Dr James Fitzpatrick


PhD Student


James is a Paediatric Advanced Trainee with the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and a PhD candidate within the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, the University of Sydney Medical School. He is a Research Fellow at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, an Honorary Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health and was the Medical Education Fellow in the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health at Westmead Children’s Hospital in 2010. He is the Founder and Director of Patches Paediatrics, an organisation that delivers child health services in rural and remote communities.

Since 2010 his research focus has been the prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in the remote Fitzroy Valley communities of the Kimberley region of Western Australia. He is a member of a national steering group developing Australian screening and diagnostic tools for FASD.

James worked as a Paediatric Senior Registrar with the Kimberley Paediatric Service from 2008-2013 and has extensive knowledge of the communities in which the research project is being undertaken. Previously he worked as a public health medical officer with the Kimberley Public Health Unit (2005).

James was named Young Australian of the Year in 2001 for his work in improving Indigenous health, and has founded True Blue Dreaming, a youth mentoring program working with remote communities in Western Australia. Through his experience working with the communities of the Fitzroy Valley, James was asked to help develop the Marulu Strategy to ‘Overcome Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in the Fitzroy Valley’, which he did with senior community members in 2008. His research and service provision activities have attracted $5 million since 2004.

James is a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equality Council, advising the Federal Government on the development of a 10-year national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan. He is on the Board of Reference for the Australasian Council of Health Service Management (WA), and was previously (2004-2007) on the Australian Government’s (FaHCSIA) Stronger Families and Communities Partnership.