A/Prof. Mardie Townsend

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Honorary Associate Professor

Faculty

Faculty of Health

Department

School of Health & Soc. Dev.

Campus

Melbourne Burwood Campus

Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy, Royal Melb Inst. of Technology, 1997

Contact

Research interests

Associate Professor Townsend is involved, in collaboration with Parks Victoria and other partner organisations, in investigating the benefits of contact with nature

for human health and wellbeing. Current and recent research includes: an

investigation of health and wellbeing outcomes of differing levels of access to

nature for residents of high-rise housing; a study of mental health benefits of

hands-on nature based activities in primary schools; a nature based intervention

program for people suffering depression, anxiety and/or social isolation; an

assessment of health benefits of a visiting companion animal program in an acute

care hospital; several projects exploring the health and wellbeing outcomes of

bush adventure therapy programs in Australia; several projects exploring the

benefits of environmental volunteering; and a project assessing the valuing and

use of parks in high and low SES areas.



Other recent research undertaken by Associate Professor Townsend has included:

several studies of the use of parks and open spaces; a study of the cumulative

impacts of policy change on two small Victorian rural communities; a study for

the UK Housing Corporation on the housing needs and aspirations of British

women between 2000 and 2020; and a study of the role of physical activity and

sport in building social capital in rural communities.

Affiliations

Public Health Association of Australia

International Union for Health Promotion and Education

International Association for Ecology and Health

Teaching interests

Unit Chair HSH736

Unit Chair HSH740

4 PhD students

1 masters major project student

2 masters minor project students

1 honours student

Conferences

Human Nature Connections : 'The importance of green spaces and urban parks for health and wellbeing'. Invited keynote presentation at Agencies for Nutrition Action Conference, Wellington, NZ, May 2009 'A World without Parks?' It Makes You Sick to Think of it!' Invited keynote presentation at Parks Forum Conference, Auckland, NZ, May 2008. 'The Nature Connection', Presentation to the 'Stirring the Possum' Public Forum, run by the South Australian Department of Environment and Natural Resources, at The Sanctury, Adelaide Zoo, April 2011. Healthy Environments, Healthy People: The effect of biodiversity on health and wellbeing of individuals and families in rural communities, Presentation to Kangaroo Island Natural Resources Board, Brush with Biodiversity Conference, Kingscote, KI October 2010 Climate Change and Human Health, Presentation to the Frankston City Council Community Workshop, May 2010 Healthy Parks = Healthy People? The Importance of Nature and the Outdoor Life, Presentation to the City of Melbournes Melbourne Conversations Public Forum, April 2010 Investing in Wellbeing: Healthy People, Healthy Business, Presentation to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia Forum, March 2010

Awards

1999 Recipient of the Vice-Chancellors Award for Outstanding Achievement in

Teaching

2004 Recipient of the Vice-Chancellors Award for Excellent Contributions to

the Community

2005 Recipient of the Vice-Chancellors Award for Outstanding Achievement in

Teaching and Learning

Projects

Associate Professor Townsend is involved in a range of School, Faculty and University committees:



She is a member of the following Deakin committees and groups:

Deakin University Environmental Policy Sub Committee

School of Health and Social Development School Board



She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the journal EcoHealth, and regularly reviews articles for the following journals: Health Promotion International, International Journal of Consumer Studies, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy, and Urban Forestry and Urban Greening.

