Debra Anderson

The Debra Anderson Wellness Network (DAWN) is a collaborative women’s health and wellness network that is directed and was founded by Professor Debra Anderson. As Director of DAWN and the Women’s Wellness Research Collaborative (WRC), Debra is also Associate Dean of Research at The University of Sydney. Debra has a PhD in Social and Preventative Medicine and over twenty-five years’ experience in education and research.


Her research focuses on understanding the basis and effects of risk behaviours in women and the interventions to change them; focusing on wellness and healthy behaviours. Her research aims to promote healthy behaviour change in women and as such where DAWN derives its emphasis on promotion of living a healthy lifestyle and improving wellness. Her research is directed at women with and without chronic disease, including midlife women and women cancer survivors. This includes the main practices of the DAWN programs of physical activity, dietary intake, stress management, unhealthy practices such as smoking, and to develop and test interventions that promote these behaviours.


The DAWN programs would not be possible without the considerable funding and partnerships that is received from other peak research bodies. Professor Anderson has worked to secure funding and partnerships from significant programs such as National Health, Medical Research Council, The Australian Research Council, Diabetes Queensland and Cancer Council Queensland, to fund development of research programs.


Professor Anderson has important International linkages, including holding key positions on International Organizations, and having been based as a scholar in Geneva at the World Health Organisation, and has presented at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland , the WHO Collaborating Centres special invitational meeting in Brazil, 2010, and the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 2015 and 2016.


To deliver these programs and provide evidence-based information for those needing it Professor Anderson has also partnered with accomplished researchers, skilled health professionals, and an experienced team.


Professor Anderson aims to incorporate the wellness strategy into all aspects of her life and enjoys running, walking, yoga, her family and her pet dog Rex (who is very friendly).