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Jenny Baker is a Mirning woman whose mother and grandmother were born either side of the Nullarbor Plain on the southern coast of Australia. She has a PhD and a Master of Primary Health Care from Flinders University in South Australia and trained as a registered nurse at the Adelaide Children's Hospital in the early 1970s.
Jenny is currently Associate Professor in the Yaitya Purruna Indigenous Health Unit in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide. She is also an Australian Research Council Indigenous Research Fellow for two years 2011-2013.
During the 1980s, Jenny worked as a registered nurse and clinical manager in the Aboriginal Medical Service in Adelaide (now Nunkuwarrin Yunti) and served on the working party for the National Aboriginal Health Strategy 1989. She also worked at Nunga Miminis Women's Shelter and in the Commonwealth Department of Housing and Regional Development during the early 1990s; this provided a grounded focus for her ongoing interest in the social determinants of health. Since then Jenny's primary employment has been as an academic. She was an inaugural member of the Ethics Centre of South Australia (ECSA), established in 2005, and served on the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research Working Committee between 2001 and 2004. Her PhD, conferred in 2007, was entitled Theorising survival: Indigenous women and social and emotional wellbeing.
Jenny's research interests include: Aboriginal health: historical, socio-economic and political determinants; health discourse analysis - deconstruction and contextualisation of discourse; governance and Aboriginal self-determination within the Australian health system; and legacies of colonialism and their health impacts.
Her current research focus is on the social determinants of health, social and emotional wellbeing, governance and health discourse.