Publications

Filter by

2017

The act of giving: a pilot and feasibility study of the My Life Story programme designed to foster positive mental health and well-being in adolescents and older adults

T Knight, H Skouteris, M Townsend, M Hooley

(2017), Vol. 22, pp. 165-178, International journal of adolescence and youth, Abingdon, England, C1

journal
2016

Improving wellbeing and environmental stewardship through volunteering in nature

R Molsher, M Townsend

(2016), Vol. 13, pp. 151-155, EcoHealth, New York, N.Y., C1

journal

Exploring the health and well-being experiences in accessing gardens within a health care setting in Australia: the preliminary findings

R Weerasuriya, M Townsend, C Henderson-Wilson, S Wells

(2016), Vol. 1121, pp. 59-6, ISHS 2016 : Horticulture and Human Communities : Proceedings of the People Plan Symposium, Chania, Crete, E1-1

conference
2015

'Ecological embeddedness' and its public health implications: findings from an exploratory study

M Lewis, M Townsend

(2015), Vol. 12, pp. 244-252, Ecohealth, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal

Promoting appreciation of cultural diversity and inclusion with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen garden program

K Block, L Gibbs, S Macfarlane, M Townsend

(2015), Vol. 9, pp. 2-9, Journal for multicultural education, Bingley, Eng., C1

journal
2014

Volunteering in a school kitchen garden program : cooking up confidence, capabilities and connections!

M Townsend, L Gibbs, S Macfarlane, K Block, P Staiger, L Gold, B Johnson, C Long

(2014), Vol. 25, pp. 225-247, Voluntas, New York, N.Y., C1

journal

The act of giving: a systematic review of nonfamilial intergenerational interaction

T Knight, H Skouteris, M Townsend, M Hooley

(2014), Vol. 12, pp. 257-278, Journal of intergenerational relationships, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal
2013

Expanding children's food experiences : the impact of a school-based kitchen garden program

L Gibbs, P Staiger, B Johnson, K Block, S Macfarlane, L Gold, J Kulas, M Townsend, C Long, O Ukoumunne

(2013), Vol. 45, pp. 137-146, Journal of nutrition education and behavior, New York, N. Y., C1

journal

Developing an exploratory framework linking Australian Aboriginal peoples' connection to country and concepts of wellbeing

J Kingsley, M Townsend, C Henderson-Wilson, B Bolam

(2013), Vol. 10, pp. 678-698, International journal of environmental research and public health, Basel, Switzerland, C1

journal

Methodology for the evaluation of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program

L Gibbs, P Staiger, M Townsend, S Macfarlane, L Gold, K Block, B Johnson, J Kulas, E Waters

(2013), Vol. 24, pp. 32-43, Health promotion journal of Australia, Clayton, Vic., C1-1

journal
2012

Growing community : the impact of the Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden program on the social and learning environment in primary schools

K Block, L Gibbs, P Staiger, L Gold, B Johnson, S Macfarlane, C Long, M Townsend

(2012), Vol. 39, pp. 419-432, Health education and behavior, Thousand Oaks, Calif., C1

journal

Parenting and place : pilot study exploring experiences of women from inner and outer Melbourne suburbs

F Andrews, C Henderson-Wilson, M Townsend

(2012), pp. 1-11, 5th Health Citites : Working Together to Achieve Liveable Cities : Book of Proceedings 2012, Geelong, Vic., E1

conference
2011

Health promotion and climate change : exploring the core competencies required for action

R Patrick, T Capetola, M Townsend, S Nuttman

(2011), Vol. 27, pp. 475-485, Health promotion international, Oxford, England, C1

journal

Volunteering in nature as a way of enabling people to reintegrate into society

L O'Brien, A Burls, M Townsend, M Ebden

(2011), Vol. 131, pp. 71-81, Perspectives in Public Health, United Kingdom, C1

journal

Incorporating sustainability into community-based healthcare practice

R Patrick, T Capetola, M Townsend, L Hanna

(2011), Vol. 8, pp. 277-289, Ecohealth, New York, N. Y., C1-1

journal
2010

Using a qualitative approach to research to build trust between a non-Aboriginal researcher and Aboriginal participants (Australia)

J Kingsley, R Phillips, M Townsend, C Henderson-Wilson

(2010), Vol. 10, pp. 2-12, Qualitative research journal, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal

'Doing something positive': volunteers' experiences of the well-being benefits derived from practical conservation activities in nature

