Professor Donna Cross is a Winthrop Professor with the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Western Australia, working from the affiliated Telethon Kids Institute.
She was the foundation Professor of Child and Adolescent Health at the Edith Cowan University Child Health Promotion Research Centre (CHPRC) and is an internationally-renowned academic, having contributed to research in the USA, Canada, Finland, Denmark, Japan and Israel.
Professor Cross’s early research included extensive school-based health promotion research. She has published on child health issues related to drug use, nutrition, road safety, smoking and bullying prevention. Professor Cross has worked tirelessly to improve the health of our young people through research and community programs, with a focus on transferring knowledge from research evidence into policy and practice, and bridging the gap between university research and school and community programs.
A commitment to drawing the community’s attention to the importance of investing in actions to strengthen the health and resilience of children is at the core of Professor Cross’s work. She champions positive, whole-school approaches to children’s wellbeing.
Professor Cross was a finalist in the 2011 WA Citizen of the Year Awards. In 2010 she received the Mental Health Good Outcomes Award from the Mental Health Commission of WA and in 2012 she received the Future Justice Prize for Australian leadership and initiative in the advancement of future justice and was the Western Australian of the Year.
She was appointed Director of the new Early Childhood Development and Learning Collaboration, hosted by Telethon Kids Institute, in May 2016. The Collaboration's role is to bring together researchers with consumers, educators, leading clinicians and other practitioners to improve service delivery to meet the needs of vulnerable children, families and communities. It will provide robust, practical evidence developed in a collaborative manner while maintaining high research integrity.