Professor Fiona Stanley is one of Australia’s most prominent researchers on the health and wellbeing of young people and her passion and drive have seen the development of one of the most well-respected research institutes on child and adolescent health.
Professor Stanley’s interest in epidemiology and public health was sparked by her experience seeing young, sick children from remote communities brought in to the hospital, treated, and then sent back to the communities which had contributed to their health issues.
Professor Stanley was the founding Director of the Telethon Institute, established in Perth in 1990. Despite retiring in 2011, she remains closely connected with the Institute as Patron and Chief Investigator on a number of ongoing research projects.
In 2002 she successfully lobbied for the establishment of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth and was the first chairperson; she remains a board member.
Professor Stanley is strongly committed to the idea that improving health is a means to improving social justice. She is a passionate advocate for reconciliation and is dedicated to improving the life chances for Aboriginal people.
She was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1996 for her services to maternal and child health research, and her contributions to improving Aboriginal and community health. She was the 2003 Australian of the Year for her research on behalf of Australia’s children. In 2004 she was honoured as a “National Living Treasure” by the National Trust and in 2006 made a UNICEF Australia Ambassador for Early Childhood Development.
Professor Stanley stepped down from her role as an Ambassadors in October 2017.