I am an injury epidemiologist and public health physician. I was appointed as founding Director of Research Centre for Injury Studies at Flinders University in 1997 and have been the Director of the National Injury Surveillance Unit (NISU) since 1990. I am active nationally and internationally in the areas of measurement and classification of injury, injury burden and determinants of injury in populations, and the descriptive epidemiology of injury for public health purposes.
Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, University of Melbourne, 1980.
Master of Public Health, University of Sydney, 1990
Treatise: Studying Work-Related Fatalities in Australia
Fellow, Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, RACP, 1990.
Distinguished Career Award of the American Public Health Association Injury Prevention Section (2013)
Australian Injury Prevention Network 2015 Award for Contribution to Research in Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion
My main areas of research interest are injury prevention and control, and methods and infrastructure for public health surveillance, including classifications and data linkage. My publications deal with many aspects of injury, including injury severity and outcomes, road safety, the safety of Indigenous Australians, suicide and self-harm, alcohol and injury, occupational safety, sports injury, spinal cord injury and the safety of health care. While most of my work has been quantitative, I have also participated in some qualitative research. As at October 2015, I am an author of 77 peer-reviewed journal papers, 39 since the start of 2009, and many other reports, mostly publications of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).
The Research Centre for Injury Studies operates the National Injury Surveillance Unit (NISU) of the AIHW. NISU undertakes public health surveillance of injury at the national level to support injury prevention and control, and provides much of the statistical information on which injury prevention policy and programs in Australia rely. The NISU program also produces the main national statistical reports on non-fatal serious road injury for the Australian Government agency responsible for road safety. NISU also does technical work on injury data sources and methods.
With Dr Kavi Bhalla, I led the Injury Expert Group in the Global Burden of Diseases 2010 project. This led to an active collaborative network of injury researchers, now part of the International Collaborative Effort (ICE) on Injury Statistics, who are are developing theory and doing research to enable better measurement of the impact and burden of injury. I am researching outcomes of injury using prospective follow-up with Professor Belinda Gabbe (Monash) and others.
I supervise and mentor research students and teach introductory epidemiology to medical students. I have responsibility for the epidemiology module in the first-year topic MMED 8106.
I contributed to each of several phases of national public policy review and development concerning injury prevention since 1990. In each I was a member of a relevant committee. Recently, my work has contributed to policy and practice concerning Indigenous road safety, patient safety and suicide prevention. I was elected Chairperson of the Australasian Mortality Data Interest Group (AMDIG), the organisation concerned with mortality statistics in Australia and New Zealand, from 2009 to 2012. Since 2009 I have investigated problems with national cause of death statistics, which had potential to mislead users on matters such as trends in suicide.
I have long involvement with the National Coronial Information System, as a proponent for its development, a member of its governance bodies and a user of its data. I am currently a member of its Board.
I represent Flinders University in the SA and NT DataLink Consortium, which has developed a capability for non-identifying, whole-population research in two Australian jurisdictions, based on record linkage. I also represent Flinders on the advisory board of the Centre for Automotive Safety Research at the University of Adelaide.
With others, I developed the International Classification of External Causes of Injuries, a related member of the WHO Family of International Classifications since 2003. I was appointed by the WHO in 2007 to be a member of the Revision Steering Group for the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), with responsibility for the injury and external causes chapters. I am also actively involved with the Topic Advisory Group on Quality and Safety. I co-chair a taskforce that was established by the WHO in 2015 to oversee finalisation of the 11th revision of the ICD.