I first immersed myself in Public Health when I studied Health Psychology in my undergraduate Psychology degree. The top-down view of the wider psychological and behavioural determinants of health and healthcare captivated me like nothing else.
I went on to complete my Honours thesis in reproductive decision-making, studying young people’s knowledge of how age affects fertility and the effectiveness of IVF (by the way, their knowledge is fairly poor – but we showed it can be improved). I then worked at The University of Queensland’s Centre for Mothers and Babies, funded by the State Government, co-developing a range of resources to support women to make decisions about their care in pregnancy, labour, and birth.
I transitioned into Clinical Epidemiology in 2012, working in perinatal health with focus on stillbirth. It has been a challenging but highly rewarding step. I’ve collaborated with the world experts in this space (an amazing group of people), and we’ve made enormous progress to ensure stillbirth is squarely on the global health agenda. A big milestone was the highly-influential 2016 Lancet series on ‘Ending Preventable Stillbirths’, in which I co-authored two articles and drafted the series executive summary. This series continues to impact policy at national and international levels including in Australia where, through a national Senate Inquiry, it helped shape Federal policy recommendations around stillbirth prevention and response. My PhD looked at a complex challenge many ‘still parents’ face: the next pregnancy. It showed striking gaps in care-provision and in research in this area.
I’ve collaborated with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Norwegian Institute of Public Health to develop global frameworks and customisable technical tools for electronic health registries for maternal and child health – coined eRegistries, and I’ve worked closely with the International Stillbirth Alliance in a research and advocacy capacity.
I am the lead author on six international scientific studies in perinatal health and evidence-based medicine, and co-author on 18 other national and international research projects across maternal and newborn health, psychology, and environmental conservation.
I am also hugely passionate about taking science to those to whom it matters most. As well as my scientific journal publications, I have co-authored reports to WHO and State Government, and articles in The Conversation AU, and written plain-language research summaries, blog entries, podcast scripts, website and app content, and successful funding applications. I have spoken at 10 international conferences and meetings and seven national conferences and forums.
I am now an honorary research fellow at The University of Queensland. I work as an independent consultant, partnering with universities and organisations to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes using high-quality evidence. Visit consulting for more information.
I live in Brisbane with my partner, and one very spirited Russian Blue.