Staff profile - Rhonda Brown

Staff image

Dr Rhonda Brown

Position: Senior Lecturer
role description
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Health
Department: School of Nursing and Midwif.
Campus: Melbourne Burwood Campus
Phone: +61 3 925 17026 +61 3 925 17026



Australian College of Nursing

Australian College of Mental Health Nurses

Australian Nursing Midwifery Federation

Public Health Association Australia

National LGBT Health Alliance Australia

BreastScreen Victoria LBTI Advisory Group

Journal of Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender Family Studies (USA) Editorial Board Member 2008 - Current


Teaching Interests

Dr Brown is the Unit Chair for HNN301 Mental Health Promotion, HNN734 Advanced Primary Health Care and HNR412 Research Planning in Nursing. She is also a member of the teaching team for HNN222 Mental Health Nursing and HNN217 Community Nursing and provides leadership in the provision of undergraduate mental health curricula. Dr Brown is interested in the student experience of learning and is involved in the Faculty of Health student mentoring program which provides support for first year students. In 2008 she was awarded a Citation for Contribution to Student Learning for the student academic mentoring program she developed and implemented.

Conferences and seminars

Brown, R. 2012 Lesbian Cancer Risk Factors for Lesbians and Bisexual Women. Lesbian and Bisexual Womens Health Research: Health risks and policy implications. Melbourne Brown, R. 2011 Lesbians and Breast Cancer. Lesbian Forum Lesbians and breast cancer: whats the difference? Melbourne Brown, R. 2010 Lesbian negotiating parenting: Overcoming biologically based cultural prescriptions of parental and household roles Womens Health Conference, Hobart in May 2010 Brown, R. (2008) Not the 'other' mother: How language constructs lesbian co-parenting relationships. Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference, Melbourne Brown, R. (2007) Lesbian Parenting. Australian Lesbian Medical Association Conference, Melbourne Brown, R. McNair, R. Perlesz, A. (2006) Public authenticity vs safety Lesbian-parented families experience of disclosure in public contexts. International Conference on Human Rights for GLBT, Montreal August Brown, R. (2006) Lesbian co-parents and Health Care: Why language is important International Congress of Womens Health, Sydney, November Brown, R. (2005) Not the other mother: Insights from lesbian co-parents into lesbian co-parenting The Australian Family Therapy Conference, Sydney McNair, R. Brown, R. Gleitzman, M. Harrison, J. Hillier, L. (2005) Lesbian health research methods. Health In Difference Conference, Melbourne Perlesz, A. Brown, R. and McNair, R. 2005 Lesbian and gay families. Colloquium: Family Court of Australia, Melbourne


Awards and prizes

2008 - Dr Brown was awarded a Citation for Contribution to Student Learning, Faculty of Health La Trobe University for the student academic mentoring program she developed and implemented.


Research interests

Dr Browns research primarily focuses on the physical and mental health outcomes of people of diverse sexuality. She conducts research of cancer risk factors among non-heterosexual women, the relationships between hazardous drinking and depression and anxiety in lesbian and bi-sexual women as well as the work/life balance and resilience in same-sex parented families. Dr Brown is interested in developing strategies and interventions that promote the health and address the physical and mental health disparities among marginalised population groups.

Research grants

2013  Faculty of Health, Deakin University $17,698 Culturally targeted online smoking and alcohol intervention for lesbians and bisexual women. Brown, R. Livingston, P. McNair, R. Staiger, P. Lubman, D. Hughes, T. Matthews, A.

2013 School of Nursing and Midwifery, Deakin University  Research Development Funding $11,538 Culturally targeted online smoking and alcohol intervention for lesbians and bisexual women: Pilot Study Brown, R. Livingston, P. McNair. R. Staiger, P. Lubman, D.  Hughes, T.  Matthews, A.

2012  Participation and Partnerships Program, Deakin University (DUPPP): $29,774 Mental Health and Wellbeing Portal’ Sands, N. Forbes, H. Brown, R. Meilnik, L.

2011 beyondblue, $141,000 Alcohol and Lesbian/bisexual women: Insights into Culture and Emotions McNair, R. Pennay, A. Hegarty, K. Hughes, T. Lubman, D. Brown, R. Leonard, L.

2011 Lesbian Health Fund USA $10,000US Cancer and Cancer Risk Factors Among Australian Lesbians Brown, R. Livingston, P. McNair, R. Hughes, T.

2010 Faculty of Health, Deakin University $5,000 Cancer rates and risk factors among lesbian and bisexual women: an overlooked health disparity Brown, R. Livingston, P. McNair, R. Hughes, T.

