Dr Jackie Street
Jackie was an Australian National Preventive Health Agency Fellow 2013-2015 leading the HealthyViews project and with Annette Braunack-Mayer co-lead the HealthyLaws project.
Jackie’s research focus is on community engagement. She has a strong interest in bringing citizens’ voices into policy decision-making and a keen interest in the reasoning which underpins policy directions which use mandatory measures.
The rationale for development of the HealthyLaws and HealthyViews projects was the observation that there is a difference between strategies for injury prevention and road accident safety and strategies for obesity prevention. In the case of road safety, it is relatively easy for policy makers to make actions mandatory – such as wearing a seat belt or random breath testing. Preventive mandatory measures are much more difficult to implement in obesity prevention. For this reason, Jackie speculates that obesity prevention may need to be a progressive process -where the first step will be gaining public confidence in less contentious voluntary measures, before moving to legislation.
Prof. Annette Braunack-Mayer
Annette is a Public Health ethicist and Chief Investigator A and co-lead on the HealthyLaws project. Annette’s current research focus is predominantly in public health ethics, and public engagement in issues of public health importance. She continues to work in areas in public health such as vaccine safety and infectious disease policy. Her research reflects the multi-disciplinary nature of her teaching background (in applied ethics and qualitative research methods) along with her years of experience as an ethicist in a medical school. Annette seeks to apply ethical theory and social science methods together to public health and medicine, particularly focusing on addressing problems of relevance to practitioners and academics in these applied fields.
Dr Chris Reynolds
Chis is a leading expert in Australia in the area of public health law and a Chief Investigator on the HealthyLaws project. Formerly, he taught constitutional law and environmental law at Flinders University and University of South Australia. His main areas of research and consulting has been in public health law and policy. His book Public Health Law and Regulation is used by law educators around Australia. Chris has advised Australian governments on reforms to public health, food legislation, drug and tobacco laws and policy relating to HIV/AIDS. He was involved in tobacco control legislation in the 1980’s during which time it was very difficult to get such legislation passed. Ten years ago, Chris began to consider how the tobacco experience unfolded, and how we might apply what we have learned from that experience to the topic of obesity prevention. This inspired his interest in the similarities between these two areas and his work as one of the lead architects of the innovative South Australian 2011 Public Health Act. In 2009-2010 Chris was a member of the National Expert Panel on Food Labeling Law and Policy, which provided insights into the interests and agendas of industry and public health advocates.
Professor Vivienne Moore
Vivienne has skills and expertise in the field of social epidemiology and social theory and is a Chief Investigator on the HealthyLaws project . She has a long-standing interest in prevention of cardiovascular risk factors and a particular interest in child growth and development with a focus on the impact of family disadvantage on health. Vivienne is Co-Director of the Life Course and Intergenerational Health (LIGHt) Research Group within the Robinson Institute. The group focuses on the role of antenatal and postnatal factors, including diet on the development of children and their subsequent life-long health.
Professor Megan Warin
Megan is a Social Anthropologist by training and a Chief Investigator on the HealthyLaws project. Megan works in Gender Studies where her research interests merge around the gendering health and illness, the anthropology of epigenetics, and public understanding of scientific paradigms of obesity. Megan has worked in and across a number of disciplines in Australian and UK universities, including in psychiatry and public health. Her PhD examined eating disorders, more specifically anorexia. Megan currently works with psychiatrists and psychologists in SA Health and Flinders University looking at new services that are being designed for eating disorders in South Australia. Megan has been working closely with Professor Vivienne Moore in the area of obesity. Data from their ethnographic work has revealed that some policies and programs may fail because of insufficient attention to the ways in which community members value and use food consumption. Megan is currently working with SA Health looking at community responses to the OPAL program.
Dr Drew Carter
Drew has a background in ethics and is a Chief Investigator on the HealthyLaws project. Drew’s background lies in moral philosophy and he came to the University of Adelaide to work across disciplines, looking specifically at health technology assessment and the different disciplinary perspectives on the value of health interventions. Drew has been involved in citizens’ juries which examined disinvestment from health interventions of questionable safety and effectiveness. One of the case studies undertaken by Drew was for IVF for older women, which invited an examination of the ethical issues involved and listening to the public as to what they thought was crucial or important.
