Sue Allen
PhD Candidate Sue Allen 2

Health and Safety Management: A View from the Middle

This paper identifies 3 hypotheses and a null hypothesis regarding heath and safety management by middle and frontline managers in the Australian Public Service. This paper is a precursor to an empirical study via a PhD to prove / disprove these hypotheses. Specifically, it considers how middle and frontline managers, manage health and safety at work and what influences the process and the people.


Susan Allen has completed a Bachelor of Science (OHS) and Masters of Business Administration.

Supervised by Associate Professor Anthony LaMontagne, Deputy Director, Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow, McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health.


Rachel Boak
PhD Candidate Rachel Boak

Public Health Nutrition Policy: Potential to influence parental food and drink choices for 0-2 year old children equitably

This PhD study investigates the effectiveness of public health nutrition policy strategies on improving food and drink choices made for children 0-2 years old. It aims to: Systematically examine and review the effectiveness literature regarding the impact of public health nutrition policy on healthy eating, healthy weight and oral health among 0-2 year old children; Explore and identify key influences on parental food and drink choices for young children; Determine food and drink consumption patterns of children aged 0-2 years old (focusing on healthy weight, oral health and equity); Assess current Australian public health nutrition policy and its ability to impact healthy eating choices/behaviour and ultimately health weight and oral health among 0-2 year olds in an equitable way; Make evidence-based recommendations for public health nutrition policy to effect equitable and sustainable changes in healthy eating behaviours and ultimately healthy weight and oral health in 0-2 year olds.

This PhD is supported by a NHMRC postgraduate scholarship. It is nested within an ARC-linkage funded prospective birth cohort study called Splash!. It is conducted and supported within the Jack Brockoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program, McCaughey Centre, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne in close collaboration with Dental Health Services Victoria, Barwon Health and Deakin University. Expected completion date is March 2015.

Rachel has a Bachelor of Science (Biological) with Honours in Nutrition. She also holds a Master of Science (Nutrition and Dietetics), Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) and Accredited Practising Nutritionist (AN).



Claire Boulange

What Can Urban Planning do for Promoting Walking and Active Living in Urban Environments? A Complex System Approach

This study is part of the Place, Health and Liveability research program estabilished in partnership with public health and urban planning researchers at the University of Melbourne, the Victorian Department of Health and Melbourne's North West Metropolitan Region (NWMR) Regional Management Forum (RMF).

The NWMR of Melbourne contains some of Australia's highest population growth areas, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and is faced with rapid suburban sprawl. The new estate built on NWMR of Melbourne tend to be lower-density and have poorer access to local emploment opportunities, shops and services and public transport, thereby discouraging walking, when compared with inner city housing.

As there is evidence that rates of participation in physical activity in Australia are declining, this pattern of urban growth is a major concern, as it could lead to increased rate of physical inactivity and thus trigger health problems.

This study seeks to advance the understanding of the complex relationships between the built environment and walking behaviours and aligns with the RMF priorities for enhancing health and wellbeng across the NWMR.

This PhD is supported by a Melbourne International Research Scholarship (MIRS).


Claire holds a Bachelor in Geography from the Universite de Haute Bretagne, France and a Masters degree in Urban Planning from the Institut d'Urbanisme de Grenoble, France. Claire has also completed an intensive course in Journalism at the London School of Journalism. Claire has previously completed an internship at the World Health Organisation, Centre for Health Development in Japan as well as working as a consultant with the Vietnam Green Building Council, Hanoi.



Kate Brady
PhD Candidate Kate Brady

Identifying What Works Well in Disaster Recovery from the Perspective of Emergency Affected People

This research will look at the effects of disasters on people and what helps when recovering from them. This project aims to gain a deeper understanding of the things that help recovery from the perspective of those personally impacted. Kate is the National Recovery Coordinator for Australian Red Cross Emergency Services, where she is responsible for coordinating the development of all recovery services and activities undertaken around the country. Prior to this role, Kate headed up the Red Cross Victorian Bushfire Recovery team, which was developed to support community recovery following the 2009 Victorian bushfires. 

Kate has a Bachelor of Arts Soc/IR/HRM (Hons) from The University of Sydney.



Geoff Browne
PhD Candidate Geoff Browne

How can the use of community indicators program in municipal strategic planning be improved for sustainable development?

Enhancing community health and wellbeing is an important aspect of sustainability, not least because of the need to decouple wellbeing from material consumption. The Community Indicators Victoria (CIV) program makes wellbeing data, indicators and advice available to assist local governments with strategic, evidence-based planning. This research will examine the role that CIV plays in local government strategic planning, in council’s day-to-day work and their perception of the program. It will make recommendations on the form and delivery of CIV and on community indicator programs generally that will improve the way evidence based knowledge is used by government in the development of policy for sustainable community health and wellbeing. Prior to this role Geoff worked with the Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability on State of the Environment Reporting. Geoff was also a professional seasonal wildfire fighter with the state environment department from 2006 to 2013.

Geoff has a Bachelor of Behavioural Science from LaTrobe University and a Master of Social Science (Planning & Environment) from RMIT University.




