News

Our strategy

16 January 2023

We spent a lot of time in 2022 considering what it means to be part of HSCU, and what matters to us. We determined themes for our work and identified principles that anchor it – and us. And we set a vision for the next few years (2023 – 2025). We hope you enjoy!

Read more here

Dr Jacynta Krakouer presents evidence at Yoorrook Justice Commission

8 December 2022

Dr Jacynta Krakoeur was invited to give evidence on Day 4 of the Yoorrook Justice Commission hearing, sharing her knowledge in advocacy for immediate and prioritised changes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children known to and/or in the child protection system. Watch the recording here.

Helen Skouteris: Dean's Award in Research Engagement and Impact

10 October 2022

Prof Helen Skouteris has been awarded the MNHS Dean's Award for 2022 in Research Engagement and Impact. The award recognises Helen's work in establishing the HSCU, that now drives the evidence needed through multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral expertise and methodologies that are contributing to better health and social care outcomes.

ARC DECRA for Dr Briony Hill

19 September 2022

Dr Briony Hill has been awarded a competitive ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) for "Reframing knowledge of preconception lifestyles: A sociological approach". Briony‘s DECRA will be focused on transcending individual blame and weight stigma for preconception women. It extends her sole authored paper in Obesity Reviews on a new socio ecological system theory model for the prevention of maternal obesity and compliments her CIA ARC Discovery grant also funded this year.

Dr Darshini Ayton on The Drum

7 September 2022

Dr Darshini Ayton appeared as an expert panellist on ABC's The Drum on September 7, and highlighted HSCU colleagues Dr Claire Blewitt and Yihan Sun and collaborators the Alannah and Madeline Foundation for their trauma-informed work in early childhood education and care. Watch the episode here.

Podcast – The first 2000 days: Giving our kids the best start for a healthier life

15 August 2022

In this podcast by The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre (TAPPC), Professor Helen Skouteris and Dr Alexandra Chung discuss policy-relevant findings from evidence around prevention in the first 2,000 days in a child’s life (conception to 5 years). Listen to the podcast here.

Dr Darshini Ayton on The Drum

2 August 2022

Dr Darshini Ayton (HSCU Deputy Head and Senior Research Fellow) appeared on ABC's The Drum on 2 August, driving conversations around aged care and the impact of interest rate hikes on communities. Watch the episode here.

Taking implementation to a whole new level at HSCU – Dr Angela Melder

27 June 2022

HSCU is proud to welcome Dr Angela Melder, an expert in evidence based practice, who recently joined the team as an Implementation Practitioner. Read more here.

VicHealth CEO visits Monash to present VicHealth 'Future Healthy Award' in person

25 May 2022

Dr Rachael Green, Project Manager of the Healthy Eating, Active Living Matters (HEALing Matters) Program, was thrilled to receive an in-person visit from VicHealth CEO Dr Sandro Demaio to present the 'Future Healthy Award', part of the 2021 Victorian Health Promotion Awards held in February 2022 as an online event due to COVID. Dr Demaio visited Dr Green at Monash's St Kilda Road office on May 25th to give personal congratulations, and to learn more about the important work that the HEALing Matters program is doing. Read more here.

Podcasts – The Science of Motherhood, Dr Stephanie Pirotta

April 2022

Dr Stephanie Pirotta is a practising dietitian, nutritionist and HSCU academic researcher, with expertise is in the area of lifestyle and behavioural interventions for chronic diseases (including infertility, PCOS and endometriosis). These podcasts are from the Fill Your Cup series, 'The Science of Motherhood', to help unravel and interpret the latest research and evidence-based practices for pregnancy, postpartum and motherhood.

2021 VicHealth 'Future Healthy' Award

28 February 2022

Our Healthy Eating, Active Living Matters (HEALing Matters) Program has won the VicHealth Future Healthy Award! Announced on 22 February 2022, this award represents over 12 years of work under Prof Helen Skouteris, managed by Dr Rachael Green. Partnering with more than 30 organisations across Victoria and South Australia, HEALing Matters is improving the eating and physical activity habits and skills of young people aged 12-18 who are living in out-of-home care.

VicHealth Media release: Victorian Health Promotion Awards: 2021 Winners Revealed

vichealth.vic.gov.au/awards

Annual Report 2021

16 December 2021

We are excited to present the Health and Social Care Unit (HSCU) 2021 Annual Report! The team and our outputs have grown from strength to strength since our establishment 12 months ago – what a year! We look forward to many more valued and productive collaborations in 2022 and beyond!

View the HSCU Annual Report 2021 here

Hackathon 2021: Inclusive access to public health services for migrant and refugee community members

16 November 2021

HSCU has partnered with the Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre to host an online Hackathon event 15–19 November 2021. Under the leadership of Professor Helen Skouteris, the Hackathon will focus on inclusive access to public health services for migrant and refugee community members in Victoria. Read more here.

2021 Victorian Protecting Children Awards

7 September 2021

Our HEALing Matters program has received a Highly Commended award (runner up) of the prestigious Robin Clark Making a Difference Award at the 2021 Protecting Vulnerable Children Awards Ceremony hosted on Monday 6 September 2021. Read more here.

Dr Darshini Ayton on The Drum

12 December 2022

Dr Darshini Ayton appeared on ABC TV's The Drum on 12 December (her third appearance this year) – discussing gender bias in the health system, and the recent federal government announcement of a new national women’s health advisory council – a council of medical and scientific experts to look at the healthcare offered to Australian women and girls. Watch the episode here.

