School of Population Health

Welcoming New Research Fellow Dr Catherine Smith to SPH

Image Catherine Smith

A warm welcome to Dr Catherine Smith who is joining the school as a Research Fellow, working with Associate Professor Niamh Stephenson on an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery project. Catherine is a medical and public health anthropologist. Catherine is joining UNSW from Macquarie University, where she has held an ARC-DECRA (Discovery Early Career Award) examining the relationship between midwives, communities and the broader health system in Indonesia, with a special focus on understanding the interpersonal and socio-political processes that shape trust within cultures of medicine and health systems.

Catherine holds a PhD in anthropology from the Australian National University, a Master’s in peace and conflict studies from the University of Queensland, and a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Hons) from James Cook University. She has previously carried out postdoctoral fellowships at Macquarie University, the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, and the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Leiden, Netherlands. She has been a sessional lecturer at ANU and UQ, worked as a research assistant in the UQ School of Population Health, and carried out consultancies for global health agencies.

Catherine has worked across a number of health fields, including trauma, resilience and social recovery; the social impacts of infectious disease control and elimination (esp. malaria elimination in the Asia Pacific); and maternal, reproductive and sexual health. The main goal driving her work is to build understanding of the relationship between health vulnerabilities, medical systems and socio-political change, and to identify ways to allow for the development of more trusted, just and equitable health systems.

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School of Population Health (SPH), UNSW Medicine