Ada Cheung recognised for excellence in trans health advocacy and research

Headshot of A/Prof Ada Cheung standing in front of a grey background.
"“Seeing how our research has driven policy change which has then delivered care and education on the ground is really rewarding,” A/Prof Cheung said.

Associate Professor Ada Cheung has been awarded GLOBE’s Ally of the Year Award in recognition of her outstanding work establishing Trans Health Research – a research organisation that advances knowledge of and access to transgender healthcare.

Thanking the community and her research team upon accepting her award, Professor Cheung said she was humbled and honoured to be recognised by the trans community.

“There really is no greater award than receiving recognition from the community that I work with and it means so much to me,” Professor Chung said.

With a background in endocrinology, Professor Cheung began working with the trans and gender-diverse community in 2016, when she established a small clinic upon hearing of trans people being refused care by health services.

“I listened to hundreds of stories of discrimination in all aspects of life, including housing and employment. There were many cases of people being refused care by GPs and other health professionals,” she said.

Professor Cheung established Trans Health Research the following year to develop an evidence base to support more effective approaches to trans health.

Working alongside a diverse community advisory group, the research team - which includes trans, non-binary and gender diverse researchers - conducts research to understand the effects of gender-affirming hormone therapy, improve mental health and wellbeing, and optimise health service delivery.

Trans Health Research’s advocacy has led to state government support of two multidisciplinary clinics and a state-wide training program for health professionals.

In their first year of operation, the clinics provided care to over 500 patients, and trained over 700 health professionals in transgender health.

“Seeing how our research has driven policy change which has then delivered care and education on the ground, which hopefully has flow-on effects to impact many more trans people, is really rewarding,” Professor Cheung said.