Research Interests: Sally Nathan’s career has been focussed on what it means to effectively engage consumers and community, in particular those who have been historically excluded from participation and decision-making in societal organisations and structures, including complex health systems.
Sally has been working in a research capacity at the University of New South Wales since 1999. Sally is the Convenor of Community Development & Qualitative Research Methods in the postgraduate programs in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine and is the public health and qualitative research expert member of the Independent Learning Project Committee (the research component of the undergraduate medical program) and has an active role in the delivery of the coursework component. Sallly was recently awarded a Faculty Learning and Teaching Award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning (2010).
Sally’s research at UNSW has focused on the use of innovative methodologies and methods to measure and understand complex social processes and social change and this has included research into consumer and community participation in health as well as research approaches which engage and partner directly with vulnerable and marginalised communities and the organisations that represent and advocate for them. Sally has published on consumer/community participation in health service decision-making and governance (PhD awarded in 2013), advocacy by the non-government sector, capacity building for health development, adolescent drug and alcohol treatment (in partnership with the Ted Noff’s Foundation) and refugee settlement.
A team of researchers led by Dr Nathan at the School of Public Health and Community Medicine together with the Ted Noffs Foundation and academics from the Centre for Social Research in Health and the School of Social Sciences have been awarded an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, funded in 2014 for three years: 2014- 2017: ARC Linkage LP140100429; Positive life pathways for vulnerable adolescents: The role of a life management program approach. Investigators: Nathan Sally, Rawstorne Patrick, Hayen Andrew, Bryant Joanne, Baldry Eileen (UNSW Australia) and Ferry Mark (Ted Noffs Foundation). http://www.arc.gov.au/pdf/LP14/LP14%20Listing%20by%20all%20State%20and%20Organisation.pdf
Sally was first Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council Linkage funded three-year grant of $341,000 plus partner funds over 3 years: Social Cohesion through Football (2009-2011), a cohort impact study investigating the implementation of a sport for social development program with key findings released in a report launched at UNSW on October 19th 2012 – the resulting media reached well over a million Australians through electronic and print outlets.Sally is also part of a team of Chief Investigators on a recently awarded NHMRC Project Grant of $869,730.47 over 4 years: Sexual and reproductive health and behaviours of young offenders in NSW & QLD. Sally was a member of the Steering Committee and under took the in-depth consumer participation study as part of an ARC Linkage study into accreditation of health services: The Examinations of the relationship between accreditation and clinical and organisational performance (2005-2007). In the past few years Sally has been developing collaborations with non-government organisations in the Asia-Pacific region to build capacity to work alongside communities in research and in their response to ongoing and emerging public health issues including Non-Communicable Diseases and HIV/AIDS.
Current research student supervision:
Primary Supervisor for Emma Field, Doctorate of Public Health commenced in 2014.
Co-supervisor: Master by Research: 1) A study of factors contributing to non-occupational falls from ladders (co-supervisor with A/Professor Ros Poulos) and 2) Is the provision of information and support via an innovative mobile-based application feasible and potentially effective for women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus? (co-supervisor with Dr Leo Leeder and Dr Annie Lau). Master of Philosophy: Parents as Carers of Children with Neuromuscular Disorders – stressors and patterns of mental/physical fatigue associated with caring for a child (co-supervisor with Dr Michelle Farrar at NeuRA).
ILP Projects: Girls experience of Football United - A sport for development program (Primary supervisor) and Investigation of positive self-help strategies used by men to prevent depression and suicide (co–supervisor with A/Prof Judy Proudfoot BDI)
Independent Master of International Public Health Study (1): Acceptability of contraceptive implants in the Kingdom of Tonga (co-supervisor with Dr Patrick Rawstorne).
Previous research student supervision: Primary and co-supervisor for a range of research students to completion, including one PhD, eight ILP research students (all but one awarded DN/HD by external examiner), one Master of Public Health Intern and numerous Independent Study and Major Treatise Projects in the Master of Public Health Program within the School of Public Health and Community Medicine.
