Anne-Marie Eades: International Women's Day 2019 Profile

Anne-Marie Eades is an Aboriginal woman, public health and health service researcher specialising in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s health and wellbeing. Following a 30-year career in health, 19 of which focussed on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, she joined The George Institute for Global Health in 2011.

Anne-Marie’s current body of research relates to creating better understanding and support for the role of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in their families to ensure strong families, good health for all, and appropriate access to healthcare.

She was attracted to the work by the frustration of what she saw and the opportunity to do something about it.

“When I was working as a theatre nurse in Western Australia, I saw the impact poorly managed diabetes was having on Aboriginal people. I also noticed the age difference for non-Aboriginal people having the same similar surgical procedure.”

“Aboriginal people who came to theatre for surgery or partial amputation were in their 30s and 40s - for other patients, they were in their 60s and 70s.”

Anne-Marie began working with a team of researchers focused on decreasing amputation rates in Aboriginal communities in Western Australian.

“Seeing the outcomes of research change practice is extremely inspiring and a big motivating factor for this kind of work.”

“We conducted a state-wide study looking at reducing amputation rates in Aboriginal communities and identified that education was lacking around wound management. This led to wound care services providing face-to-face education and online services for wound management throughout Western Australia.”

Anne-Marie aims to continue producing work that informs policy reform in much-needed areas, in particular for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their health.

“My previous research identified the critical role informal support plays when provided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, but no policies or funding targets this area of reform. I hope mine and other research will lend support to a change in policy direction in this regard.”

To move towards a more gender-balanced world, Anne-Marie says that governance and remuneration structures need to be reorganised and reformed.

“We need more women in leadership roles and the gender pay gap needs to be eliminated.”

Reflecting on this year’s International Women’s Day theme, #Balanceforbetter, Anne-Marie has three pillars she focuses on.

“For me, balance is about finding a nice equilibrium between work, health and family.”

Read more from Anne-Marie on Twitter at @anne2_11