Professor Sandra Thompson

Started at UWA: 2010

Driving innovative health solutions in rural and remote WA communities

Achieving adequate and accessible healthcare for our rural and remote Western Australian communities requires that we critically review where we are at in terms of care delivery, thinking about the whole system of care. Research and the application of knowledge gained are essential to innovation and service improvement in rural areas.

Professor Sandra Thompson

Whether it’s driving research, developing innovative health solutions or encouraging health students to undertake placements in rural towns, Professor Sandra Thompson works towards better health outcomes for people in rural and remote communities.

Professor Thompson is Director of the WA Centre for Rural Health, Chair of Rural Health at UWA, and a professor of rural, remote and regional health. Challenging current healthcare delivery methods and improving the healthcare experiences of rural communities is a key focus of her research.

The focus of Professor Thompson's research looks at remote communities and the prevention and management of chronic disease and Aboriginal health. It includes the attraction and retention of health professionals in country areas, how modern technology can aid healthcare, and the exploration of barriers to healthcare in remote communities.

Professor Thompson builds partnerships and strong networks that strengthen the Indigenous and non-Indigenous relationships in rural towns and assists in performing research. She is a public health physician and promotes the benefits of student placements in rural towns to students and people in these communities.


  • BSc(Med)(Hons) (UNSW) 
  • MBBS (Hons) (UNSW)
  • PhD (University of Newcastle Australia) 
  • MPH (Monash)
  • Grad Dip Hlth Mgt (UNE)

External positions:

  • Director, Australian Rural Health Education Network (ARHEN) 2010 
  • Member, Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, WA Regional Committee 2016 
  • Member of the Aboriginal Advisory Committee for the Cancer Council WA 2016 
  • Member, Australian Indigenous Health InfoNet Advisory Board 2013 
  • Member, Pilbara Health Workforce Working Group, 2017 


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Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award for Educational Partnerships & Collaborations with other Organisations - Combined Universities Centre for Rural Health, 2012

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Awarded highest Research Performance Index in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University, 2010

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National Carrick Award for Australian University Teaching: Postgraduate education, 2007

Spalding Summer Holiday Program




Commonwealth of Australia Public Health and Chronic Disease Grant Program

  • Perceptions of breast density within a breast cancer screening population and the impact of notifying women they have dense breasts
  • Stone J, Saunders C, Woulfe C, Keogh LA, Wylie E, Thompson S


National Stroke Foundation

  • 'Early process evaluation: Real-world data to inform better implementation of an Aboriginal stroke rehabilitation trial'
  • Katzenellenbogen J, Armstrong E, Thompson S, Robinson M

NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Grants

  • Improving detection and management of Dementia in Indigenous people
  • LoGuidice D, Flicker L, Bessarab D, Atkinson D, Wenitong M, Thompson S, Smith K, Strivens E, Radford K

NHMRC Partnership Grant

  • Enhancing rehabilitation services of Aboriginal Australians after brain injury
  • Armstrong E, Hersh D, Katzenellenbogen J, Coffin J, Thompson S, Ciccione N, Flicker L, Coffin J, Rae T, Cadilhac D, Godecke E


Cancer Council of Western Australia

  • Mammographic density as a predictor of breast cancer risk and mortality in Western Australian Aboriginal women
  • Stone J, Saunders C, Redfern A, Wylie E, Thompson S

More grants and publications

Contact Professor Sandra Thompson

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167 Fitzgerald Street, Geraldton WA