Professor Sharon Friel
Sharon joined RegNet as Professor of Health Equity in May 2014 and became Director in July 2014. She also serves as the Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the Australian National University. In 2010 she was awarded an inaugural Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to investigate the interface between health equity, social determinants (food systems) and climate change, based at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU. Between 2005 and 2008 she worked with Sir Michael Marmot as the Head of the Scientific Secretariat (University College London) for the World Health Organisation’s landmark global Commission on Social Determinants of Health. In 2008 she was asked by the Rockefeller Foundation to convene and chair a global research network on urban health equity (GRNUHE), which reported in 2010. Before moving to Australia, she worked for many years in the Department of Health Promotion, National University of Ireland, Galway. She is an interdisciplinary social health researcher, with a disciplinary background in public health.
Sharon’s work focuses on a) the conceptual and practical integration of input from multiple disciplines, sectors and mixed methods research in the pursuit of health equity, b) studying the role of structural factors in affecting health inequities, including trade and investment, urbanisation, food systems, and climate change; c) analysis of policy processes and their effectiveness at addressing health inequities, and d) applying system science theories and methods to healthy public policy studies. She is a chief investigator on several current major research collaborations in the determinants of health inequities, including the five year NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence on Social Determinants of Health Equity; Trade policy (ARC Discovery grant Trade policy: maximising benefits for nutrition, food security, human health, and the economy), Climate adaptation and Urban planning policy (CSIRO flagship multi-centre research program Urbanism, climate adaptation and health) and Food policy (NHMRC Partnership Centre on Systems Perspective on Preventing Lifestyle-related Chronic Health Problems; ARC Discovery grant Shrinking the food-print by creating consumer demand for sustainable and healthy eating and ARC Linkage Grant Modelling policy interventions to protect Australia’s food security in the face of environmental sustainability challenges).
She is co-founder of the Global Action for Health Equity Network (HealthGAEN), a global alliance concerned with research, training, policy and advocacy related to action in the social and environmental determinants of health equity, and chairs Asia Pacific HealthGAEN.
Research interests: Governance and regulation as it relates to health equity; social determinants of health; health inequalities; global health; food systems; climate change; and public policy processes and health equity
Climate projections suggest that, thanks to human activity, we will likely see an increase in extreme weather events, disruptions to agriculture, loss of livelihoods and displacement of people.
Sharon Friel and Fran Baum, co-directors of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Centre of Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health have published an article on Croakey discussing a new report from the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), titled ‘Inequality in Australia: A nation divided’.
The Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet) is seeking PhD students to be part of the NHMRC-funded “HE2: A systems approach to healthy and equit
RegNet Director, Professor Sharon Friel, has been recognised by the Academy of Social Sciences and elected as a Social Science Fellow.
Opportunity for a three-year full-time PhD scholarship within the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Centre for Research Excellence on the Social Determinants of Health Equity (CRESDHE)
Modelling suggests that we will become less food secure, with a substantially reduced capacity to export and that some of the foods which we take for granted, we will have to import in the future.
The NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence on the Social Determinants of Health Equity (CRE) team is pleased to announce the launch of the new CRE website.
Public hospitals and Medicare funding make up approximately 40 billion dollars of the annual federal health budget. They also tend to dominate discussions around health policy.
Sharon Friel joins a panel of ANU health policy experts to discuss where the parties stand in the election debate.
Inequities in wealth and income are one of the biggest social, economic and political challenges of our time. It’s important to address these inequities for three key reasons.
Congratulations to RegNet Director, Sharon Friel who is one of the winners of the Vice-Chancellor’s award for public policy and outreach excellence in 2016.
RegNet Director Sharon Friel is presenting at the For Purpose Summer School on February 22, 2017.
RegNet Director Sharon Friel and RegNet researcher Phil Baker have backed the introduction of a sugary drinks tax as a new study reveals the nutritional health risks to people in the Asia-Pacific a
RegNet scholars present their latest research at the 2017 World Congress on Public Health.
Big food in Asia: the globalization of food systems, ultra-processed food consumption and policy responses for optimal nutrition in Asia
This project characterises ultra-processed food consumption patterns in Asia, determines whether changing consumption patterns reflect underlying changes in food systems driven by trade liberalization
The INFORMAS trade and investment module is primarily concerned with understanding the risks and benefits to healthy food environments and diets from trade agreements, through the establishment of a m
Modelling policy interventions to protect Australia's food security in the face of environmental sustainability challenges
Australia's future food security will be challenged by climate change, environmental and resource constraints.
Whilst the environmental footprint from food continues to rise, governments, industry and civil society groups throughout the world are frustrated by the lack of evidence for specifying an environment
When tackling a complex problem such as healthy eating, the tendency is to oversimplify the problem and therefore policy domains that give rise to outcomes of interest.
The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre (TAPPC) - Systems approaches to the prevention of lifestyle related chronic disease
TAPPC identifies new ways of understanding what works and what doesn’t to prevent lifestyle-related chronic health problems in Australia.
This ARC Discovery Project (2013-2015) will develop a systems-based conceptual framework for assessing the wider societal impacts of free trade agreements.