Research and Development Hubs

In 2015 the Centre continued establishing a new structure: hubs for research and service development, as joint ventures with the South Western, South Eastern and Sydney Local Health Districts. This builds on experience with CHETRE, which has long been supported by the University and the Local Health District, and has provided a base for collaboration on research, capacity building and putting evidence into practice.

Each hub is supported by both the Centre and the Local Health District with a formal agreement, an advisory committee and funding from both groups. The hubs are seen as bridges between the Centre and the LHD, conducting research and evaluation that is of interest to both groups, supporting the uptake of research into practice and giving researchers direct engagement with health services. We hope that in future the Primary Health Networks can also become part of these research hubs.


The Centre for Health Equity, Research and Evaluation (CHETRE) is in South West Sydney and has operated since 1998. In 2015 a new Director was appointed, Professor Evelyne de Leeuw. Evelyne brings substantial expertise in health promotion and healthy urbanism to the centre, complementing CHETRE’s existing research on locational disadvantage and health impact assessment.


Health Equity Research and Development Unit (HERDU) is a unit of Population Health in Sydney Local Health District and a research hub of the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity at UNSW Australia. HERDU aims to work with SLHD staff and with communities to improve the health of groups of people who do not have opportunities to receive the health care and resources they need to be as healthy as others in the population.


The South Eastern Sydney Research Collaboration Hub (SEaRCH) was formally established as a partnership with South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) in late 2014. The new hub in South Eastern Sydney is coordinated by Dr. Julie McDonald. It started formally in October 2014, building on several years’ of close collaboration, and is currently funded to mid 2018. The purpose is to: 1) Undertake, promote and support research and evaluation that strengthens primary health care and equity; 2) Support the implementation of research evidence into practice and policy; and 3) Contribute to the development of primary health care in SESLHD.

SEaRCH is part of the organisational structure of the SESLHD and through the Director (Dr Julie McDonald) is a member of the Primary and Integrated Health Directorate executive, and a member of the Primary Health Care Partnership involving the three local health districts (SES, St Vincent’s Hospital Network, and Sydney Children’s Hospital Network), and the CESPHN.