Mayi Kuwayu Team

Professor Ray Lovett

Study Director

Professor Ray Lovett is an Aboriginal (Wongaibon/Ngiyampaa) man from western NSW. Ray is a social epidemiologist with extensive experience in health research, public health policy development and evaluation, and is the Mayi Kuwayu Study Director in the National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing Research at 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

Study Manager

Jan Chapman is the Mayi Kuwayu Study Manager, and also the Senior Field Worker in the National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing at the Australian National University. Jan is a proud Taungurung woman from Victoria. She has a degree in Public Policy and Social Ecology.

Jan moved to Canberra in 2008, working with the "Tackling Indigenous Smoking and Indigenous Chronic Disease" sections in the Department of Health before working at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) in Canberra in the research section.

Faye Irwin

Executive Assistant

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

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

Katie Thurber

Postdoctoral Fellow

Katie Thurber is a non-Indigenous researcher originally from the United States. She has lived on Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country since 2011 and has been working with the Mayi Kuwayu Study team since 2016, currently as an NHMRC Early Career Fellow.

She completed her PhD at the ANU on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s health, supervised by Ray Lovett.

Dr Chris McKay

Research Fellow

Dr Chris McKay is a Koori man (Wiradjuri) who grew up on Dharawal Country in Wollongong, NSW. He has joined the team as a Research Fellow. He completed his PhD at The University of Melbourne, which focused on the cardio-metabolic health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth and the individual, social and environmental factors associated with staying healthy.

Sarah Bourke

Research Fellow

Dr Sarah Bourke (she/her) is a medical anthropologist and Aboriginal (Gamilaroi, Jaru, and Gidja) woman born and raised in Canberra. She completed her DPhil in Anthropology at the University of Oxford, and now works as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing Research.

Sarah has expertise in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing research and policy, decolonising and Indigenous research methodologies, and qualitative methods. Her research explores Indigenous philosophies of health and wellbeing and what it means to live a ‘good life’ from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Indigenous perspectives.

Shavaun Wells

Senior Fieldwork Officer

Shavaun Wells is a proud Taungurung woman. She has a passion for working with communities and two way learning between communities and researchers. The concept of improving Indigenous health, wellbeing and quality of life resonates with Shavaun and has influenced the roles, research and studies that she has undertaken. She is supportive of the idea that there will always be an important role for academics and health professionals to improve health and empower Indigenous communities.

Shavaun has a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion and has worked in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector for 12 years, commencing as an Aboriginal Health Worker and continuing into a researcher role at the ANU.

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.

Kirsty Nichols

Project Manager

Kirsty Nichols is a Muran and Kungarakun woman who grew up on Larrakia (Darwin) and Muran land (Coburg Peninsula) in the Northern Territory. Kirsty has a degree in Health Science from Charles Darwin University and a Masters of Applied Epidemiology from ANU. Her back background is in health service policy, public health, system planning and delivery with both government and non-government organisations.

Makayla-May Brinckley

PhD Student

Makayla-May Brinckley is a Wiradjuri woman from Cootamundra. Makayla is a PhD student and research assistant in the National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing Research, with much of her work based within the Mayi Kuwayu Study. Her PhD focuses on developing a knowledge translation method for use in the Mayi Kuwayu Study. Makayla is passionate about holistic health and wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Kiara Barker

Administration Assistant

Kiara Barker is a proud Murawarri / Ngunnawal woman. She was born and raised on Wiradjuri country and later relocated to Ngunnawal/Ngambri country. She was nominated for the 2021 ACT training awards for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Student of the year and finished as a finalist. In her time outside of work, she takes part in a dance group made up of Ngunnawal custodians called Yukembruk dreaming, where they perform welcome to country and smoking ceremonies. Kiara has been in an administrative role for over 3 years starting her career as a facilities administrator in July 2020, then joining Mayi Kuwayu team in July 2023.

Arushi Ganguly

Communications Officer

Arushi Ganguly is a non-indigenous staff member and has been working for the Mayi Kuwayu team as their Communications Officer. She has a Masters in International Relations from the Australian National University. She has previously worked in communications and marketing roles in various capacities within the University and in foreign policy circles in Canberra.

Laura Wallace

Administration Assistant

Laura is a non-Indigenous professional staff member who has joined the Mayi Kuwayu team early in her administrative career. She has previously worked in administration within disability and aged care, and retail. Laura was born and raised in Canberra, growing up on Ngunnawal/Ngambri country. She has an interest in health and wellbeing and is excited to delve into these topics in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural setting.

Siena Montgomery

Research Officer

Siena is a non-Indigenous Research Officer for the Mayi Kuwayu Study team. She has completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts & Design, Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science, Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Honours). During her studies she has previously conducted research investigating the relationships between oral contraceptive use, memory and depression.