Associate Professor Freya MacMillan


Associate Professor Interprofessional Health Sciences


Dr Freya MacMillan is a Health and Wellbeing Research Theme Champion at Western Sydney University and an Associate Professor in Interprofessional Health Sciences, based in the School of Health Sciences. She is also deputy director of the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Translational Research Unit (DOMTRU), an Executive member and lead of the prevention working group in the Maridulu Budyari Gumal Sydney Partnership for Health, Enterprise, Research & Education (SPHERE) Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Clinical Academic Group, an Implementation Science Leader Panel Member in the SPHERE Implementation Science Platform and is an International Union for Health Promotion and Education registered Health Promotion Practitioner in Australia.

Freya is a lifestyle behaviour change intervention expert. She uses her community engagement, mixed-methods and implementation science expertise to develop, evaluate and translate lifestyle interventions into sustainable practice for the prevention of diabetes and promotion of health and wellbeing. Dr MacMillan has strong expertise in combining qualitative and quantitative research methods to guide intervention development and for comprehensive and rigorous evaluation. Community engagement is at the core of her research. She co-creates programs with communities, healthcare workers and other professionals to develop innovative community-based and health service strategies. She has a particular focus on models incorporating peer support, that are more likely to be adopted and integrated long-term into practice for multi-cultural groups.

Current industry partners include Local Health Districts, Primary Health Networks, Diabetes NSW & ACT, SPHERE and NSW Health. Her links within these networks and across DOMTRU, SPHERE and Western, provide multi-disciplinary collaborative opportunities to tackle diabetes.

Research Interests

  • Peer support
  • Diabetes
  • Health Promotion
  • Physical Activity
  • Lifestyle behaviour change
  • Implementation science


  • Australian Health Promotion Association, 2016

Qualifications and Recognition

  • PhD, Physical Activity for Health, University of Strathclyde (UK)
  • BSc (First Class, Honours), Sports Biomedicine, Dundee University (UK)
  • 2020, Advance Higher Education, Senior Fellow SFHEA
  • 2020, School of Health Sciences, Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 2020, Western Sydney University Research Impact Competition Winner
  • 2019, Western Sydney University Vice-Chancellor Award for Excellence as an Early Career Researcher
  • 2019, Western Sydney University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Award for Excellence in a Research Interdisciplinary Group Award
  • 2018, South West Sydney Research Collaborative Achievement Award
  • 2017, Western Sydney University, Strategic Initiative Women’s Fellowship Award
  • 2017, Western Sydney University Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Award, Excellence in University Engagement and Sustainability
  • 2017, School of Science and Health, Industry and Community Engagement Excellence Award
  • 2012, University of Glasgow Mac Robertson Travel Scholarship
  • 2012, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow Scottish Sport and Exercise Medicine Symposium Research Project Prize Winner (oral presentation)
  • 2011, University of Strathclyde Humanities and Social Sciences faculty poster prize
  • 2011, Scottish Physical Activity Research Conference for PhD Students best presentation of research prize
  • 2010, Scottish Funding Council PhD Studentship
  • 2009, SPEEAD inaugural Sporting Prosthetics conference third prize for poster presentation of work
  • 2008, University of Dundee Sports Biomedicine Honours prize for highest overall marks on the Sports Biomedicine course

Research and Publications


Telephone +61 2 4620 3503
Location Building 24, Campbelltown Campus