L O'Brien, M Townsend, M Ebden

(2010), Vol. 21, pp. 525-545, Voluntas, New York, N.Y., C1-1

journal
2009

Cultivating health and wellbeing : members' perceptions of the health benefits of a Port Melbourne community garden

J Kingsley, M Townsend, C Henderson-Wilson

(2009), Vol. 28, pp. 207-219, Leisure studies, London, England, C1

journal

Investigating health, economic and socio-political factors that need consideration when establishing Victorian Aboriginal land management projects

J Kingsley, D Aldous, M Townsend, R Phillips, C Henderson-Wilson

(2009), Vol. 16, pp. 113-123, Australasian journal of environmental management, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal

If the land is healthy...it makes the people healthy : the relationship between caring for country and health for the Yorta Yorta nation, Boonwurrung and Bangerang Tribes

J Kingsley, M Townsend, R Phillips, D Aldous

(2009), Vol. 15, pp. 291-299, Health and place, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal

Nature and health

M Townsend, M Ebden

(2009), pp. 151-159, Understanding health : a determinants approach, South Melbourne, Vic., B1-1

chapter

Rediscovering nature in everyday settings : or how to create healthy environments and healthy people

C Maller, C Henderson-Wilson, M Townsend

(2009), Vol. 6, pp. 553-556, EcoHealth, New York, N. Y., C1-1

journal
2008

Older people's relationships with companion animals : a pilot study

L Prosser, M Townsend, P Staiger

(2008), Vol. 20, pp. 29-32, Nursing older people, London, England, C1

journal

Building collaborative partnerships: a key to increasing Indigenous Victorian peoples' access to country

J Kingsley, D Aldous, M Townsend, R Phillips

(2008), pp. 32-41, Just policy: a journal of Australian social policy, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal
2006

Men shouldn't decide everything: women and the public realm.

M Townsend

(2006), pp. 100-105, Urban design futures, London, England, B1

chapter

Healthy nature healthy people: 'contact with nature' as an upstream health promotion intervention for populations

C Maller, M Townsend, A Pryor, P Brown, L St Leger

(2006), Vol. 21, pp. 45-54, Health promotion international, Oxford, England, C1

journal

Feel blue? Touch green! Participation in forest/woodland management as a treatment for depression

M Townsend

(2006), Vol. 5, pp. 111-120, Urban forestry & urban greening, Jena, Germany, C1

journal

Health and well-being naturally: 'contact with nature' in health promotion for targeted individuals, communities and populations

A Pryor, M Townsend, C Maller, K Field

(2006), Vol. 17, pp. 114-123, Health promotion journal of Australia, West Perth, W.A., C1

journal

Children's mental health and wellbeing and hands-on contact with nature

C Maller, M Townsend

(2006), Vol. 12, pp. 359-372, International journal of learning, Altona, Vic., C1

journal

Linking human and ecosystem health: the benefits of community involvement in conservation groups

M Moore, M Townsend, J Oldroyd

(2006), Vol. 3, pp. 255-261, Ecohealth, New York, N.Y., C1

journal

'Dig in' to social capital : community gardens as mechanisms for growing urban social connectedness

J Kingsley, M Townsend

(2006), Vol. 24, pp. 525-537, Urban policy and research: an Australian and New Zealand guide to urban affairs, London, Eng., C1

journal
2005

Outdoor education and bush adventure therapy: A social-ecological approach to health and wellbeing.

