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Maxine Whittaker

James Cook University

Maxine A. Whittaker, MBBS,  MPH , PhD, FAFPHM is the Dean of the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences and Deputy Director of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) at James Cook University (Feb 2016),

She was previously (2008-2016) Professor of International and Tropical  Health and Co-Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Health Information Systems, Director of the Health Information Systems Knowledge Hub, Program Director of the Australian Initiative on Control and Elimination of Malaria/Pacific Malaria Initiative Support Centre and co-Secretariat of the Asia Pacific Malaria Elimination Network.

 Maxine Whittaker has lived and worked in Bangladesh, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Papua New Guniea and worked extensively in China, Fiji, Indonesia, Kenya, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tanzania, Thailand , Tonga, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.  She has extensive experience in project and programme design in health and development, especially in sexual and reproductive health and gender analysis, and using rapid formative research and anthropological methods and for a variety of international development partner and NGO organizations. She has developed local research teams in social sciences methods in Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Northern Queensland remote communities, and Vanuatu, and participated in the development of training materials and activities to support this capacity development.

Maxine Whittaker research interests are in fields of operational and health services research and medical anthropology, with a primary focus on sexual and reproductive health, health seeking behaviour and quality of care. She has a special interest in the issue of scaling-up pilot programmes into policy and practice, and as a founding member of Expandnet ( has contributed to a body of work published by WHO on this topic.She is presently leading the Malaria Elimination Research Agenda work on social sciences and co-chairing the Health Systems panel ( and is recognized as one of the leaders in re-invigorating social sciences and community participation  in the malaria research agenda. 

 Since 2009 has been CI on research and project grants in the Asia Pacific region worth more than $A42.5 million including several from DFAT published more than 70 peer reviewed publications, and several project documents for development partners and countries, policy briefings, briefing papers, book chapters and commissioned papers.