Associate Professor Mimmie Claudine Watts

Position: Director, Industry Cooperation, Institute of Health and Wellbeing, Associate Professor of Nursing, Public Health and Leadership
Discipline: Public Health, Leadership, Nursing
Location: Mt Helen Campus and Berwick Campus
Phone: (03) 5327 9750


  • Emerging Women in Public Health Leadership – Harvard University, USA – 2019
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Public Health – La Trobe University, Australia – 2013
  • Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education (GCTE) – Victoria University, Australia – 2014
  • Women in Leadership – Victoria University, Melbourne Australia – 2013
  • Master of Public Health (MPH), University of Melbourne, Australia – 2006
  • Diabetes Management – General Practice Division of Victoria & University of Melbourne – 2005
  • Registered Nurse ENITSFAY – Yaounde, Cameroon – 1999


Program Coordinator

  • Master of Health Leadership
  • Master of Health Services Management


  • Policy in Health Services Management BUHEA6902
  • Contemporary issues in Health Services management BUHEA6903
  • Public Health Ethics HEAPH7001
  • Global Health Determinants HEALT6000
  • Research Methods in Health HEALT6001


Associate Professor Mimmie Claudine Watts has an interdisciplinary background.

She is an Associate Professor of Nursing, Public Health, and Leadership, and the Director, Industry Cooperation, Federation University Australia.

Associate Professor has some twenty years’ experience in the health and higher education sectors, primarily in the higher. Her interests in public health, policy, inclusion, and leadership, has seen her serve and contribute to policies nationally and internationally including on statutory bodies in Australia and overseas.

Assoc/Prof Watts is a council member of the African Science Research Innovation Council (ASRIC), African Union Commission and the ASRIC Chair, Australia Chapter.

As the Academic Lead Consultant for VMware, a Silicon Valley $10 billion company, Associate professor Watts led their engagement with Universities in Africa, including signing an MOU with the African Union Commission on Course delivery for the Pan African e-virtual University (PAVEU) on Virtualization & Cloud Computing, accessible and available to youth across the African continent.

Assoc/Prof Watts has a PhD in Public Health from La Trobe University, and a Master of Public Health from the University of Melbourne. She trained as RN, prior to that she studied natural/pure sciences. She completed the Emerging Executive Women in Health Leadership Program at Harvard University, USA.

Assoc Professor Watts currently serves as Non-Executive Director on the Boards of The Queen Elizabeth Centre - Public Hospital; the VAKA Health Foundation, etc., in Australia.

Associate Professor Mimmie Watts, serves on the Policy Committee, World Federation Of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), Geneva.

Assoc Professor Watts coordinates the Master of Health Leadership and the Master of Health Services Management, that she also lectures into at Federation University, Australia

One of her most cited and read works is Early motherhood: a qualitative study exploring the experiences of African Australian teenage mothers in greater Melbourne, Australia

Assoc Professor Mimmie Watts is the author of the book, ‘Sahara Piercing the Thatch Ceiling’., continues to influence policy and has great impact.

Areas of expertise

Associate professor Watts interests include health policy, migrant health, qualitative research methodology, and contemporary global health issues, women’s health, and curriculum development. With a focus on impact and quality, Associate professor Watts’s research and work has and continue to influence policy, thereby enhancing the lives of some of the most vulnerable people.

  • Early Motherhood
    The highly read work, was informed by the challenges of young refugee women and their families in Melbourne, Australia. “Motherhood is a significant and important aspect of life for many women around the globe. For women in communities where motherhood is highly desired, motherhood is considered crucial to the woman's identity. Teenage motherhood, occurring at a critical developmental stage of teenagers' lives, has been identified as having adverse social and health consequences. This research aimed to solicit the lived experiences of African Australian young refugee women who have experienced early motherhood in Australia.”
  • Inclusion and leadership
    Working across the spectrum to influence change, to educate, and to lead, Assoc/Prof Watts journey and story has impact on people, more so, women in Australia and elsewhere. She has contributed on hundreds of platforms as a speaker on inclusion, leadership, education and other. She is interested in the ‘visibility of the invisible’, in our society. Associate Professor Watts served as a Commissioner, Victorian Multicultural Commission, the peak State Advisory body on inclusion and multiculturalism for the State of Victoria, Australia.
  • Policy and higher education
    Among other Courses, Associate Professor Watts teaches health policy to Postgraduate/Masters Students. She has a track record in academia, leadership and governance, and extensive board experience as a non-Executive director. She is interested on the importance of education in shaping society and changing lives.
  • International collaborations and partnerships
    Associate professor is interested in and has demonstrated partnerships across Middle East, Africa, Australia and to and Europe. Her interdisciplinary background has seen her collaborate, partner, and co-publish with colleagues in USA, Africa, Middle East and Australasia. Examples of her selected collaborative works, with significant impact, include between VMware Silicon Valley & African Union Commission; and with the VAKA Health Foundation, Australia & Africa.

