Professor Gail Garvey

NHMRC Leadership Fellow

Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 336 55078


Professor Gail Garvey is a proud Kamilaroi woman, a NHMRC Research Leadership Fellow, and Professor of Indigenous Health Research in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Queensland.

Professor Garvey has established an extensive and targeted research program focused on cancer and the wellbeing of Australia’s First Nations people.

Gail was among the first researchers to recognise the substantial impact of cancer on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and her work has contributed greatly to key policy and practice changes to improve their cancer outcomes. Professor Garvey currently leads a Centre of Research Excellence – Targeted Approaches to Improve Cancer Services (TACTICS) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (NHMRC #1153027 2019-2023). The TACTICS CRE focuses on emerging priorities in cancer-related health services research and actively promotes the translation of research knowledge into Australian public health policy and practice. The CRE also focuses on building research capacity through training the next generation of researchers in cancer control.

Gail leads work in psychosocial aspects of cancer care for First Nations Australians. Her research into the psychosocial aspects of cancer care for First Nations cancer patients, is a critical component to improving their cancer outcomes. Professor Garvey and her team developed and validated a new tool to measure the unmet support needs of Indigenous cancer patients, which is now a recommendation in the Optimal Care Pathway guidelines.

Professor Garvey's research program also focuses on understanding and measuring the dimensions of wellbeing important to and valued by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the life course, which is important for developing/evaluating health interventions.

Originally trained as a teacher, Gail began her research career at the University of Newcastle in the 1990s where she was one of the first researchers to examine issues around the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander medical students. Since then she has been involved in a wide array of research collaborations both within Australia and overseas spanning three decades.

Along with her research expertise, Gail's strengths lie in her leadership and her collaborative approach to bringing key stakeholders - Indigenous consumers, researchers, and clinicians - together to achieve common goals. Career highlights include conducting the first Roundtable to identify research priorities in cancer for Indigenous Australians (2010); establishing the National Indigenous Cancer Network (2013) in collaboration with Cancer Council Australia, the Lowitja Institute, the Indigenous Health InfoNet and Menzies School of Health Research; instigating and convening the inaugural World Indigenous Cancer Conference in 2016 (Brisbane); and co-hosting the 2nd conference in 2019 (Canada).

Since 2011 Gail has received over $50 million in grant and government funding, including a NHMRC Investigator Leadership Grant (NHMRC #1176651 2020-2024). Over the same period Gail has published more than 180 papers in peer-reviewed.

Research Impacts

Professor Garvey and her team have been pivotal in identifying priorities and dismantling siloed approaches to First Nations Cancer Research. Professor Garvey's research program has set national First Nations research agendas that have led to: a) Raising the global profile and importance of cancer and Indigenous people b) Establishing national and global Indigenous cancer networks to share vision/knowledge and build partnerships c) Developing new care pathways and measurement tools for First Nations cancer patients and their carers d) Enhanced existing and new national cancer screening programs


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Charles Darwin University


  • Beggs, Paul J., Trueck, Stefan, Linnenluecke, Martina K., Bambrick, Hilary, Capon, Anthony G., Hanigan, Ivan C., Arriagada, Nicolas Borchers, Cross, Troy J., Friel, Sharon, Green, Donna, Heenan, Maddie, Jay, Ollie, Kennard, Harry, Malik, Arunima, McMichael, Celia, Stevenson, Mark, Vardoulakis, Sotiris, Dang, Tran N., Garvey, Gail, Lovett, Raymond, Matthews, Veronica, Phung, Dung, Woodward, Alistair J., Romanello, Marina B. and Zhang, Ying (2024). The 2023 report of the MJA–Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: sustainability needed in Australia's health care sector. Medical Journal of Australia, 220 (6), 282-303. doi: 10.5694/mja2.52245

  • Garvey, Gail, Howard, Kirsten, Garvey, Darren, Dickson, Michelle, Howell, M., Butler, Tamara L., Cadet-James, Yvonne, Cunningham, Joan, Bainbridge, Roxanne, McGorry, Patrick, Williamson, A. and Anderson, Kate Mallory (2024). What Matters to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Youth (WM2Y): a study protocol to develop a national youth well-being measure. BMJ Open, 14 (3) e076119, 1-7. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2023-076119

  • Anderson, Kate, Elder-Robinson, Elaina, Ferguson, Megan, Fredericks, Bronwyn, Sherriff, Simone, Dickson, Michelle, Howard, Kirsten and Garvey, Gail (2024). Pathways between foodways and wellbeing for First Nations Australians. BMC Public Health, 24 (1) 502, 1-15. doi: 10.1186/s12889-024-18005-y

View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Master Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Book Chapter

  • Baynam, Gareth, Molster, Caron, Bauskis, Alicia, Kowal, Emma, Savarirayan, Ravi, Kelaher, Margaret, Easteal, Simon, Massey, Libby, Garvey, Gail, Goldblatt, Jack, Pachter, Nicholas, Weeramanthri, Tarun S. and Dawkins, Hugh J. S. (2017). Indigenous genetics and rare diseases: harmony, diversity and equity. Rare diseases epidemiology: update and overview. (pp. 511-520) edited by Manuel Posada de la Paz, Domenica Taruscio and Stephen C. Groft. Cham, Switzerland: Springer . doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-67144-4_27

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor