A/Prof. Samantha Thomas

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Associate Professor Of Public Health

Faculty

Faculty of Health

Department

School of Health & Soc. Dev.

Campus

Melbourne Burwood Campus

Contact

Biography

Samantha is a public health sociologist in the Disability, Inclusion, and Advocacy Research team at the Centre for Population Health Research. She is also the Higher Degree Research Coordinator for the School of Health and Social Development.

She specialises in understanding the range of factors that may contribute to the prevention and reduction of gambling related harm. Samantha has conducted a range of studies in the area of gambling, including the impact of gambling advertising on young people, young men and sports betting, young women's gambling, and factors that may contribute to the normalisation of gambling.

Prior to joining Deakin, Samantha worked at the World Health Organisation (Geneva), King's College London, Monash University, and the University of Wollongong.

Samantha has an extensive track record in competitive grant funding, and has received grants from ARC, NHMRC, Victorian Department of Justice, and the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

Samantha is currently conducting research funded by the Australian Research Council on the impact of sports betting marketing on young men and young people. She is also lead investigator on two projects funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation on young women and gambling, and older adults and poker machine harm.

Samantha has provided expert testimony to a number of Australian Parliamentary Inquiries, most recently to the Australian Senate Committee on Gambling Reform. Her work is regularly featured in national and international press including ABC Four Corners.

She is currently an associate editor at Harm Reduction Journal.
 

Samantha currently supervises five PhD students in the area of gambling harm. Projects include young people and gambling (Hannah Pitt), community engagement with poker machine venues (Amy Bestman), stigma and gambling (Helen Miller), advocacy (Jennifer David), women and gambling related harm (Simone McCarthy).

Read more on Samantha's profile

Research interests

Samantha has an extensive track record in competitive grant funding, and has received grants from ARC, NHMRC, Victorian Department of Justice, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, and the AFL Research Board. Her two most recent ARC Discovery  Grants explore the ways in which Australian families interpret and respond to weight messaging, and the impact of sports betting marketing on th gambling attitudes and behaviours of young men, and children.

Samantha is also conducting research funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation on the contributing factors to problem gambling stigma; mapping and monitoring gambling industry tactics; and understanding the processes that may lead to the normalisation of gambling.

Knowledge areas

Gambling.

Commercial determinants of health.

Qualitative research.

Publications

Filter by

2018

The problem with 'responsible gambling': impact of government and industry discourses on feelings of felt and enacted stigma in people who experience problems with gambling

H Miller, S Thomas

(2018), Vol. 26, pp. 85-94, Addiction research and theory, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal

Industry interests in gambling research: lessons learned from other forms of hazardous consumption

S Cowlishaw, S Thomas

(2018), Vol. 78, pp. 101-106, Addictive Behaviors, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal

Attitudes towards community gambling venues and support for regulatory reform: an online panel study of residents in New South Wales, Australia

Amy Bestman, Samantha Thomas, Melanie Randle, Hannah Pitt, Mike Daube

(2018), Vol. 15, pp. 1-10, Harm reduction journal, London, Eng., C1

journal

From problem people to addictive products: a qualitative study on rethinking gambling policy from the perspective of lived experience

Helen Miller, Samantha Thomas, Priscilla Robinson

(2018), Vol. 15, pp. 1-10, Harm reduction journal, London, Eng., C1

journal

Women's gambling behaviour, product preferences, and perceptions of product harm: differences by age and gambling risk status

Simone McCarthy, Samantha Thomas, Melanie Randle, Amy Bestman, Hannah Pitt, Sean Cowlishaw, Mike Daube

(2018), Vol. 15, pp. 1-12, Harm reduction journal, London, Eng., C1

journal
2017

The role of peer influences on the normalisation of sports wagering: a qualitative study of Australian men

E Deans, S Thomas, M Daube, J Derevensky

(2017), Vol. 25, pp. 103-113, Addiction research and theory, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal

The influence of marketing on the sports betting attitudes and consumption behaviours of young men: implications for harm reduction and prevention strategies

E Deans, S Thomas, J Derevensky, M Daube

(2017), Vol. 14, pp. 1-12, Harm reduction journal, London, Eng., C1

journal

Factors that influence children's gambling attitudes and consumption intentions: lessons for gambling harm prevention research, policies and advocacy strategies

H Pitt, S Thomas, A Bestman, M Daube, J Derevensky

(2017), Vol. 14, pp. 1-12, Harm reduction journal, London, Eng., C1

journal

The "Walk of shame": a qualitative study of the influences of negative stereotyping of problem gambling on gambling attitudes and behaviours

H Miller, S Thomas

(2017), Vol. 15, pp. 1284-1300, International journal of mental health and addiction, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal

Children's attitudes towards Electronic Gambling Machines: an exploratory qualitative study of children who attend community clubs

A Bestman, S Thomas, M Randle, H Pitt

(2017), Vol. 14, pp. 1-11, Harm reduction journal, London, Eng., C1

journal

Public attitudes towards gambling product harm and harm reduction strategies: an online study of 16-88 year olds in Victoria, Australia

S Thomas, M Randle, A Bestman, H Pitt, S Bowe, S Cowlishaw, M Daube

(2017), Vol. 14, pp. 1-11, Harm reduction journal, London, Eng., C1

journal

What do children observe and learn from televised sports betting advertisements? A qualitative study among Australian children

H Pitt, S Thomas, A Bestman, M Daube, J Derevensky

(2017), Vol. 41, pp. 604-610, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal

A comparative content analysis of media reporting of sports betting in Australia: lessons for public health media advocacy approaches

J David, S Thomas, M Randle, S Bowe, M Daube

(2017), Vol. 17, pp. 1-13, BMC public health, London, Eng., C1

journal
2016

Surveillance, responsibility and control: an analysis of government and industry discourses about 'problem' and 'responsible' gambling

H Miller, S Thomas, K Smith, P Robinson

(2016), Vol. 24, pp. 163-176, Addiction research and theory, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal

Shaping pathways to gambling consumption? An analysis of the promotion of gambling and non-gambling activities from gambling venues

A Bestman, S Thomas, M Randle, H Pitt, M Daube, S Pettigrew

(2016), Vol. 24, pp. 152-162, Addiction research and theory, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal

Gambling advocacy: lessons from tobacco, alcohol and junk food

S Thomas, J David, M Randle, M Daube, K Senior

(2016), Vol. 40, pp. 211-217, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, North Melbourne, Vic., C1-1

journal

Obese people's perceptions of the thin ideal

D Couch, S Thomas, S Lewis, R Blood, K Holland, P Komesaroff

(2016), Vol. 148, pp. 60-70, Social science & medicine, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal

Social inclusion and the fatosphere: the role of an online weblogging community in fostering social inclusion

M Dickins, C Browning, S Feldman, S Thomas

(2016), Vol. 38, pp. 797-811, Sociology of health & illness, Chichester, Eng., C1-1

journal

Creating symbolic cultures of consumption: an analysis of the content of sports wagering advertisements in Australia

E Deans, S Thomas, M Daube, J Derevensky, R Gordon

(2016), Vol. 16, pp. 1-11, BMC public health, London, Eng., C1

journal

"It's just everywhere!" Children and parents discuss the marketing of sports wagering in Australia

H Pitt, S Thomas, A Bestman, M Stoneham, M Daube

(2016), Vol. 40, pp. 480-486, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, London, Eng., C1

journal

Have adults lost their sense of play? An observational study of the social dynamics of physical (in)activity in German and Hawaiian leisure settings

A Thiel, H Thedinga, S Thomas, H Barkhoff, K Giel, O Schweizer, S Thiel, S Zipfel

(2016), Vol. 16, pp. 1-15, BMC public health, London, Eng., C1

journal

"I can sit on the beach and punt through my mobile phone" : the influence of physical and online environments on the gambling risk behaviours of young men.

E Deans, S Thomas, M Daube, J Derevensky

(2016), Vol. 166, pp. 110-119, Social science and medicine, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal

Initiation, influence, and impact: adolescents and parents discuss the marketing of gambling products during Australian sporting matches

H Pitt, S Thomas, A Bestman

(2016), Vol. 16, pp. 1-12, BMC public health, London, Eng., C1

journal
2015

Viewing The Biggest Loser : modes of reception and reflexivity among obese people

K Holland, R Blood, S Thomas

(2015), Vol. 25, pp. 16-32, Social semiotics, Oxford, Eng., C1-1

journal

A web-based, social networking physical activity intervention for insufficiently active adults delivered via Facebook app: randomized controlled trial

C Maher, M Ferguson, C Vandelanotte, R Plotnikoff, I De Bourdeaudhuij, S Thomas, K Nelson-Field, T Olds

(2015), Vol. 17, pp. e174-e174, Journal of medical internet research, Toronto, Ont., C1-1

journal

Corporate social responsibility programs of big food in Australia: a content analysis of industry documents

