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Data Linkage Review

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On 3 May 2016, the Premier announced that the Chief Scientist of Western Australia (WA), Professor Peter Klinken, would chair an expert advisory group to review WA’s data linkage capabilities to maximise the State’s competitive advantages in health data linkage and develop a whole-of-government model building on such strengths for the future. For more information about the announcement, please see the Premier’s media statement.

In addition to Professor Klinken as Chair, the Data Linkage Expert Advisory Group (Advisory Group) comprised Mr 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.

A final report was produced and submitted to the Premier in December 2016. 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 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 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 and were developed.

The Premier noted the report in January 2017. Further work on the project is on hold until Government has the opportunity to consider the report after the State election.

The Terms of Reference (ToR) for the review were:

Key dates

3 May 2016 – Premier announced review

16 May 2016 – Call for submissions commenced

7 June 2016 – Information Session

30 June 2016 – Submissions closed

August 2016 – Consultation meetings

December 2016 to January 2017 – Report progressed to and noted by the Premier

First trimester 2017 – Project on hold until Government has the opportunity to consider the report after the State election.


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.

Please note the review, and all related information and material collected as part of the review process, remains subject to the WA Freedom of Information Act 1992 (the Act) which provides the public a general right of access to records held by government agencies, subject to the exemptions detailed in Schedule 1 to the Act. Further information on the operation of the Act can be obtained on the FOI page of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet's (DPC) website or by contacting DPC's FOI Unit on 6552 5591.

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. Mr 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 Mr 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 ( and SPUR, Australia’s first location and innovation hub, powered by Landgate.

Related information and news


For additional queries, please contact:
Office of Science, Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Phone: +61 8 6552 6080