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Program Head, International Child Development; Team Head, Child Health, Development and Education; Co-Director, Fraser Mustard Centre


Professor Sally Brinkman is a social epidemiologist with the majority of her research focusing on societies' impact on child development in multiple countries. Sally is the Program Head of International Child Development and Team Head of Child Health, Development and Education for the Telethon Kids Institute. Sally is also the Co-Director of the Fraser Mustard Centre, an innovative initiative between Telethon Kids and the South Australian Department for Education aimed to improve research translation. Further, Sally holds an Adjunct Professor position with the University of Adelaide.

Sally is well known for spearheading the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC), being the first to pilot the underlying instrument outside of Canada. Sally continues to work across the country with communities, service providers, and governments to help facilitate their use of the AEDC data. Internationally, Sally works with governments and donor organisations, such as the World Bank, UNICEF, and UNESCO, on various measures of child development for monitoring and evaluation purposes, with her primary focus in Pacific island countries and South East Asia.

Sally has over 160 publications including books, chapters, monographs, and journal articles covering topics such as infant mouthing behaviours, child physical activity and nutrition levels, the measurement of alcohol-related violence, the evaluation of teenage pregnancy prevention programs, how child development varies across communities, and the impact of socio-economics and service integration on child development.

Sally brings internationally recognised epidemiological skills, particularly in relation to population monitoring of child development and education. Recent highlights include being awarded a Career Development Fellowship from the NHMRC and being appointed by the Minister to the South Australian Child Development Council, recognising Sally’s commitment to practical, pragmatic, and translatable research.