Doctor Shelley Walker

Research Officer


Shelley has a background in nursing, having worked in clinical settings in Australia and the UK for over a decade. She was employed in the youth health sector (in local government and community health organisations) for over a decade, in project development, research and support worker roles.

Shelley has extensive experience in qualitative research, spanning studies focused on the sexual health and wellbeing of young people; the experiences of incarceration and release for young people in Cambodia and Australia, the experiences of people with a history of injecting drug use; hepatitis C elimination; and the evaluation of external alcohol and other drugs programs.

Shelley completed her doctoral studies in 2020. Her thesis was focused on the lived experiences of incarceration and release from adult prisons in Australia, for young men with histories of injecting drugs. Shelley is passionate about human rights and social justice issues and the translation of research into outcomes for the empowerment of disadvantaged, marginalised and vulnerable communities.


  • Board Member, This Life Cambodia, 2017-2019


  • 2020: Research Officer, Public Health, Burnet Institute.
  • 2014-2019: PhD Candidate, National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University.
  • 2014-2019: Research Assistant, Public Health, Burnet Institute.
  • 2012-2014: Community Research Evaluation Officer, This Life Cambodia.
  • 2011-2012: Research Assistant, Dept General Practice, University of Melbourne.
  • 2006-2012: Youth Health Worker, Knox Community Health Service.
  • 2002-2005: Eastern Region Gay and Lesbian Youth Project Coordinator (DHS funded)
  • 1997-2001: Youth Development Worker, Local Government Services.
  • 1989-2008: Registered Nurse (Division 1)


  • 2020: PhD – National Drug Research Institute, Curtin University.
  • 2012: MPHC, University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 1999: BA Community Development, Deakin University, Australia
  • 1988: Registered Nurse, GV Base Hospital, Australia


  • Australian Postgraduate Research Internship, Burnet Institute, 2020.
  • Thesis Completion Scholarship, Curtin University, 2019.
  • Faculty of Health Science Top Up Award, Curtin University, 2015-2019. Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship Curtin University, Faculty of Health Sciences, 2015-2019.
  • Australian Volunteers for International Development, Australian Government, 2012-2014.
  • Primary Health Care Research, Evaluation & Development Fellowship, University of Melbourne, 2010-2011.

Projects (7)

Current (5)

  • Breaking the cycle: supporting people with drug use histories to avoid reincarceration

  • Evaluation of the Multicultural Drug and Alcohol Service

  • Optimising Quarantine Study

  • Sexual health and STIs among people who use drugs❗Student Projects Available

  • The Optimise Study: Optimising Isolation, Quarantine and Distancing for COVID-19

Past (1)

  • PATH Cohort Study

Publications (23)

2023 (2)

2022 (6)

2021 (5)

2020 (3)

2019 (2)

2018 (2)

2015 (1)

2013 (1)

2011 (1)

News Articles (2)

2023 (1)

2021 (1)