Faculty of Health

News and Events


Dead Drunk: Lights Out In the Cross?

If you missed Associate Professor Peter Miller's appearance in the film Dead Drunk: Lights Out In the Cross, don't worry - it is available for viewing on ABC iview until Tuesday 29 April.

The film responds to current concerns about Australia's drinking and party culture and the propensity for young men and women for violence, an area that Peter has conducted much research into.

Filmed on a single Saturday night in Kings Cross, the film provides a snapshot of Kings Cross as the new lockout laws are implemented.

Peter also appeared on Dead Drunk: After Hours with Tom Tilley, ABC2's follow up live chat about the issues raised in the program.


Academic and creative writing: the interface

Deakin Literary Society Geelong is pleased to invite you to attend a workshop 'Academic and creative writing: the interface'.

The workshop will be presented by the School of Nursing and Midwifery's Professor Trisha Dunning AM on Saturday 10 May between 2 and 4 pm at the Belmont Library Meeting Room.

The session will cost $5.

Please RSVP to Trisha by 1 May to indicate your intention to attend and receive pre-reading. Places are limited.

Trisha.dunning@barwonhealth.org.au


Red meat and exercise could be the key!

Protein loading to improve muscle performance isn’t just for athletes and bodybuilders, with Deakin University researchers finding that a protein rich diet incorporating lean red meat combined with strength training improved the size and strength of muscles in elderly women.

The researchers believe the study’s results show that the combination of red meat and strength training could be the key to reducing the impact age-related muscle loss has on the risk of falls and the ability of the elderly to undertake day-to-day activities such as getting out of a chair. In light of these positive results the study is being extended to look at the impact that increased dietary protein combined with strength training also has on the mental health and wellbeing of older people.

'Loss of muscle and cognitive function (ie memory, speech, ability to learn new information) are the two most common consequences of ageing and are linked to the decline in everyday functional abilities and increased falls risk as well as the progression to other chronic diseases, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease', explained Deakin’s Professor of Exercise and Ageing Robin Daly.

'Given the results of this study we believe that eating the recommended 3-4 servings of lean red meat a week combined with a strength training program could well be the key to keeping our body and mind in peak condition.’

Deakin’s Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research conducted the four month trial with 100 women aged 60—90 years to assess the effects of progressive resistance training (a form of strength training) combined with a protein-rich, lean red meat diet on muscle size, strength and function. When compared to women in the exercise only group, those on the lean red meat diet had an 18 per cent greater increase in muscle strength and gained an additional 0.5 kg of muscle mass. They were also found to have a 10 per cent greater increase in a hormone central to muscle growth and a 16 per cent reduction in a pro-inflammatory marker that has been linked to muscle loss and other chronic diseases. The results of this Meat and Livestock Australia funded study are published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The researchers are now recruiting for the new study to investigate the effects of lean red meat combined with strength training on brain and nervous system function as well as muscle health.

The researchers are looking for people aged 65 years and over to take part in the new study called STEPS (Seniors, Thinking, Exercise and Protein Study).

Those interested in taking part can phone Jenny or Niamh on 9246 8286 or email j.gianoudis@deakin.edu.au or niamh.mundell@deakin.edu.au


Professor Julie Considine invited to Tokyo

Professor Julie Considine, Chair in Nursing Eastern Health, from Deakin’s School of Nursing and Midwifery has recently returned from an invited visit to the National Hospital Organization, Tokyo Medical Center, and Tokyo University of Healthcare. Professor Considine first met Dr Takaaki Kikuno, Director of the Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, when she spoke at the Department of Health to an international delegation in 2013 on Emergency Department Triage. During her recent visit she spent time in the Emergency Department and Intensive Care Unit and delivered guest lectures on ‘Postgraduate nursing education and career pathways’ and ‘Nurse-led models of care’.

Professor Considine noted some differences in the delivery of emergency and intensive care but stated, ‘It was remarkable that despite not understanding the language, the clinical care delivery that I observed had many similarities to our systems and processes’.

She also spent time with senior emergency nurses, emergency nurse practitioners and nurse practitioners in training. ‘The rate at which my colleagues have progressed their emergency nurse practitioner program was impressive and while their training and educational preparation is different to that in Australia, their hospital-based internship was very comprehensive and provided their nurse practitioners with a breadth of clinical experience in many areas of the hospital;, she said. Tokyo Medical Center currently have a team of eight nurse practitioners and practitioners in training in the emergency department and their program is continuing to expand.


More information about Professor Julie Considine invited to Tokyo(2 MB)

National Health and Medical Research Council success!

Four researchers from Deakin’s Faculty of Health have been awarded National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) scholarships, in Deakin’s most successful single round of NHMRC scholarships ever awarded.

The highly contested scholarships provide funding for the researchers to complete their PhD research. The scholarship winners are: Ms Rebecca Jes
sup, from Deakin Population Health; Dr Shu Fen Wong, from the Centre for Molecular and Medicine Research; Ms Shae Quirk, from IMPACT; and Miss Lauren Arundell, from the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN).

Deakin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Lee Astheimer congratulated the candidates on their success.

'This 2014 scholarship success reflects the calibre of our researchers and health research at Deakin University', said Professor Astheimer.

'Our Faculty of Health is one of the fastest growing health faculties in Australia, with annual student and research income growth averaging 11 per cent.'

The Faculty has a growing research profile, with six Strategic Research Centres and - in line with Deakin’s mission - a strong focus on improving health and wellbeing through 'research that makes a difference' and through partnerships with health services and other research institutes.
Ms Jessup’s research project is entitled 'Development and Implementation of Health Literacy Interventions to improve understanding, access and use of health services'.

