Associate Professor Yaqoot Fatima

Principal Research Fellow

UQ Poche Centre for Indigenous Health
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
+61 7 344 36385
+61 7 344 31021


Associate Professor Fatima is a Pharmacist, Epidemiologist, Sleep Scientist, and the Research Lead of the “Let’s Yarn About Sleep” program. Fatima's research aims to reduce the societal burden of poor sleep and associated health issues through coordinated multidisciplinary, translational research and co-designed programs and service models. She is nationally recognised for leadership in co-designing sleep health programs, workforce training frameworks and service delivery models to improve sleep health care in First Nations communities.

In response to community-identified needs and service gaps, A/Prof Fatima partnered with community members and service providers to co-develop a "ground-up" sleep health movement now known as the Let’s Yarn About Sleep (LYAS) program. The partnership discussions were initiated in late 2018 and involved extensive discussion with community Elders and key stakeholders from the partner organisations. These discussions helped understand partners' priorities, facilitated a shared understanding of decision-making processes, identified knowledge and resource-sharing strategies, and underpinned the program's co-development. The LYAS program has significantly improved community awareness and appreciation of sleep health and created pathways for sleep health integration for effective prevention and management of chronic conditions.

The LYAS program is transforming the way the sleep health needs of First Nations peoples are assessed and addressed. The program innovation lies in building local capacity, privileging First Nations voices, empowering end-users, integrating two-world views, interdisciplinary expertise, and diverse research methodologies. These efforts resulted in the UQ-led delivery of Australia’s first Indigenous Sleep Coach training, research roles for community members, and integration of sleep health programs in remote schools and health services. The team is now collaborating with 11 communities to strengthen local capacity and capability for achieving sleep health equity and minimise the human, societal and economic costs associated with poor sleep. Furthermore, many other communities and services in Queensland have invited the team for workforce training and sleep health care for First Nations peoples.

Research Interests

  • Sleep health of First Nations Peoples
  • Sleep Epidemiology
  • Rural and remote health services

Research Impacts

Since 2018, Fatima has received seven grants as the lead investigator (including MRFF Indigenous Health, NHMRC Partnership, and MRFF-EMCR) valued at> $6 million to co-design culturally responsive sleep health programs/resources, strengthen the capacity/capability of First Nations peoples and develop place-based service models.

Fatima's work has been cited in various national and international policy documents to improve sleep health outcomes. Fatima’s research leadership is recognised at national and international platforms and has led to prestigious awards such as the UQ Partners in Indigenous Research Excellence (2023), Women in Technology-First Nations Changemakers (Finalist 2023), L'Oréal-UNESCO Australia & New Zealand For Women in Science Fellowship (Finalist 2022), James Cook University Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Research (2021), Queensland Young Tall Poppy (2021), James Cook University Rising Stars-Early Career Research Leadership Award (2018).

Fatima presented at or chaired international and national conferences, workshops, symposia and meetings at prestigious national and international conferences, such as the World Sleep Congress, Sleep DownUnder, National Rural Health Alliance, and the International Paediatric Sleep Association Conference. Fatima is frequently invited to provide expert comments or consultation from the media. Her work is covered in over 450 media stories, including The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Xinhua News Agency, Courier-Mail, The Age, The Hindu, The Tribune, 7 News, radio interviews (>35) with SBS, ABC, 2GB, 4BC, National Indigenous Radio Service, and television interview (ABC, SkyNews). Fatima also uses alternate platforms for information sharing, such as contributing to Science News for Students and writing for the Conversation, Koori Mail. International media also approach CI Fatima to translate and share her work with non-English speaking communities, e.g., News Sphere Japan, Ouest-France.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland


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Book Chapter

  • Fatima, Yaqoot, Cleary, Anne, King, Stephanie, Solomon, Shaun, McDaid, Lisa, Hasan, Md Mehedi, Al Mamun, Abdullah and Baxter, Janeen (2022). Cultural identity and social and emotional wellbeing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. Family dynamics over the life course: foundations, turning points and outcomes. (pp. 57-70) edited by Janeen Baxter, Jack Lam, Jenny Povey, Rennie Lee and Stephen R. Zubrick. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-12224-8_4

  • Fatima, Yaqoot, Al Mamun, Abdullah and Skinner, Timothy (2020). Association between obesity and poor sleep: a review of epidemiological evidence. Pathophysiology of obesity-induced health complications. (pp. 155-167) edited by Paramjit S. Tappia, Bram Ramjiawan and Naranjan S. Dhalla. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-35358-2_9

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor