Health Studies Australian National Data Asset (HeSANDA) is a program of the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) that aims to build the national infrastructure required to support the sharing and reuse of health research data in a way that would bring value to the research community, increase the efficiency of research, and provide benefits for the health of Australia’s population.

HeSANDA will be developed over a 3-year period. The initial focus is on sharing and reusing data from investigator-initiated clinical trials as a proof of concept.

Based on preliminary scoping work, ARDC identified 3 priorities for HeSANDA:

  1. Data Development: support the development of national conventions for the reporting and curation of trials data
  2. Infrastructure: support the development of data systems, processes, and practices to enable the curation of data and to facilitate data sharing.
  3. Culture & Policy: build national-level community consensus for data sharing practices, including the alignment of data policies of research funders & publishers, compliance authorities, and research institutions & networks.




To date, nine nodes (representing 72 research organisations) have been approved to be involved in the development of the HeSANDA initiative by ARDC including the Sydney Node (short for Sydney Health Partners and NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre Node). Other key collaborators from the ANZCTR, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance, NHMRC, Cochrane Australia, Research Australia, and the Population Health Research Network are also contributing to this initiative.



Current work is focusing on the systems and processes that will enable findability and accessibility of clinical trial study data. The Sydney Node is working on a:

  1. Data repository to securely store high-level descriptive clinical trials information (e.g. study protocol, data dictionary, publications) for trials that may be available for data sharing.
  2. Data request system to review data access requests and allow data sharing.



The Sydney Node of the HeSANDA project received investment from the Australian Research Data Commons. The ARDC is funded by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.



The Sydney Node partners are described below:



Role in HeSANDA Sydney Node

NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney

Angela Webster, Director of Evidence Integration


Sydney Health Partners

Don Nutbeam, Executive Director

Project oversight

Westmead Applied Research Centre, WSLHD

Clara Chow, Academic Director

Data Contributor

Health and Clinical Analytics, University of Sydney

Thomas Snelling, Director

Data Contributor

Cardiovascular Centre of Excellence, NSLHD

Gemma Figtree, Chair of Cardiovascular Initiative

Data Contributor

Institute for Musculoskeletal Health, University of Sydney

Chris Maher, Director

Data Contributor

Institute of Bone and Joint Research, University of Sydney

David Hunter, Chair

Data Contributor

Westmead Institute for Medical Research, WSLHD

Philip O’Connell, Director

Data Contributor

The Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney

Matthew Kieran, Director

Data Contributor

Woolcock Institute for Medical Research, University of Sydney

Bandana Saini, Affiliate Staff (Woolcock) and Director, Academic Education (USyd)

Data Contributor

Clinical Trials Support Office, Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research), University of Sydney

Olya Ryjenko, Clinical Trials Data Lead

Infrastructure operator

Digital Health CRC

Tim Shaw, Director

Infrastructure operator

Information and Communications Technology (ICT), University of Sydney

Ryan Sullivan, Product Manager

Infrastructure operator

Sydney Local Health District

Steve Chadban, Director, Renal Medicine

Data Contributor

Sydney Local Health District

Geoff McCaughan, Clinical Director, GE/Liver Services

Data Contributor

Sydney Local Health District, ICT

Mitchell Burger, Director, Strategy, Architecture, Innovation and Research

Infrastructure operator




For further information please contact the Sydney Node Project Manager, Talia Palacios: