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Dr Mark Lock

Research Fellow

School of Medicine and Public Health (Politics and Policy)

Career Summary


I am descended from the Ngiyampaa people of New South Wales, from Scottish convicts of the First Fleet, from a Latvian immigrant, and from English people. My birth place is Dubbo and I mainly grew-up around Narromine, although I moved 28 times by the time is was 21 which means that a sense of displacement was a normal feeling in my life. We lived in cars, on river banks, in tents, caravans, rental houses, relatives houses, and in the bush. There was one particular farm we lived-on for awhile - Pippagitta - which I recall fondly because of milking the cow in the morning, walking for miles along the Macquarie river banks looking for good fishing spots for catfish; or finding a clear brook in which to plunge into to leave the scorching gold hush of noon behind me. The country life is still with me even in suburban Newcastle.

The path to being a full-time researcher is not a simple one, nor is there an obvious starting point. However, the impact of a $3 cheque is a defining point for my interest in policy analysis. It is a very clear memory for each fortnight that I received the $3 Aboriginal assisance cheque I proudly deposited into the bank in Narromine. That was empowering because it was an incentive for my persistence in education in a cultural environment where it would have been all to easy to give it away for sport and manual labour jobs. I could see the wrecks of my step-father and my mother who worked those casual manual labor jobs, and so I  took it to heart when my Nan said to get a white mans education and make things better for our people.

Thus continuing education over twelve years - PhD thesis (The University of Melbourne) is the last in a series of qualifications from a BSc. in Biochemistry, Honours in Nutrition, and a Master of Public Health degree from the Menzies School of Health Research. Throughout that period I worked in many different roles - health promotion officer at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service, administration for the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (Victoria), Policy Officer for the Victorian State Government's (then) Koori Health Unit, Research Assistant at the VicHealth Koori Health Research and Community Development Unit. Under the guidance and leadership of Professor Ian Anderson, I realised my true pathway of being a research academic. Eventually, after almost a decade of research and learning, I arrived at the idea for the AVID Study which is the pathway I continue today.

Research Expertise
Policy analysis of critical concepts (holistic, participation) through content analysis, discourse analysis, and social network analysis.

Teaching Expertise
Delivery of Master of Public Health course units to Indigenous Chief Executive Officers for six months in 2003. Numerous guest lectures on aspects of Indigenous health policy.

Administrative Expertise
Eight years of administrative experience in Indigenous health - from community controlled organisations to state and commonwealth governments to tertiary institutions.

The AVID Study is about examing collaborative efforts in public health, and how Aboriginal voice is one aspect of the broader governance processes in public health. I use the tools of social network analysis to visualise and mathematically analyse indeterminate concepts such as participation, engagement, collaboration, and so on. Therefore the approach is applicable to any social policy area in Australian society. The central theory that I link to is Anthony Giddens' Structuration Theory, which 'the structuring of social relations through time and space in virtue of the duality of structure.' Therefore, I have an empirical method matched with a social theory. It is exciting, invigorating, engaging. This underlies my motto which is research is super fun!


  • PhD, University of Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), Deakin University
  • Bachelor of Science, Deakin University
  • Master of Public Health, Northern Territory University


  • Collaboration
  • Health policy
  • Indigenous health
  • Indigenous health policy
  • Integration
  • Participation
  • Social network analysis
  • Structuration theory

Fields of Research

160501Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy50
160508Health Policy25
160512Social Policy25

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
9/05/2013 - 14/06/2013Indigenous New Career AcademicUniversity of Newcastle
The Wollotuka Institute

Academic appointment

DatesTitleOrganisation / Department
1/06/2013 - Research FellowUniversity of Newcastle
Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health
1/01/2011 - Membership - International Network of Social Network AnalystsInternational Network of Social Network Analysts


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Journal article (7 outputs)

