vale Neil Thomson: a great contribution

01 February 2016

The funeral of Neil Thomson takes place on 2 February at 2.30pm at the Norfolk Chapel within the Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth.

Neil will be much missed. There are few people who have contributed as much as Neil to action to improve the health of Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet he established and led for some seventeen years is recognised as the most comprehensive, user-friendly and up-to-date source of information on issues relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Neil was not just a good researcher and thinker: he was action-oriented. The HealthInfoNet plays a major role in providing the information and linkages necessary to inform policy, practice, research, teaching and general community understanding relating to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

It has also been a leader in developing new approaches to on-line communication. The HealthInfoNet provides a comprehensive and current overview of Indigenous health, a searchable list of publication, a quarterly refereed e-journal, job advertisements and conference notices, and yarning places (or 'communities of practice').

Gordon Gregory NRHA's CEO, said it was always inspiring to meet with Neil.

"His passion and excitement for improving Indigenous health seemed to know no bounds. He could talk the hind leg off a kettle - all the while with that twinkle in his eye," Gordon said. "I will miss him."

"There is much talk these days of the importance of  'Knowledge transfer'. But for Neil this was so obviously what is needed that it was built into his work and his thinking for many years."

Neil was a person of strong intellect and high principles - driven by the value of practical action to make things better.

Neil’s family have suggested that instead of floral tributes donations could be made to the HealthInfoNet sustainability fund: over the phone on 08 6304 2134 (Office of Advancement) or online at and select “HealthInfoNet Sustainability Fund”.