Sarah is an Aboriginal woman from Canberra and is a descendant of the Gidja and Gamilaroi peoples. She was the National NAIDOC Scholar of the Year in 2012 and graduated from the Australian National University (ANU) in 2013 with a BSc (Psychology) and a BA with First Class Honours in Biological Anthropology. Sarah won a John Monash Scholarship and Roberta Sykes Scholarship to undertake an MPhil in Medical Anthropology at Keble College, Oxford, which she completed in 2015.
Sarah continued at Oxford with a Roberta Sykes and Chevening Scholarship, and graduated with a DPhil in Anthropology at St John's College in 2020. Sarah's doctoral thesis titled 'Making Cultures Count: Transforming Indigenous Health Data in Australia', ethnographically explores the historical, social, and political factors which have influenced the development of the Mayi Kuwayu National Study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wellbeing and its focus on measuring cultural determinants of health. More information on her thesis can be found here: https://www.anthro.ox.ac.uk/people/sarah-bourke.
Sarah has commenced a five year research fellowship with the National Centre of Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University. She has always aspired to develop an Indigenous-led research agenda which looks beyond the ‘gap’ between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, focusing instead on what helps Indigenous communities and cultures thrive.
Sarah Bourke profile, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford
Scholarship awarded to ANU alumna to study at Oxford University, ANU, September 2016
Supporting the academic journey, ANU
Future leaders determined to bypass recent controversies, The Sydney Morning Herald, June 2013
Back to country: Sarah Bourke discusses repatriation of Indigenous remains, ANU, TV, November 2012
I think since passing my confirmation viva I have really had a sense of my time at Oxford coming to an end, even though I still have another year and a half to go. This reminds me how fortunate I've been to have had the opportunity to grow and learn in Oxford, and how grateful I am for the ongoing support I have received from Aurora to do this.