Dr Sarah Russell trained as a critical care nurse before completing a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a PhD at the University of Melbourne. She has been the principal researcher at Research Matters since 1999. Her work focuses on public health, mental health, ethics and aged care.

Sarah is an experienced and innovative qualitative researcher. She creatively engages people in research projects, making the process challenging and enjoyable for participants. She has a unique ability to bring individual voices together to tell a powerful collective story.

Sarah has written numerous publications including academic articles, community articles, government reports and frequently writes letters and opinion pieces for the media.

In 2003, Sarah received a grant from beyondblue’s Centre of Excellence to investigate how people with a mental illness stay well. Her book ‘A lifelong journey: staying well with bipolar disorder’ has helped many thousands of people with a mental illness to live happy and productive lives.

In 2012, Sarah’s parents moved into an aged care home. Although staff treated her parents with respect and love, Sarah observed the systemic failures in the aged care system. In 2016, Sarah had her first opinion piece on aged care published in The Age ‘The aged care gravy train’. Her persistent advocacy over the past six years for some of the most vulnerable people in our society has won her widespread respect for her independent analysis.