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Impact Research Grants

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For more than thirty years, VicHealth has been investing in cutting-edge research to help shape a healthier Victoria. We support and champion equitable and innovative research relevant to health promotion and prevention. And we boost its impact by investing in knowledge translation for both policy and practice.

In July 2023 VicHealth launched our ambitious systems-focused ten-year Strategy for 2023-2033. We’ve allowed a transition period to develop the associated research strategy.

We anticipate that our next Impact Research Grant will open in early 2025. As we embed our new strategy, we will be looking to fund research that considers barriers to health and wellbeing through a systems lens, unpacks health inequalities across different populations, and has a strong focus on practical outcomes that will lead to healthier environments for all Victorians.

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Previous Impact Research Grants

  • 2023 Impact Research Grant Recipients

    Aboriginal Australian dietary practices and place-making in public health equity

    Victoria University

    Academic team: Dr Kristina Vingrys, Karen Jackson, Prof. Christopher Sonn, Rowena Price, Assoc Prof. Alison Baker, Dr Megan O’Shea 

    Building on past investigations by Victoria University’s Moondani Balluk Indigenous academic unit, this project will progress research on  the importance of ancestral Aboriginal dietary practices, place-making and self-determination for Aboriginal people. By supporting Aboriginal cultural identity and self-determination linked to “deadly tucker” and cultural food practices, this project aims to strengthen sustainable, healthy food systems and reduce health inequities experienced by Aboriginal people living on Kulin Nation lands.

    Policy and practice partners: Western Health Public Health Unit, Nutrition Australia (Victorian Division), The Cairnlea Conservation Reserves Committee of Management, Community Identity Displacement Research Network, Koling wada-ngal Aboriginal Corporation Wunggurrwil Dhurrung Centre

    Co-designing healthier climate policies

    University of Melbourne

    Academic team : Prof. Kathryn Bowen, Dr Annabelle Workman

    Working with the Department of Health, this project aims to support policymakers to access Victorian-specific data and tools as they seek to develop healthier climate policies. Collaborating with partners across sectors, sectors and levels of government, this project will result in a co-designed healthy climate ‘toolkit’ that can support and enable policymakers to adequately account for health in the climate policy process.

    Policy and practice partner: Department of Health Victoria

    Developing tools for knowledge translation in transport and health modelling

    RMIT University

    Academic team: Dr Belen Zapata-Diomedi, Dr Afshin Jafari, Prof. James Woodcock (University of Cambridge), Prof. Rolf Moeckel (Technical University of Munich), Dr Alan Both 

    RMIT’s Healthy Liveable Cities Lab’s city-wide transport and health simulation model aims to support equitable access to walking and cycling across Greater Melbourne. This project will enable policymakers, practitioners and health advocates to understand, visualise and apply this complex modelling. The visualisation tool will provide policy-relevant evidence for built environment change scenarios to maximise active transport outcomes and redress health inequities.

    Policy and practice partners: Department of Transport and Planning Victoria, Bicycle Network

    TransformUs Wellbeing

    Deakin University

    Academic team: Dr Claudia Strugnell, Prof. Jo Salmon, Dr Natalie Lander, Dr Kristy Bolton, Assoc Prof. Serene Yoong, Dr Caderyn Gaskin, Andrew Brown, Dr Michelle Jackson, Prof. Steve Allender 

    Building on over 10 years of research and testing, this project will work with primary schools in the Victorian Great South Coast region toco-design and integrate meaningful opportunities for physical activity within all parts of the school environment – from lessons and curriculum, to breaks and recreation spaces. School communities will join participatory workshops to build common understandings of barriers and opportunities for meaningful movement in schools, before putting evidence-based solutions into practice together.

    Policy and practice partners: Barwon South West Public Health Unit, The Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER; Victorian Branch)

    It takes a village: A neighbourhood approach to improve health and wellbeing

    Deakin University

    Academic team: Dr Kristy Bolton, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Dr Rebecca Lindberg, Dr Victoria Brown, Eloise Litterbach

    Expanding on the work of Norlane Community Initiatives, this community-led project aims to create healthy, sustainable, inclusive and resilient neighbourhoods. Taking a whole-of-neighbourhood and whole-of-person approach, this project will enable Norlane residents to address their interests in equitable and sustainable eating, food literacy, social connectedness, and community wellbeing. Knowledge generated about NCI’s approach will be used to inform  community health and wellbeing practices, at scale and across other Victorian communities.

