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Our Staff

Our Staff

Associate Professor Ray Lovett

Study Leader


Associate Professor Ray Lovett is an Aboriginal (Wongaibon) man from western NSW. He is an epidemiologist with extensive experience in health research, public health policy development and evaluation.

Ray is an NHMRC Early Career Fellow and Program Leader Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health with the Chronic Disease Epidemiology group at NCEPH, the Australian National University.

Prior to his research career, he was a health policy advisor in the Aboriginal health workforce. He has a clinical background as a registered nurse and Aboriginal health worker.

Ray is recognised nationally for his work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care research. His work includes integrating culture and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research ethics.

Jan Chapman

Project Manager


Jan Chapman is a Taungurung woman from Victoria. She graduated from the University of Tasmania with a degree in Public Policy and Social Ecology.

Jan moved to Canberra in 2008, working with the "Tackling Indigenous Smoking and Indigenous Chronic Disease" section in the Department of Health.

Jan is the Mayi Kuwayu Study Manager in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program at the Australian National University.








Katie Thurber

Postdoctoral Fellow


Dr Katie Thurber works with the Mayi Kuwayu Study team as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Katie assists with study development and data analysis. She completed her PhD at NCEPH under the supervision of Professor Emily Banks and Associate Professor Ray Lovett.

Katie’s PhD research explored the social determinants of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child health, focusing on nutrition and weight status.

Lachlan Russell

Executive Officer


Lachlan works across a broad array of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research projects in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Team at NCEPH. He provides research management support to the Program Leader, Dr Ray Lovett and the other Research Fellows in the team.

His previous roles included being a Research Officer at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), and was Secretary for the AIATSIS Human Research Ethics Committee.

Faye Irwin

Executive Assistant


Executive Assistant Faye Irwin is a Kamilaroi woman who was born in Canberra and has lived here for most of her life. She has come to work at the ANU in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program after a number of years working in community organisations.

Faye is a mother to three boys and one Staffordshire terrier.

Shavaun Wells

Senior Fieldwork Officer


Shavaun is an Aboriginal (Taungurung) woman and Senior Fieldwork Officer at the Australian National University. Shavaun has over seven years’ experience as an Aboriginal Health Worker at Winnunga-Nimmitjyah Aboriginal Health Service, and a Certificate IV in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care (Community Care) and has recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion.

Sarah Bourke

Research Fellow


Dr Sarah Bourke is a medical anthropologist and a descendant of the Gidja and Gamilaroi peoples, born and raised on Ngunnawal country. She completed her DPhil in Anthropology at the University of Oxford, and now works as an Indigenous Research Fellow at NCEPH.

Sarah has expertise in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing research and policy, decolonising and Indigenous research methodologies, and qualitative methods. Her post-doctoral research explores Indigenous philosophies of health, wellbeing, and the ‘good life’, and the practices which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people use to become and stay well.

Bronwen Phillips

Research Fellow


Dr Bronwen Phillips joined the Mayi Kuwayu team in 2020 as a Research Fellow. She completed her PhD at the University of New South Wales, School of Population Health and Community Medicine, investigating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mortality in an urban area. Bronwen has worked in community-controlled health and research organisations since 2000.








Nadine Hunt

Community Researcher


Nadine is an Iamalaig and Kaanju woman who has joined the team as a Community Researcher, based in Cairns with travel throughout Far North Queensland. Nadine has spent the last six years working with the Indigenous Marathon Foundation in Canberra, developing a national grassroots running program in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities. Nadine continues her volunteer work as a running coach with the Cairns Deadly Runners, and has recently begun a Bachelor of Business degree through James Cook University.

Elsie Seriat, OAM

Community Researcher


Elsie Seriat works as a Community Researcher in the Torres Strait, balancing her work for Mayi Kuwayu with her role as a JT Believe Officer for the Johnathan Thurston Academy, based at Tagai Secondary Campus on Thursday Island. She is also a running coach for the Thursday Island Deadly Runners. Elsie is a Goemu Sipingur woman, descended from Moegi Buway, Kaygas Clan and Kaurareg Nation.

Makayla Holz

Admin Assistant


Makayla is an Aboriginal (Kamilaroi) woman who joined the Mayi Kuwayu team in 2021 as an Administrator Assistant. Makayla has obtained her Certificate 3 in Business and is currently working towards her certificate 4, with plans to further her study in the field of Science Psychology.