Dr Wong’s project is entitled 'Patients’ preferences for cancer treatment: a discrete choice experiment to understand the role of choice in explaining regional disparities.'

Ms Quirk’s research relates to 'Personality Disorders in the community: an epidemiological study of the association with physical and other mental health disorders and the effects on health service utilisation.'

Miss Arundell’s research topic covers 'The after-school period: a critical window for children’s health behaviours'.


Accolades for Professor Trisha Dunning AM

The School of Nursing and Midwifery’s Professor Trisha Dunning AM was recently added to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women – a significant accolade recognising her exceptional work towards improving the lives of people with diabetes.

With over 150 papers and several books published about diabetes since she became a diabetes educator in 1984, Professor Dunning was made a Member of The Order of Australia for her outstanding contributions towards diabetes nursing.

Professor Dunning is Chair in Nursing (Barwon Health) in the Deakin University School of Nursing and Midwifery; Director of the Centre for Nursing and Allied Health Research at Deakin University and Barwon Health in Geelong; a board member of Diabetes Australia – Vic.; and Vice-President of the International Diabetes Federation. Her research focuses on older people with diabetes and end-of-life care, diabetes self-care and health outcomes, holistic approaches to nursing management of people with diabetes, complementary therapies and the management of medicines for the impact on health outcomes.

Professor Maxine Duke, Head of the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Deakin University said that due to Professor Dunning’s rigorous research, the experience of people living with diabetes has been significantly improved. ‘She is an exemplary role model for novice diabetes educators and budding researchers. The School is extremely proud to count her among our staff’, she said.


Sydney Parker Smith Scholarship win

Deakin PhD student David Skvarc was recently awarded a Sydney Parker Smith Scholarship for his PhD project examining the use of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) as a potential agent to Post-Operative Cognitive Decline in the elderly.

David is being supervised by a team including Dr Linda Byrne from the School of Psychology, Dr Olivia Dean from the School of Medicine and Dr Andrew Marriott at Barwon Health.

The Sydney Parker Smith Scholarship was established in 2007 to honour the memory of Sydney Parker Smith, a Geelong pharmacist who has been described by those who knew him as a humble and kind man who provided support to those in need.

The project ‘Post Anaesthesia N-Acetyl-Cysteine Evaluation trial', or PANACEA, is an exciting collaboration between Barwon Health and Deakin University. PANACEA is a randomized clinical trial examining the effects of N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) upon Post-Operative Cognitive Dysfunction (POCD), a common post-surgical condition that has been linked with poorer morbidity and mortality outcomes, and decreased quality of life for the patient.


Fighting cancer with Zebrafish

Alfred Deakin Research Fellow Dr Clifford Liongue is using the humble zebrafish to help in the fight against the blood cancer, lymphoma.

The zebrafish has been ideal for Dr Liongue who is examining the genetic underpinnings of lymphoma, with the aim of improving treatment, and perhaps getting closer to a cure.

Based in Deakin’s School of Medicine at Waurn Ponds, Dr Liongue is researching the gene BCL6A and its interaction with the gene STAT5. During blood development, and in general immune function, both genes tightly regulate each other. Misregulation upsets the balance between the two genes, leading to human lymphoma – a cancer that begins in immune system cells and spreads throughout the body in lymph fluid.

Lymphoma is the most common form of blood cancer in Australia and the sixth most common form of cancer overall. It has two main types, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin.

Website containing more information on Fighting cancer with Zebrafish

School of Psychology ranks highly!

For the first time, Deakin’s School of Psychology has been ranked in the top 101–150 departments of Psychology in the world.

In 2013 the School made its first ever entry into the top 200. In just one year since then, it has substantially improved its standing, reflecting the strong commitment to excellence in teaching and research outcomes.

Deakin’s School of Psychology is now the 3rd ranked psychology department in Victoria, after Melbourne and Monash, and the 3rd ranked (after Macquarie and Curtin) outside the Group of Eight universities in Australia.

Website containing more information on School of Psychology ranks highly!

Colour of Youth Conference

School of Health and Social Development academic staff members Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli and Trish Ritchie have recently been involved on the organising committee of a conference that provides a platform to raise and address issues around same-sex attracted and gender diverse (SSAGD) young people, especially those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.



The Colour of Youth: Embracing Diversity Conference is a day for sharing ideas and resources, and for hearing about good practice.

Topics for discussion include creating a culturally inclusive space, working with emerging communities, and the role of religion among various cultures.

Registration is just $20 and FREE for those under 25 who are full-time (secondary or tertiary) students, or unemployed.
Details of how to register, as well as a Program Agenda, will be available early 2014.

Enquiries: iellen@iellen.org.au or phone Andrew on 9510 5444


Success at VicHealth 2013 Awards

The Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN) had great success at the 2013 Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) Awards held on Tuesday 3 December. C-PAN were finalists in two of the nine award categories, and won one of the awards.

Professor Kylie Ball, Professor David Crawford and Dr Sarah McNaughton, in partnership with the National Heart Foundation and Coles Supermarkets, received the VicHealth award for Promoting Healthy Eating. The award was presented by the Minister for Health, the Hon David Davis.

In addition, Professor Tony Worsley was a member of a team led by RMIT that was a finalist for the VicHealth award for Preventing Harm from Alcohol.

Website containing more information on Success at VicHealth 2013 Awards



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28th January 2011