On 13 October 2017, the Minister for Science Dave Kelly and Minister for Health Roger Cook released the report of the Data Linkage Expert Advisory Group (Advisory Group), led by Professor Peter Klinken AC, Chief Scientist of Western Australia.

For more information about the release, please see the media statement.

The State’s strengths and capabilities in data linkage, the barriers to data linkage, and the processes, governance and funding arrangements were explored as part of the review. The current and future requirements and opportunities for data linkage in WA were identified and both short and longer-term recommendations to meet the growing demand and increasing scope for data linkage were developed.

The review produced 23 recommendations to:

  1. Improve and bolster the current data linkage service; and
  2. Deliver a whole-of-government data linkage model.

The recommendations will feed into the Government’s current reform initiatives such as a commitment to State legislation dealing with privacy and outcomes of the Service Priority Review. A number of the short-term recommendations align with those of an internal review conducted by the Department of Health and these recommendations are being progressed with a view to improving the provision of linked data to approved users and projects.


Advisory Group
  • Professor Peter Klinken AC (Chair), Chief Scientist of Western Australia;
  • Giles Nunis, the WA Government Chief Information Officer; and
  • Professor Fiona Stanley AC, Patron and Founding Director of the Telethon Kids Institute and Professor of Child Health at The University of Western Australia.

Also assisting was:

  • Professor Bruce Armstrong, whose previous appointments include Senior Advisor at the Sax Institute Sydney and Director of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and
  • Professor Louisa Jorm, Foundation Director of the Centre for Big Data Research in Health at the University of New South Wales. 

Terms of Reference

Key dates  

3 May 2016  Review announced
16 May 2016 Call for submissions
7 June 2016  Information session
30 June 2016 Submissions closed 
August 2016 Consultation meetings 
December 2016 Report finalised
January 2017 Report noted by former Premier
April 2017 Report submitted to Minister for Science
13 October 2017 Report publicly released

Information session

The Advisory Group held an information session about the review and process on Tuesday, 7 June 2016.

More than 70 people from across government, research, industry and the not-for-profit sector attended.

Peter Conran, former Director General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, opened the session and Professor Klinken spoke about the review on behalf of the Advisory Group.

Guest presenters Professor Desiree Silva, Head of Paediatrics at the Joondalup Health Campus, and Damian Shepherd, Director of the WA Land Information System Office at Landgate, demonstrated the broad applications and benefits of data linkage.

Professor Silva presented about her research using data linkage to investigate the early causal pathways and outcomes, including in juvenile justice and education, for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Mr Shepherd presented on sharing data for both public and private enterprise and innovation, including through initiatives such as WA’s open data service (data.wa.gov.au) and SPUR, Australia’s first location and innovation hub, powered by Landgate.


Submissions closed on Thursday, 30 June 2016. A total of 41 submissions were received from individuals and organisations across the government, research and not for profit sectors.  All input received was considered by the Advisory Group in the development of the review and its recommendations in the context of the key focus areas and intended outcomes outlined in the ToR.


Related information and news


For additional queries, please contact:
Email: science@jtsi.wa.gov.au

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