Monash Progress Report 2021 – Goal 3
Monash University Progress Report 2021 on the Sustainable Development Goals
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Reducing air pollution View
Air pollution affects most people and kills seven million annually. The Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute is investigating how airborne particulates and gases affect organs, drive carcinogenesis, and sustain pathogens. These findings are informing air quality policies.
Focal areas include:
- Cellular and systemic basis of the health effects of air pollution and other toxins
- Novel roles of pollutant gases in modulating infection and immunity
- Informing policies and strategies to reduce air pollution levels and exposures
Monash University Accident Research Centre View
The Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) is Australia's largest and most respected accident and injury prevention research organisation. Victorian road safety is just one example of MUARC's research at work. In 1989, there were 776 people killed on Victorian roads. Today, through Government action based on MUARC research, Victorian roads are amongst the safest in the world, with fewer than 250 deaths per year.
Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) Program View
The Revitalising Informal Settlements and their Environments (RISE) program is researching how innovative water sensitive infrastructure can improve health, wellbeing, and water management across urban informal settlements in Indonesia and Fiji. 2021 RISE embraced the new operating environment that COVID-19 has created, and used it to show that breaking down structural inequalities of international collaboration can lead to new innovations and efficiencies, and that research and development programs can be stronger because of it.
The program's accelerated transition to a more strongly locally led model is giving greater agency to RISE research and implementation partners and creating new opportunities, such as establishing state-of-the-art PCR-based pathogen detection capacity at the RISE laboratories hosted at Hasanuddin University and Fiji National University, and instituting an ISO9001 quality management system across the RISE international research platform.
World Mosquito Program View
The World Mosquito Program (WMP) is Monash University’s groundbreaking research program utilising wolbachia bacteria to prevent mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever. In 2020 the Program opened its third regional hub in Panama City, providing a vital channel into Latin America, and successfully launched its first mosquito release in Colombo, Sri Lanka in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services. Other regional hubs are in Oceania and Asia.
During 2021, WMP published the results of its largest trial to date in the New England Journal of Medicine, the world’s most prestigious medical research journal. The findings showed WMP’s Wolbachia method dramatically reduced dengue incidence in a randomised controlled trial in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
Cochrane Australia View
Cochrane Australia is housed within the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, providing renowned evidence synthesis across qualitative and quantitative projects, and generating some of the highest levels of evidence in medicine globally. They are a driving force in the move towards continuous evidence surveillance and rapid response pathways that incorporate new relevant evidence into systematic reviews and clinical practice guideline recommendations as soon as it becomes available.
Neuromedicines Discovery Centre View
In November 2021, Monash launched its Neuromedicines Discovery Centre, a cross-disciplinary centre that will work in three major areas – Better Medicines, Better Minds and Better Futures. The centre brings together the combined expertise and resources of world-leading researchers from Monash University and collaborators from University of Melbourne and The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health to propel new treatments for mental ill health spanning the entire medicines development pipeline, from drug discovery and optimisation, to clinical trials, new healthcare guidelines and into the public policy arena.
South East Asia Community Observatory (SEACO) View
SEACO is a health and demographic surveillance system (HDSS) located in Peninsular Malaysia. In 2021 SEACO celebrated 10 years of capturing and making usable, rich longitudinal data about a geographical area including the individuals, families and households within the communities in it - to observe the relationship between willing participants, their health and wellbeing, and the broader environment.
Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health View
Launched in 2019, the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health is one of Australia’s largest Institutes for brain and mental health. Through three key themes – Developing Well, Living Well and Ageing Well – the Institute is responding to common community challenges to develop resilient brains, promote brain healthy lifestyles, and maximise cognitive capabilities.
2021 Publications Performance View
Mean Field Weighted Citation Impact of Monash Outputs: 2.39
Number of Monash Research Outputs: 3224
Unit statistics and highlights View
In 2021, 172 units directly related to SDG3 were offered across Monash University, with a total enrolment of 9,699 students. In total 1,056 units were offered by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences and the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The units highlighted below are a small sample of the units at Monash relating to good health and well-being:
Gukwonderuk – Indigenous Health View
The Gukwonderuk – Indigenous Health unit delivers a range of programs supporting a human rights approach to health equity for Indigenous people, providing quality education in Indigenous health equity, and developing more Indigenous people to become healthcare providers, educators, researchers and leaders.
Future Earth Health Knowledge-Action Network View
In acknowledgement that the health of people around the world is tightly linked to the health of the places we inhabit, Monash University has joined the Future Earth Health Knowledge-Action Network to find a better, integrated understanding of the complex interactions between a changing global environment (such as pollution, disease pathogens and vectors, and ecosystem services) and the health of human beings (including livelihoods, nutrition, and well-being). Improved population health and more resilient health systems are attainable in the face of global environmental changes by an integrated understanding of how interactions among human and natural systems determine our health and wellbeing.
