Professor Gail Garvey

Prof. in Indigenous Health Research

School of Public Health
Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 336 55078


Professor Gail Garvey is a proud Kamilaroi woman from NSW's mid-north coast with wide experience and expertise in leading successful national research programs, including the current Centre of Research Excellence – Targeted Approaches to Improve Cancer Services (TACTICS) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians (NHMRC #1153027 2019-2023).

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 change to improve their cancer outcomes.

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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer control.

Gail leads work in psychosocial aspects of cancer care for Indigenous Australians. For example, she 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. She also leads a program of work to understand and measure the relevant dimensions of wellbeing for Indigenous adults and adolescents, 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 grant and government funding totalling over $52 million, 54% as CIA including a NHMRC Investigator Leadership Grant (NHMRC #1176651 2020-2024). Over the same period Gail has published more than 120 papers in peer-reviewed journals focusing on cancer as it affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 41 of these as lead or senior author.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, C.Darwin


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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. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology. (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)