    Policy and practice partner: Norlane Community Initiatives

    Social connections in Neighbourhood Houses

    RMIT University

    Academic team: Dr Ellen van Holstein, Imogen Carr, Dr Iris Levin, Assoc Prof. Sharlene Nipperess, Assoc Prof. Ian McShane, Assoc Prof. Ilan Wiesel (University of Melbourne)

    In partnership with the University of Melbourne, Neighbourhood Houses Victoria, and Network West, this project will identify how Victoria’s extensive network of 400 neighbourhood houses may be strategically deployed to offer increased opportunities for social connection, with and for those most at risk of loneliness.

    Neighbourhood house participants will be recruited and trained as community researchers. They will work alongside the project team to shape and design workshops and programming. The project will create a replicable, scalable and participatory process that is expected to generate sustainable social connections and mental health outcomes for Victorians connected to neighbourhood houses.

    Policy and practice partners: Network West, Neighbourhood Houses Victoria

    Enhancing the capacity of Victorian sport to tackle racism

    Monash University

    Academic team: Prof. Ruth Jeanes, Prof. Ramon Spaaij (Victoria University), Prof. Karen Farquharson (University of Melbourne)

    This project plans to improve the capacity of the community sport sector to respond to  and  address racial discrimination in sport.  It will review current policies, education and practices, and co-design anti-racist improvement approaches with community sports participants who have lived experience of racism in sport.  The project aims to enhance equity and inclusion across the Victorian community sport sector so that everyone can enjoy the health benefits of safe and inclusive community sport.

    Policy and practice partner: Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMSport) 

  • 2022 Impact Research Grant Recipients

    Assessing & addressing impacts of marketing claims on toddler food products

    Associate Professor Helen Dixon, Cancer Council Victoria

    Partner: Obesity Policy Coalition

    Addressing the rising rates of obesity amongst toddlers, this project investigates the impact of on-pack marketing of toddler foods on parents and carers of toddlers (aged 12 to 36 months). With consultations involving parents and carers, Cancer Council Victoria will develop evidence-based communication aimed at improving the regulation of marketing claims on toddler foods.


    Making big business everybody’s business

    Dr Jennifer Browne, Deakin University

    Partners: VACCHO, A2B Personnel, Clothing the Gaps Foundation

    This project explores the commercial strategies and activities targeting Aboriginal people living in Victoria, including marketing, related to the consumption of unhealthy food, tobacco, alcohol, as well as gambling. In partnership with VACCHO, Clothing the Gaps Foundation and A2B Personnel, the research will identify commercial activities influencing the health of Aboriginal people living in Victoria, quantify Aboriginal young people’s exposure to online marketing of unhealthy projects, and co-design a policy response to address the commercial determinants of health for Victorian Aboriginal communities.

    Dr Rowan Ogeil, Monash University

    Partners: Department of Health (Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Strategy and Policy Unit), Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing (Alcohol and Other Drug Unit) and Ambulance Victoria

    This project looks to increase the understanding and impact that alcohol availability has on alcohol-related harms, particularly those associated with public holidays, large public events, and festivals.

    Using ambulance service data and novel mapping technology, the research will identify geographic ‘hotspot’ areas of alcohol availability and harm across Victoria (both metro and regional areas), including in relation to an increased number of events and holidays. It will also examine the type(s) of harm related to alcohol for different population groups across Victoria- such as age and gender.

    Black Rhinos: A primary prevention approach

    Associate Professor Robyn Martin, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

    Partner: The Black Rhinos Basketball Program (managed by Afri-Aus Care)

    Designed in collaboration with The Black Rhinos Basketball Program (managed by Afri-AusCare), this project explores how a sport-based program can assist young people (aged 5-12) and their families to connect with services that support physical and mental health and wellbeing.

    It will work with primary school aged children and their families, integrating leadership development, youth mentoring, education tutoring, after school and holiday programs, and healthy eating programs.  Current and former Black Rhinos emerging community leaders will be appointed to paid youth mentor roles for the primary school age groups.

    Researchers will work closely with the partners to provide advice in implementation and evaluate the impact of the program’s expansion through innovative, culturally informed, and collaborative research methods.