Research interests

  • Migrant health
  • International and global public health
  • Early motherhood
  • Policy design and development
  • Qualitative research methods and design
  • Inclusion
  • Leadership



Ngum Chi Watts, M, C. (2020). Sahara, Piercing the Thatch Ceiling. Revised Ed. IEM Publishers, USA.

Ngum Chi Watts, M, C. (2018). Sahara, Piercing the Thatch Ceiling. Launched at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne Australia. First Ed. Launched at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne Australia.

Refereed journal articles

Emahi, I.; Watts M. N.C.; Azibere, S.; Morrision J. F.; Sarpong, K. A. N. (2021).COVID-19 in Africa: Rethinking the Tools to Manage Future Pandemic, Journal of African Health Sciences.

Rahman, A. M., Islam,S. S., Tungpunkom, P., Sultana, F.,  Alif, S. M., Banik, B., Salehin, M., Joseph, B., Lam, L.,  Watts, M. C., Khan, S. J., et al. (2021). COVID-19: Psychological distress, fear, and coping strategies among community members across 17 countries.BMC Health and Globalization. COVID-19: Factors associated with psychological distress, fear, and coping strategies among community members across 17 countries | Globalization and Health | Full Text (

Ngum Chi Watts, M, C., & Liamputtong & McMichael, C. (2015). Early motherhood: a qualitative study exploring the experiences of African Australian teenage mothers in greater Melbourne, Australia. BMC Public Health DOI: 10.1186/s12889-015-2215-2

Ngum Chi Watts, M, C., McMichael, C., & Liamputtong, P. (2015). Factors Influencing Contraception Awareness and Use: The Experiences of Young African Australian Women, Journal of Refugee Studies.

Harris A., & Spark, C. Ngum Chi, M. C. (2014). Gains, and losses: African Australian women and higher education. Journal of Sociology (online June 29, 2014) DOI: 10.1177/1440783314536792

Ngum Chi Watts, M. C., Liamputtong P., Carolan, M. (2014). Contraception Knowledge and Attitudes: Truths & Myths among African Australian Teenage Mothers in Greater Melbourne, Australia. Journal of Clinical Nursing, special edition on Sexual and Reproductive Health, Vol 23 (15-16), 2131-2141, doi: 10.1111/jocn.12335) among-African-Australian-teenage-mothers-in-greater- Melbourne Australia/

Ngum Chi, C., & Liamputtong, P., (2013). Sensitive Research and Vulnerable Participants: Accessing and Conducting Research with African Australian Teenage Mothers in Greater Melbourne, Australia. JNHC Vol.1 (1) DOI: 10.5176/2345-718X_1.1.26)

Harris A., Ngum Chi, M. C., & Spark, C. (2013). Multidisciplinary Journal of Gender Studies Vol. 2(2), June pp.182-202

Ngum Chi Watts, M. C. (2013). Contraception, teenage pregnancy, culture, and motherhood among African-Australian teenagers with a refugee background in greater Melbourne, Australia. La Trobe University Research Repository

Refereed conference proceedings

Chi, M N. University of the Sunshine Coast; 2008 In our own Voices: The Experience of Overseas-Trained Registered Nurses of Institutional Racism within Healthcare and Academic Institutions. Conference proceedings, 2nd International conference on Racisms in the New World Order

Reports (Unembargoed)

Watts Ngum Chi, M, C. (2017), Report for the Inaugural African Diaspora Women’s Summit, Victoria University, June 26-27th, Melbourne Australia

Ngum Chi, M, C., (2014), ‘Building a New Generation Youth Leadership’ Shepparton, Victoria.