Z Richards, S Thomas, M Randle, S Pettigrew

(2015), Vol. 39, pp. 550-556, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, London, Eng., C1

journal

Children's implicit recall of junk food, alcohol and gambling sponsorship in Australian sport

A Bestman, S Thomas, M Randle, S Thomas

(2015), Vol. 15, pp. 1-9, BMC public health, London, Eng., C1

journal

You just change the channel if you don't like what you're going to hear: gamblers' attitudes towards, and interactions with, social marketing campaigns

S Thomas, S Lewis, K Westberg

(2015), Vol. 18, pp. 124-136, Health expectations, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

Obese adults' perceptions of news reporting on obesity: the panopticon and synopticon at work

S Thomas, D Couch, W Blood, Lewis, S, P Komesaroff

(2015), Vol. 5, pp. 1-14, Sage open, London, Eng., C1

journal

The Big Gamble: the need for a comprehensive research approach to understanding the causes and consequences of gambling harm in Australia

S Thomas, S Thomas

(2015), Vol. 22, pp. 39-42, Australasian epidemiologist, Canberra, A.C.T., C1

journal
2014

Parent and child interactions with two contrasting anti-obesity advertising campaigns: a qualitative analysis

S Thomas, T Olds, S Pettigrew, H Yeatman, J Hyde, C Dragovic

(2014), Vol. 14, pp. 1-11, BMC Public Health, London, Eng., C1

journal

How the causes, consequences and solutions for problem gambling are reported in Australian newspapers: a qualitative content analysis

H Miller, S Thomas, P Robinson, M Daube

(2014), Vol. 38, pp. 529-535, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

Don't eat that, you'll get fat! Exploring how parents and children conceptualise and frame messages about the causes and consequences of obesity.

S Thomas, T Olds, S Pettigrew, M Randle, S Lewis

(2014), Vol. 119, pp. 114-122, Social science and medicine, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal

A conceptual classification of parents' attributions of the role of food advertising in children's diets

S Pettigrew, K Chapman, C Miller, S Thomas

(2014), Vol. 1, pp. 1-12, BMC obesity, London, Eng., C1-1

journal
2013

What influences the beliefs, behaviours and consumption patterns of 'moderate risk' gamblers?

S Thomas, S Lewis, K Westberg, J Derevensky

(2013), Vol. 11, pp. 474-489, International journal of mental health and addiction, Berlin, Germany, C1-1

journal

Eat, drink and gamble: marketing messages about 'risky' products in an Australian major sporting series

S Lindsay, S Thomas, S Lewis, K Westberg, R Moodie, S Jones

(2013), Vol. 13, pp. 1-11, BMC public health, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

Clustering of attitudes towards obesity: a mixed methods study of Australian parents and children

T Olds, S Thomas, S Lewis, J Petkov

(2013), Vol. 10, pp. 1-11, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

Challenging stereotypes and legitimating fat: an analysis of obese people's views on news media reporting guidelines and promoting body diversity

K Holland, R Blood, S Thomas, S Lewis

(2013), Vol. 51, pp. 431-445, Journal of sociology, Thousand Oaks, Calif., C1-1

journal
2012

'It would be okay if they came through the proper channels': community perceptions and attitudes toward asylum seekers in Australia

F McKay, S Thomas, S Kneebone

(2012), Vol. 25, pp. 113-133, Journal of Refugee Studies, Oxford, UK, C1-1

journal

Sports betting marketing during sporting events: a stadium and broadcast census of Australian Football League matches

S Thomas, S Lewis, J Duong, C McLeod

(2012), Vol. 36, pp. 145-152, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

Relationship between severity of obesity and mental health: an Australian community survey

N Knoesen, S Mancuso, S Thomas, P Komesaroff, S Lewis, D Castle

(2012), Vol. 4, pp. 67-75, Asia-Pacific psychiatry, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

They are working every angle. A qualitative study of Australian adults' attitudes towards, and interactions with, gambling industry marketing strategies

S Thomas, S Lewis, C McLeod, J Haycock

(2012), Vol. 12, pp. 111-127, International gambling studies, London, Eng., C1-1

journal
2011

A qualitative investigation of obese men's experiences with their weight

S Lewis, S Thomas, J Hyde, D Castle, P Komesaroff

(2011), Vol. 35, pp. 458-469, American journal of health behavior, Star City, W. Va., C1-1

journal

Any one of these boat people could be a terrorist for all we know! Media representations and public perceptions of 'boat people' arrivals in Australia