A Pryor, C Carpenter, M Townsend

(2005), Vol. 9, pp. 3-13, Australian journal of outdoor education, Milton, Qld., C1

journal

Pathways to health through Australian woodlands and forests: `Sign-posts` from recent research and practice

M Townsend

(2005), pp. 49-70, 1st European COSTAction E39 Conference, Urban Forestry for Human Health and Wellbeing proceedings, Thessaloniki, Greece, E1

conference
2004

Sport safety policies and practices in two rural Victorian communities

M Casey, C Finch, M Mahoney, M Townsend

(2004), Vol. 7, pp. 226-231, Journal of science and medicine in sport, Belconnen, A.C.T., C1

journal
2003

Using environmental interventions to create sustainable solutions to problems to health and wellbeing

M Townsend, C Maller, L St Leger, P Brown

(2003), Vol. 3, pp. 58-69, Environmental health, Kangaroo Ground, Vic., C1

journal

Too hot to trot? exploring potential links between climate change, physical activity and health

M Townsend, M Mahoney, J Jones, K Ball, J Salmon, C Finch

(2003), Vol. 6, pp. 260-265, Journal of science and medicine in sport, New York, NY., C1

journal

Countering localised impacts of globalization: some rural community development initiatives in Australia

E Hallebone, M Mahoney, M Townsend

(2003), pp. 221-239, Globalization, localization and sustainable livelihoods, Aldershot, England, B1

chapter

Rural sports and recreational injuries in Australia: what do we know?

C Finch, M Mahoney, M Townsend, T Zazryn

(2003), Vol. 11, pp. 151-158, Australian journal of rural health, Carlton, Vic., C1

journal

'Healthy parks, health people' and other social capital initiatives of Parks Victoria, Australia

J Senior, M Townsend

(2003), pp. 111-120, Urban Imperative, Urban Outreach Strategies for Protected Area Agencies: Proceedings of a workshop at the Vth IUCN World Parks Congress, Durban, South Africa, E1-1

conference
2002

An ecological study of the relationship between social and environmental determinants of obesity

D Reidpath, C Burns, J Garrard, M Mahoney, M Townsend

(2002), Vol. 8, pp. 141-145, Health & place, New York, N.Y., C1

journal

Playing their part: the role of physical activity and sport in sustaining the health and well being of small rural communities

M Townsend, J Moore, M Mahoney

(2002), Vol. 2, pp. 1-6, International electronic journal of rural and remote health research, education, practice and policy, Deakin, A.C.T., C1

journal
2001

Countering rural policy impacts: community development initiatives for local control

M Townsend, M Mahoney, E Hallebone

(2001), Vol. 21, pp. 16-27, Just policy, Collingwood, Vic., C1

journal

An `upside-down` view of rural health care

M Mahoney, M Townsend, E Hallebone, P Nesbitt

(2001), Vol. 25, pp. 102-113, International journal of consumer studies, Oxford, England, C1

journal

'Roll Up and Spend Your Last Dime'. The Merry-go-round of Children`s Extra-curricular Activities in Modern Society.

M Townsend, G Murphy

(2001), Vol. 48, pp. 10-13, ACHPER Healthy Lifestyles Journal, Hindmarsh, S. Aust., C1

journal

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Living high but healthy: impacts of access to nature on inner city highrise residents' health, wellbeing and effective functioning.

A/Prof Mardie Townsend, A/Prof Eleonara Gullone, Prof Lawrence St Leger, John Senior, Mr Peter Brown, Mr Vince Haining

ARC Linkage - Projects Rnd 1 APAI APDI

  • 2006: $12,426

Other Public Sector Funding

Feel blue, touch green: an application to the people and parks foundation (p2) for funding to evaluate a nature-based activities program for people suffering from depression and related disorders

A/Prof Mardie Townsend

  • 2006: $34,145

Contribution of Public Land to Melbourne's Liveability

A/Prof Mardie Townsend, Dr Claire Henderson-Wilson

  • 2009: $5,005

Update the review of the Literature on the mental health benefits of contact with nature

