23 Mar, 2022 Last updated: 23 Mar, 2022

3 researchers, 3 years and a huge investment to tackle harmful industry activity in Australia.

Meet the academics shaping bold solutions

We’re championing 3 inspired minds who will take on the title of ‘Harmful Industries Fellows’. These roles will fuel fresh, bold research Victorians can use to put our people’s health before industry profit. 

This is all part of VicHealth’s commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians.


New postdoctoral research fellowship program puts Victorians before profit

These 3 early-career research fellows will look at brands, companies or organisations who profit from products that are harmful to health and wellbeing including:

  • alcohol
  • gambling
  • unhealthy food and sugary drinks
They will gather new insights that help us better understand the biggest factors influencing our health.

The main goal? Positive, healthy changes for the people of Victoria. 

Who are the fellows and what are their research topics?


Alexandra Chung, Monash University Dr Alexandra Chung, Monash University  

Dr Chung will look at food and drink marketing targeting parents and young children, focusing on:  
Packaging of products (processed or manufactured) for kids (infants, toddlers and children). 
How parents are affected by food marketing (and how they can influence change).  
A review of international guidelines and policies regulating the marketing messages on packaging. 


Jenn Lacey-Nichols, The University of Melbourne Dr Jenn Lacy-Nichols, The University of Melbourne  

Dr Lacy-Nichols will investigate the political influence of alcohol, gambling and ultra-processed food industries.

The work will include:

Understanding how harmful industries shape policy and regulations to serve their own interests.
• Investigating their resources, relationships, and activities.
• Helping ensure decisions prioritise the health and wellbeing of Victorians.

Florentine Martino, Deakin University 

Dr Florentine Martino, Deakin University

Dr Martino will focus on reducing health inequities caused by harmful industries to improve children’s wellbeing. 

This research will examine:

Ultra-processed food, alcohol, and gambling brands activities across digital and broadcast media.
Their corporate social responsibility and marketing practices, including influencers.
Harmful industries’ sponsorship of elite sport.

Putting our best findings forward

Funding cutting-edge research is at the heart of what we do. For more than 30 years we've been investing in leading scientists, experts, and thinkers to help shape a healthier future.

Our recent investment of $1.1 million over the next 3 years to our fellowship program is a unique opportunity for early-career researchers to be part of VicHealth’s work, networks and communities.