Dr Sarah Bourke

BSc (Psyc), BA (Hons) (ANU); MPhil in Medical Anthropology, DPhil in Anthropology (Oxon)
Research Fellow
ANU College of Health and Medicine

Research interests

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing
  • Social and cultural determinants of health
  • Philosophies of wellbeing
  • Medical anthropology
  • Indigenous research methodologies


Sarah Bourke (she/her) is a Research Fellow with the National Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Wellbeing Research. Sarah is an Aboriginal woman born and raised on Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country (Canberra) and is descended from the Gamilaroi, Jaru, and Gidja peoples. She completed her undergraduate studies at ANU in biological anthropology and psychology before being award a John Monash Scholarship and a Roberta Sykes Scholarship to study for an MPhil in Medical Anthropology with Keble College at the University of Oxford in the UK. She was then awarded a Roberta Sykes Scholarship and a Chevening Scholarship to continue on at Oxford for a DPhil in Anthropology at St. John's College, graduating in 2021. Her doctoral thesis utilised an Indigenist research framework to ethnographically examine the historical, social, and political factors which influenced the development of Mayi Kuwayu, the National Study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Wellbeing, and its emphasis on measuring cultural determinants of health.

Sarah has expertise in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing research and policy, decolonising and Indigenous research methodologies, and qualitative methods. Her research explores Indigenous philosophies of health and wellbeing and what it means to live a ‘good life’ from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Indigenous perspectives.

In her spare time, Sarah enjoys reading fantasy and sci-fi novels, powerlifting, and going for walks with her needy whippet Merlin.

Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  23 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers