Dr Elizabeth McDonald

Honorary fellow


PhD (Public Health), Charles Darwin University, 2006; Master in Tropical Health, University of Queensland, 1995; Bachelor of Nursing, Northern Territory University, 1992; Graduate Diploma of Nursing Studies (Education), University of New England, 1989; Diploma of Applied Science (Community Health), Northern Territory University, 1983; Certificate IV Training and Assessment VET

Approved level of HDR supervision at Charles Darwin University:

Associate Supervisor for PhD


Darwin – Charles Darwin University, Casuarina campus


Dr McDonald has extensive experience working in the primary health care sector as a registered nurse and midwife; health service manager at community and central levels; and researcher and evaluator. This experience encompasses working in remote Aboriginal communities, rural towns and in Cambodia.

For the past 13 years her research has focused on improving Aboriginal child health through housing, water and sanitation and hygiene improvement.

All her research activities are based on using participatory approaches, capacity building and working across sectors, e.g. health, housing, Aboriginal medical services and education.

A key feature of her work is translating evidence-based interventions into health promotion practice, including the development of evidence-based assessment tools for the use of health workers working in rural and remote Aboriginal communities.


  1. Bailie R., Stevens M., & McDonald E. L. (2014). Impact of housing improvement and the socio-physical environment on the mental health of children's carers: a cohort study in Australian aboriginal communities. BMC Public Health, 14, 472.
  2. McDonald, E. L., Bailie, R. S., & Morris, P. S. (2014). Participatory systems approach to health improvement in Australian Aboriginal children. Health Promotion International. First published on line 4 February 2014.
  3. McDonald, E. L., Bailie, R., &Michel, T. (2013). Development and trialing of a tool to support a systems approach to improve social determinants of health in rural and remote Australian communities: the healthy community assessment tool. International Journal for Equity in Health, (12), 15
  4. Bailie, R. S., Stevens, M., and McDonald, E. L. (2012). The impact of housing improvement and socio-environmental factors on common childhood illnesses: a cohort study in Indigenous Australian communities. Journal of Epidemiology Community Health, (66), 821-831.
  5. Bailie, R. S., McDonald, E. L., Stevens, M., Guthridge, S., & Brewster, D. R. (2011). Evaluation of an Australian indigenous housing programme: community level impact on crowding, infrastructure function and hygiene. Journal of Epidemiology Community Health, (65), 432-437.
  6. McDonald, E., Slavin, N., Bailie, R., & Schobben, X. (2011). No germs on me: a social marketing campaign to promote hand-washing with soap in remote Australian Aboriginal communities. Global Health Promotion, (18), 62-65.
  7. McDonald, E. L. (2011). Closing the Gap and Indigenous housing. Medical Journal of Australia, (195), 652-653.
  8. McDonald, E., Bailie, R., Grace, J., & Brewster, D. (2010). An ecological approach to health promotion in remote Australian Aboriginal communities. Health Promotion International, (25), 42-53.
  9. McDonald, E., Bailie, R., Grace, J., and Brewster, D. (2009). A case study of physical and social barriers to hygiene and child growth in remote Australian Aboriginal communities. BMC.Public Health, (9), 346-
  10. McDonald, E. &Bailie, R. (2010). Hygiene improvement: essential to improving child health in remote Aboriginal communities. Journal of Paediatric Child Health, (46), 491-496.
Click here to view more Elizabeth McDonald publications in PubMed.
  1. Red hot Alice puts mums and bubs at risk

    Red hot Alice puts mums and bubs at risk


    Three Menzies staff - Professor Anne Chang, Dr Gurmeet Singh and Dr Elizabeth McDonald - were involved in this study. The paper, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, linked preterm births with extreme heat.