Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health

The Southgate Institute strives to conduct respectful, participatory research in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services, programs and communities. We also ensure the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is consistently prioritised in any social determinants and health service research we conduct. The research group is co-led by Dr Tamara Mackean and Dr Toby Freeman and regularly partners with the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Well-being.


Key areas of expertise

  • Social determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equity
  • Comprehensive primary health care
  • Racism and discrimination

Current Projects

Centre of Research Excellence on Social Determinants of Health Equity (CRESDHE): Policy research on the social determinants of health equity

Investigator: Professor Fran Baum, Professor Sharon Friel, Professor Adrian Kay, Profesor Dennis McDermott, Professor Ron Labonte, Associate Professor Anna Ziersch, Associate Professor Lyndall Strazdins, Dr Patrick Harris, Dr Tamara Mackean, Dr Lareen Newman 

Selected Publications

  • Freeman, T., Jolley, G., Baum, F., Lawless, A., Javanparast, S., & Labonte, R. (2013). 'Community assessment workshops: A group method for gathering client experiences of health services'. Health and Social Care in the Community, Early View.
  • Baum, F., Freeman, T., Lawless, A., & Jolley, G. (2012). 'Community development - improving patient safety by enhancing the use of health services'. Australian Family Physician, 41, 424-428.
  • Ziersch, A., Gallaher, G., Baum, F., & Bentley, M. (2011). 'Racism, social resources and mental health for Aboriginal people living in Adelaide'. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 35(3), 231-237.
  • Freeman, T., Baum, F., Lawless, A., Jolley, G., Labonte, R., Bentley, M., & Boffa, J. (2011). 'Reaching those with the greatest need: How Australian primary health care service managers, practitioners, and funders understand and respond to health inequity'. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 17, 355-361.


Significant Past Projects

Social Determinants of Aboriginal Health
Investigator: Professor Fran Baum
Yarning On
Partner: SHine SA
Comprehensive Primary Health Care in Local Communities

Adelaide urban location and health
Investigator: Professor Fran Baum, A/Prof Wendy Edmondson, A/Prof Anna Ziersch, Dr Catherine Palmer
Partners: Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health

Contextual and composition determinants of urban health inequities: an Indigenous perspective (NHMRC)
Investigators: Professor Fran Baum, Dr Catherine Palmer, A/Prof Anna Ziersch, A/Prof Wendy Edmondson, Dr Michael Bentley, Dr Gilbert Gallaher

Self-management and prevention of diabetes in the Aboriginal Health Strategy: Process for program development and evaluation.
Investigators: Dr Michael Bentley , Mr Paul Laris

Key Staff

Professor Fran Baum AO

Director, Southgate Institute



A/Prof Anna Ziersch

Senior Research Fellow


Dr Toby Freeman

Deputy Director, Southgate Institute

Senior Research Fellow


Dr Tamara Mackean

Senior Research Fellow





Dr Annabelle WilsonDr Annabelle Wilson

Research Fellow







PhD and Masters by Research

We offer a dynamic and supportive environment for postgraduate students. For general enquiries please contact the Southgate Institute on enquiries.southgateinstitute@flinders.edu.au