Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia, 16–18 November 2021 2021

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Anita John

Director Research and Innovation, WA Country Health Service

Anita John


WA Country Health Service and Curtin University Strategic Alliance: working in partnership to improve workforce sustainability that supports healthy communities

The WA Country Health Services and Curtin University Alliance is a new and innovative government partnership focused on sustainable health systems in regional, rural and remote WA. The Alliance includes co-investment from WA Government Country Health Service (WACHS) and Curtin University.

The Alliance supports capacity building in research and education with a focus on workforce recruitment, retention and development across WACHS. The collaboration translates the latest research and education innovations to improve health care in rural, regional and remote communities.

The Alliance will utilise its own and externally leveraged funding to translate research into practice. The Alliance mission is to extend the collaboration to include other community, research and innovation organisations that have similar values and focus around healthy communities.

This paper will present the Alliance vision and mission alongside some early success stories, including investment in digital technology across research and education. It will also present information on how businesses and communities can engage with the Alliance and its commitment to improving the lives of Western Australian country communities.


Anita John is the Director of the Research and Innovation area for the WA Country Health Service. This new team have a focus on supporting WACHS clinicians to engage in research and innovation and have brought in over $10 million in external funding for research in WACHS. Anita is an Economist by training with a First Class Honours degree in Economic and Social Sciences from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Social Research from the Australian National University.

Her career has taken her from Commonwealth agencies in Canberra and Christmas and Cocos Island to State Government and service delivery in Perth. Anita enjoys leading reform in public sector agencies particularly in the social policy areas, doing this in Justice, education, health and regional development portfolios. Anita has worked with stakeholders from prisoners and community groups to commercial contractors, universities, research institutes and all levels of Government.