    Early childhood data to decisions: Equitable child development neighbourhoods

    Professor Hannah Badland, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

    Partners: Jesuit Social Services, Cardinia, City of Port Phillip and Mitchell Shire

    Kids exposed to positive, stimulating environments in their first eight years of life are afforded optimal foundations for ongoing physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. This work contributes to an in-depth understanding of how neighbourhood features influence equitable early childhood development and health and wellbeing outcomes across different geographic contexts- such as established neighbourhoods or urban growth corridors. Using participatory methods, it will identify essential infrastructure and services required for optimising early childhood development and health of children and develop indicators in collaboration with our partners to inform local government health and wellbeing promotion practices.

    Collecting participation data on young LGBTQI+ in sport and physical activity

    Dr Ryan Storr, Swinburne University of Technology

    Partners: Proud2Play, VicSport, Thorne Harbour Health, and Sport and Recreation Victoria

    This research will be the first study in Australia to document participation data on LGBTQI+ young people in sport and physical activity, as well as the diverse experiences, needs and engagement of you LGBTQI+ people in sport and movement settings.

    This ground-breaking study will lead to co-created resources and evidenced-based data that will support the sport sector, health providers, and organisations working to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes for LGBTQI+ young people in facilitating their participation in sport and physical activity.

    Understanding reporting barriers and support needs of those experiencing racism

    Dr Mario Peucker, Victoria University

    Partners: Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria and the Islamic Council of Victoria

    This research focuses on barriers to reporting racism and the consequences related to having limited access to support after experiences of racism. Concentrating on Victoria’s multicultural and multifaith communities, Victoria University will investigate what discourages individuals from reporting and seeking support after experiences of racism, how the barriers they experience can be reduced, and what support is needed after experiencing racism.

  • 2021 Impact Research Grant Recipients

    Healthy and sustainable cities: tool for assessing local government food policy

    Associate Professor Gary Sacks, Deakin University

    Partners: City of Greater Bendigo, Healthy Heart of Victoria and Healthy Greater Bendigo

    In Victoria, local governments are required to include a focus on increasing healthy eating and tackling climate change in their municipal public health plans. However, there is currently limited understanding of the most effective and equitable policy options available to local governments to improve the healthiness and environmental sustainability of food environments. Accordingly, implementation of recommended policy options has been limited in Victoria and elsewhere.

    The Food Environment Policy Index (Food-EPI) is an established tool for assessing national/state-level policies for creating healthy food environments. The Food-EPI will be adapted for use in the local government context in Victoria (‘Local Food-EPI’), including extending the tool to incorporate environmental sustainability indicators, based on global recommendations, best-available evidence of effectiveness, and practitioner experience. This project aimed to facilitate increased local government implementation of evidence-based policies by developing and implementing world-first tools to benchmark progress in the area, in conjunction with our policy and practice partners.

    Enhancing Digital Participation amongst Refugee & Migrant Background Youth

    Dr Anita Harris, Deakin University

    Partners: Centre for Resilient and Inclusive Societies (CRIS) and the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY)

    Diverse young people aged 15-24 have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Lockdowns and other measures have compounded pre-existing inequities in their opportunities for employment, education, social/civic connection, and wellbeing. While many young Australians have used technology to stay connected and healthy during the pandemic, young people of refugee and migrant backgrounds (YPRMBs) experience comparatively higher rates of digital exclusion, intensifying their disadvantage.

    Planning for Victoria’s recovery presents an opportunity to address pre-existing inequities. Moreover, as critical interlocutors for disadvantaged communities, if well-supported, YPRMBs can help drive recovery. This project aimed to explore the opportunities and challenges experienced by young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds in harnessing technology for their employment, education, social connection and wellbeing.

    Increasing physical activity among young adults with disability GYM-SPARC

    Professor Nora Shields, LaTrobe University

    Partners: Vicsport, Disability Sport and Recreation, Cerebral Palsy Support Network, Down Syndrome Victoria, CP-Achieve, YMCA Victorial, Belgravia Leisure, Sport and Recreation Victoria, City of Boroondara and City of Monash.

    Young adults with disability are a disadvantaged and sedentary population, who experience social isolation and social inequities. Gyms are a preferred and socially meaningful setting for physical activity for young adults with disability, but access barriers remain, particularly a lack of social support and cost. Within a socioecological framework, two research ‘streams’ are proposed to investigate how to facilitate physical activity for young adults with disability through environmental change.

