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Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies

Transforming how we think about, engage with, and foster health

We harness social science and humanities expertise to understand and transform how health and social life intersect on our changing planet.

About us

While often seen as a characteristic of individuals and their bodies, health is also collectively produced through social practices and economic and political systems. How we ‘treat’ health, then, must move beyond focusing on individuals to instead encompass a more multidimensional approach.

Through dynamic teamwork, and underpinned by a deeply collaborative philosophy, the Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies, based at The University of Sydney’s School of Social and Political Sciences, draws together leading experts from around the world and across a diverse set of disciplines and fields.

Synthesising different disciplinary approaches across scales of observation from the microbial to the planetary, the work of the Centre highlights how historical context, political arrangements, economic structures, enduring inequalities, and interspecies and environmental relations both produce health problems and might map paths to new solutions.

Emphasising complexity and connectedness, we provide a platform for radically reimagining what health is and how it might be better provided for—for humans, other species, our environment and the planet.

Partner organisations

Australian Universities

  • The University of Sydney
  • The Australian National University
  • University of New South Wales
  • University of Queensland
  • Monash University
  • Deakin University
  • University of the Sunshine Coast
  • University of Tasmania
  • Western Sydney University

International Universities

  • University of Vienna
  • Oxford University
  • Duke University
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • IIT Hyderabad, India
  • Georgetown University
  • Wesleyan University
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Paris-Dauphine University
  • University of Campinas, Brazil
  • Beijing Normal University, Hong Kong Baptist University, United International College, China
  • University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Goldsmiths University of London

Australian Hospitals

  • Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service
  • Prince of Wales Hospital
  • Prince Charles Hospital
  • Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital
  • St George Hospital
  • Liverpool Hospital
  • Multicultural Health Communication Service
  • Royal North Shore Hospital


Deputy Director

Dr Katherine Kenny academic profile pic

Deputy Director

Dr Nadine Ehlers academic profile pic
Associate Professor Nadine Ehlers
View Associate Professor Ehlers' academic profile

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