The D&I Leads program provides a conduit of support for issues relating to D&I across the Institute. D&I Leads are key contact persons within IHT who members can reach out to when required. The D&I leads can also support line managers by supporting them to take action on D&I issues by talking through an issue or, more often than not, pointing them in the right direction for assistance and more information.

This month we would like to profile our IHT D&I Lead, Laura Alston!

As a researcher and dietitian, I am passionate about equity, diversity, and inclusion as I know it leads to better decisions, a positive culture and great outcomes across all levels of an organisation, as well as across society- and the science tells us this over and over. I, myself am a beneficiary of the work of so many others in advocating for equity, inclusion, and diversity, and it’s my turn to give back. I have the coolest job in the world, being an early career researcher within GLOBE and Deakin Rural Health, where I am working to build research capacity at my local rural health service, alongside leading a research program focussed on rural health disparities, chronic disease, and nutrition research. I am also the Board Chair of Women’s Health & Wellbeing Barwon Southwest, which is a not-for-profit health promotion organisation that is committed to intersectionality, gender equality and prevention. In this role I get to use my research and leadership skills to give back to the community of the Barwon Southwest where I live, and where so many are not in the privileged position that I am. Personally, I am a mum of three little ones, living rurally about 2.5 hours from Melbourne…. imperfectly navigating the ups and downs of EMCR life!

Please get in touch:

Other D&I Leads include:

Sara Holton (

Diane Russack (

Utsana Tonmukayakul (

Louisa Smith (

Kathryn Backholer (