Dr Mark Lock

Dr Mark Lock

Research Fellow

School of Medicine and Public Health (Politics and Policy)

Career Summary


I only examine policy concepts in such as holistic, participation, and integration (www.avidstudy.com) along a research trajectory where I seek to interrogate the underlying rules and resources (using Anthony Giddens' Structuration Theory) enabling and constraining Aboriginal voice integration and diffusion in social policy processes. I am a policy concept analyst with a methodology that draws-on social network analysis, structuration theory and empirical methodology.

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


  • Governance
  • Health policy
  • Nutrition
  • Structuration theory

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
160501 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy 50
160508 Health Policy 25
160512 Social Policy 25

Professional Experience

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/06/2013 -  Research Fellow University of Newcastle
Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health
1/01/2011 -  Membership - International Network of Social Network Analysts International Network of Social Network Analysts


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Journal article (8 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Gwynn J, Lock M, Turner N, Dennison R, Coleman C, Kelly B, Wiggers J, 'Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community governance of health research: Turning principles into practice', Australian Journal of Rural Health, (2015) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/ajr.12182
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 2
Co-authors John Wiggers, Brian Kelly, Josephine Gwynn
2014 Kelaher 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]
DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.07.032
Citations Scopus - 1Web of Science - 5
2013 O'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]
DOI 10.4172/2165-7386.1000152
Co-authors Tony Obrien, Pamela Vanderriet
2013 O'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]
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Pamela Vanderriet, Tony Obrien
2013 Kelaher M, Sabanovic H, LaBrooy C, Lock M, Brown L, 'Can shared governance lead to better service integration?', International Journal of Integrated Care, (2013)
2012 Lock MJ, 'The bright sides of assimilation', Medical Journal of Australia, 197 417-418 (2012) [C3]
2011 Lock MJ, 'Indigenous participation in an informal national Indigenous health policy network', Australian Health Review, 35 309-315 (2011) [C1]
DOI 10.1071/AH09812
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 1
2005 Lutschini M, 'Engaging with holism in Australian Aboriginal health policy¿a review.', Australia and New Zealand health policy, 2 15-15 (2005)
DOI 10.1186/1743-8462-2-15
Show 5 more journal articles

Conference (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2012 Lock 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 (2012) [E3]

Other (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2007 Lock M, 'Aboriginal Holistic Health: A Critical Review', (2007)

Grants and Funding


Number of grants 4
Total funding $1,184,477

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

20141 grants / $769,373

Examination of the integration and diffusion of Aboriginal voices in public health collaboratives.$769,373

Funding body: ARC (Australian Research Council)

Funding body ARC (Australian Research Council)
Project Team Doctor Mark Lock, Associate Professor Peter O'Mara
Scheme Discovery Indigenous
Role Lead
Funding Start 2014
Funding Finish 2016
GNo G1300607
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Commonwealth
Category 1CS

20132 grants / $406,570

Mental Health in the Coal Mining Industry: Measuring Extent, Impact and Solutions for Workplace Health, Safety and Productivity$353,227

Funding body: Australian Coal Research Limited

Funding body Australian Coal Research Limited
Project Team Professor Brian Kelly, Professor John Wiggers, Conjoint Associate Professor Terry Lewin, Associate Professor Carole James, Doctor Kerry Inder, Mrs Robyn Considine, Doctor Mark Lock, Mr Trevor Hazell, Ms Jaelea Skehan, Mr Ross Tynan
Scheme Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP)
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2014
GNo G1200745
Type Of Funding Aust Competitive - Non Commonwealth
Category 1NS

2013 MATSITI Evaluation$53,343

Funding body: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Funding body Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Project Team Professor John Lester, Associate Professor Maree Gruppetta, Associate Professor James Ladwig, Doctor Mark Lock
Scheme More Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teachers Initiative
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2013
GNo G1300915
Type Of Funding Other Public Sector - Commonwealth
Category 2OPC

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 body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Mark Lock
Scheme Early Career Researcher Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2012
Funding Finish 2012
GNo G1200882
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE

Research Supervision

Number of supervisions


Total current UON EFTSL


Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title / Program / Supervisor Type
2015 PhD Aboriginal Child Removal Policy
PhD(Aboriginal Health Studies), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle
Principal Supervisor

Research Projects

An Aboriginal Cultural Safety and Security Framework 2016 - 2017

The Mid North Aboriginal Health Authority (MNCAHA) wishes to develop, implement and evaluate an Aboriginal Cultural Safety and Security Framework. The intent of the Framework is to enable mainstream health services to provide culturally safe and secure environments to Aboriginal patients. An Aboriginal Cultural Safety and Security Framework will be developed in order to improve the organisational context of services delivered to Aboriginal people.



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
School of Medicine and Public Health
Faculty of Health and Medicine

Focus area

Politics and Policy

Contact Details

Email mark.lock@newcastle.edu.au
Phone 02 4985 4979
Mobile 0416871616
Link Research Networks