2009  Faculty of Health, Deakin University $10,000 Enablers and Barriers to Communication in Multidisciplinary Aged Care Allen, J. Ottman, G. Rassmussen, B. Brown, R.

2007 Faculty Health Sciences, La Trobe University  Faculty Grant - $20, 000 Work, Love and Play in Diverse Australian and New Zealand Family Life.
Perlesz, A. Brown, R. Pitts, M. McNair, R. Schofield, M. Bickerdike, A

2006 Higher Education Equity Support Program Grant, La Trobe University - $9,793.00 Academic Student Mentor for Undergraduate Nursing and Midwifery Students

2000  Department of Rural Health, Victoria $88,667-  Nair, R. Sim, J. Whitecross, L. Rasmussen, B. Brown, R. and Duffy, E. Inter-professional Education in Rural Primary Health Care: A collaboration module for nursing and medical students.

1998 Deakin University, $5000 - Rasmussen, B. Brown, R. and Cross, W. Problem based learning in primary health care, School of Nursing.


Research page



Power, J.  Brown, R. Schofield, M. Pitts, M. McNair, R. Perlesz, P. Bickerdike, A.  2014 Social connectedness among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents living in metropolitan and regional and rural areas of Australia and New Zealand.   Journal of Community Psychology, 42(7): pp.

Allen, J. Hutchinson, A. Brown, R. Livingston, PM, 2014 Quality care outcomes following transitional care interventions for older people from hospital to home: a systematic review. BMC Health Services Research.14:346

McNair, R. and Brown, R. (2013) Clinical Translation of the research article titled ‘The influence of early drinking contexts on current drinking among adult lesbian and bisexual women’ by Cheryl Parks and Nina Heller.  Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association 19 pp.255-258

Allen, J. Ottmann, G. Brown, R. Rasmussen, B. (2013) Communication pathways in community aged care: An Australian study Int J Older People Nurs. Sep, 8(3):226-35.

Power, Jennifer J., Perlesz, Amaryll, Brown, Rhonda, Schofield, Margot J., Pitts, Marian K., McNair, Ruth, & Bickerdike, Andrew. (2012). Bisexual parents and family diversity: Findings from the Work, Love, Play study. Journal of Bisexuality, 12(4) pp. 519-538

Power, J .Perlesz, A.  McNair, R. Schofield, M. Pitts,P. Brown, R. Bickerdike, A.  (2012) Gay and bisexual dads and diversity: fathers in the Work, Love, Play study Journal of Family Studies, 18, pp. 143 – 154

Perlesz, A. Power, J. Brown, R. McNair, R. Schofield, M. Pitts, M. Barrett, A. Bickerdike, A. (2010) Organising work and home in same-sex parented families: Findings from the Work Love Play study. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, 31(4): pp. 374-391

Power, J., Perlsesz. A., Brown, R., Scofield, M,. Pitts, M., McNair, R., Bickerdike, A. 2010. Diversity, tradition, and family: Australian Same-sex attracted parents and their families. Gay and Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review, 6(2): 66-81

Power, JJ.,Perlesz, A., Schofield, MJ., Pitts, MK., Brown, R. McNair, R., Barrett, A. Bickerdike, A. (2010) Understanding resilience in same-sex parented families: the work, love, play study. BMC Public Health, 10:115

Brown, R., & Perlesz, A. 2008. In search of a name for lesbians who mother their non biological children Journal of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Families Studies. 4(1): 453-467

McNair, R. & Brown, R. (2008). Legitimising rainbow families using partnerships for change.  Australian Feminist Law Journal 27:163-174

McNair, R., Brown, R., Perlesz, A., Lindsay, J., de Vaus, D., Pitts, M. (2008) Lesbian parents negotiating the health care system. Health Care Women International. 29(2): 91-114

Brown, R. & Perlesz, A.  (2007). Not the 'other' mother: How language constructs lesbian co-parenting relationships. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Family Studies. 3(2/3): 267-308

Perlesz, A., Brown, R., McNair, R., Lindsay, J., Pitts, M., de Vaus, D. (2006). Lesbian family disclosure: Authenticity and safety within public and private domains. Lesbian and Gay Psychological Review 7(1): 54-65.

Lindsay, J., Perlesz, A. Brown, R. McNair, R. de Vaus, D. Pitts, M.  (2006). Stigma or respect: lesbian-parented families negotiating school settings. Sociology. (40)6, pp. 1059-1077

Perlesz, A., Brown, R., McNair, R., Lindsay, J., Pitts, M. de Vaus, D. (2006).  Family in transition: parents, children and grandparents in lesbian families give meaning to 'doing family'. Journal of Family Therapy, 28(2):175-199




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