Bernadette Ward

Assoc Professor

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Supporting parents who use methamphetamine
Access to care for people who use methamphetamine
Alcohol in schools
Local government responses to alcohol-related harm


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Associate Professor Bernadette Ward has extensive experience in quantitative and qualitative research in relation to alcohol and other drugs and service access in rural and remote areas. Bernadette was awarded an NHMRC scholarship to undertake her PhD "The role of parents in influencing adolescent alcohol use".  In addition to her other alcohol based research, she is Chief Investigator on a MRFF funded study examining how to support parents who use methamphetamine. This is linked to her role as Chief Investigator on a 5-year NHMRC funded study of people who use methamphetamine. Bernadette's role in the Centre of Research Excellence in Rural and Remote Primary Health Care led to her expertise in service access and equity; a new foci for researchers examining health care in rural and remote areas.

Despite being an early career researcher, Bernadette has attracted grants of >$2M in the last five years and has >80 publications. She has been a member of government committees that have led to policy and practice change in the education and health care sectors. Research capacity building is a priority for Bernadette and her publication track record is testament to her role in supporting less experienced first author researchers. She has supervised >10 Honours/Masters projects and several PhDs to completion. She is currently supervising three PhD candidates. 

Bernadette teaches into the medical program and the postgraduate coursework program. In addition, she is the Scholarly Intensive Placement Coordinator in the School of Rural Health. She uses an evidence-based approach to teaching and contributes to systematic and Cochrane reviews in this area. Bernadette's  community service includes a role as a Director on a local health service board and her interest in rural and remote health stems from many years of primary health practice in remote Australia.

Research interests

1. Alcohol and other drugs

2. Access and equity in health care

3. Research capacity building

4. Rural and remote health

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Adjunct, Burnet Institute (Australia)

2017 → …

Research area keywords

  • Rural Health
  • alcohol
  • Primary Care
  • equity
  • Health Service access
  • drugs

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or