2016 Catherine Bennett Profile HSD

Congratulations Alfred Deakin Professor Catherine Bennett on her appointment to the COVID-19 pandemic response inquiry

The Institute of Health Transformation would like to congratulate Alfred Deakin Professor Catherine Bennett, on her appointment to the COVID-19 pandemic response inquiry announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

“This Inquiry will look at the Government’s responses and will give advice on what worked, what didn’t, and what we can do in the future to best protect Australians from the worst of any future events.” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese stated. 

The independent Inquiry will be held into Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help better prepare and protect our country for the future. It will review what worked well and what we can do better to improve Australia’s preparedness for future pandemics. The Inquiry will consider Commonwealth responses to the pandemic. This includes the provision of vaccinations, treatments and key medical supplies to Australians, mental health support for those impacted by COVID-19 and lockdowns, financial support for individuals and business, and assistance for Australians abroad. Additionally, the Inquiry will consider the role of the Australian Government in responding to future pandemics, including the coordination of National Cabinet.



Congratulations to A/Prof Adrian Cameron and GLOBE for the RE-FRESHING $2.5m NHMRC Funding announcement

The five-year program to support food retailers and their customers will be delivered by the Centre of Research Excellence in Food Retail Environments for Health: Next Generation (RE-FRESHING) which will be supported by $2.5million funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Associate Professor Adrian Cameron from Deakin’s Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition (GLOBE) in the Institute for Health Transformation (IHT) said RE-FRESHING would enable researchers to continue work that had demonstrated healthy food retail can be good for consumers and for business.

“Our research over the past five years has shown retail interventions can help customers make healthier choices when buying food and drinks and can also be a sustainable model for retailers,” Associate Professor Cameron said.

RE-FRESHING will be led by Deakin University, with collaboration from The George Institute for Global Health, The University of Queensland, Monash University, University of Western Australia, University of Auckland, Amsterdam UMC, The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre and Cancer Council Victoria.



PhD student, Hasini Gunasiri’s research on Young people’s mental health showcased at Parliament

I was invited to attend the Youth mental health showcase hosted by Kylea Tink Karen Grogan Aaron Violi MP and Stephen Bates MP at the Australian Parliament House (12/9). My PhD research on Young people’s mental health in a changing climate along with Health, Nature, Sustainability Research Group’s project (KTFIM),  and my Policy brief on “Promoting mental health in a changing climate: children and young people as a priority population group” were included in the Youth Mental Health services handbook which was delivered to all 227 offices in Parliament. It was a great opportunity to discuss the impact of climate change on young people’s mental health and the actions that can be taken to address this global health issue.

You can read more about Hasini’s research in the Youth Mental Health Service Handbook on page 8.
Download the Youth Mental Health Services Handbook here. 

Congratulations to:

  • Prof Tony LaMontagne’s keynote address at Joint Congress of the International Commission on Occupational Health -Work Organization and Psychosocial Factors & Asia Pacific Academy for Psychosocial Factors at Work 2023. Held in Tokyo, Japan on 19-22 September 2023, Tony spoke on ‘Work & suicide: Evolving understandings of aetiology & intervention’.
  • A/ Prof Lemai Nguyen for being awarded the Healthcare 2023 Best Paper Award for the paper ‘Application of Smartphone Technologies in Disease Monitoring: A Systematic Review.’Healthcare 2021, 9, 889. The paper, co-authored with Moses, J.C.; Adibi, S.; Shariful Islam, S.M.; Wickramasinghe, N.; can be read here 
    Read more about the announcement here
  • Dr Renee Fiolet who presented at the European Conference on Domestic Violence (ECDV) – Domestic Violence and Precarity, held 11 – 13 September 2023 in Reykjavík, Iceland and was attended by almost 800 delegates. The aim of the conference was to share and build knowledge and experiences on a wide range of issues concerning domestic violence from across the globe. Renee had two abstracts accepted for the conference. The first was a symposium which she ran with colleagues from the University of Melbourne on early engagement of support for domestic violence. Her second abstract was for a poster presentation on a study she recently led using story completion technique to explore perpetrators perspectives on the emotions and motivations driving technology-facilitated abuse. As President of the Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International (NNVAWI), Renee also had the opportunity to bring together a small group of nursing members from across eight countries for a networking event during the conference!
  • Prof Kathryn Backholer and Prof Colin Bell who presented at the WHO symposium at the Asian Congress on Nutrition in China.
  • Dr Christina Zorbas and Prof Kathryn Backholer received a grant from the International for Food Policy Research Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation to examine global commitments made to accelerate action on SDG 2 (ending world hunger and food insecurity). Christina will present the work at a high-level meeting with UN officials in New York.
  • Prof Linda Sweet, Dr Vidanka Vasilevski and PhD students Kath Brundell, Paula Medway and Olivia Tierney who presented at the 25thAnnual Australian College of Midwives Conference in Adelaide from the 12-14 September. All of their presentations were well attended and inspired many questions from the audience. The conference had over 600 delegates this year, recording its highest ever attendance!
  • Megan Walsh, PhD student, presented at the ISAAC International conference, the presentation on her PhD was co-authored with her supervisors including Jo Watson and Amie O’Shea. (DoH’s: Disability & Inclusion)
  • Grace Arnot, PhD student, was a speaker at Australian Public Health Conference 2023 Title: Exploring impacts of risk perception on young Australians’ engagement in climate action Tue 26 to Thur 28 Sep (DoH’s: Policy Engagement and Advocacy, supervisor: Samantha Thomas)
  • Amie O’Shea on the successful UWS Grant (as lead) from Australian Health Research Alliance for a co-production project on women with disability and sexual health.
  • A/Prof Fiona McKay, Dr Matthew Dunn, and Bianca Whiteside for being awarded a tender from the Centre for Alcohol and Other Drugs (NSW Ministry of Health) to conduct the Evidence Check review on “Decriminalisation of controlled drugs – review of potential decriminalisation models and evidence of health, social, economic, or other impacts.”


Go back to the October 2023 Newsletter