Lara Corr
PhD Candidate Lara Corr

Working Conditions and Provider Mental Health in Family Day Care: Implications for Care Quality

This research seeks to understand the work-related determinants of mental health in an important worker population: home-based child care providers, known as family day care educators. It uses a mixed method study design of two sequential studies. The first study is a qualitative exploration into the perspectives of family day care educators and key stakeholders concerning how working in family day care influences educator mental health and how mental health influences care quality. It also aims to uncover new opportunities for mental health promotion with relevant actors and systems. The second study, informed by results of the first, is quantitative and involves a bi-state survey of a random sample of educators. It measures educator characteristics, working conditions, poor mental health and mental wellbeing to ascertain the relationship between key variables and mental health outcomes. The results of both phases will be analysed and interpreted with an aim of ascertaining the most effective avenues to supporting educator mental health.  


Lara has a Bachelor of Science from the Australian National University and an Master of Public Health from The University of Melbourne.



Simon Crouch
PhD Candidate Simon Crouch

The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families

The Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families (ACHESS) is an Australian first and the largest study of its kind in the world.

Research suggests that children with same-sex attracted parents do well in many aspects of their health and wellbeing but there are still a number of areas that require further exploration.

The ACHESS project uses both surveys and family interviews to capture the health and wellbeing of Australian children, under the age of 18 years, and in particular the impact that stigma and discrimination has on them. For the first time this PhD will provide a detailed assessment of child health in this context and ensure that children with same-sex attracted parents have the opportunity to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life.

Simon holds a Bachelor of Arts in Medical Sciences from The University of Cambridge, a Medical Bachelor Bachelor of Surgery from Kings College London, a Master of Arts from The University of Cambridge and a Master of Public Health from La Trobe University. Simon is also an advanced trainee with the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine.


Brandi Fox
PhD Candidate Brandi Fox

The Biographical Formation of Intercultural Understanding of Primary School Students

Brandi's PhD is embedded in a large ARC Linkage project spanning from four Universities and multiple government and non government educational institutions throughout Australia. Within the context of this larger project, the research Brandi is undertaking comprises a longitudinal (3 year) interview study of the critical incidents in the life trajectory and biographical formation of intercultural understanding among primary school children (4-6 years). Brandi will be interviewing students beginning in year 4, once a year for three years in four schools around Melbourne to find out how peers, family and social context shape primary school children intercultural understanding and their attitudes, dispositions and behaviours in relation to cultural differences.

Brandi has completed a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Santa Barbara in Global Studies and a Master of Arts from the University of Melbourne in International Development.


  •  Professor Christine Halse, Chair in Education, Deakin University.
  • Professor Fethi Mansouri, Chair in Migration and Intercultural Studies, Director of Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University.
  • Associate Professor Yin Paradies, Principal Research Fellow, Co-Deputy Director of Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University.
  • Dr. Naomi Priest, Senior Research Fellow, McCaughey VicHealth Centre for Community Wellbeing, The University of Melbourne.
  • Dr. Anne Cloonan, Senior Lecturer, Coordinator Language and Literacy Deakin School of Education.

Melanie Lowe
PhD Candidate Melanie Lowe

Integrated planning for healthy communities: Do Victorian state government policies promote it?

There is increasing interest globally in integrated planning for health, in response to concerns about the contribution of the built environment to chronic disease. In Melbourne for example, the population is growing rapidly, with many suburban growth areas experiencing a lack of essential services and infrastructure, poor access between homes, workplaces and shops, and related car dependence with low levels of active transportation. All of these factors negatively affect the health of residents.

Melanie’s study aims to examine the extent of, and barriers and enablers to integrated planning for health across Victorian state government policy sectors. The focus is on the key determinants of health in the North and West Metropolitan Region of Melbourne - employment, housing, transport, education, and health and social infrastructure.

Content analysis of selected state policy documents will be undertaken, along with semi-structured in-depth interviews with key stakeholders in the state government.

This research will assist policymakers to create healthy communities through integrated planning.

Melanie has a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Hons) and a Master of Public Health.


Rebecca Madill
PhD Candidate Rebecca Madill

Exploring the spatial distribution and impact of access to health care services across Melbourne’s North and West Metropolitan Region (NWMR)

Melbourne’s expanding population is placing increased demand on health services, particularly in growth areas. This research aims to examine equity in access to health services in Melbourne’s NWMR. It will explore the spatial distribution and impact of access to health service provision in the NWMR. Mixed-methods will be employed: 1) Using geographic information systems (GIS), area-level disadvantage and transport data will be mapped to explore spatial distribution of, and access to health services; 2) A new social and health infrastructure planning tool will be applied to investigate current and future health service provision and needs; 3) Interviews with policy makers, health care providers and patients will explore issues to planning and accessing health services; and 4) A case study will examine the lived experience of chronic disease patients who access health services in Melbourne’s NWMR.


 Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Nursing Science and Master of Public Health.


Mandy Truong
PhD Candidate Mandy Truong

An examination of the impact of an organisational cultural competency intervention on a community health service

It is widely recognised both within Australia and internationally that consideration of cultural issues in health care is important in meeting the health needs of culturally and linguistically diverse societies. Increasing cultural competency depends on a multidimensional approach that addresses individual, professional, organisational, and systemic competence. Knowledge about organisational best practice related to cultural competence is still emerging and there is a strong need for further research. The aim of this PhD research is to examine the impact of an organisational cultural competence review on a community health service (including its staff and clients). This in-depth case study will use a mixed methods approach. The findings from this research will inform and guide future organisational cultural competence interventions.


Mandy holds a Bachelor of Optometry and a Master of Public Health.