F McKay, S Thomas, R Blood

(2011), Vol. 12, pp. 607-626, Journalism: theory, practice & criticism, London, England, C1-1

journal

AIDS assassins : Australian media's portrayal of HIV-positive refugees who deliberately infect others

F McKay, S Thomas, K Holland, R Blood, S Kneebone

(2011), Vol. 9, pp. 20-37, Journal of immigration and refugee studies, Abingdon, England, C1-1

journal

How do obese individuals perceive and respond to the different types of obesity stigma that they encounter in their daily lives? A qualitative study

S Lewis, S Thomas, R Blood, D Castle, J Hyde, P Komesaroff

(2011), Vol. 73, pp. 1349-1356, Social science and medicine, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal

I'm searching for solutions: why are obese individuals turning to the Internet for help and support with 'being fat'?

S Lewis, S Thomas, R Blood, D Castle, J Hyde, P Komesaroff

(2011), Vol. 14, pp. 339-350, Health expectations, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

The role of the fatosphere in fat adults' responses to obesity stigma: a model of empowerment without a focus on weight loss

M Dickins, S Thomas, B King, S Lewis, K Holland

(2011), Vol. 21, pp. 1679-1691, Qualitative health research, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

Our girth is plain to see: an analysis of newspaper coverage of Australia's future 'fat bomb'

K Holland, R Blood, S Thomas, S Lewis, P Komesaroff, D Castle

(2011), Vol. 13, pp. 31-46, Health, risk and society, London, Eng., C1-1

journal
2010

'The solution needs to be complex.' Obese adults' attitudes about the effectiveness of individual and population based interventions for obesity

S Thomas, S Lewis, J Hyde, D Castle, P Komesaroff

(2010), Vol. 10, pp. 1-9, BMC public health, London, England, C1-1

journal

'Just bloody fat!' : a qualitative study of body image, self esteem and coping in obese adults

S Thomas, A Karunaratne, S Lewis, D Castle, N Knoesen, R Honigman, J Hyde, R Kausman, P Komesaroff

(2010), Vol. 12, pp. 39-49, International journal of mental health promotion, London, England, C1-1

journal

Do health beliefs and behaviors differ according to severity of obesity? A qualitative study of Australian adults

S Lewis, S Thomas, R Blood, J Hyde, D Castle, P Komesaroff

(2010), Vol. 7, pp. 443-459, International journal of environmental research and public health, Basel, Switzerland, C1-1

journal

'I don't eat a hamburger and large chips every day!' A qualitative study of the impact of public health messages about obesity on obese adults

S Lewis, S Thomas, J Hyde, D Castle, R Blood, P Komesaroff

(2010), Vol. 10, BMC public health, London, England, C1-1

journal

Improving communication when seeking informed consent: a randomised controlled study of a computer-based method for providing information to prospective clinical trial participants

A Karunaratne, S Korenman, S Thomas, P Myles, P Komesaroff

(2010), Vol. 192, pp. 388-392, Medical journal of Australia, Sydney, N.S.W., C1-1

journal
2009

Understanding organ donation in the collaborative era: a qualitative study of staff and family experiences

S Thomas, S Milnes, P Komesaroff

(2009), Vol. 39, pp. 588-594, Internal medicine journal, London, Eng., C1-1

journal
2008

'They all work...when you stick to them' : a qualitative investigation of dieting, weight loss, and physical exercise, in obese individuals

S Thomas, J Hyde, A Karunaratne, R Kausman, P Komesaroff

(2008), Vol. 7, Nutrition journal, London, England, C1-1

journal

Being 'fat' in today's world : a qualitative study of the lived experiences of people with obesity in Australia

S Thomas, J Hyde, A Karunaratne, D Herbert, P Komesaroff

(2008), Vol. 11, pp. 321-330, Health expectations, Oxford, England, C1-1

journal
2007

Cheapening the struggle : obese people's attitudes towards The Biggest Loser

S Thomas, J Hyde, P Komesaroff

(2007), Vol. 3, pp. 210-215, Obesity management, New Rochelle, N. Y., C1-1

journal

The essential role of social theory in qualitative public health research

K Willis, J Daly, M Kealy, R Small, G Koutroulis, J Green, L Gibbs, S Thomas

(2007), Vol. 31, pp. 438-443, Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

Attitudes towards and beliefs about genetic testing in the haemophilia community: a qualitative study

S Thomas, D Herbert, A Street, C Barnes, J Boal, P Komesaroff

(2007), Vol. 13, pp. 633-641, Haemophilia, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

