Kim O'Donnell


  • 45 Citations
  • 3 h-Index
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Personal profile

Public Profile

Kim is Barkindji/Malyangapa with family and country connections in far Western NSW and into SA to the East side of Lake Frome. Kim is an early career Public Health researcher with extensive understanding and experience working with Australia’s First Peoples in education, health, and governance. Kim completed a Doctorate of Public Health in 2015. Her study explored the funding relationship between staff of an Aboriginal community controlled health organisation and government staff, focusing on understanding of their accountability to each other, and the extent to which the funding contracts provide the basis for partnership. A mutual lack of trust was found, coexisting with goodwill on both sides. 

Distrust is perpetuated when there is a lack of agreed understanding about purpose and function of Aboriginal community controlled health organisations– arising from history, effects of colonisation, systemic racism and commonwealth bureaucratic restrictions. A new approach focused on the building of respectful relationships (reflected in the contractual agreements) and better health outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples is fundamental. 

Prior to joining SAHMRI, Kim worked on the RECOGNISE campaign as a National Field Leader to raise awareness around the principles of constitutional reform. She coordinated the national Recognise Health project that brought together over 135 organisations to support changes to the constitution and co-led Health Policy and Systems research of The Lowitja Institute. She also Chairs the Mutawintji Local Aboriginal Land Council in Western NSW, is passionate about the development of equitable partnerships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians. When she's had enough of the fast paced lifestyle, Kim goes bush and off the grid.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Flinders University

External positions

Interim Chair, Neporendi Aboriginal Forum Inc. Reynella

Aug 2018 → …

Chair, Mutawintji Local Aboriginal Land Council


Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2006 2017

2 Citations (Scopus)

Coproducing Aboriginal patient journey mapping tools for improved quality and coordination of care

Kelly, J., Dwyer, J., Mackean, T., O'Donnell, K. & Willis, E., 1 Jan 2017, In : Australian Journal of Primary Health. 23, 6, p. 536-542 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

What Indigenous Australian clients value about primary health care: a systematic review of qualitative evidence

Gomersall, J., Pearson, O., Dwyer, J., O'Donnell, K., Stephenson, M., Carter, D., Canuto, K., Munn, Z., Aromataris, E. C. & Brown, A., Aug 2017, In : Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 41, 4, p. 417-423 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Chapter 12: Social Determinants and the Health of Australia’s First Peoples

O'Donnell, K., 2016, Understanding Health: a Social Determinants Approach, edited by Helen Keleher and Colin MacDougall.. Keleher, H. & MacDougall, C. (eds.). Melbourne: Oxford University Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Equitable care for Indigenous people: Every health service can do it

Dwyer, J., O'Donnell, K., Willis, E. & Kelly, J., 2016, In : Asia pacific journal of healthcare management . 11, 3, p. 11-17

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Responding to health inequities: Indigenous health system innovations

Lavoie, J. G., Kornelsen, D., Wylie, L., Mignone, J., Dwyer, J., Boyer, Y., Boulton, A. & O'Donnell, K., 2016, In : Global health, epidemiology and genomics. 1, p. e14

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article