Applications are now open for the 2014 Young Investigator Award (YIA)

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 forum for promoting media interest in the excellent and varied research undertaken at the hosting institutions by high quality investigators researching women’s and children’s health issues.

The Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation is proud to be the major sponsor of the Young Investigator Award – an initiative of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network.  Flinders University, University of South Australia, Robinson Research Institute and School of Population Health (University of Adelaide), Women’s and Children’s Health Research Institute and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute are also partners in the award.

Finalists present their research at a formal awards event, to be hosted on the evening of Wednesday 22 October at the prestigious South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

Following scientific judging, each of the three finalists receives $2,000. The Young Investigator Award winner, judged by a media panel, receives $5,000 and each finalist is also eligible to take out the People’s Choice Award of $1,000 judged by the audience.

For more detailed information including eligibility and application requirements, please go to

YIA applications close on Monday 14 July 2014

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HSRAANZ: Call for Abstracts – Early Career Research Workshop

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 off with a keynote address from Prof Jane Hall, Professor of Health Economics in the UTS Business School, on what it takes to build your research career. Then, several early career researchers will present their work to an audience of peers and mentors and receive feedback from an experienced health services researcher in a relevant field.

The workshop will include plenty of opportunity for debate and discussion and is a great opportunity for ECRs and their supervisors to meet other Health Services Researchers, both early career and more experienced, to showcase their work and to receive valuable feedback.

Selection of Papers
PhD students and early career researchers (researchers within 5 years of completion of a PhD or with less than five years’ experience in the HSR field) are invited to submit an abstract on their research using the format provided in the attached Flyer to Sarah Green. Call for Abstracts closes 25 June 2014.

Selection of papers for presentation at the workshop will be on a competitive basis, based on the quality, relevance and interest of the research and its policy relevance.

Papers submitted for presentation should be based on health services research that is not yet published but is well developed/nearing completion in terms of analysis and/or writing up. The presenter must be the first author of the paper or a Chief Investigator on the project.

Preparation of Papers
Those selected to present at the workshop must provide a paper of no more than 5000 words, which must be available 3 weeks before the event (week of 7 July 2014) to allow discussants time to prepare their responses.

On the Day
Each presenter will have approximately 20 minutes to present their paper and 20 minutes for expert feedback and discussion.

Cost and Registration
This free workshop is open to HSRAANZ members only (which includes staff and students from HSRAANZ corporate groups). If you are not a member but wish to present or attend the workshop as a delegate you can join the Association before registering.

HSRAANZ Membership fees (GST included) – Individual $132; full time student $77; Corporate $1760

To join the Association go to Register Now. To register for the workshop please complete this form.

Any questions contact

More Information and Abstract Formatting Instructions

More information about the HSRAANZ

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Alan Williams Fellowship awarded to Dr Hossein Afzali

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 methods used to evaluate the value of new health technologies.

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Lead exposure only part of the story for Port Pirie kids

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 conducted for the Port Pirie Cohort Study, is one of the few of its kind in the world, and one of the longest, that follows the progress of children born in the Port Pirie region into adulthood.

“By looking back over the data from three decades of research, we can see that there are consistent links between lead exposure in childhood and poorer cognitive and mental health development during childhood and adulthood,” says Dr Amelia Searle from the University’s School of Population Health, lead author of the paper.

The results have now been published online ahead of print in the journal NeuroToxicology.

Read the full article here


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Dr Arthur Saniotis invited to join an International Academy of Astronautics study group

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 needs for manned deep space exploration, including flights to Mars.

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Integrated Primary Health Care

The Discipline of General Practice, School of Population Health has been successful in being selected as one of several research studies nationally to be awarded funding by the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute “Integrated Primary Health Care Centres” stream. Professor Nigel Stocks leads a collaborative team of investigators that includes Professor Esther May, University of SA, Professor Gerard Gill, Deakin University, Dr Kathryn Powell, Assoc. Professor Caroline Laurence, and Dr Paul Aylward (latter three from The University of Adelaide). The project is entitled Analysis of the supports and hindrances to the integration of co-located services in multiple models of primary health care delivery.

