April and May Highlights:

  • Prof Steven Allender, Prof Gary Sacks and A/Prof Jaithri Ananthapavan have been appointed as members of The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre Scientific Advisory Committee. The Committee will support the next generation of the Prevention Centre to help us strengthen the Australian prevention system. Read more  
  • Prof Jane Speight has been returned to the position of Chair of the international PsychoSocial Aspects of Diabetes (PSAD) Study Group, for a second three-year term. The PSAD Study Group just held its 28th conference in Wurzburg, Germany in April, where people with lived experience of diabetes contributed to the meeting. They share their experiences here: Read more 
  • A/Prof Debra Kerr, along with Prof Rochelle Wynne and Western Health associate researchers (Elisa Ilarda, Harriet Downing, Lisa Spong, Nicole Davies), received a Rosemary Bryant Foundation grant ($46,187) for a study titled “Evaluation of the Effect of Reframe Training Program on Nurses’ Professional Quality of Life: A Feasibility Study”. The ReFrame Virtual Realty Program was developed with the aim of improving nurses’ responses to aggression and violence in hospital settings. This study is designed to determine the feasibility of the Program intervention and preliminary effect on nurses’ professional quality of life and frequency of occupational violence and aggression incidents. 
  • A/Prof Anna Ugalde has recently appointed A/Prof Skye Marshall as the project manager for the MRFF Early-Mid Career Researcher Grant – Equitable Cancer Outcomes across Rural and Regional Australia (ECORRA, 2024-2028, $4.9M). Skye is a Health and Medical Researcher (Accredited Practising Dietitian, PhD) with 12+ years experience and an international reputation in delivering research programs which make a measurable impact on health and quality of life. She brings an extensive track record (>$3M funding; 75+ peer reviewed publications) and expertise in partnership, stakeholder engagement, project management and leadership across multidisciplinary teams.  
  • Dr Rebecca Bergin is also joining this team in June as a Senior Research Fellow reporting to Anna Ugalde. Rebecca is a current Victorian Cancer Agency early career research fellow and is a Chief Investigator on the ECORRA project. She brings research expertise in inequities in cancer outcomes, diagnostic delay, pathways to cancer diagnosis and treatment, rural health and health policy. Dr Bergin brings an extensive oncology track record and contributes to key cancer professional memberships across the state and nationally. Her current fellowship explores pathways to late diagnosis and the rising incidence of young-onset colorectal cancer and she will be a key contributor to the ECORRA program within her role.

Pictured left: A/Prof Skye Marshall, right: Dr Rebecca Bergin

  • Congratulations to Prof Andrea Driscoll who was awarded Researcher of the year by Austin Health as part of International Nurses Day. This year Austin Health received a staggering 131 nominations across a range of groups including admin, allied health, management and medical.

  • The IADR Oral Health Research Awards Committee selected Tan Nguyen, Oral Health Therapist, as the recipient for the IADR Oral Health Research Award. Tan is a Research Fellow at Deakin Health Economics Institute for Health Transformation, Deakin University in Victoria Australia and Senior Research and Policy Officer for Dental Health Services Victoria.  

Recent Conference Presentations

  • Adyya Gupta was invited to chair a plenary session and a concurrent session on Day 1 of the Preventive Health Conference 2024 in Darwin on 30 April 2024. The plenary session was titled ‘From Policy and Practice: Mobilising Communities to promote Nutrition and Physical Activity’ and the concurrent session was titled “Nutrition and oral health’.

  • PhD scholarship student Jorgen Gullestrup (DoH) presented at The National Suicide Prevention Conference 2024” in Adelaide 30 April – 2 May titled “The Concept of Mateship in a construction industry workplace suicide prevention program.” 
    He discussed the findings of a qualitative study into why construction workers decided to volunteer with an industry-based suicide prevention programHis research found that a strong industry identity and culture facilitated a sense of mateship within the industryWhen presented with an issue of high suicide rates it created an obligation to actLived experience of mental ill-health and suicidality was prevalent in the study sample and seemed to prove the efficacy to participants of taking action together to reduce suicide within the industry. 
  • Dr Eloise Litterbach (ACBRD) presented her research on the social experiences of women with gestational diabetes and co-designing a measure of gestational diabetes stigma at the recent 28th scientific meeting of the PSAD Study Group (24-26 April, Wurzburg, Germany). Eloise was also awarded a competitive travel fellowship by the PSAD Study Group to support her attendance. At the same meeting, Jennifer Halliday and Prof Jane Speight co-facilitated a workshop about the international consensus to bring an end to diabetes stigma and discrimination, and the Pledge that can be taken by individuals and organisations.

Photo of the diabetes stigma workshop facilitators at the PSAD conference – L to R: Jane Speight (ACBRD), Bryan Cleal (Denmark), Jackie Sturt (UK), Chitra Selvan (India), Jennifer Halliday (ACBRD). And Eloise presenting at PSAD.

Go back to the June 2024 Newsletter