Latest News

August 2017

New rural health hubs at Notre Dame

As announced in April, Notre Dame is leading a Commonwealth funded consortium of universities to establish new rural training opportunities for nursing, midwifery, medical and allied health students in both Broome (WA) and Wagga Wagga (NSW).

The Broome hub will be known as the Kimberley University Department of Rural Health (KUDRH) and aims to improve the recruitment and retention of health professionals to the Kimberley region of Western Australia. In addition to the teaching stream, the KUDRH will work closely with the University’s three national Institutes, the IHR, Nulungu, Institute for Ethics & Society and others to provide a research focus.

The KUDRH was officially launched by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Celia Hammond on the 25th August with representatives from all of the collaborating universities in attendance.

IHR in Broome

August is always a good time to leave Perth and head somewhere warmer!

Prof Max Bulsara and A/Prof Caroline Bulsara from the IHR were joined by Ms Reeti Brar from the University Library in Broome to provide a series of workshops and lectures over a three day period.

The program covered topics such as how to perform a literature search and storing your references in EndNote, a range of topics on qualitative and quantitative statistics and the chance to have one-on-one discussions pertaining to specific research topics.

Premier’s Science Awards

As part of National Science week, the Western Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation announced the winners of the Premier’s Science Awards for 2017.

These prizes recognize individuals who have made outstanding scientific research and engagement efforts within WA. Amongst the winners were, Professor Christobel Saunders was one of two ‘Scientists of the Year’ and Dr Asha Bowen who won the ‘Woodside Early Career Scientist’.

The IHR is delighted to be associated with these two outstanding researchers, through the recently announced Cancer Research Trust grant with Christobel as the Principal Investigator, and with Asha as an Adjunct Research fellow with both the IHR and Nulungu Research Institute.

Annual IMPROVE Conference

PhD student, Catherine Li is the Performance Review and Audit Coordinator in the Safety, Quality and Risk Service at Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Catherine is just commencing her research studies but will draw on her passion for ensuring good patient outcomes through the delivery of sound, efficient, evidence-based service delivery.

In what is becoming an annual event, Catherine and her organising group have pulled together an impressive list of speakers who will discuss their work at the all-day event on the 23 August.

DCD12 – Honourable Mention

PhD Candidate, Helen Beaton, was recognized at the DCD Conference for her poster.

As part of her “The Infant-Care Handling Activity over Time Study – The I-Chat Study” Helen’s poster was titled “Contemporary parent handling behaviours: Do they constrain or enable infant motor development?”

The poster won Helen the recognition based on the clarity of content, quality of images and the way it outlined the reasons for the study, its findings, conclusions and their implications.

A copy of the post is available here.

Biostats support at SJoG

The Institute for Health Research is very excited to have renewed its Service Agreements for the 2017/18 period with St John of God Health Care to provide biostatistical support to clinical researchers at Subiaco and Murdoch hospitals.

This arrangement seeks to increase the research output at both hospitals through advice on research design, biostatisticial training and data analysis that results in publications, joint grant applications and the ability to undertake research training through a co-supervised Masters or PhD.

Teaching buy-out for research

August 2017: In a Notre Dame first, the IHR offered to fund up to 6 hours per week of teaching buy-out for the last half of the year for research active staff in the School of Health Sciences.

The successful applicants who will share this opportunity are Drs Tania Spiteri and Ryan Anderton.

Tania will use the time to further her study in to what perceptual-cognitive cues an athlete identifies, and specifically how these cues are used during information processing, to making an informed decision about movement direction during an agility task. Ryan will build his collaborative network in a 5-year longitudinal study with Parkinson’s patients using biomarkers to track their decline.

We wish both well in their studies.

