Leanne McCarthy

Leanne McCarthy

Ironbark Senior Project Officer
PhD Candidate, MPH
Medicine & Health
School of Population Health


Leanne McCarthy is a Wiradjuri woman. Her bloodlines run through the Central West Region of NSW. For over 25 years she has worked in a variety of health roles including NSW Health. Leanne is currently working as a Senior Project Officer with the University of New South Wales on the Ironbark Standing Strong and Tall falls prevention program for older Aboriginal people. She is currently doing a PhD on falls and hip fracture prevention for older Aboriginal people. Leanne has worked on a variety of projects with Aboriginal communities and values the power of our strength, resilience and lived experiences. 

Academic Achievements

  • PhD Candidate, School of Population Health, University of New South Wales 
  • Master of Public Health, University of New South Wales 2020
  • Aboriginal Population Health Traineeship 2019-2021  
  • Diploma of Leadership and Management 2019 
  • NBMLHD Leading Best Practice 2017 
  • Cert IV Frontline Management 2015 
  • Cert III Assistant in Nursing 2013  


  • Yana Yarabana Aboriginal Community Organisation – Founding board member 
  • Nepean Community Neighbourhood Services – Board member 
  • Aboriginal Health & Medical Research Council – external ethics reviewer 

Current research

  • Thesis: Culturally appropriate tools for the prevention of hip fracture in older Aboriginal people living in NSW: Results of a co-design process 
  • Ironbark – evaluation of barriers to implementation 
  • Establishing diversity and culturally competent care for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) consumers and carers in postnatal and children ward units 
  • Caring for patients of Islamic Faith from Diverse backgrounds: Navigating cultural barriers in Paediatric Care - $10,000 successful inclusion collaborative workforce seeding grant.  
  • The co-design of research priorities for Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District 

Projects and experiences

  • Senior Project Officer, Ironbark Standing Strong and Tall Aboriginal Falls prevention program 
  • Team leader for the Public Health COVID 19 response 
  • Support Aboriginal Health Unit and local community neighbourhood centre with pop up Covid testing clinic. 
  • Research lead for the Climate Resilient Health care Working Group 
  • Sexual Health Promotion project – Peer sexual health education for Aboriginal people in NBMLHD.  
  • Development of Model of Care for Mootang Tarimi bus and Implementation Plan 
  • STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) student mentor for the Climate Resilient Healthcare Working Group and the Sydney Science Park 
  • Mentor for the Koori Kids and Health Inspiration student program for NBMLHD and Western Sydney Schools 
  • Research and evaluation of Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) Hepatitis C Aboriginal Health Worker training  
  • Development of NBMLHD Aboriginal vaccination strategy 
  • Population Health Research Strategy Development  
  • NBMLHD Sustainability Committee representative for Director Allied Health, Research and Strategic Partnerships 
  • Western Sydney Health Alliance Steering Committee representative for NBMLHD  
  • Healthy Places representative for collaboration with WSLHD & SWSLHD strategic priorities, joint consultations, research, and partnerships 
  • Penrith Health Action Plan strategy development with Penrith Council, NGOs and LHD 
  • Acute rheumatic fever/rheumatic heart disease training needs assessment for Aboriginal Health Workers in NBMLHD 
  • NBMLHD Immunisation Action Plan 2019-2023 
  • Exposure of children to passive smoking at schools in NBMLHD 
  • Surveillance of heat stress admissions captured during the January 2019 heatwave in NBMLHD.  
  • Communicable diseases investigations
  • Tobacco surveillance 
  • Evacuation Centre assessments 
  • Lead testing 
  • Body farm inspection 
  • Public Health on call services