A leading public health academic and respected Noongar woman who has been influential in improving the health of Aboriginal communities across Australia has been appointed the new Dean of the Curtin Medical School, commencing in March 2020. This is understood to be Australia’s first appointment of an Indigenous Dean to a medical school.
Professor Sandra Eades, a Noongar woman from Mount Barker in Western Australia, joins Curtin from the University of Melbourne, where she held the role of Associate Dean Indigenous and Professor at the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics. Professor William Hart, who was named Foundation Dean in 2012, will be retiring from Curtin in 2020.
Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said she was delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Eades.
“Professor Eades has made a significant contribution to Aboriginal health and has provided leadership at a national level in Indigenous research. In 2003, she was named the first Aboriginal medical practitioner to be awarded a PhD, investigating the casual pathways and determinants of health among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Professor Terry said.
“Since the Curtin Medical School opened in 2017, medical students have been able to study in a range of health care areas including primary care, chronic disease, ageing, Indigenous and regional health. Curtin’s presence has continued to expand and just last month, we opened Curtin’s Midland Campus, a base for clinical placements for Curtin Medical School students in their fourth and fifth year of study and also other allied health students.
“The appointment of Professor Eades is testament to her influential leadership, both in the health care and Aboriginal health sectors. She is a worthy candidate to lead the Curtin Medical School in the years to come and will be an exceptional mentor for medical students.”
Professor Eades said she looked forward to joining Curtin University and leading the medical school into the future.
“Curtin has successfully expanded its healthcare and medical profile within Western Australia and nationally. I am honoured to be appointed as Dean and look forward to collaborating with colleagues, industry and students to ensure the Curtin Medical School continues to thrive,” Professor Eades said.
Professor Terry also thanked Professor Hart for his tireless commitment to the Curtin Medical School, as well as his dedication and persistence to the development of Curtin’s new Midland Campus.
“Professor Hart has been instrumental in the development of the Curtin Medical School and played a key role in ensuring students from a wide variety of backgrounds are appropriately trained as Western Australia’s doctors of the future,” Professor Terry said.
Professor Eades was named the NSW Woman of the Year in 2006 for her research contributions to Aboriginal communities.
Professor Eades will start the new role at Curtin in March 2020.