Dr Sarah Johnson

Sarah has been at the Telethon Kids Institute since 2005 when she commenced her PhD studies. She is currently a Research Fellow in the Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course. The Life Course Centre brings together Australian and international researchers who aim to address questions surrounding the transmission of disadvantage within families and across generations.

Sarah’s research interests and expertise include parent, child and adolescent mental health, social determinants, survey methodology, analysis of linked government administrative data, and program evaluation. Her experience includes being part of the team that planned, implemented and reported results from Young Minds Matter (YMM), the second national survey of child and adolescent mental health, 2013-14. She has since utilised the YMM data to produce several papers on the relationships between poverty, parent and child mental health. Recently, she was involved in the reporting of outcomes from a pilot study of smoking intervention in community mental health patients in collaboration with Neami National.

Currently, Sarah is working on a major project linking the WA Aboriginal Child Health Survey (WAACHS) conducted in 2000-02 to multiple cross-sectoral government administrative data sets. This powerful quasi-longitudinal data resource will be used to examine how factors from the early life environment of Aboriginal children have shaped subsequent life trajectories through health, education, child protection and justice systems into young adulthood.

Prior to employment at the Telethon Kids Institute, Sarah held several positions at the Department of Health, evaluating patient satisfaction with hospital services and in conducting the WA health and wellbeing surveillance system. Early in her research career, she worked for five years at the Osborne Division of General Practice, developing and evaluating new projects and programs with the aim of improving service delivery in general practice.


Research Fellow


  • Child health

  • Epidemiology

  • Mental health

  • Public Health