    This project aimed to create more inclusive gyms that meet the needs of a marginalised population, specifically young adults with disability. The research objective was to address the environmental barriers to physical activity participation for young adults with disability in community gyms. Specifically, it aimed to determine, within community gyms, how to provide social support to facilitate physical activity participation, and address cost barriers to accessibility.

    Download the report here.

    Co-designed adapted postnatal mental health promotion program for CaLD families

    Professor Jane Fisher, Monash University

    Women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds who give birth in Australia experience postnatal depression and anxiety at higher rates than Australian-born women do. Their infants are then at higher risk of early developmental difficulties. Few of them experience postnatal maternal and child health services as culturally competent, or helpful, or use them, and their difficulties generally remain unassisted.

    The aim of this project was to reduce postpartum mental health problems and improve infant health and social and emotional development among CALD groups and thereby redress the health inequalities they experience.

  • 2019 Impact Research Grant Recipients

    Food swamps, deserts or swampy deserts? Do regional Victorian children have access to healthy food retail? Does this influence weight status, dietary intake and wellbeing?

    Dr Claudia Strugnell, Deakin University

    Partner: GLOBE

    This study aimed to describe the changes in food retail environments in all forty-eight regional Victorian Local Government Areas (LGAs) between 2019 and 2021. It also aimed to examine the relationship(s) between food retail healthiness and measured BMI, overweight/obesity prevalence and self-reported dietary behaviours among regional primary school children across a subset of 18 LGAs in the South-West and North-East of Victoria.

    Rumbalara Wellbeing and Resilience Project

    Professor Alison Yung; Tui Crumpen, Kaiela Institute

    Partner: Rumbalara Football Netball Club

    The persistent health inequity seen in Australia has its roots in policies and practices that have had a negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people over generations. The Rumbalara Football Netball Club (RFNC) seeks to promote health alongside social and economic engagement with mainstream systems, while supporting cultural strength, continuity and community connectedness. This research aimed to evaluate the impact of RFNC on the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of its members, evaluate their capacity to navigate mainstream educational or employment systems, understand how mainstream individuals and organisations view and respond to the RFNC, co-design a cultural competence tool with members of the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community and disseminate the tool for use in a range of organisations.

    Bridging the primary to secondary school transition: intervening to improvement

    Dr Lisa Mundy, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

    Partners: Vic Dep of Ed, Drummond Street Services, Mount Evelyn School, and Local Government Areas (Wyndham, Glen Eira, Stonnington and Port Phillip)

    In 2015 the Victorian Auditor General (VAGO) stated ‘DET does not have a strategy or framework for managing middle-years transitions’. Since this report, several actions have been taken but there is still a lack of evidence-based, system-wide strategies to support students. This project aimed to develop an intervention to improve the mental health and wellbeing of students in the transition from primary school to secondary school, by using a unique existing dataset to undertake modelling to determine the optimal timing and focus for scalable actions to promote mental health in the transition from primary school, including identifying vulnerable populations. This project also involved the development of an intervention to improve mental health in the transition to secondary school, and proof of concept testing for this intervention.

  • 2018 Impact Research Grant Recipients

    Associate Professor Elizabeth Sturgiss, Monash University

    Partners: North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN), Health Issues Centre and Enliven

    The REACH project aimed to increase the capacity of general practitioners to use brief interventions for alcohol. The research was delivered in five community general practices in low-income areas and integrated new clinical resources into the HealthPathways platform hosted by NWMPHN and Eastern Melbourne PHN.

    Download the report here.

    Access the toolkit developed from the project here.

    Food and nutrition policies for Aboriginal Victorians: Evidence and advocates for change.

    Dr Jennifer Browne, Deakin University

    Partners: VACCHO

    This project combined participatory research and innovative systems science methods to empower Victorian Aboriginal communities to identify and prioritise community-supported population-level policies that aim to reduce consumption of junk food and increase consumption of vegetables.

  • 2017 Innovation Research Grant Recipients

    Food environment inequalities and obesity in Victorian Growth Areas, from paddock to shopping centre gate

    Dr Claudia Strugnell, Deakin University

    Increasingly the built environment is being considered by policy makers as a potentially efficient and cost-effective target for preventing obesity, delivered alongside traditional prevention programs or education-based intervention. This study aimed to fill a key gap in the knowledge base regarding the food environment, and associations between the food environment, diet and obesity in an Australian context. Recent studies in Australia have examined the proximity and density of supermarkets and fast-food outlets in a singular time period, neglecting to provide temporal patterns and trends and understanding of the entire community nutrition environment. The focus on Victoria’s Growth Areas (VGAs) provided a new opportunity to examine the evidence and to plan for future community developments.