July 2017


July 5-8, 2017: The MoveGrowEngage collaboration hosted the 12th International Conference on Developmental Coordination Disorder at the Esplanade Hotel. Prof Beth Hands from Notre Dame was the Conference Chair, with co-convenors Emeritus Prof Jan Piek and Dr Melissa Licari. The organising committee was supported by fellow Notre Dame staff A/Prof Fleur McIntyre, Dr Paola Chivers and Executive Officer Louisa Smith; Dr Daniela Rigoli & Sue McLaren from Curtin University; and Dr Asheigh Thornton from UWA.

The delegates were inspired by keynote speakers Assistant Prof Jill Zwicker, Prof Andrew Whitehouse, Prof Peter Anderson, Prof John Cairney and Prof Janet Eyre. Over 170 local, interstate and international delegates attended the conference.

The next conference will be held in Finland in 2019.

Homelessness and health care

July 2017: PhD Candidate, Gloria Sutherland, was invited to Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) to listen to Dr Nigel Hewett talk about his work with UK homeless people.

Nigel is the Medical Director of Pathway UK which has inspired the RPH Homeless Healthcare model. Despite a 90% increase in ‘rough sleeping’ in London between 2010/11 and 2014/15, A&E attendances and hospital bed days have both significantly dropped due to the Pathway program.

All of this is of great interest to Gloria as she investigates the health needs of older, homeless women in the Perth Metropolitan area.

June 2017

Cancer research grant

June 2017: Professors Jim Codde, Max Bulsara and Caroline Bulsara from the IHR were part of a collaborative team under the leadership of Professor Christobel Saunders to win a multi-million dollar grant from the Cancer Research Trust.

The Cancer Research Trust funding of $6.75 million will be spread over nine years and an additional $2.25 million has been committed to the research teams by partner organisations including the Cancer Council WA, UWA, Murdoch, Curtin and Notre Dame universities, the WA Department of Health and St John of God Healthcare.

The Continuous Improvement in Care–Cancer (CIC–Cancer) Project will implement an innovative program of research that places cancer patients first. The program involves consumers, clinicians, health services and researchers and will measure outcomes important to patients, generate and trial new interventions and implement findings rapidly.

IHR in Sydney

June 2017: Biostatistics workshops were provided on the Sydney Campus in June by Prof Max Bulsara, Dr Paola Chivers and A/Prof Caroline Bulsara.

A series of workshops and one-on-one sessions were available which all proved highly regarded.

Paola extended the reach of the IHR to clinical staff at the War Memorial Hospital by providing a whole day workshop tailored to their needs.

March 2017

ASCCP Conference - Sydney

March 2017: Adjunct Professor Paul Cohen and one of his UNDA HDR students, Dr Lizzy Codde, represented their gynae-oncology research team at the 25th Scientific Meeting of the Australian Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology.

Both Paul and Lizzy gave oral presentations which have now been published.

Among the many highlight of the conference was a lot of discussion on the ‘Renewed Cervical Screening Program’ which was scheduled for rollout across Australia in December 2017.

Falls Prevention Seminar

March 2017: With A/Prof Anne-Marie Hill, the IHR hosted a seminar at Fremantle Hospital for health professionals titled ‘Joining Forces on Falls Prevention’ that shared local, national and international experiences and research.

The speakers included Sandy Blake (NZ), Melanie Farlie (VIC) and Jacqui Francis-Coad (WA). Over 80 people attended the event.

Sandy’s presentation and other resources can be downloaded from here.

January 2017

Biostats support at SCGH

The Institute for Health Research is very excited to have entered into an agreement with the Department of Research at SCGH to provide biostatistical support to the hospital’s clinical researchers.

This four-year arrangement seeks to increase the research output at both SCGH and UNDA through advice on research design, biostatisticial training and data analysis that results in co-authored publications, joint grant applications and the ability to undertake research training through a co-supervised Masters or PhD.

December 2016

2016 Health Research Symposium

In December, the IHR held a health research symposium to showcase some of the research being undertaken at the University.

It is now possible to see a video of the presentations and obtain a copy of the abstract from here.