School of Population Health

The University of Adelaide is conducting the first study of its kind into the mental health of professional firefighters at South Australia’s Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS).

The six-month study is focusing on the health and wellbeing of currently serving and recently retired firefighters, systematically investigating the effects of regular exposure to traumatic events.

“Currently there is insufficient understanding of the burden of traumatic exposures experienced by firefighters,” says Professor Sandy McFarlane, Director of the University’s Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies.

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The Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies at the University of Adelaide conducts research regarding various aspects of the mental health and wellbeing of Australian military populations. The Centre currently has a number of large-scale military databases containing questionnaire, interview and physical testing data, from which research projects could be developed. The Centre is also launching a new large-scale military study on current and ex-serving ADF personnel beginning in 2015.

To commemorate the ANZAC Centenary, Australian Rotary Health has introduced an ANZAC PhD Research Scholarship. This prestigious scholarship will be offered to a PhD student studying in Australia to conduct research into post-traumatic stress, depression and other mental health issues, particularly for our returned service men and women who have served in war torn regions of the world. The annual value of the Australian Rotary Health ANZAC Scholarship is $35,000.

The Centre would consider supervising a PhD student in this broad area, and thus would support the right student in their scholarship application (which requires written supervisor support).

Scope exists for projects in the broad areas of mental health symptoms and disorder among deployed personnel. CTSS currently has data on mental health symptoms (e.g., psychological distress, post-traumatic stress) and mental disorder (across anxiety, affective and alcohol disorders), alcohol consumption, suicidal ideation/behaviour, anger, quality of life, stigma and barriers to care, trauma history, and many more factors.

To arrange a time to discuss possible PhD projects, please contact the Centre by phone (8313 5200) or email ( as soon as possible – as the initial application round closes on the 30th. January 2015.

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Keynote presentations from the PHAA conference in September are now available on the PHAA website. These are well worth checking out, particularly the Basil Hetzel Oration by Dr David Jernigan, Director – Centre on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Baltimore, USA), and Law enforcement and public health by Dr Karl O’Callaghan APM, Commissioner of Police, Western Australia.

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This week I was able to attend the signing and launch of the new South Australian Aboriginal Health Research Accord.  With the support of the Elders Council of SA, the Aboriginal Health Council of SA, SAHMRI and the three SA universities, this Accord marks the beginning of a new era for the conduct of Aboriginal [...]

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On the 4th September Dr Scott Hanson-Easey‘s research will be featured on US Radio Academic Minute. Scott’s  reasearch attends to how Sudanese refugees were discussed on talkback radio soon after the stabbing death of a young Sudanese person in Adelaide’s CBD in 2008. His analysis shows how speakers on talkback radio attributed Sudanese refugees with [...]

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The Young Investigator Award (YIA) recognises and promotes the outstanding research undertaken by young investigators in the area of women’s and children’s health. It also enables young researchers to present their research in a way that is easily understood by the general population. Now in its 15th year, this highly prized award is an ideal [...]

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Tuesday 29th July, 2014 Venue –Room 515, Level 5, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health Building, 207 Bouverie Street, Carlton, Victoria 3053. See Map The HSRAANZ will be holding an Early Career Research (ECR) Workshop in Melbourne on 29 July for HSR students, early career researchers and their supervisors. The all-day event will kick [...]

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We congratulate Dr Hossein Afzali who has been awarded the Alan Williams Fellowship, a prestigious fellowship that provides financial support for one Visiting Fellow (£5,000) to the ‘home of health economics’ – the Centre for Health Economics, the University of York (UK).  During his visit (April-June 2015), Hossein will work with international leaders in health economics to improve the [...]

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New research from the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies shows that while childhood lead exposure in the South Australian city of Port Pirie has been a significant factor in their cognitive and mental health development, the family environment also has played a critical role. This research has reviewed 30 years of work [...]

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Congratulations to Dr Arthur Saniotis, who has been invited to join an International Academy of Astronautics study group on medical support for a human expedition to Mars. Dr Saniotis is one of only a handful of international experts recruited to join the group. The group will work to define and agree on the medical support [...]

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