Ray, a Wongaibon man from far west New South Wales, has a passion for Indigenous health and is the first Indigenous PhD candidate at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH) in the College of Medicine, Biology and Environment (CMBE).
Ray has been an active NCEPH student from the outset, providing support and mentoring to his colleagues, particularly those working on Indigenous health. Ray has held numerous positions aimed at advancing the health of Indigenous populations. He has been a member of the CMBE Indigenous Health Interest Group and Reconciliation Action Plan sub-committee since its inception, and has been a member of ACT Health’s Human Research Ethics Committee since 2011. In the same year, Ray was appointed Professional Associate at the Centre for Research and Action in Public Health at the University of Canberra where, amongst other duties, he mentors Indigenous undergraduate students.
Ray is an Indigenous Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and an active member of the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Association of the ACT.
In 2012, Ray was part of a research team commissioned by ACT Health to review the need to expand alcohol and other drug rehabilitation services in the ACT. He is frequently approached by ACT Health to provide policy advice, particularly on tobacco, alcohol and other drug use by Indigenous people.
Ray is extensively involved with the local Indigenous community, including as a volunteer working with young Indigenous people at the Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service’s Boxing Club, where he has been Club Manager and Coach since 2005. Ray has helped raise over $40,000 for the Club.
In late 2012, Ray was presented with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Award at Congress Lowitja, Australia’s National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health research.