Researcher biography

Dr Keane Wheeler is a proud Ngarabal man and Accredited Exercise Scientist (ESSA). Dr Wheeler was the first Indigenous Australian to graduate with a PhD from the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Dr Wheeler’s research examines how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities can co-design programs that engage children in a broad range of child development areas. Dr Wheeler’s research strengths consisted of co-designing movement-based programs, ensuring a trauma informed culturally-responsive approach towards childhood development, such as through the use of Traditional song and dance to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people.

Dr Wheeler also specialises in biomechanics, sport analytics and performance analysis as well as strength and conditioning research. Dr Wheeler works currently with a range of sporting organisations to implement best-practice sport servicing, testing and athlete management to achieve excellence.

Dr Wheeler has led high performing teams working on education programs that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families through a strength-based and holistic framework. Dr Wheeler has co-designed and provided Indigenous leadership to a range of projects that have catered for the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and through this experience has partnered to deliver diverse governance solutions and educational engagement frameworks.


2022 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scientist Award from the Australian Academy of Science

2022 LSQ Merck Life Science Rural and Regional Service Award from Life Sciences Queensland

2020 Accredited Exercise Scientist of the Year Award from Exercise and Sport Science Australia

2021 Science Peoples Choice Award from National Science Week

2021 Outreach Award from National Science Week

2020 Science Leadership Excellence Award from National Science Week

2017 NAIDOC Award from Fraser Coast NAIDOC Committee