South West And North Australian Indigenous StrOke data linkiNG Study (SWANSONG)

Investigating the burden of stroke on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

This study examines contemporary trends in stroke incidence and outcomes in Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.

The Australian government has launched its ‘Closing the Gap (CtG) Refresh’ to strengthen efforts to close the gap in Indigenous life expectancy. CtG Refresh sets targets and commitments within a new strengths-based and holistic health framework.

Verifiable data to facilitate national comparisons are critical for providing a clear picture of progress and identifying effective interventions. The study involves a collaboration of researchers across Australian multiple jurisdictions with the aim of investigating and comparing contemporary trends in stroke incidence, recurrence, survival and clinical profile in Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

State-based linked hospital admission and emergency department and death administrative datasets from South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland will be used to undertake retrospective population-based incidence and cohort studies.

The results will inform clinical guidelines and policy at jurisdictional level, as well as feed into CtG Refresh health and service monitoring efforts at a national level.

The UWA research team leaders for this project are Dr Judith Katzenellenbogen and Dr Lee Nedkoff, and the team has received funding from a Heart Foundation Vanguard Grant and a Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship.


Our team is collaborating with the following people for this project:

  • Associate Professor Timothy Kleinig, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Lyell McEwin Hospital, University of Adelaide (Lead of overall SAiNTSS1)
  • Professor Alex Brown, South Australian Health and Medical Institute
  • Dr Steve Guthridge, Department of Health NT
  • Dr Jim Burrow, Royal Darwin Hospital
  • Dr Stephen Brady, Alice Springs Hospital
  • Dr Craig Hansen, Wardliparingga, SAHMRI
  • Professor Mandy Thrift, Monash University


Contact Research Team Leader Dr Judith Katzenellenbogen