Complementary medicine use among people living with HIV/AIDS in Victoria, Australia: practices, attitudes and perceptions

S Thomas, K Lam, L Piterman, A Mijch, P Komesaroff

(2007), Vol. 18, pp. 453-457, International journal of STD and AIDS, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

Occupational stress and job satisfaction in media personnel assigned to the Iraq War (2003)

N Greenberg, S Thomas, D Murphy, C Dandeker

(2007), Vol. 1, pp. 356-371, Journalism practice, London, Eng., C1-1

journal
2006

Serving in Bosnia made me appreciate living in Bristol: stressful experiences, attitudes, and psychological needs of members of the United Kingdom Armed Forces

S Thomas, C Dandeker, N Greenberg, V Kelly, S Wessely

(2006), Vol. 171, pp. 376-380, Military medicine, Bethesda, Md., C1-1

journal
2005

Redeveloping secure psychiatric services for women

S Thomas, M Dolan, J Shaw, S Thomas, G Thornicroft, M Leese

(2005), Vol. 45, pp. 331-339, Medicine, science and the law, London, Eng., C1-1

journal
2004

I was running away from death - the pre-flight experiences of unaccompanied asylum seeking children in the UK

S Thomas, S Thomas, B Nafees, D Bhugra

(2004), Vol. 30, pp. 113-122, Child: care health and development, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

Displacement and health

S Thomas, S Thomas

(2004), Vol. 69, pp. 115-127, British medical bulletin, Oxford, Eng., C1-1

journal
2003

Research with unaccompanied children seeking asylum

S Thomas, S Byford

(2003), Vol. 327, pp. 1400-1402, BMJ, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

Do military peacekeepers want to talk about their experiences? Perceived psychological support of UK military peacekeepers on return from deployment

N Greenberg, S Thomas, A Iversen, C Unwin, L Hull, S Wessely

(2003), Vol. 12, pp. 565-573, Journal of mental health, London, Eng., C1-1

journal
2002

Female genital mutilation: cultural and psychological implications

J Whitehorn, O Ayonrinde, S Thomas

(2002), Vol. 17, pp. 161-170, Sexual and relationship therapy, London, Eng., C1-1

journal

Mental health and human rights: the MI Principles - turning rhetoric into action

S Thomas, G Thornicroft, P Huxley, R Jenkins, G Szmukler

(2002), Vol. 14, pp. 19-25, International review of psychiatry, London, Eng., C1-1

journal
1997

Patterns of general practitioner usage among Pacific people: indicative results from the Waikato Medical Care Survey 1991-2

P Davis, R Lay-Yee, S Thomas, B Gribben

(1997), Vol. 110, pp. 335-336, New Zealand medical journal, Dunedin, N.Z., C1-1

journal

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Selling The Punt: An interdisciplinary analysis of the extent and impact of sports wagering marketing strategies in Australia.

A/Prof Samantha Thomas, Prof Michael Daube, Dr Ross Gordon, Prof Gerard Hastings, Prof Jeffrey Derevensky

ARC - Discovery Projects

  • 2017: $48,077
  • 2016: $110,948

Other Public Sector Funding

A public health analysis of gambling marketing activities: Themes, targets, and impacts.

A/Prof Samantha Thomas, Prof Michael Daube, Dr Melanie Randle, Prof Simone Pettigrew

  • 2016: $48,064

The commercial determinants of gambling normalisation: Causes, consequences and public health advocacy responses

A/Prof Samantha Thomas, Prof Michael Daube, Dr Melanie Randle, Dr Melissa Stoneham

  • 2018: $7,874
  • 2017: $70,874
  • 2016: $78,749

Rethinking Approaches to Reducing Problem Gambling Stigma

A/Prof Samantha Thomas, Prof Stuart Thomas

  • 2016: $23,276

The shaping of adolescent and young adult women's gambling risk behaviours: A socio-cultural investigation of gambling attitudes, beliefs and consumption intentions

A/Prof Samantha Thomas, Ms Hannah Pitt, Miss Amy Bestman

  • 2018: $48,749
  • 2017: $65,903

Pathways to the Pokies

A/Prof Samantha Thomas, Prof Susan Balandin, Dr Melanie Randle, Dr Sean Cowlishaw

  • 2018: $18,275

Supervisions

Principal Supervisor
2018

Hannah Pitt

Thesis entitled: Sports betting advertising: Shaping children's gambling attitudes and consumption intentions

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

2017

Emily Deans

Thesis entitled: Young men¿s gambling: The influence of socio-cultural and marketing factors

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