Aboriginal children smiling at camera

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute researcher Dr Graham Gee (pictured below) has received a national award for his work supporting healing and recovery for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander survivors of childhood sexual abuse and improving practices to better suit their needs.  

Announced by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), Dr Gee received the 2022 NHMRC Sandra Eades Investigator Grant Award, awarded to the highest ranked successful Indigenous applicant in the Council’s Investigator Grants Emerging Leadership scheme. 

Dr Gee said, “It’s humbling and an honour to be given an award named after such an inspirational woman and researcher as Sandra Eades.

“This research will generate new knowledge about survivors' lived experiences of healing and recovery, identify current therapeutic practices, and build training and education resources that support Aboriginal organisations to better meet the healing and recovery needs of survivors.”

Graham Gee

Child sexual abuse is a form of violence that occurs across nations and cultures worldwide. Collective efforts are being made to focus on this issue within Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

To address a current lack of research in the field, Dr Gee’s project aims to work with a coalition of Victorian Aboriginal services to improve the quality of practice, training, education and support mechanisms, to better respond to the needs of survivors. 

Dr Gee is an Aboriginal-Chinese man, also with Celtic heritage, originally from Darwin. His Aboriginal-Chinese grandfather was born near Belyuen on Larrakia Country.

He trained as a clinical psychologist and worked at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service for 11 years before taking up a Senior Research Fellow position at Murdoch Children's, where his research focuses on healing and recovery from complex trauma among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, with an increasing focus on child sexual abuse.

In 2022, Graham received a Fellowship from the Eisen Family Private Fund that has supported his team to commence formative work with a Coalition of Victorian Aboriginal services dedicated to healing child sexual abuse.

Among other advisory roles, Dr Gee recently joined the National Clinical Reference Group for the Prime Minister and Cabinet National Office for Child Safety, and the Research Advisory Committee for the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse.