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Associate Professor David Thomas is head of the Tobacco Control Research Program at Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin and has worked in Indigenous health and health research for more than 20 years.
David graduated from the University of Sydney's medical school in 1984 and by 1987 worked as a medical officer with the Nganampa Health Council in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands in the north of South Australia. Since then he has worked for the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress in Alice Springs; for Danila Dilba in Darwin; for the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT) and the University of Melbourne and Menzies School of Health Research - and still somehow found time to complete both his Masters and Doctoral theses, write a book called Reading Doctor's Writing and do volunteer work for refugee organisations. He has published peer-reviewed research articles about many aspects of Indigenous health.
He established and has led the Tobacco Control research program at Menzies since 2007 and is also the head of the Northern Australian Health Research Institute of the Lowitja Institute. His work is supported by a National Heart Foundation Research Fellowship.
David is involved in the translation of research into policy and practice through the Lowitja Institute, advocacy, collaborations with policy makers and practitioners, and his membership on several important national committees. He has chaired the Northern Territory Tobacco Control Advisory Committee since 2011.
Future research work includes a national longitudinal study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smokers around the country, which will allow the research team to quantify the impact of ‘big picture' national control measures.