New Chair in Disability and Health

Professor Anne Kavanagh has been appointed to the position of Chair in Disability and Health, the first for an Australian university.

Anne is a social epidemiologist who has worked on a range of social determinants including gender, employment, housing, place, discrimination, and health. Since 2008, she has been Head of the Gender and Women’s Health Unit (formerly the Key Centre for Women’s Health in Society) in the Centre for Health Equity. She has received over 30 million dollars in research funding, mostly from the NHMRC and ARC and has over 150 peer reviewed publications published in the top journals in her field.

Her recent research has focussed on the health of people with disability.  This research identifies how to improve the health of people with disability through improving their living circumstances including employment, housing and education.

She is Director of an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health which includes 5 Australian and 3 international universities and the World Health Organization (WHO).  The Centre aims to identify cost-effective interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians with disability and brings together academics with expertise in epidemiology, health economics, policy and social sciences.  Anne leads an ARC Discovery project on social mobility and disability and an ARC Linkage grant on use of disability employment services and health and wellbeing as well as range of other projects on discrimination against people with disability, the NDIS, monitoring frameworks for measuring inequalities in outcomes for people with and without disability.

Anne plays a key role on a number of disability boards and advisory committee including as a member of the Victorian Disability Advisory Council and the NDIA/Brotherhood of St Laurence Partnerships committee.  Anne’s research is informed by her lived experience of disability and in her ‘out of hours’ work she advocates for better service outcomes for children and adults with disability.

In taking up this new appointment, Anne has relinquished her position as Chair in Gender and Women’s Health.

She is also the inaugural Academic Director of the Melbourne Disability Institute.

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