Dr Keane Wheeler


School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences

Affiliate Lecturer

UQ Poche Centre for Indigenous Health
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 336 56453


Dr Keane Wheeler is a proud Ngarabal man and Accredited Exercise Scientist (ESSA). Dr Wheeler was the first Indigenous Australian to graduate with a PhD from the University of the Sunshine Coast. Dr Wheeler was awarded the Accredited Exercise Scientist of the Year Award for 2020 from Exercise and Sport Science Australia. Dr Wheeler’s research examines how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities can co-design programs that engage children in a broad range of child development areas. Dr Wheeler’s research strengths consisted of co-designing movement-based programs, ensuring a trauma informed culturally-responsive approach towards childhood development, such as through the use of Traditional song and dance to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people. Dr Wheeler has led high performing teams working on education programs that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families through a strength-based and holistic framework. Dr Wheeler has co-designed and provided Indigenous leadership to a range of projects that have catered for the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and through this experience has partnered to deliver diverse governance solutions and educational engagement frameworks.

Research Interests

  • Trauma-informed movement and physical activity
  • Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ways of knowing, being and doing
  • Wearable technology in the assessment of human movement
  • Startegic leadership
  • Child development and inclusive sport and exercise systems
  • Engaging diverse peoples in education

Research Impacts

Dr Wheeler has authored/co-authored more than 25 peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals as well as one book that examined the practical use of wearable technology in sport, which was published by Springer. Dr Wheeler has over 500 citations attributed to his work, with an H-index of 11 and with an i10-index of 11 according to Google Scholar. He is also a peer reviewer of several high ranked Sport and Exercise Science journals. Dr Wheeler has presented extensively at a range of national and international conferences. His recent work examines the innovative use of wearable technology to assess movement to promote health and wellbeing as well as enhancing human performance. Dr Wheeler has demonstrated strong capacity in the development, implementation, management and completion of funded research projects in human movement disciplines. Dr Wheeler is leading collaborations for improved health outcomes, in particular for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Dr Wheeler has applied his research widely in human movement science, including innovative studies investigating the biomechanics of human gait specific to sport. Dr Wheeler has worked extensively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to engage in meaningful learning experiences and activities. Dr Wheeler is skilled at translating his work into training programs and seminars aimed at improving theory and practice of human movement, including culturally responsive physical activity. His work challenges traditional views of child development and has been adopted by sport and exercise scientists working in a range of settings. Dr Wheeler’s innovative work in the Fraser Coast Aboriginal and Torres Strait community included implementing gender specific engagement programs for secondary school students, various homework clubs, and traditional Indigenous games in primary schools led to him being awarded the 2017 NAIDOC Business award from the Fraser Coast community.


  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours), University of Canberra
  • Bachelor of Applied Science, University of Canberra
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of the Sunshine Coast


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