Simon Graham

Research Overview

Simon is a National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and senior research fellow based in the Department of Infectious Diseases, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. He is the lead of the Indigenous Health Cross-cutting Discipline at the Peter Doherty Institute. Currently he is working on a project that examines Aboriginal peoples’ perspectives of COVID-19 restrictions, mask wearing and vaccines. He led a community-based trial that successfully tripled sexually transmitted infection (STI) and viral hepatitis testing and improved the management of these infections among young Aboriginal people in regional New South Wales. He is a graduate of the Master of Applied Epidemiology, a field epidemiology degree where he evaluated Australia’s National perinatal surveillance system and investigated a foodborne outbreak in Sydney.

Simon has received $3 million in competitive funding and held externally funded fellowships since receiving his PhD in 2014. In 2015, he received a McKenzie postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Melbourne. Simon spent three-years as a postdoctoral fellow overseas, including: 12-months as a Fulbright postdoctoral fellow at the PRIDE Health Research Consortium in New York City, two-years as a NHMRC fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK, and six-months as an Endeavour Research Leadership fellow at the First Nations Health Authority in Vancouver. Before academia Simon worked in international development with the Department of Foreign Affairs in Canberra, the Australian Embassy in Bangkok, a Thai non-government organisation in Bangkok and CARE international in Hanoi during the SARS outbreak.


Lead Investigator

  • 2022-2026 – Investigator Grant – Emerging Leadership 2 (funder: NHMRC); $1,518,000
  • 2022 – Indigenous Development Grant (Funded by: Melbourne Medical School, University of Melbourne); $25,000
  • 2020 – Dyason fellowship (Funder: Edward Clarence Dyason Fund); $5,000
  • 2019 – Endeavour Research Leadership Award (Funder: Department of Education and training); $24,000
  • 2017-2021 – Early career researcher fellowship (Funder: NHMRC); $419,768
  • 2016 – Fulbright postdoctoral scholarship (Funder: Fulbright Commission); $42,000
  • 2016 – Health service access of young Aboriginal people (Funder: Uni Melbourne); $40,000
  • 2015-2017 – McKenzie Postdoctoral fellowship, (Funder: University of Melbourne); $240,000
  • 2010-2014 – Aboriginal sexual health & hepatitis quality improvement project (Funder: NSW Health); $455,000


  • 2020-2021 – Developing a culturally responsive trauma-informed public health emergency response framework for First Nations families and communities during COVID-19 (Funder: Ramsey Foundation and APPRISE); $399,000
  • 2020-2021 – A rapid qualitative assessment of COVID-19 health needs in an urban Aboriginal community (Funder: NSW Health); $31,600
  • 2018-2021 – Fostering Aboriginal sexual well-being by building on strengthens (Funder: ARC Linkage Grant); $211,408
  • 2017-2020– Establishing Digital-Land Rights and Reconnecting Indigenous Communities through Emerging Technologies, (Funder: ARC Linkages Grant); $473,000

Research Publications

  1. Blaxland, M, Bryant, J, Gardner, K, Beadman, M, Bolt, R, Doyle M, Graham, S, et al. Rapid qualitative assessment of COVID-19 health needs in urban Sydney Aboriginal communities: report 1. 2021. Sydney: UNSW Centre for Social Research in Health.
  2. Blaxland, M, Bryant, J, Gardner, K, Bolt, R, Doyle M, Graham, S, et al. Rapid qualitative assessment of COVID-19 health needs in urban Sydney Aboriginal communities: report 2. 2021. Sydney: UNSW Centre for Social Research in Health.
  3. Heris C, Bovill M, Graham S, et al. 10 ways we can better respond to the pandemic in a trauma-informed way. The Conversation. 2021.
  4. Graham S, et al. Aboriginal young people who have never used marijuana in the ‘Next Generation Youth Well-being study’: a strengths-based approach. International J of Drug Policy. 2021; 95: 103258.
  5. Graham S, Stelka K, Wieman C, Adams E. Mental health interventions for First Nation, Inuit and Metis peoples’ in Canada: a systematic review. Int Indigenous Policy Journal. 2021; 12(2): 10829.
  6. Graham S, et al. Prevalence of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis and trichomonas in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: a systematic review & meta-analysis. Sex Health.2016.13(2):99-113.
  7. Graham S et al. A sexual health quality improvement program (SHIMMER) triples chlamydia and gonorrhoea testing rates among young people attending Aboriginal health services in Australia. BMC Infec Dis. 2015.15(1).
  8. Graham S, et al. Epidemiology of chlamydia and gonorrhoea among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, 2000-2009. MJA. 2012. 197(11): 642-646.

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine, Women's Health, Infectious Diseases and Immunity

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Dr Simon Graham

Department / Centre

Infectious Diseases

Unit / Centre

Simon Graham

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