Matt Fisher

Dr Matt Fisher

Senior Research Fellow

School of Social Sciences

Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Dr Matt Fisher is a Senior Research Fellow in Public Health, with the Stretton Health Equity research unit, part of the Stretton Institute and School of Social Sciences at The University of Adelaide. Dr Fisher completed his PhD in political philosophy in 2010, before taking up a research role with the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University. Since that time, his research has focused on two broad issues: 1) how and why public policy does or does not address social determinants of health and health equity (SDH-HE); and 2) how policy action on social determinants can be improved to promote public health and reduce health inequities.
Dr Fisher’s work has focused mainly on public policy and public health in an Australian context and investigated policy in a range of areas including Australian health policy, Indigenous health, primary health care, telecommunications, urban planning and urban environments, environmental policy, early childhood education, and justice. Dr Fisher’s research on policy has applied a range of theoretical concepts from policy studies to explain policy action or inaction on SDH/HE, such as power, political will, the policy cycle, Kingdon’s three streams model of policy development, and the role of Ideas, Interests, and Institutions in determining policy. He has also contributed to theory development, for example in developing and applying a framework to assess Indigenous cultural safety in public policy and publishing work on the role of universal and targeted policies in advancing health equity. With colleagues, Dr Fisher has also conducted research on digital health services, and on the role of transnational corporations as commercial determinants of health.
Dr Fisher had a particular interest in understanding the social factors that affect chronic stress and mental illness, and what they mean for public policy and social change to prevent mental ill-health and promote human wellbeing. In 2019 he published ‘A theory of public wellbeing’ in BMC Public Health, which defined seven wellbeing abilities and showed how these can be promoted or inhibited by social conditions. In 2021 he developed this theoretical work further in an article on ‘Moving social policy from mental illness to public wellbeing’ published in the Journal of Social Policy. In 2020, with Indigenous colleagues, he published research investigating ‘Theories of Indigenous and non-Indigenous wellbeing in Australian health policies’ in Health Promotion International.

  • Consulting/Advisories

    Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country
    2023 - ongoing University of Adelaide Stretton Health Equity Advocacy Australia
  • Review, Assessment, Editorial and Advice

    Date Title Type Institution Country
    2010 - ongoing Peer review of journal articles in my field Peer Review University of Adelaide Australia
  • Position: Senior Research Fellow
  • Phone: 83130037
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Napier, floor First Floor
  • Room: 125
  • Org Unit: Stretton Institute

Connect With Me
External Profiles