Researcher biography

Dr Sophie Hickey is an applied sociologist with extensive experience in cross-cultural research. She has a strong research interest in addressing social inequalities in health and improving health systems to benefit minority groups. As a mixed-methods researcher, Dr Hickey is well versed in qualitative and quantitative methods, collaborative approaches and outcome-focused research.

Dr Hickey's PhD thesis was on the social factors and health issues of a small group of Aboriginal people born in Brisbane who are part of the Mater-University Study of Pregnancy. This thesis explored the methodological and epistemological challenges with how Aboriginal identities are imagined, constructed, and treated within current public health research. Her honours thesis described substance use patterns for culturally and linguistically diverse groups in Australia. Dr Hickey has previously worked on a nation-wide investigation into the use patterns of regular drug users and the illicit drug market, funded by the Commonwealth Government.

Her current role as post-doctoral Research Officer at the Mater Research Institute is to provide overarching coordination of the NHMRC-funded research project - the Indigenous Birthing in an Urban Setting Study. The project is a joint collaboration between The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), the Mater Health Service (MHS), and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ATSICHS), Brisbane. It aims to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, sustainability and cost-effectiveness of best practice maternity care services in South East Queensland for women having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies, with the overarching aim to work in partnership to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander maternal and infant health outcomes.