    Impact of Health Star Ratings on the Healthiness of Consumer Grocery Baskets

    Dr Satheesh Seenivasan, Monash University

    One of the most widely used policy tools to promote healthier diets is nutrition labelling of foods. In a first of its kind initiative, the Australian Government introduced a voluntary front-of-package Health Star Rating (HSR) system for packaged foods in June 2014. Nutrition summary indicators, such as HSR are designed to reduce consumers' information search and processing costs, and, thereby, help them identify and choose healthier products. However, the success of the HSR policy in achieving its intended outcomes has been questioned because of reasons such as it is not mandatory, it rates some 'discretionary' foods (e.g. potato chips) as relatively healthy, and it is not designed to compare products across categories (e.g. potato chips vs. cheese). Despite the policy priority granted to the HSR initiative, its effect on people's actual food choices is yet to be studied, and whether HSR has been successful in achieving its objective remains an open, important and unanswered question.

    This research aimed to develop a comprehensive understanding of the impact of the HSR policy on the overall healthiness of consumer shopping baskets. This research focused on actual purchase behaviour of consumers as opposed to existing studies on HSR which are based on stated purchase intentions, as well as overall consumer shopping baskets.

  • 2016 Innovation Research Grant Recipients

    Maintaining tobacco abstinence among people leaving smoke-free prisons in Victoria: A pilot randomised controlled trial

    Dr Stuart Kinner, University of Melbourne

    Smoking rates are extremely high among people cycling through Australian prisons. Prisoners experience disproportionate rates of smoking-related health which are often compounded by entrenched social and financial disadvantage. Indigenous Australians and people with mental illness are markedly over-represented in prisons and experience increased smoking-related health inequalities compared to both their community counterparts and non-Indigenous prisoners.

    Correctional authorities in Australia and elsewhere are progressively implementing smoke-free policies that prohibit tobacco smoking on prison grounds for both prisoners and prison staff. However, despite good evidence that prison smoking bans reduce both smoking and exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, research suggests that correctional smoking bans are insufficient to maintain smoking abstinence after release from prison. This research aimed to evaluate the effects of a brief smoking cessation support intervention that proactively links people to more intensive, evidence-based cessation assistance.

    Promoting Incentives for healthy food Choices with retailer-led Economic interventions (PRICE study)

    Dr Kathryn Backholer, Deakin University

    Price is a key factor influencing what people consume and is becoming increasingly tangible as a leverage point to promote healthier food and beverage choices. It has been suggested that pricing strategies represent one of the strongest, if not the strongest, marketing factors predicting consumer food and beverage choices. Whilst it is generally accepted that price is a major driver of consumer food and beverage choices, the potential to use pricing interventions within the community retail setting to promote healthy food and beverage choices, is seldom considered.

    This project conducted the first study, nationally and internationally, to systematically and collaboratively work with those directly involved in the food retail sector, to co-develop and evaluate a range of acceptable, feasible, effective and sustainable pricing strategies, which aimed to promote consumer healthy food and beverage choices, on outcomes relevant to health and business.

    Count Me In: Promoting participation in sport for migrant and refugee children and youth

    Dr Karen Block, University of Melbourne

    Refugee and CALD migrant youth have low participation rates in sport however, despite improved policies and guidelines becoming available for clubs and sports governing bodies to promote inclusivity and cultural competence. Remaining identified barriers include costs, discrimination, a lack of knowledge of mainstream sports services, lack of access to transport, culturally determined gender norms and family attitudes.

    The Count Me In program was designed to address identified barriers to sports participation by CALD migrant and refugee-background young people. The objective of this participatory action research was to implement and evaluate Count Me In, a sports participation program for young people from refugee and CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) migrant backgrounds. The overall aim of the project was to promote health and wellbeing (including mental and physical health and resilience) and an increased sense of belonging, social connectedness and inclusion for these population groups.


    readyforwhatsnext: A computer simulation model to identify optimal strategies for developing the resilience of young Victorians

    Dr Matthew Hamilton, University of Melbourne (ORYGEN)

    readyforwhatsnext established a collaborative partnership between young people, researchers and policymakers to develop and validate a computer simulation model that informed better approaches to developing the resilience of young Victorians. Computer simulation models are mathematical representations of the working of some system of interest, developed with the aid of computer software, are similar to but simpler than the systems they represent. Computer simulation models have been described as "thinking prostheses" for their ability to synthesise large amounts of information from diverse sources relating to complex systems and are increasingly used to inform health policy because of their ability to explore the potential impact of alternative policy choices and to describe the decision uncertainty relating to those choices.