A/Prof Mardie Townsend

  • 2009: $19,768

Delacombe evidence base and case for change

A/Prof Mardie Townsend, Dr Claire Henderson-Wilson

  • 2010: $6,000

City of Melbourne Urban Forest Strategy Health Indicators project

A/Prof Mardie Townsend

  • 2011: $7,932

Evaluation of the 'Active in Parks' program

A/Prof Mardie Townsend

  • 2012: $16,517
  • 2011: $41,472

Perceptions of parks with respect to Wellbeing

A/Prof Mardie Townsend

  • 2012: $15,995

East West Link - Expert Witness for City of Melbourne

A/Prof Mardie Townsend

  • 2014: $5,800

Healthy Parks, Healthy People 3rd Edition

A/Prof Mardie Townsend, Dr Claire Henderson-Wilson

  • 2015: $389
  • 2014: $19,276

Integrated Environmental Volunteering Initiative

Mr Matthew Ebden, A/Prof Mardie Townsend, Dr Rebecca Patrick, Dr Claire Henderson-Wilson, Dr Lynne McLoughlin

  • 2017: $52,917
  • 2015: $105,834

Evaluation of gardens at the Queen Elizabeth Centre

Dr Claire Henderson-Wilson, Ms Rona Weerasuriya, A/Prof Mardie Townsend

  • 2017: $11,939
  • 2016: $10,000

Industry and Other Funding

Kalkee Integration Project

A/Prof Mardie Townsend, A/Prof Tess Knight

  • 2006: $12,500

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Evaluation

Dr Lisa Gibbs, A/Prof Mardie Townsend, A/Prof Petra Staiger, Ms Susie Macfarlane

  • 2007: $55,464

Evaluation of Out Doors Inc Programs

A/Prof Mardie Townsend, Dr Claire Henderson-Wilson

  • 2013: $32,823

Supervisions

Principal Supervisor
2015

Jonathan Yotti Kingsley

Thesis entitled: If the land is healthy ... it makes the people healthy

Doctor of Philosophy (Health & Social Development), School of Health & Social Development

2012

Rebecca Patrick

Thesis entitled: Health promotion practice in the context of climate change

Doctor of Philosophy (Health & Social Development), School of Health & Social Development

2009

Janet Owens

Thesis entitled: Investigations of Access for People with Disability and Older People

Doctor of Health Science, School of Health & Social Development

Anita Pryor

Thesis entitled: Wild Adventures in Wellbeing

Doctor of Philosophy (Health & Social Development), School of Health & Social Development

Daryl Pedler

Thesis entitled: Acute Farm Injury: Implications for Rurally-based Health Services

Doctor of Health Science, School of Medicine

Lauren Sheree Prosser

Thesis entitled: Companion Animal Visitation and its Effectiveness with Stroke Patients

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Health & Social Development

2008

Cathryn Carpenter

Thesis entitled: Changing Spaces: Contextualising Outdoor Experiential Programs for Health and Wellbeing

Doctor of Philosophy (Health & Social Development), School of Health & Social Development

2007

Claire Henderson-Wilson

Thesis entitled: Living High but Healthy: High-rise Housing, Nature, Health and Wellbeing

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Health & Social Development

Cecily Maller

Thesis entitled: Contact with Nature and Children's Mental, Emotional, and Social Health

Doctor of Philosophy (Health & Social Development), School of Health & Social Development

2004

Kerrie Allen

Thesis entitled: Self-Management for Women's Arthritic Conditions in Rural Victoria

Doctor of Philosophy (Nutrition & Exercise) (Low Cost), School of Health & Social Development

Associate Supervisor
2017

Marina Lewis

Thesis entitled: Transitioning Towards an Ecological Paradigm: A Role for Public Health

Doctor of Philosophy (Health & Social Development), School of Health & Social Development

2016

Ronamali Weerasuriya

Thesis entitled: Exploring users' health experiences in hospital gardens

Doctor of Philosophy (Health & Social Development), School of Health & Social Development

2015

Christopher Reed

Thesis entitled: The origins, development and perceived effectiveness of horticulture-based therapy programs in Victoria

Doctor of Philosophy (Health & Social Development), School of Health & Social Development