Dr Briony Hill on 9 News

26 October 2022

"Australians living with obesity are 'dehumanised and stereotyped as lazy', new study finds" – Dr Briony Hill, expert on weight stigma during the reproductive years, appeared on 9 News to discuss a new paper on which she was co-author. Watch the story here.

Public Health Research & Practice publishes special issue on obesity in partnership with HSCU

12 October 2022

In Australia, 2 out of 3 adults and 1 in 4 children are living with overweight or obesity, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Read more here.

MRFF Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Grant for Dr Darshini Ayton

27 September 2022

Darshini Ayton has been awarded MRFF DAAC Innovation funding to pilot a dementia diagnosis triaging system via blood biomarkers and digital cognitive assessments. The project will apply the infrastructure and 20 investigators nationwide from CREEDD to extend the Enhanced Dementia Program. Darshini (CI) and Scott Ayton (The Florey) will lead a team of researchers including HSCU's Danielle Berkovic, Ann MacRae and Sze-Ee Soh. Four Baptcare residential aged care sites will be involved, and residents free of dementia who give consent will have blood and cognitive tests. Qualitative assessment of barriers and enablers to implementation will be completed with aged care staff, clinical stakeholders, residents and family members.

Kathleen Fitzpatrick Indigenous Women's Research Fellowship for Ann MacRae

19 September 2022

Ann MacRae, HSCU PhD candidate, is one of four Indigenous students participating in the pilot of the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Indigenous Women’s Research Fellowship. The program is hosted by the Monash Indigenous Studies Centre through the Global Encounters & First Nations Peoples Laureate Project, and led by Professor Lynette Russell AM, the 2019 recipient of the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Fellowship. Read more here.

Leveraging policy to prevent childhood obesity in general practice

29 August 2022

In MJA's InSight, Michelle Gooey, Dr Alexandra Chung and Professor Helen Skouteris (along with Dr Elizabeth Sturgiss from the School of Primary and Allied Health Care) discuss the important role GPs can play in preventing excess weight gain among children through the provision of preventive care. Read more here.

Jacynta Krakouer on The Drum

6 August 2022

HSCU researcher Jacynta Krakouer appeared on ABC’s The Drum on 8 August, to discuss the need for a pay rise in the aged care sector, plus out-of-home care. Watch the episode here.

Ongoing support and training is needed in recognition of the welfare role educators are playing

26 July 2022

Why is it so important to support early childhood educators to manage their exposure to trauma? Dr Claire Blewitt, Mitchell Bowden and Yihan Sun discuss how exposure to trauma is contributing to high rates of burnout, plus a range of flow-on effects for the children and families they support, and what may help prevent further burnout and promote educator wellbeing. Read more on Apolitical.

Words matter in obesity policy-making

26 May 2022

Why is a shake-up of language needed to prevent weight stigma? HSCU's Dr Briony Hill and Mitchell Bowden discuss the importance of language within obesity policies, why current policies that seek to prevent obesity fail to adequately address social and environmental contributors, and why mindful language and messaging could enable effective solutions when discussing and writing about weight and obesity. Read more on Apolitical.

Lung transplant recipients experience of pandemic – supporting better healthcare for immunocompromised youth

20 May 2022

Adolescents and young adults have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. PhD student Kostas Hatzikiriakidis, alongside senior occupational therapist Simone West (Alfred Health’s National Paediatric Lung-Heart Transplant Service) and their colleagues, undertook interviews with 11 young Victorians living with immunosuppression following lung transplantation, to find out more about their experiences during the pandemic. The results were recently published in Paediatric Transplantation. Read more in Monash News.

Podcast – Health, nutrition and physical activity for children in care, Dr Rachael Green

1 March 2022

Dr Rachael Green, together with Prof Helen Skouteris, Dr Heidi Bergmeier and Dr Alexandra Chung, co-authored a paper which was published in ‘Nutrition Reviews’ in April 2022 (Volume 80, Issue 4, Pages 919-930): 'How are health, nutrition and physical activity discussed in international guidelines and standards for children in care? A narrative review'. Dr Green was invited to participate in the Nutrition Reviews podcast to discuss why the team decided to write the paper, what they found and the implications of these findings. Listen to the podcast here.

Helen Skouteris, new Editor-In-Chief of Health and Social Care in the Community

31 January 2022

Professor Helen Skouteris (Director, HSCU) has been appointed the new Editor-in-Chief of Health and Social Care in the Community – an international peer-reviewed journal with a multidisciplinary audience including health care professionals, social workers with a community or public health focus, public health practitioners, GPs, Community Nurses and Social Care researchers and educators. Read more at Wiley Online Library.

Dr Claire Blewitt honoured for her research in public health program delivery in early childhood

8 December 2021

Dr Claire Blewitt, a postdoctoral researcher in the HSCU, has been awarded the prestigious 2021 Sax Institute Research Action Award for her research in developing the SEED (Social-Emotional Engagement and Development) Program. Read more here.

First Peoples’ Health and Wellbeing AoD Outreach Service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

4 October 2021

Professor Helen Skouteris, Jacynta Krakouer, Melissa Savaglio, and Mitchell Bowden from HSCU have partnered with First Peoples' Health and Wellbeing to develop and deliver an assertive AoD outreach service using a culturally safe multidisciplinary model of care. Read more here.