Associate Professor Sue Sayers AO (Deceased)

Principal research fellow


PhD, University of Sydney, 1999; Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 1975; Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009; American Boards in Pediatrics, 1974; American Sub-Boards in Perinatology and Neonatology, 1977; Diploma of Child Health, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow), 1970; Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, University of Sydney, 1968.


The passing of Associate Professor Sue Sayers in March 2016 was an occasion of great sadness for so many across the Northern Territory.

Over 40 years, predominantly based at Menzies and Royal Darwin Hospital, Sue pursued a career as a paediatrician and researcher. She established the Aboriginal Birth Cohort (ABC) Study in 1987, including 686 babies born at Royal Darwin Hospital. Over the subsequent 30 years, she invested her boundless energy in following this cohort in successive waves in 40 communities across Northern Australia. In recognition of her remarkable contribution, Sue was awarded the Menzies Medallion in 2013.

In recent years, past the age where many might have retired, Sue conceived new research ideas and approaches to community engagement in research. She was the driving force behind the HealthLAB; an interactive and educational health program in the form of a mobile laboratory, which we have taken to all corners of the NT so students and communities can learn about their own health.

Sue has also been a keen proponent and supporter of the Menzies traineeship program as she strongly pushed for trainees to be involved in our outreach work to schools and young people across the NT.

Sue has left an indelible mark on the landscape of Aboriginal health and will be missed by all.

  1. Sayers, S.M., Mott, S., Mann, K.D., Pearce, M.S., & Singh, G.R. (2013). Birth weight and fasting glucose and insulin: results from Aboriginal Birth Cohort Study. Medical Journal of Australia, 199(2), 112-116.
  2. Sayers, S., Mott, S., & Singh, G.R. (2011). Fetal Growth Restriction and 18-Year Growth and Nutritional Status: Aboriginal Birth Cohort 1987–2007. American Journal of Human Biology, 23(3), 417-419.
  3. Sayers, S.M., & Singh, G.R. (2010). Lifelong consequences of poor fetal growth. Medical Journal of Australia, 192(1), 5-6.
  4. Sayers, S., & Boyle, J. (2010). Indigenous perinatal and neonatal outcomes: A time for preventive strategies. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 46(9), 475-478.
  5. Jamieson, L.M., Sayers, S.M., & Roberts-Thomson, K.F. (2010). Clinical oral health outcomes in young Australian Aboriginal adults compared with national-level counterparts. Medical Journal of Australia, 192(10), 558-561.
  6. Thomas, A., Cairney, S., Gunthorpe, W., Paradies, Y., & Sayers, S. (2010). Strong Souls: development and validation of a culturally appropriate tool for assessment of social and emotional well-being in Indigenous youth. Australia & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 44(1), 40-8.
  7. Sayers, S.M. (2009). Indigenous newborn care. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 56(6), 1243-61.
  8. Sayers, S., & Lancaster, P.A.L. (2008). Fetal Growth Retardation: Causes and Outcomes. In K. Heggenhougen & S. Quah (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Public Health.  San Diego, USA: Academic Press.
  9. Sellers, A.C., Singh, G.R., & Sayers, S.M. (2008). Large waist but low BMI: the metabolic syndrome in Australian Aboriginal children. Journal of Pediatrics, 156(2), 222-227.
Click here to view more Sue Sayers publications in PubMed.
  1. NT health champion honoured

    NT health champion honoured

    Centralian July 2013.pdf

    Shadow Indigenous Affairs Minister, Senator Nigel Scullion, has paid tribute to to Dr Sue Sayers, who has been named as the recipient of the highest award offered by the Darwin-based Menzies School of Health Research, the Menzies Medallion.

  2. Menzies honour for specialist

    Menzies honour for specialist

    Koori Mail 170713.pdf

    Long-serving Darwin paediatrician and specialist in Aboriginal health Sue Sayers has been awarded the Menzies Medallion, the highest award offered by the Menzies School of Health Research.

  3. 730NT: Tracking down Darwinites' health

    730NT: Tracking down Darwinites' health

    It's the nation's largest and longest-running study of Aboriginal people - and it's happening here in the Northern Territory.

  4. Rain, hail or shine - Landmark study rolls on

    Rain, hail or shine - Landmark study rolls on

    The largest, longest-running and most significant study of the lives of Indigenous babies born in Australia continued its fourth wave of data collection throughout 2014.

  5. Cohort Profile: Australian Aboriginal Birth Cohort (ABC) study

    Cohort Profile: Australian Aboriginal Birth Cohort (ABC) study


    International Journal of Epidemiology, 2017, 1 Pocket Profile