    Developing a LGBTI safe housing network to prevent homelessness and build social connection and resilience

    Dr Ruth McNair, University of Melbourne

    Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender diverse and intersex (LGBTI) people are more likely to experience homelessness than heterosexual, cis-gendered Australians. One of the key drivers of homelessness is family rejection and conflict relating to minority sexual and gender identities and intersex status. A further driver is discrimination within the housing sector. Prevention of homelessness can be facilitated through access to stable housing that is free from discrimination for LGBTI people.

    This project aimed to establish, pilot and evaluate a Victorian LGBTI people safe housing network that enables LGBTI people at any age who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness (including after exiting care) to enter the stable and safe housing. The network also helped to build social connections and resilience, leading to improved mental health and wellbeing, and significantly reduce the likelihood of homelessness in the future.

  • 2015 Innovation Research Grant Recipients

    Using Fitbits to promote physical activity in inactive Victorian adolescents: Technological revolution or fad?

    Dr Nicole Ridgers, Deakin University

    Wearable activity trackers (e.g. Fitbit, Jawbone) are a modern day phenomenon. Their popularity, mass market appeal, pervasiveness, and widespread availability, combined with their decreasing cost, have resulted in these technologies becoming a part of mainstream culture. They provide a simple, functional, motivational, and low-cost opportunity for promoting physical activity to the broader population.

    This was the first project internationally to have examined whether wearable activity trackers can increase physical activity levels among inactive adolescents from socioeconomically disadvantaged areas, or whether they were a technological fad.

    STICKE Healthy Eating – Systems Thinking in Community Knowledge Exchange

    Professor Steven Allender, Deakin University

    STICKE is an online tool that has been developed to support collective action for systems change by collecting people's mental maps of system on line and converging these into a common system map. This software has the potential to collect information from large numbers of community members, quickly and at low cost. This funding supported the development of analytic capacity to determine similarity and points of difference between respondents and presented this information in a way that is useful for the collective design of obesity prevention interventions across whole communities. The overall objective was to understand whether STICKE could provide the basis to generate, synthesise and share meaningful understandings of complex drivers of disease to enable communities to create meaningful whole of system intervention and provide ongoing feedback to the ongoing implementation, evolution and evaluation of systems change.

  • 2014 Innovation Research Grant Recipients

    Kids as Catalyst: Evaluating a child-led social action program promoting child and youth resilience and mental wellbeing

    Professor Lisa Gibbs, University of Melbourne

    This project aimed to implement and evaluate the Kids as Catalyst program in six primary and secondary schools in two vulnerable communities-- one regional and one metropolitan area, both of which have diverse communities.

    Kids as Catalyst (formerly known as In Schools Philanthropy program) focused on building children's resilience and mental wellbeing. Kids as Catalyst is a six-month creative leadership program that inspires young students to become social catalysts in their local communities. Children discover and connect with their personal values, and learn how to conceive, design and implement real-life, social change projects to benefit their local communities. They do this by speaking with local volunteers, charities and community organisations on issues of personal interest and begin to shape a concept and potential strategies for change. The children are supported to 'pitch' their projects to community leaders for funding and support, develop budgets and manage finances, and develop and deliver community projects.

    Creating supermarket food environments that encourage healthy eating

    Dr Adrian Cameron, Deakin University

    This project aimed to provide rigorous evidence of the effectiveness and financial impact of interventions to improve the healthiness of food purchases in Australian supermarkets. The project adopted a strong solutions-focused approach in bringing together private sector and public health groups to examine the potential impact of population nutrition interventions in the real-world supermarket setting. It built on a strong existing collaboration between supermarkets, local government partners, and senior researchers from the internationally recognised World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University. The economic analysis that was central to the project aimed to ensure that the results are highly relevant to groups beyond the public health community and therefore readily transferable to other settings.

Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
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Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.