Wardaguga Research Institute, Charles Darwin University, Brisbane. Professor Roe is the Indigenous lead on two NHMRC grants focused on undertaking high quality research to improve Indigenous birthing by redesigning health systems that will ensure a healthier start to life for Indigenous babies and their families. Her current research has a specific focus on ensuring that maternal and infant services are mother-child focus and are informed by an Indigenous epistemology and ontology. This involves describing and assessing the impact of community investment and activation, continuity of care, social complexity and patient engagement and its relationship to health outcomes. The focus of her research is to unpack the multiple components of a complex intervention (Birthing on Country Services) to ascertain what works for who, in what circumstances, in what respect and in what duration.


  • Employment: Molly Wardaguga Research Centre, Charles Darwin University                                                            
  • Funding: A number of NHMRC grants


Dr. Sean Taylor is descendent of the Dauareb Tribe, one of the eight tribes of Mer Island in the Eastern Torres Strait region.

Sean has over twenty years of clinical experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health working at different levels across Australia in range of academic and research interest, as well as clinical practice. He started his career as an Indigenous Health Worker in his home community of Mer (Murray) Island in the mid-1990’s and then became a registered nurse.

Sean has completed a Graduate Certificate in Health: Diabetes Management & Education, Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) and a Doctor of Public Health (Research) focusing on Diabetes Care and Management in remote communities. The Overall aim of his doctorate was to provide epidemiological evidence to support the development of community level interventions to address some of the most important risk factors associated with the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the remote regions with Type 2 diabetes.

Previously, Sean held positions at Aboriginal Health Council of Australia, the Centre for Kidney Research - University of Sydney, Sansom Institute for Health Research – University of South Australia, Centre for Research Excellence in Chronic Disease Prevention in Rural and Remote Communities – University of South Australia, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention –Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, James Cook University and Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service.

Sean is currently the Executive Director Aboriginal Health Practitioner for Top End Health Service, Darwin, Northern Territory Government.


  • Employment: Honorary Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research
  • Board Member: Menzies School of Health Research and Torres Health
  • Executive Director Aboriginal Health Practitioner, Top End Health Service – Department of Health – Northern Territory Government
  • Adjunct Senior Research Fellow, Collage of Public Health – James Cook University
Juli Coffin


Professor Juli Coffin is recognised as a prominent Aboriginal researcher, with expertise in cultural security, education and research across a diverse range of settings including chronic diseases, nutrition, contextualising bullying, community development and health promotion. Professor Coffin is highly regarded by her peers as a leader in creative and innovative approaches to confronting some of the most controversial and complex areas in Aboriginal health, wellbeing and education.

A key pursuit for Professor Coffin is the continued exploration of effective implementation and translation of knowledge to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people. Her current major research focus, the Yawardani Jan-ga Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) research project involves co-designing an Aboriginal specific training program, building a specialised local Aboriginal workforce of EAL practitioners, and the development of culturally secure brief intervention tools for collecting data regarding the social and emotional wellbeing status of Aboriginal young people.