Dear colleagues,

While Anna is taking a much-deserved break, I’m standing in. So, while the picture above may be different, and Anna’s view is definitely different, it’s very much business as usual here at the Institute. Consequently, in this month’s newsletter, there is plenty of great news to share of impact, achievements, events and new initiatives.  

Earlier this month, Anna announced that IHT has an exciting new domain: the Health Consumers Centre (HCC), building on the legacy of the former Health Issues Centre. The HCC will bring leadership in health system transformation and expertise in consumer and community engagement, enabling us all to further develop our knowledge and capabilities in this critical area. Please reach out to Alison Coughlan and Katherine Burnard to welcome them and explore how you can collaborate. 

We congratulate Associate Professor Jaithri Ananthapavan (DHE) and Dr Edith Holloway (ACBRD) who have both received prestigious NHMRC Investigator grants to develop their research into two of Australia’s health challenges: preventing obesity and supporting the mental health of people living with diabetes.  

The 2nd Partnership in Practice Awards were a wonderful showcase of outstanding health collaborations across the Faculty. Congratulations to Dr Nikki McCaffrey (DHE) and partner Cancer Council Victoria, who won overall for their ‘economic evaluation of the Victorian Quitline service’. While there can only be one winner on awards night, every finalist and nominee is a winner for building such impactful partnerships, which are undoubtedly making a real difference to health and healthcare across the state, country and overseas.  

Congratulations also to Professor Kathryn Backholer and colleagues, who were at Parliament House this week to launch their report on #Digital Youth: how children and young people are targeted with harmful product marketing online. No doubt, there will be more to follow on this in the next newsletter. 

I’d also like to draw your attention to two new initiatives and an event: 

First, Deakin researchers and HDR candidates will soon have access to a new profile-generating tool, called ‘Find an Expert at Deakin’, which goes live from 24 June. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of taking part in a 5-day trial, in which I (and several other researchers) tried the new profile tool, providing feedback every day, which was used to refine the system, identify and resolve glitches, and improve the written support materials. Without question, the new Deakin profile is more visual, engaging and searchable. Plus, the tool is far superior to the previous interface, which makes editing the profile far easier and more intuitive. And if that isn’t enough to whet your appetite for ‘Find an Expert at Deakin’, there are also prizes and free coffees (plural!) for the first profiles to be updated and shared online. Read more below. 

Second, we will be sharing your publications via the newsletter in future. Read more below. No prizes or coffee on offer … yet!  

Third, following on from a successful themed IHT All Members Day in November, focused on Indigenous health, we are planning another themed event, focused on ‘changing the narrative: from stigma to inclusion’. More details to follow, but you won’t want to miss it. So, save the date now for our next IHT All Members Day, to be held on Tues 6 August at Deakin Downtown. 

Finally, please join me in offering a warm welcome to our newest IHT members: 

Full Members 

  • Uffe Soeholm,  Research Fellow, ACBRD  
  • Skye Marshall, Associate Professor, QPS 
  • Marcus Sellars, Research Fellow, QPS  
  • Fisaha Tesfay, Research Fellow, GLOBE  
  • Alison Coughlan, HCC 
  • Katherine Burnard, HCC

Associate Members 

  • Atsuko Yamada, Research Assistant, GLOBE 
  • Elahe Zare-Farashbandi, PhD Student, QPS 
  • Clement Wong, Research Fellow, DHE 
  • Petrina Leersen, PhD Student, GLOBE  
  • Stephanie Bennetts, PhD Student, DoH 
  • Samantha Lilly, PhD Student, DoH 

Affiliate Members 

  • Michele Conlin, GLOBE 

Warm regards,

Professor Jane Speight MSc PhD CPsychol FBPsS 
Acting Director, Institute for Health Transformation, Deakin University
Foundation Director, The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes, Deakin University and Diabetes Victoria 

Go back to the June 2024 Newsletter