PhD Co-Supervisor: The role of peer educators in promoting quality use of medicines among seniors, 2008. Numerous ILPs including: 1) Finding structure and fitting in: The experience of drug-dependent adolescents in a residential life management program, 2006. 2) An ethonographic study of Football in the Park: An initiative for refugee youth in the Western Suburbs 2008 - Community Development through Sport: Lessons from Football United 3) The role of staff in a therapeutic community for adolescents with drug dependence issues, 2010; 4) The role of social networking and an on-line tool in supporting young people post discharge from a residential drug treatment program, 2011; 5) Examining the long-term health and social outcomes of adolescent residential alcohol and other drug treatment services in NSW and the ACT. A feasibility project (primary supervisor), 2013 6) Refugee Youth Soccer primary-secondary school mentoring program; a pilot study 2013 (co-sup).
Grants and projects:
2014- 2017: ARC Linkage LP140100429 funded in 2014; Positive life pathways for vulnerable adolescents: The role of a life management program approach. Investigators: Nathan Sally, Rawstorne Patrick, Hayen Andrew, Bryant Joanne, Baldry Eileen (UNSW Australia) and Ferry Mark (Ted Noffs Foundation).
2012-2015: APP1043693 (Awarded 2012) . Scientific Title: Sexual and reproductive health and behaviours of young offenders (14-18 years) in NSW & Qld. Budget: $869,730.47 over 4 years.
2012 - 2013: Human Resources for Health (HRH) aspects of interventions for prevention and control of Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) in Primary Health care (PHC) settings: a pilot project at Viseisei Sai Health Centre, Fiji. Contribution to the design, training and pilot testing of community-based interventions and their evaluation.
2011: Special Studies Program Leave in Indonesia: Funded by UNSW Faculty of Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine & Kirby Institute. Involved consulting and working with key Community Based Organisations in Indonesia, including developing a Community-based Participatory Research grant due for submission to ARC Linkage LP13 in November 2012. Designed and conducted a two day qualitative research training workshop for Field Research Training Program (FRTP) - an AUSAID funded HIV Consortium for Partnerships in Asia and the Pacific.
2011: Braithwaite J, Travaglia J, Nathan S, Johnson S. Community engagement research project (CERP): $105,020. Agency for Clinical Innovation.
2009-2011: First Chief Investigator on an Australian Research Council Linkage funded three-year study: Social Cohesion through Football, (LP0989930) a cohort impact study investigating the implementation of a football program over a three year period examining processes and impacts on individual health/wellbeing, social inclusion and cohesion in areas of Sydney with high humanitarian refugee settlement. $341,000 plus partner funds over 3 years.
Member of Steering Committee for the Centre for Clinical Governance Research in Health ARC Linkage project – Examinations of the relationship between accreditation and clinical and organisational performance (LP0560737). Managed the consumer participation elements as part of this research work.
Capacity Building Grant from the Sax Institute for Health Research to organise a two day symposium on analsysing discourse in health ($10,000). Team includes colleagues at the UNSW Centre for Clinical Governance Research in Health, Sydney University and the University of Western Sydney.
Grant from Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education) at the University of New South Wales to explore the establishment of a Community-Links Program to integrate community service objectives with the learning objectives of student course work and academic research ($15,000 grant).
A systematic review of the literature covering patient perspectives on the psychosocial aspects of cancer and cancer care with a focus on patients from non-English speaking backgrounds. Undertaken in partnership with the Cancer Care Service at St George Hospital ($5,000 grant from Multicultural Health Unit, South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service).
Adviser to the research team for a NSW health funded project to develop a health equity audit tool for health promotion (funding allocated to the Health Promotion Service, South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service).
Research project investigating utilisation of health services in South East Sydney Area Health Service by different language groups using quantitative and qualitative methods ($25,000 funding from the Multicultural Health Unit, South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service).
Survey of medical students knowledge and beliefs about complementary and alternative medicine (funding from the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW).
Evaluation of a falls prevention initiative using qualitative methods including assessing the impact of the project on the health promotion capacity of the Community Nursing Service at St George Hospital ($10,000 funding from Health Promotion Service, South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service).
Involvement in the coordination of community consultation process for the development of SESAHS Ethnic Access Policy Statement (funding from the Multicultural Health Unit, SESAHS).
1999: Research into the role of Non-Government Organisations in influencing health equity ($10,000 grant from World Health Organization, Geneva).