Prof Gary Sacks wins Research Action Award

Congratulations to Research Action Award winner Professor Gary Sacks, for his exceptional work advancing obesity prevention policy leading the Food-EPI Australia initiative.

Professor Sacks’s work focuses on obesity prevention, at a time of soaring obesity rates in Australia. He initiated and continues to lead the Food Policy Index (Food-EPI Australia) initiative, which provides an ongoing assessment of the extent to which Australian jurisdictions are implementing recommended policies for obesity prevention, with reference to international best practice.

Watch the video below to learn more:

A/Prof Eric Lau named Highly Cited Researcher


Congratulations A/Prof Eric Lau for being named in the top 1% in world in their field after the release of the annual Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers 2023 list curated by the Institute for Scientific Information. Eric is a leading expert in infectious disease epidemiology and surveillance.
Read more about Eric’s work here
Read more about the nine Deakin Researchers named in this year’s list


Congratulations to:

  • Alfred Deakin Professor Tracey Bucknall was appointed as a member of the Council of Deans of Nursing and Midwifery (ANZ) Research Advisory Group.
  • A/Professor Stéphane Bouchoucha was re-elected as a Faculty and Institute academic staff member on Academic Board for a 3-year term. He was also appointed President of the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control for a two-year term.
  • Dr Gabby Burdeu, Senior Lecturer, was voted as the Victorian representative on the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses for a 2-year term.
  • Dr Heather Wallace was appointed as the School representative for pACE—the program (to support) Academic Careers Equitably.
  • Dr Luis Meave Mendoza won Best International Student Presentation at the 2023 QPS Research School for Identifying adverse events using the Global Trigger Tool method in central-north Mexico (Supervisors: A/Prof. Pat Nicholson, Prof. Elizabeth Manias.)
  • Nat Kondos won the Best Domestic Student Presentation at the 2023 Research School for What influence does stand down decision making at the end of a medical emergency team call have on patient outcomes? (Supervisors: Alfred Deakin Prof. Tracey Bucknall, A/Prof. Jo McDonall, Dr Jonathon Barrett.)
  • Dr Monica Peddle was appointed Associate Professor, effective 25 September 2023.
  • An externally led Australian Research Centre Discovery project, titled ‘Engaging residents and families about managing psychotropic medicines in aged care facilities’ has been awarded $463,939 and includes the following School of Nursing and Midwifery colleagues; Alfred Deakin Prof Tracey Bucknall, Alfred Deakin Prof Ali Hutchinson, Dr Guncag Ozavci, plus other Deakin and external collaborators, led by Prof Elizabeth Manias.



Prof Judy Currey has recently been elected to Chair the Academic Board of Deakin Uni by the members of Academic Board. The 3 year appointment commencing Jan 1, 2024, also includes a seat on Council. Judy has also been awarded a Life Fellow of the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses.



  • Dr Louisa Smith presented at the AAG workshop (14-17 November 2023) on the ‘Models of care for LGBTIQ+ people with dementia’, and the importance of extending dementia research and care to older LGBTIQ+ communities.
  • Oliver Huse had his PhD titled ‘The commercial determinants of unhealthy diets in East Asia’, confirmed.
  • Rebecca Bennett received best public health presentation at the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society Conference.
  • The WHO just released a report entitled: Guidance on regulatory measures aimed at restricting digital marketing of breast-milk substitutes. Which Kathryn Backholer contributed to through the WHO Technical Advisory Group and through commissioned research.
  • Adrian Cameron and team has launched a new website in partnership with UNICEF focussed on creating healthier retail food environments in East Asia.
  • Tony LaMontagne has been awarded the title ‘Fellow of the Australasian Epidemiology Association.’
    “Fellow of the AEA” is a postnominal (FAEA) to acknowledge members who have provided significant and commendable service to the AEA and the field of epidemiology.

Recent Conference Presentations

  • Dr Matthew Dunn and PhD Candidate Bianca Whiteside recently attended the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) conference, held in Adelaide from 12-15 November. The conference is Australia’s annual alcohol and other drug conference, bringing together researchers, clinicians, policy makers, and front line health and harm reduction workers. Bianca presented a poster, which presented data from the first study in her PhD (looking at public amenity and the Richmond medically supervised injecting room [MSIR]). She also presented the work from her Master’s minor project student Bronwyn Ife, which looked at the print media’s portrayal of the MSIR. Matthew presented work, funded by a IHT seed grant, which explored men’s experiences of using anabolic steroids as self-medicated testosterone replacement therapy.
  • Emily Tomlinson, Siyao (Olivia) Duan and Rami Aldwikat presented at the Declared 2023, the Australasian Delirium Association’s biannual conference in Sydney (1-3 November).
  • Dr Kaara Ray Calma presented findings from her PhD at the Association for Academic Primary Care Conference: Predictors of pre-registration nursing students’ interest, intention and confidence to work in general practice.

Go back to the December 2023 Newsletter