Academic partners

Chief Investigators

Professor Billie Giles-Corti

This national centre is led by Professor Billie Giles-Corti, Director of the McCaughey VicHealth Community Wellbeing Unit, University of Melbourne. Professor Giles-Corti also leads the Victorian cohort of this national centre. For two decades, she and a multi-disciplinary team of researchers and postgraduate research students have been studying the impact of the built environment on health and wellbeing outcomes. Professor Giles-Corti collaborates with research teams across Australia and in Canada and the UK. She is an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, an Honorary Fellow of both the Planning Institute of Australia and the Public Health Association and a former Fulbright Senior Scholar (2008). In 2011, she was awarded the PHA's Inaugural Mentor of the Year. Professor Giles-Corti has published over 200 articles and reports, and in 2014 and 2015, was included in Thomson Reuters' list of Highly Cited Researchers, ranking her among the top 1% researchers globally by citations in the social sciences field.

Professor Gavin Turrell

Professor Gavin Turrell is a Principal Research Fellow (Professor) in the School of Public Health at Queensland University of Technology and is supported by a NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship (2006-2015). Professor Turrell leads the Queensland cohort of this national centre. He was appointed on an NHMRC/National Heart Foundation Career Development Award (2002-2005), and was an NHMRC Post Doctoral Research Fellow (1999-2001). His primary research interests are in social epidemiology, with a particular focus on the social determinants of health and health inequalities. His research is mainly population-based and examines how social and economic factors (measured at the individual, group, and area levels) influence health and health-related behaviours. His work is increasingly focusing on ways to reduce health inequalities through public policy, health policy, health promotion, and other intervention strategies.

Professor Fiona Bull

Professor Fiona Bull is Director of the Centre for Built Environment and Health (CBEH), School of Population Health at The University of Western Australia and leads the Western Australian cohort of the CRE. She is the Chair of Global Advocacy for Physical Activity Council (GAPA) and has 20 years of experience in public health with a focus on prevention of chronic disease, and specifically lifestyle-related risk factors including physical inactivity. Her research and public health work extends across both developed and developing countries and she has extensive national and international research collaborations and ongoing work with the World Health Organisation. To date, Professor Bull has an H-index of 32, more than 150 scientific publications, book chapters and reports and research funding of $16 million, and was an invited speaker at the World Economic Forum (Davos Jan 2013). Outputs of her research have informed local, state and national policy and practice. Professor Bull provides leadership to the global advocacy agenda for physical activity through her work with the Advocacy Council (GAPA) of the International Society of Physical Activity and Health ( Professor Bulls' ongoing work aims to influence, support and build capacity to address the global agenda on physical activity in all regions.

Other chief investigators

We have created a multidisciplinary research team with expertise in social and behavioural epidemiology, geography, geographic information systems, biostatistics, health economics, epidemiology and burden of disease, urban design and health, health policy and practice, social planning, and transport.

  1. Dr Chris Pettit (Planning, NSW)
  2. Professor Simon Washington (Transport, Qld)
  3. Professor Takemi Sugiyama (Architecture and social epidemiology, Vic)
  4. Professor Alan Shiell (Health economics, Vic)
  5. Dr Lennert Veerman (Epidemiology and Burden of disease, Qld)
  6. Professor Matthew Knuiman (Biostatistics, WA)
  7. Professor Anne Kavanagh (Social epidemiology, Vic)

Associate investigators include:

  1. A/Professor Adrian Barnett (Biostatistics, Qld);
  2. Dr Bryan Boruff (Geography, WA);
  3. Dr Karen Lamb (Biostatistics, Vic);
  4. Dr Serryn Eagleson (Biostatistics, Vic);
  5. Professor Matthew Tonts (Geography, WA).

Our international collaborators include:

  1. UK: Dr David Ogilvie, Cambridge University; Professor Chris Owen, Enable London, University of London St George;
  2. Denmark: Professor Jens Troelsen, University of Southern Denmark;
  3. Canada: Professor Larry Frank, University of British Colombia; Dr Gavin McCormack, Calgary University;
  4. USA: Professor Subu Subramanian, Harvard University; Dr Karen Lee, Active Design Centre, City of New York.

Industry partners

Our industry partners will assist in devising policy-relevant questions for the research team to explore, the dissemination of the research findings, and research translation i.e., advocacy for changes to policy and practice.

Planning Institute of Australia


The Planning Institute of Australia is the national body representing the planning profession. Through education, communication and professional development, PIA is the pivotal organisation serving and guiding thousands of planning professionals in their role to create better communities

Heart Foundation


The National Heart Foundation is committed to reducing the impact of cardiovascular disease in Australia. It aims to promote quality heart health and is dedicated to saving lives through financially supporting world-class cardiovascular research, providing guidelines to health professionals, keeping the public informed and educated, building healthy communities and creating partnerships.

Department of Planning (WA)


The Department of Planning holds a state-wide leadership responsibility in the planning of Western Australia through State Strategic Policy development, planning communities for the future, facilitating private and public investment, regulation and education. The Department adopts a strategic and holistic approach to achieve an effective balance between economic, social, environmental and sustainable outcomes. The Department continually strives to improve the planning system and supporting regulatory framework by working closely with its numerous partners and stakeholders.

WA Planning Commission (WA)


The WAPC is the statutory authority with state-wide responsibilities for urban, rural and regional land use planning and land development matters. The WAPC responds to the strategic direction of government and is responsible for the strategic planning of the State.

Brisbane City Council


Brisbane is the largest local government in Australia with 26 wards and 27 councillor positions. Brisbane City Council works with the community to guide the city's future growth and development. The Brisbane Vision, long term plans and other strategies are put in place to address planning for the future.

Department of Health (Vic)


The Department of Health is committed to achieving the best health and wellbeing for all Victorians. The department is the lead portfolio agency overseeing all health services, mental health, ageing and aged care, and preventative health. The department is also responsible for planning, policy development, funding and regulation of health service providers and activities that promote and protect Victoria's health. These include public health services, public hospitals and external organisations that deliver health, mental health and aged care services in metropolitan, rural and regional Victoria.

Planning Analysis Branch, Department Infrastructure & Regional Development


The Planning Analysis Branch supports the Australian Government investing effectively and efficiently in infrastructure and protecting nationally significant transport corridors and assets. The branch does this by engaging with other levels of government and the private sector and analysing planning processes and policies which may impact upon compatible long term infrastructure planning.