Flinders Researcher Amandi shares her PhD journey in kidney health equity


Amandi is in the final year of pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Epidemiology at Flinders University, where she delves into the intricacies of Chronic Kidney Disease in Young Aboriginal Peoples. Driven by a passion for healthcare equity and a commitment to narrowing the gap, she finds joy in working with numbers, aiming to enhance kidney health outcomes within communities.

Her decision to pursue research at Flinders was influenced by the university’s stellar reputation, world-class research institutes, and a dedicated focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research within the College of Medicine and Public Health. With seven years as a Flinders University student, having previously completed a Master of Public Health and a Bachelor of Medical Science at Flinders University, she was well acquainted with the outstanding research conducted at Flinders.

“Flinders University is equipped with world-class research institutes that are consistently producing impactful research that reaches a global audience.

Working within this space and learning from public health professionals across the CMPH has been an extraordinary opportunity for me and both my professional and academic growth.”

Amandi’s thesis (“Chronic Kidney Disease in Young Aboriginal Peoples: Understanding Links Between Early Clinical Markers and Health Service Use”) is part of a larger study with the Antecedents of Renal Disease in Aboriginal Children and Young Peoples (ARDAC) based in New South Wales. She utilises data linkage to better understand the kidney health of the ARDAC cohort. More specifically, the overarching aim of her thesis is to determine the life course for the development of chronic kidney disease and to understand links between socioeconomic status, early childhood health and primary healthcare use.

Amandi’s enthusiasm for her field is evident.

“It is the relentless pursuit of equity in healthcare, the drive to close the gap, a love for working with numbers, and an aspiration to work with communities to bring better kidney health outcomes that fuel my passion for a career in epidemiology and public health.”

Her research focuses on understanding and addressing the unique health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to promote healthy communities. Amandi envisions the practical applications of her research findings and emphasises the importance of community involvement throughout all stages of the research process, from setting research aims relevant to community needs to the dissemination of research findings.

“Dissemination and implementation of the research findings arising from my research candidature will be undertaken with further input from the ARDAC Advisory Group and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community members within the ARDAC study to ensure the findings are translated into healthcare policy in culturally appropriate ways.”

Acknowledging the challenges in her HDR journey, particularly the wait for data, Amandi sees it as an opportunity.

“It provided me with an opportunity to dedicate my time to other critical things such as thesis writing, completing my systematic review, and engaging in extracurricular activities to enhance my professional development.”

Amandi offers advice to fellow students considering research at Flinders, particularly to reach out to academic and research staff.

“Your lecturers and professors are not just there to impart knowledge; they are also eager to support you throughout your academic journey. Engaging with academics could extend beyond academia and might pave the way to new job opportunities or provide insights into potential career paths.”

Undertake research that makes a difference to individuals and communities. Explore a Higher Degree by Research at Flinders University. 

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