Last updated: 07 Jul, 2022

At VicHealth, research is at the heart of everything we do. It’s about seeing the bigger picture in health and investing in a better future for the people of Victoria. That’s why, we’re investing over $1.3 million into new and innovative research over the next two years!

We’re excited to announce 7 new ground-breaking research projects as part of our latest Impact Research Grants.  

Led by expert researchers and teams from across Victorian universities and organisations, these projects focus on areas that have the greatest potential to improve the health of our community. 

Take a closer look at how our latest research projects below: 
Making big business everybody’s business View more

Research Institution: Deakin University
Led by: Dr Jennifer Browne

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:

  1. Identify commercial activities influencing the health of Aboriginal people living in Victoria,
  2. Quantify Aboriginal young people’s exposure to online marketing of unhealthy projects, and
  3. Co-design a policy response to address the commercial determinants of health for Victorian Aboriginal communities.
Assessing & addressing impacts of marketing claims on toddler food products View more

Cancer Council Victoria
Led by: Associate Professor Helen Dixon

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. 

Using ambulance data to create a contemporary model of alcohol-related harms View more

Monash University
Led by: Dr Rowan Ogeil

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. 

Early childhood data to decisions: Equitable child development neighbourhoods View more

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
Led by: Professor Hannah Badland

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+ people in sport and physical activity View more

Swinburne University of Technology
Led by: Dr Ryan Storr

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 View more

Victoria University
Led by: Dr Mario Peucker

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
Black Rhinos: A primary prevention approach View more

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology RMIT
Led by: Associate Professor Robyn Martin

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.