This research project will investigate mechanisms supporting and hindering health service integration in community and primary health, by examining different co-location models that are representative of the diversity of models operating throughout Australia. There are six participating case study sites centres that are established to provide integrated multi-disciplinary approaches to patient care; the Superclinic model, the GP Plus model, the combined GP Plus and GP Superclinic model and two private models of co-located health services (Unihealth Playford GP Superclinic, Health at Campbelltown, Modbury GP Plus Superclinic, Noarlunga GP Plus Superclinic, Adelaide Medical Solutions, and Elizabeth GP Plus Health Care Centre). Two areas of major focus are; making use of this strategically gathered information to identify what model or aspects of models works best to optimise integration in primary health care, and identifying how particular cases have developed strategies to overcome barriers. Importantly we will include patients’ response to this form of service provision. The value of this particular approach is that we consider the experience of different models when there are no prescriptive guidelines for this new primary health care approach.

The research study will be conducted over the next 18 months.

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Congratulations to the following staff who have recently been awarded grants

Prof Sandy McFarlane, CTSS – NHMRC Partnership Grant: Improving the resilience, health and wellbeing of Australian firefighters: an epidemiological study of the Metropolitan Fire Services of South Australia, $351,665

Mr Paul Rothmore, Public Health – SafeWorkSA WHS Commissioned Research Grant: Taking the next step: Operationalising a behaviour-based approach for musculoskeletal injury prevention initiatives, $32,406

Dr Sharyn Gaskin, Public Health – SafeWorkSA WHS Commissioned Research Grant: A regulatory framework for carcinogens: Development and trial of an evidence-based audit tool for cytotoxic drugs in hospitals, $95,589

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88 – Documentary: ABC1 30th January, 8.30pm

Documentary 88, goes to air tonight on ABC1 at 8.30pm.  This documentary tells the story from the 1988 bicentennial year when 30,000 Aboriginal people marched in Sydney – a day that would change the nation.

A/Prof Jenny Baker, Yaitya Purruna Indigenous Health Unit,  appears in this documentary.  You can watch the preview here More documentary information available on the Facebook page.
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are warned that some content of this Facebook Page may contain images of deceased persons

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Casual employment is linked to women being childless by the age of 35

PhD student, Emily Steel’s second PhD paper, “Is precarious employment associated with women remaining childless until 35 years? Results from an Australian birth cohort study”, by E.J. Steele, L.C. Giles, M.J. Davies, and V.M. Moore, Human Reproduction (first published online November 19, 2013 doi:10.1093/humrep/det407), has generated buzz around the world

Women who have worked in temporary jobs are less likely to have had their first child by the age of 35, according to research published online (Wednesday 20th November, 2013) in Europe’s leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction [1]. The study shows that the longer women spent in casual employment, the more likely they were to be childless when they were 35.

The researchers from the University of Adelaide found that this association between precarious employment and childlessness at 35 was irrespective of the socioeconomic status of the women.   “Our findings suggest that, regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances, women generally aspire to economic security prior to starting a family. This finding is important because it challenges the pervasive media representations of delayed childbirth as a phenomenon arising from highly educated women choosing to delay motherhood to focus on their careers,”.

The study was led by Vivienne Moore, Professor in the Discipline of Public Health, and was based on the doctoral study of Emily Steele. The researchers studied data collected from a group of Australian women who took part in the Life Journeys of Young Women Project and who were born between 1973 and 1975 in a large hospital in Adelaide. Interviews were conducted with the women in 2007-2009 when they were aged between 32-35 years old to collect information on significant events in their lives such as relationships, childbirth and employment from the age of 15 onwards. If a woman was studying full time, she was considered to be a student and employment during this period was not taken into account.

At the time of the interviews 442 of the 663 women (67%) had given birth to at least one child. At the time of their child’s birth or the study’s cut-off point, the majority were permanently employed, while 11% were in temporary employment; 225 women (about one-third) had spent no time in temporary employment; one-third had a university qualification and 75% were living with a partner.