2014Kelaher M, Sabanovic H, La Brooy C, Lock M, Lusher D, Brown L, 'Does more equitable governance lead to more equitable health care? A case study based on the implementation of health reform in Aboriginal health Australia', SOCIAL SCIENCE & MEDICINE, 123 278-286 (2014) [C1]
DOI10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.07.032Author URL
CitationsScopus - 1Web of Science - 1
2013O'Brien AP, Bloomer MJ, Clark K, Martin T, Lock M, Pidcock T, et al., 'The Need for Rural and Regional Aboriginal Palliative Care Models', Journal of Palliative Care & Medicine, 3 (2013) [C3]
Co-authorsTony Obrien, Pamela Vanderriet
2013O'Brien AP, Bloomer MJ, McGrath P, Clarke K, Martin T, Lock M, et al., 'Considering Aboriginal palliative care models: the challenges for mainstream services', RURAL AND REMOTE HEALTH, 13 (2013) [C1]
Author URL
CitationsScopus - 3Web of Science - 2
Co-authorsTony Obrien, Pamela Vanderriet
2013Kelaher M, Sabanovic H, LaBrooy C, Lock M, Brown L, 'Can shared governance lead to better service integration?', International Journal of Integrated Care, (2013)
2012Lock MJ, 'The bright sides of assimilation', Medical Journal of Australia, 197 417-418 (2012) [C3]
2011Lock MJ, 'Indigenous participation in an informal national Indigenous health policy network', Australian Health Review, 35 309-315 (2011) [C1]
CitationsScopus - 1
2005Lutschini M, 'Engaging with holism in Australian Aboriginal health policy¿a review.', Australia and New Zealand health policy, 2 15-15 (2005)
Show 4 more journal articles

Conference (1 outputs)

2012Lock MJ, Kelaher M, Sabanovic H, 'Planning, implementation and effectiveness in Indigenous Health National Partnership Agreements - Implications of examining a Committee Interlock Network for Aboriginal Participation', 2012 Primary Health Care Research Conference: Program & Abstracts, Canberra, ACT (2012) [E3]

Other (1 outputs)

2007Lock M, 'Aboriginal Holistic Health: A Critical Review', (2007)

Grants and Funding


Number of grants3
Total funding$796,603

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20141 grants / $734,726

Examination of the integration and diffusion of Aboriginal voices in public health collaboratives.$734,726

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding bodyARC (Australian Research Council)
Project TeamDoctor Mark Lock, Associate Professor Peter O'Mara
SchemeDiscovery Indigenous
Funding Start2014
Funding Finish2014
Type Of FundingAust Competitive - Commonwealth

20131 grants / $53,343

2013 MATSITI Evaluation$53,343

Funding body: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Funding bodyDepartment of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Project TeamProfessor John Lester, Associate Professor Maree Gruppetta, Associate Professor James Ladwig, Doctor Mark Lock
SchemeMore Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Initiative
Funding Start2013
Funding Finish2013
Type Of FundingOther Public Sector - Commonwealth

20121 grants / $8,534

Quantifying collaborative change processes to improve the detection and management of chronic diseases for Aboriginal people$8,534

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding bodyUniversity of Newcastle
Project TeamDoctor Mark Lock
SchemeEarly Career Researcher Grant
Funding Start2012
Funding Finish2012
Type Of FundingInternal

Research Supervision

Current Supervision

CommencedResearch Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015Nature of Cultural Safety and Cultural Security for Aboriginal People in New South Wales Hospitals
Indigenous Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine
2014Optimizing Effectiveness of Female Community Health Volunteers for Improved Reproductive Health Outcomes in Nepal
Medical Studies, Faculty of Health and Medicine


Dr Mark Lock

$8.8M ARC funding

November 8, 2013

The Australian Research Council (ARC) has today awarded $8.8 million in Discovery Project research funding to the University of Newcastle. The funding will extend across 19 projects, an increase of 6 projects and $4.2 million since last year.

Dr Mark Lock


Research Fellow
Mothers and Babies Research Centre
School of Medicine and Public Health
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Focus area

Politics and Policy

Contact Details
Phone02 4985 4979


RoomRoom 3405
BuildingHunter Medical Research Institute
LocationLot 1, Kookaburra Court, New Lambton Heights