Institute for Safety Compensation and Recovery Research View
The Institute for Safety Compensation and Recovery Research (ISCRR), is a joint initiative of WorkSafe Victoria and Monash University. ISCRR aims to develop, conduct and translate research that has an impact and leads to positive change in practice or policy. It works across five broad areas: safe and healthy workplaces, evidence-informed claims management, primary health care, smart independent living environments and improving trauma care.
2021 was a full year for ISCRR: The knowledge building Thought Leadership series and Program Logic workshops for WorkSafe staff commenced, the Research Insights Library was launched, 50 presentations were delivered to stakeholders, and the Learning Series webinars for all stakeholders began, with the inaugural session centred on systems-thinking to prevent workplace injuries.
Lancet COVID-19 Commission View
Monash is contributing to the Lancet COVID-19 Commission – a group of eminent global scholars, public health professionals, economists, and policymakers convened in 2020 by the world’s most prestigious global medical journal. The Commission is dedicated to speeding up equitable and lasting solutions as part of the global response to the pandemic. Among Monash’s contributions, we hosted a roundtable discussion on strategies to manage the impacts of COVID with leaders from the Australian Department of Health, State and Territory Chief Health Officers, and key health experts from leading medical research institutes.
Monash FODMAP Hub View
Discovered by Monash researchers in 2005, FODMAPs are a group of short-chain carbohydrates found in food that are either poorly absorbed in the small intestine or impossible to digest; research since has shown that a low FODMAP diet reduces symptoms in people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The Monash FODMAP Hub provides a wide range of FODMAP resources and information, including a food database and recipes, to help patients and clinicians manage the symptoms of IBS.
Survey of COVID-19 Responses to Understand Behaviour (SCRUB) View
BehaviourWorks Australia is a leading behaviour change research enterprise within the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. It brings leading behaviour change researchers and practitioners together to find behavioural solutions to social, environmental and organisational problems, with a strong focus on improving health and wellbeing. In 2020 and 2021, BehaviourWorks set up the Survey of COVID-19 Responses to Understand Behaviour (SCRUB), to measure Australians’ behaviours and attitudes during the pandemic. Findings from each survey wave attracted national media attention, and were disseminated throughout the Victorian Government, to support evidence-informed policy responses.
Counselling and mental health programs View
The Monash University Counselling Service operates under a seven-tiered mental health strategy which aims to provide a strong community focus through programs and services which promote mental health; build resilience and wellbeing; enable early identification and intervention for those who are struggling; enable easy access to triage, brief counselling and referral as well as rapid responses to those in need of emergency mental health management.
Monash has a mental health policy, a mental health procedure, an employee assistance procedure, a family violence support procedure, and offers a range of activities to educate students and staff about common mental health issues, and how to support others.
Monash University Counselling Service saw 10,601 students and staff through 2020-21, delivering 40,703 appointments. In 2021, Monash engaged two Mandarin-speaking mental health workers to provide telehealth services to Monash students not currently in Australia. 819 students and staff received Mental Health First Aid training in 2020-21.
Health and Wellbeing Strategy View
From March 2020, the Monash Health and Wellbeing Program pivoted to supporting staff wellbeing while working from home – predominantly through online engagement platforms, including Workplace. A suite of physical, mental, general, nutritional and occupational health activities were delivered online to Monash staff.
Professor Kim Cornish, the new Chair of the Monash Wellbeing Subcommittee led the development of the Monash Health and Wellbeing Strategy, with a six-step action plan to improve mental health outcomes, and 2021 saw the launch of the Monash Health and Wellbeing Strategic Action Plan 2021-2025.
Monash additionally has a suite of policies, procedures, and targeted leave entitlements to support the health and wellbeing of students and staff.
Thrive survey View
Thrive Survey is the first longitudinal study of its kind to be conducted within an Australian university. It's provided unique insights into the experiences of students navigating through their studies under various COVID-19 restrictions. Again in 2021 we launched Thrive surveys at two different time points of the year and results from the 2021 surveys are informing Monash University’s post-COVID recovery in 2022 and beyond.
Monash Sport View
Monash Sport programs, services, events, facilities and activities attracted more than 440,000 visits in 2021. Monash Sport suspended its on-campus service delivery during lockdowns, and directed traffic to our successful Active Bodies Online home workout platform. Here, we featured up to 12 live group fitness classes per week, more than 100 pre-recorded workouts, wellbeing and exercise tips, as well as detailed webinars with expert speakers. The live Zoom workouts reached more than 6600 attendees across 250 workouts, webinars and events, with an average of approximately 25 participants per class.
Smoke-free policy View
Monash supports a healthy smoke-free environment with smoking no longer permitted on any Monash Victorian campus, including University buildings, grounds and vehicles. This rule applies to all students, staff, contractors and visitors at Monash.