Research Action Awards 2019 Logo

The Sax Institute congratulates all the winners of the Research Action Awards 2019.

The Sax Institute’s Research Action Awards honour individuals whose research has made a significant impact on health policy, programs or service delivery. Up to three Awards are granted and each winner receives a certificate and prize of $5,000.

Winners of this year’s Awards were chosen by a committee of national and international experts chaired by the celebrated and widely published UK academic Professor Trish Greenhalgh, Professor of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. Winners were announced at an invitation-only event in Sydney on 26 November 2019. We thank the NSW Ministry of Health and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for their
generous support of the Research Action Awards 2019.

Learn more about our 2019 Research Action Award winners below.


Adjunct Associate Professor Kylie Gwynne, Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, University of Sydney

Co-designing and evaluating Indigenous health services

Over the past five years, Adjunct Associate Professor Gwynne has led several trailblazing research projects focused on working with Indigenous people and communities in rural and remote regions to design and deliver dental health services. Aboriginal people have significantly higher rates of dental disease compared with other Australians, a problem that is further compounded for those living in remote and rural areas.

Read more about Adjunct Associate Professer Gwynne’s work here.

Associate Professor Melissa Kang, Australian Centre for Public and Population Health Research, University of Technology Sydney

Achieving fair and equitable access to healthcare for young people

Associate Professor Kang has led three seminal studies looking at the experiences of young people in New South Wales trying to access healthcare services. This body of research, which has already proven to be hugely influential in health policy making, has looked at key barriers to integrated timely care – one in particular being the fragmented nature of our healthcare system.

Read more about Associate Professer Kang’s work here.


Dr Amy Peden, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Sydney

Reducing unintentional river drowning in Australia

Rivers are the leading location for unintentional drownings in Australia – ahead of beaches and swimming pools – but there has been remarkably little if any research done in this area before the work of Dr Peden and her colleagues, here or anywhere else in the world.

Dr Peden’s groundbreaking research explores the hows and whys of unintentional river drownings in Australia. It finds that around 80% of river drowning victims are male, who seem to be more prone to riskly behaviour in and around rivers. Crucially, around 40% of victims had consumed alcohol before drowning: average blood alcohol rates in drowning victims were around four times the legal limit for drowning.

Read more about Dr Peden’s work here.


Thanks to our sponsors

We would like to acknowledge the NSW Ministry of Health and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for their generous support of the Research Action Awards.


For all enquiries, please contact the Sax Institute:
Phone: 02 9188 9500

To stay up-to-date with information regarding Research Action Awards 2020, subscribe to Evidence Matters.

Three Australian health researchers whose inspiring work has had a major impact in childhood trauma, stroke prevention and homelessness were winners at the 2018 Research Action Awards.

2018 winners:

  • Associate Professor Anne Abbott, School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Monash University
  • Professor Kate Curtis, Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Lisa Wood, School of Population and Global Health, University of Western Australia

Researchers whose work is having a real impact on the ground in areas as diverse as alcohol-related violence and supporting people to gain driver licences were winners at the 2017 Research Action Awards.

2017 winners:

  • Professor Kypros Kypri, University of Newcastle
  • Ms Patricia Cullen, George Institute for Global Health

Researchers focused on making a real-world impact on vaccine safety, maternal and reproductive health, and strengthening the Medicare system were winners at the 2016 Research Action Awards.

2016 winners:

  • Associate Professor Kristine Macartney, National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS)
  • Associate Professor Kees van Gool, University of Technology Sydney
  • Associate Professor Angela Dawson, University of Technology Sydney

The 2015 inaugural Award winners conducted research that had an impact on diverse areas – from being pivotal in having commercial sunbeds banned, to changing the way health workers communicate about vaccination with hesitant parents. Read more about the 2015 Award ceremony and winners.

2015 winners

  • Dr Anne Cust, University of Sydney
  • Dr Santosh Khanal, NSW Ministry of Health
  • Associate Professor Julie Leask, University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Farah Magrabi, Macquarie University.