Prof Anna Voce trained as an occupational therapist but, frustrated by the inequities of the Apartheid health system, in 1989 moved from the public health sector to working alongside community-based health and civic organisations in Amaoti, Inanda. On joining the then Centre for Health and Social Studies (now Centre for Rural Health) in 1994, she contributed to the development of the District Health Management Training Programme, implemented province-wide in three provinces, to equip managers to manage the emerging District Health System in South Africa. Subsequent work focused on health system strengthening interventions, in respect of health programmes, support services, and the district health information system. Leadership, as an emergent phenomenon critical to health system strengthening, has become her main area of interest in health system research.
Since joining the Discipline of Public Health Medicine in 2004, she has made several substantive contributions to the development and subsequent revisions of the postgraduate programmes offered in the Discipline, specifically to the Master of Public Health and to the doctoral programme. Her special expertise is in qualitative research methodologies and has ensured that qualitative research competencies are core for public health graduates.
Anna Voce has served in several academic leadership roles: as Assistant Dean for Postgraduate Affairs, Academic Leader of Teaching and Learning, Academic Leader of Research, and now as Acting Dean of the School of Nursing and Public Health.