The researchers found that the likelihood of childbirth by the age of 35 was reduced for every year spent in temporary employment. One year of causal work was associated with an 8% reduction in the likelihood of a first baby compared to women who had had no temporary jobs; the likelihood of a first baby by around age 35 was reduced by 23% after three years and by 35% after five years of temporary employment.

This effect was seen irrespective of the women’s socioeconomic status as indicated by their educational attainment, their partner’s education and also their parents’ birthplace (as the authors say that migrant families, where one or both parents were born outside Australia, might be more likely to have at least one child at a younger age than other women).

Dr Lynne Giles, co-author and senior lecturer at the university: “Our results showed that 61% of women who had received a university education had at least one casual job after achieving their first qualification, and 30% of these jobs were managerial or professional. This highlights the fact that temporary employment is no longer the sole domain of low-skilled, poorly paid people.”

“Our results also show that having children at an older age and childlessness are not just a matter of individual women’s choices. They reflect the broader structural arrangements in society. These over-arching determinants deserve more attention and study so that we can better understand the barriers to family formation.”

The paper also goes on to say that “Current policy responses generally provide financial and other support to parents after they have children; there remains a need to develop complementary policies to facilitate the ability of couples to commit to family formation.”

“Since all socioeconomic groups are implicated, we suggest that upstream labour market reforms could be considered in order to remove barriers to child-bearing.”

One of the limitations to the study was that the researchers analysed the women’s employment history, but not that of their partners. However, they did take the partner’s education into account, and they plan to investigate the employment history of both the women and the men in future work.

Although the specific results cannot be extrapolated to other countries, Prof Moore says: “The argument that women’s employment conditions have an influence on the timing of family formation would seem to be relevant, especially for Western countries with neoliberal outlook.”

Emily Steel’s PhD is supervised by Profs Vivienne Moore and Phil Ryan of Public Health and Prof Michael Davies of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.  Dr Lynne Giles advised on the statistical methods used in the research.

[1] “Is precarious employment associated with women remaining childless until 35 years? Results from an Australian birth cohort study”, by E.J. Steele, L.C. Giles, M.J. Davies, and V.M. Moore. Human Reproduction journal. doi:10.1093/humrep/det407

Human Reproduction is a monthly journal of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), and is published by Oxford Journals, a division of Oxford University Press.

ABS-CBN News- “Temp jobs linked to childlessness for women”
The Times – “Casual jobs bad for your wealth and your family life, women told” “University of Adelaide study finds women in casual work – not career women – are less likely to be mums at 35″
Reuters- “Temp jobs linked to childlessness for women”
The Telegraph- “Casual work increases chance of being childless at 35″

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DON’T PANIC – Surviving Extremes: Catalyst, ABC1 1st December at 7.30pm

How would your family cope in a Category 3 tropical cyclone?

Or a catastrophic bushfire?

Two volunteer Australian families – two terrifying natural disasters.
In this ABC TV disaster special, two spectacularly-staged disaster scenarios will be thrown at two unsuspecting Australian families.  Are they ready?  Are you?

What would you do if a natural disaster was heading for you? Would you panic? We like to think we’d react well, but the truth is, most of us wouldn’t – for a very basic reason – our brains partially shut down, and we can react in really weird and potentially dangerous ways.

On the first day of summer ABC1′s Catalyst will broadcast a TV event where Dr Jonica Newby uncovers the links between climate change, human psychology and disastrous bushfires and cyclones.

The bushfire and cyclone disaster scenarios featured in DON’T PANIC have been created in consultation with top experts from the Bureau of Meteorology, NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW State Emergency Service, Disaster Australia, Geoscience Australia and the Floodplain Management Association.

Contributing to this discussion are:
Dr Rob Gordon, Clinical Psychologist
Prof Sandy McFarlane AO, Psychiatrist, Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies, The University of Adelaide
Ian Mannix, Head of ABC Radio Emergency Broadcasting Service
Inspector Ben Shepherd, Media Officer at NSW Rural Fire Service

ABC1, December 1st 2013, 7.30pm


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