Professor Terry Dunbar

University Fellow

Professor Dunbar was appointed the Director of the Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Research Institute at ANU (Canberra) in October 2018.  Previously she was the Director of the Yaitya Purruna Indigenous Health Unit at The University of Adelaide.  Terry is currently completing her PhD candidature investigating the antecedent determinants of Aboriginal birthing outcomes in the NT.

Terry has developed strong relationships and working history with a range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups across the Northern Territory through research and research governance.

She has worked at senior management levels in policy development and service delivery from both the Commonwealth and State level public services.

Projects include:

  • Research in Aboriginal health
  • Professional development
  • Research ethics fields

Her experience has been strengthened by continuous work with the NHMRC AHEC (from 2003) and at least two other institutional Human Research Ethics Committees (a member of one of these committees since 1996).

Research Interests

  • Qualitative research
  • Research ethics
  • Indigenous research
  • Evaluation of Indigenous health services and programs
  • Indigenous community learning pathways and adult learning
  • Community development and capacity enhancement
  • Social determinants of Aboriginal health


  • Bacthelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Studies (Higher Education Member) Member: Menzies School of Health Research and Territory Health Services Human Research Ethics Committee.
  • Commonwealth Health and Ageing HREC.
  • Australian Health Ethics Committee, NHMRC
  • Indigenous Forum Committee, NHMRC
  • Diabetes Australia Indigenous Advisory Committee
  • Public Officer for Darwin Aboriginal and Islander Women’s Shelter (DAIWS)
  • Charles Darwin University Human Research Ethics Committee.
  • NHMRC Biobanks Reference Group
  • National Health Committee, NHMRC

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Publications & Resources

Book Chapters

Baker, J, Dunbar, T & Scrimgeour, M. (2010) Feminist bioethics and Indigenous research reform in Australia: Is an alliance across gender, racial and cultural borders a useful strategy for change? In J.L. Scully, L.E. Baldwin & P. Fitzpatrick (Eds.), Feminist Bioethics At the Center, on the Margins. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press.

Journal Articles

Kildea, S., Gao, Y., Rolfe, M., Josif, C.M., Bar-Zeev, S.J., Steenkamp, M., Kruske, S., Williams, D., Dunbar, T., & Barclay, L.M. (2016) Remote Links: Redesigning maternity care for Aboriginal women from remote communities in Northern Australia; a comparative cohort study. Midwifery. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2016.01.009.

Boyle, J. A., Cunningham, J., Norman, R. J., Dunbar, T., and O'Dea, K. (2015) Polycystic ovary syndrome and metabolic syndrome in Indigenous Australian women. Internal Medicine Journal, 45, 1247–1254. doi: 10.1111/imj.12910.

Barclay, L., Kruske, S., Bar-Zeev, S., Steenkamp, M., Josif, C., Narjic, C.W., Wardaguga, W., Bleton, S., Gao, Y., Dunbar, T., & Kildea, S. (2014) Improving Aboriginal maternal and infant health services in the ‘Top End’ of Australia; synthesis of the findings of a health services research program aimed at engaging stakeholders, developing research capacity and embedding change. BMC Health Services, 14, 241. doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-14-241.

Dunbar, T., & Scrimgeour, M. (2014) Indigenous health research ethics in Australia: applying guidelines as the basis for negotiating research agreements. Monash Bioethics Review, 25(2), S53-S62. doi: 10.1007/BF03351454

Habibis, D., Birdsall-Jones, C., Dunbar, T., Scrimgeour, M., Taylor, E., & Nethercote, M. (2011). Improving Housing Responses to Indigenous Patterns of Mobility: Final Report. AHURI, 162(146), 1-198. 

Dirani, M., McAuley,AK., Maple-Brown, L., Kawasaki, R., McIntoch, RL., Harper,CA., Lamoureux, EL., Tatipata, S., Dunbar, T., O’Dea, K., Cunningham, J. (2010) Association of retinal vessel calibre with disbetic retinopathy in an urban Australian Indigenous population. Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology, 38(6), 577-82.

Hodge, AM., Maple-Brown, L., Cunningham, J., Boyle, J., Dunbar, T., Weeramanthri, T., Shaw, J. and O’Dea, K. (2010) Abdominal obesity and other risk factors largely explain the high CRP in Indigenous Australians relative to the general population, but not gender differences: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 10, 700

Dunbar. T. and Murakami-Gold, L. (2010) Aboriginal cultural security Partnerships in the health and family service delivery sector. Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues, Special Issue 13(3-4), 3-9

Research Reports

Saggers, S., Stearne, A., Frances, K., Scrimgeour, M. & Dunbar, T. (2011). Evaluation of the Warlpiri Early Childhood Care and Development Program: Final Report. Report prepared for the Warlpiri Early Childhood care and Development Program.

Habibis, D., Birdsall-Jones, C., Dunbar, T., Gabriel, M., Scrimgeour, M. & Taylor, E. (2010) Improving housing responses to Indigenous patterns of mobility Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. Southern Research Centre AHURI Positioning Paper No. 124.

Terry Dunbar


Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Research Institute
Canberra, ACT