Researcher biography

Professor James Ward is a Pitjantjatjara and Narungga man, and a national leader in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research. He is currently the Director of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Professor within the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland. As such he leads a research program focused on urban Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and an infectious diseases research program and associated issues through the School of Public Health. Having held various roles in Aboriginal public health policy for both government and non-government organisations, in 2007 he was appointed as the Inaugural Program Head of the Aboriginal Program at the Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales. In 2012 he moved to Alice Springs to become Deputy Director of the Baker Institutes' Aboriginal Health Program, after which he joined the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. James has been awarded funding applications totalling $23M since 2013; including $7.14M as CIA on NHMRC funded grants and has authored 130 publications. He has led national research projects on health services research http://cre-ash.org.au/participating-sites/clinical-hubs/; in health promotion www.youngdeadlyfree.org.au; and methamphetamines https://wecandothis.com.au/ to name a few.

His work has influenced policy and practice significantly contributing to national guidelines, policy and practice. During 2020 he has contributed to the national COVID—19 response nationally through membership of the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander COVID-19 Taskforce.