About us

We’re a multidisciplinary team of researchers with expertise across public health, developmental, health and clinical psychology, exercise and nutrition, women’s and children’s health, ageing and dementia, media and communications, epidemiology, randomised controlled trials, intervention mapping, evidence synthesis, and implementation science, including evaluation of intervention effectiveness.

This wide-ranging experience allows us to work together on health, social service and educational sector improvements that can be successfully translated to better health, social and developmental outcomes for children, young people, adults and families. The knowledge we generate is crucial to transforming policy across these sectors.

Industry and community partnership is integral to our success. We’ve led more than 50 industry research consultancy projects over the last five years, each of them involving embedding our research fellows, research assistants or PhD students within the partner group to counteract siloing. In so doing we lead theoretical and methodological rigour, capacity building and change across the research-industry partnership, as opposed to just delivering a final report. Further information about the current HSCU Industry projects can be found at drhelenskouteris.com.au.

Dr Briony HillDr Darshini AytonProfessor Helen SkouterisThe Team

Executive Team

Professor Helen Skouteris – Head
Dr Darshini Ayton – Deputy Head, NHMRC Investigator Fellow
Dr Briony Hill – Deputy Head, NHMRC Early Career Fellow

Leaders of Industry Partnerships

Dr Rachael Green – Lead, HEALing Matters, Department of Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH), and Centre for Child and Family Welfare Industry Partnerships
Dr Heather Morris – Lead, MacKillop Family Services and SNAICC Industry Partnerships
Dr Renee O’Donnell – lead, Baptcare Child and Family Services Industry Partnership
Dr Darshini Ayton – Lead, Baptcare Aged Care Industry Partnership
Dr Mandy O’Connor – Lead, Queen Elizabeth Centre, Relationships Australia Victoria and Good Shepherd Industry Partnerships
Dr Claire Blewitt – Lead, Bestchance family Child Care and Alannah Madeline Foundation Industry Partnerships

Research Fellows and Research Assistants:

Dr Heidi Bergmeier – leading work in maternal and child lifestyle health across the first 2,000 days
Dr Lauren Bruce – project manager, MyCare Ageing randomised controlled trial
Dr Stephanie Pirotta – senior clinician and Research Fellow, BetterBrains randomised controlled trial
Alex Chung – leading work in childhood lifestyle health, obesity prevention and the role of policy
Kostas Hatzikiriakidis – working across Baptcare, MacKillop, and HEALing Matters industry partnerships
Melissa Savaglio – working across Baptcare and MacKillop industry partnerships
Ruby Tate – working across HEALing Matters industry partnership
Anna Crawford-Parker – working across HEALing Matters industry partnership
Madelaine Smales – working across HEALing Matters industry partnership
Jacob Thomas – working across HEALing Matters industry partnership

Media Advisor

Michelle Putt

HSCU Business Manager

Tracy Taylor

Contact us


PhD Students

Julie Avery: Implementation and evaluation of a trauma responsive educational practice model for community services
Emma Galvin: Implementation and evaluation of a trauma-informed practice model within a residential out-of-home care setting
Michelle Gooey : Bridging the gap: translating childhood obesity prevention policy into clinical practice
Angie Jaman: The effectiveness of a psychologically informed environment in achieving outcomes in youth refuge
Pragya Kandel: Motivation and readiness for lifestyle behaviour change in preconception women
Seonad Madden : A Workplace Digital Health Intervention to Promote Healthy Lifestyles and Wellbeing for Women across the Reproductive Years: An Intervention Mapping Approach
Alex Mullins: The utility of My Health Record in the Emergency Department
Melissa Savaglio: Developing a community-based psychosocial intervention for young people with mental illness
Madelaine Smales : Understanding drug and alcohol use among young people within Out-of-Home Care
Andrea Tamblyn: An intervention to optimise the physical early childhood education and care environment to support children’s social and emotional development
Jacob Thomas: LGBTIQA+ Youth: A Global Investigation into Their Power and Wellbeing