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Associate Professor Ted Wilkes AO

Associate Professor Ted Wilkes is a former Ambassador for the Commissioner for Children and Young People. He is well known for his dedication to public health issues, particularly for Aboriginal people. He is a Nyungar man, with connections to the metropolitan area and the South West of WA.

Professor Wilkes has worked in public health for much of his working life, having been the CEO of the Derbal Yerrigan Health Service in Perth and holding the position of Associate Professor at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (TICHR).

While at TICHR he was Chair of the steering committee for the WA Aboriginal Child Health Survey, which has shaped and guided the development of policy and practices around health, education and wellbeing for Aboriginal children and young people and their families.

Professor Wilkes is co-Program Leader of the Indigenous Australian Research Program at the National Drug Research Institute, based at Curtin University. His current research includes projects to develop culturally appropriate resources to assist health professionals working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to address issues of alcohol and pregnancy, and culturally relevant programs to support Aboriginal parents to promote their children’s behavioural and social competence and readiness for school.

He is also the Chair of the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee; a member of the Australian National Council on Drugs; President of the Derbal Yerrigan Health Service; and was the former Chair of the Aboriginal Reference Group of the Department of Child Protection.

As an Aboriginal leader, Professor Wilkes endeavours to facilitate positive health and social outcomes for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Western Australians alike. He is particularly passionate about supporting young Aboriginal people through their education and providing effective programs for young Aboriginal offenders to divert them from the criminal justice system.