Professor Elizabeth Handsley
Elizabeth teaches constitutional law and media law at Flinders University and is a Chief Investigator on the HealthyLaws project. Her research is principally in the area of children’s media law. Within this work, Elizabeth aims to challenge media law by exposing it to multidisciplinary and cross-doctrinal comparisons. Elizabeth is passionate about the child consumers rights. Elizabeth co-spervises Jana Sisnowski and has supervised two honours projects in HealthyLaws: Jacqueline Lau, 2015. Constitutionality and potential effectiveness of laws to prevent childhood obesity in Australia. Honours thesis in Law, Adelaide: Flinders University. and Emma Gorman, 2015. Which aspects of international law might help or hinder Australia in the development of regulatory measures to prevent childhood obesity? Honours thesis in Law, Adelaide: Flinders University.
Professor Tracy Merlin
Tracy is a Chief Investigator on the HealthyLaws project. She has a PhD in Medicine, a Masters Degree in Public Health (specialising in epidemiology and biostatistics), an Honours degree in psychology and post graduate qualifications in project management and online higher education. Tracy is currently the Managing Director at Adelaide Health technology Assessment and Interim Head, School of Public Health. Tracy co-founded AHTA in 2001. This research unit of approximately 20 staff has undertaken over $27 million in applied/contract research since its inception, primarily or the Australian Government Department of Health, to evaluate health services, medicines and other interventions to inform health policy and public funding decisions.Tracy brings to the project her extensive experience in systematic review methodology and in-depth understanding of the health policy environment in Australia.
Associate Professor John Moss
John’s research and teaching interests lie within the areas of health economics and health services, in particular the way in which health services are delivered to people. Although now retired, John remains a Chief Investigator on the HealthyLaws project. John has been involved in a number of citizens’ juries, with his consummate skills in explaining the economic perspective in plain language. Through a grant from SA health John was able to look at the costs of unhealthy weight to the South Australian System and the cost effectiveness of a range of interventions available.
Dr Rebecca Tooher
Rebecca is an Associate Investigator on the HealthyLaws project. For over a decade, Rebecca specialised in research methodology, particularly in translational research and evidence-based clinical and public health practice. Rebecca has had a long-standing interest in the voice of young people being at the center of care that they receive in clinical settings and elsewhere. She has been involved in a number of citizens’ juries with Annette and Jackie. Rebecca has observed that individual behavior cannot influence to a great extent some of these hard-to-solve problems and is not convinced that methods to influence individual behavior change are always the solution.
Along with Chris Reynolds, Danny and several others spent several years getting the Public Health Act up and running. The Act has considerable potential in primary prevention since it can be applied to all areas of public health from prevention to crisis intervention. Danny wants to see this legislation used and for others to see its potential. He suggests that we need to be able to use this legislation properly. In particular, public health doesn’t work without public permission and when it tries to work without public permission it usually ends up in dark and evil places. Danny brings to the project a wealth of understanding of how governments of all levels work and the facilitators and barriers to implementing good public health policy.
Dr Vicki Xafis
Vicki was Project manager for the HealthyLaws project 2012-14. Vicki has a PhD in applied ethics and a diverse background and expertise in linguistics, bioethics and research ethics. Her PhD focused on the ethical, legal, and social acceptability of data linkage. Vicki has also been involved in a citizens’ jury focusing on data linkage.
Dr Lucy Farrell
Lucy completed her PhD in 2018 on the HealthyLaws project in the area of public attitudes. Lucy was supervised by Jackie Street, Vivienne Moore and Megan Warin. She came to the project from a senior position at the Australian Bureau of Statistics (Health Statistics Branch) having completed a Masters in Journalism. Lucy’s masters thesis examined the efficiency and effectiveness of self-regulation in children’s media. In her doctoral research, Lucy wanted to bring her two areas of interest, statistics and journalism, together in her doctoral program and this project enabled her to do so.
Dr Jana Sisnowski
Jana completed her PhD in 2016 in the area of public policy as part of the HealthyLaws project. Jana was supervised by Jackie Street, Annette Braunack-Mayer and Elizabeth Handsley. Her work focused on international aspects of obesity and nutrition, i.e in particular the types of laws which have been implemented internationally and the evidence of their effectiveness in reducing childhood obesity. Jana has a background in public policy and international health. Originally from Europe Jana has worked and studied in the US and has a specific interest in obesity prevention policies enacted or proposed in these two regions and how these could be applied or adapted to the Australian context.
Lauren Eckermann (Clark)
Past Honours Student, University of Adelaide
Lauren completed her Honours degree in 2012 in the School of Public Health as part of the HealthyLaws project. She previously completed a degree in Health Sciences, where she majored in Public Health and a degree in Law at the University of Adelaide. Lauren has an interest in finding an intersection between law, public health and obesity along with a keen interest in nutrition. Lauren was supervised by Chris Reynolds and Annette Braunack-Mayer. In her thesis, Lauren examined the extent to which Australian Legislation/measures have impact or potential for impact on childhood obesity and its determinants.