Professor Gail Garvey

Deputy Division Leader | Wellbeing and Preventable Chronic Diseases division; Associate Deputy Director Indigenous Leadership and Engagement


PhD (Research), Charles Darwin University, 2016; Master of Education (Research), The University of Newcastle (NSW), 2000; Bachelor of Education (Physical Education), Newcastle College of Advanced Education, 1986.

Approved level of HDR supervision at Charles Darwin University:

Associate Supervisor for PhD




Professor Gail Garvey, a Kamilaroi woman from NSW is currently senior principal research fellow and Deputy Division Leader, Wellbeing and Preventable Chronic Diseases Division, Menzies School of Health Research. Her PhD thesis titled “Psychosocial aspects of cancer care for Indigenous Australians” addresses a critically important aspect of cancer care.

Prof Garvey has experience and expertise in leading successful national research programs, including the current Centre of Research Excellence – Targeted Approaches to Improve Cancer Services (TACTICS) for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. The TACTICS CRE focuses on emerging priorities in cancer-related health services research and actively promotes the translation of research knowledge into Australian public health policy and practice. The CRE also focuses on building research capacity through training the next generation of researchers in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer control.

Prof Garvey leads work in psychosocial aspects of cancer care for Indigenous Australians. For example, she developed and validated a new tool to measure the unmet support needs of Indigenous cancer patients, which is now a recommendation in the Optimal Care Pathway guidelines. She is also leading a program of work to understand and measure the relevant dimensions of wellbeing for Indigenous adults and adolescents, which is important for developing/evaluating health interventions.

Prof Garvey’s strengths lie in her leadership, nationally and internationally and her collaborative approach to bringing key stakeholders, such as Indigenous consumers, researchers, and clinicians together to achieve common goals. This is demonstrated in her vision and leadership in conducting the first Roundtable to identify research priorities in cancer for Indigenous Australians (2010); establishing the National Indigenous Cancer Network (2013) in collaboration with Cancer Council Australia, the Lowitja Institute, the Indigenous Health InfoNet and Menzies School of Health Research; and instigating and convening the inaugural World Indigenous Cancer Conference in 2016 (Brisbane) and co-hosting the 2nd conference in 2019 (Canada). Prof Garvey’s research program has contributed greatly to key policy and practice change to improve cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Since 2012 Prof Garvey has received grant funding totaling over $38 million, 44% as CIA including a NHMRC Investigator Leadership Grant. Prof Garvey has published over 90 papers in the area of cancer and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in peer-reviewed journals since 2012, 33 as lead or senior author.