Health HDR Conference

2018 Inaugural Faculty of Health HDR Conference

Monday 3 December 2018
Deakin Downtown, Melbourne

Theme: "What's Next? Thinking to the future and beyond!"

Register for free today!


Deakin University Health Research Students (DUHRS) would like to thank you for attending the inaugural HDR Faculty of Health Conference 2018!

We hope you enjoyed the presentations, networking opportunities and reflecting on the theme “What’s next? Thinking to the Future and Beyond”.

We would also like to thank all presenters for their contributions and congratulate the oral and poster session award winners:

  • ‘Food and Substances’ Orals: Meghan Hockey
  • ‘Psychology and Brain’ Orals: Caitlin Bishop
  • ‘Physical Activity, Fitness and Body’ Orals: Charlie Urwin
  • ‘Viruses, Diseases and Clinical Care’ Orals: Stephanie Cowdery
  • Posters: Emiliano Mazzoli

We have prepared a brief feedback report to summarise the highlights of the conference. Please find the report here.

Each of the presentation files can be found under their respective titles in the Workshops/Speakers tabs.

Due to the overwhelming positive response, the DUHRS conference will return in 2020. Applications for the DUHRS 2020 committee will open in mid-2019. Please stay tuned if you are interested in being involved or send an email to!

Our Vision:

The vision of DUHRS is to provide a platform that unites HDR students within the Faculty of Health and connects them with academics and industry professionals.

We strive to enable students to showcase their work and develop research networks with peers in the Faculty. This vision aims to contribute to HDR student careers by creating a larger network and fostering the potential for collaborations. This will also highlight the diversity of health sciences and encourage a more inclusive research approach.

Our Mission:

“DUHRS aims to bring together Faculty of Health HDR students, academic staff members, and industry professionals to connect, collaborate, and inspire through the organisation of the DUHRS conference.”

Our Values:  

  • Inclusiveness
  • Participation
  • Collaboration
  • Openness
  • Excellence



This event is provided to you for free by the Faculty of Health.


Please note: The venue (Deakin Downtown) has a limited capacity for attendance. While we encourage staff members to attend, student attendance will be prioritised in the case of maximum venue capacity being reached.




Abstract submissions were open until October 19, 2018.

View the abstract rubric here

View the abstract submission form in PDF format here


Date: Monday 3rd December 2018

Location: Deakin Downtown - Level 12/727 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3008.

Information regarding how to get to Deakin Downtown.

Registration desk: opens at 8.00 am on Monday, 3rd of December 2018.

Program commences at 08:55 am and concludes at 5.00 pm.

View the program here.

View the abstract booklet here.

More details and conference abstract booklet to be announced soon.

General Information

Internet Access
Free wireless internet (WiFi) is provided throughout the Conference floor and is ideal for checking emails and basic web browsing. You can access this service by entering your Deakin username and password.

Mobile phones
As a courtesy to the presenters, please ensure all mobile phones are in silent mode and/or turned off during presentations and workshops.

Morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea will be held in the main foyer. Lunches will be served as an informal stand-up buffet.

Dress Code
Dress code for this conference is smart casual.

Name Badges
All attendees will be provided with a name badge at registration. Please ensure this is worn at all times.



We are pleased to announce that we have an exciting line up of diverse and highly acclaimed speakers for our inaugural conference!

Meet our key note speaker:

Dr Jane Martin

Please find the PDF file for Jane's keynote presentation here.

Dr Jane Martin leads the Obesity Policy Coalition, a partnership between Cancer Council Victoria, Diabetes Victoria and the Globe Obesity Centre at Deakin University. She advocates for policy and regulatory reform to prevent overweight and obesity, with a focus on food marketing, labelling, and tax and pricing measures.

For more than twenty-five years, Jane has worked extensively in public health advocacy, including tobacco control, alcohol policy and obesity prevention. Her interests lie in advocacy, research and partnerships to support policy reform.

In February 2018 Jane was awarded a Deakin Honorary Doctorate for her contribution to public health advocacy, particularly obesity prevention in children. She is an active spokesperson for obesity prevention in the media, and advises state and federal governments on obesity policy. She also collaborates on research grants, authors academic papers, and regularly presents to a range of audiences.

Jane is a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. She is co-chair of the National Alliance for Action on Alcohol, Vice President of the ANZ Obesity Society, a fellow of the Williamson Leadership program and was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 2011.

Dr Jane Martin will also be joining the panel discussion.

Dr Jane Martin can be found at: Email:; Twitter: @janemartinopc; Website:

Meet our panel members:

Professor Trish Livingston

Professor Livingston has been the Associate Dean – Research in the Faculty of Health, Deakin University since 2012. This role involves providing leadership and strategic direction regarding the Faculty’s research agenda by providing research advice to the Executive Dean-Health, Heads of Schools, Institute and Strategic Research Centre Directors, as well as senior and junior researchers.

Prof Trish Livingston can be found at: Email:; Twitter: @TrishMLiving; Website:

Professor Tony LaMontagne

Tony LaMontagne is Professor of Work, Health & Wellbeing in the Centre for Population Health Research, School of Health & Social Development, at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. He leads a Work, Health and Wellbeing Unit, and serves as Director of the Centre overall.  Other appointments include Honorary Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne's School of Population & Global Health, and a Research Affiliate at the Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace at the University of Massachusetts (USA) and the Institute for Work & Health (Toronto, CANADA).

Prof Tony Lamontagne can be found at: Email:; Website:,

Dr Phillip Baker

Dr. Phillip Baker is an Alfred Deakin Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University.  His research focuses on the politics of food and nutrition, globalisation and food systems change, the global nutrition transition, and policies to prevent undernutrition, overweight and obesity, and non-communicable diseases in Australia and internationally. He is a member of the Independent Expert Group of the Global Nutrition Report, the Lancet Commission on Obesity and advises to the World Health Organization and other international organizations on food and nutrition policy.

Dr Phillip Baker can be found at: Email:; Twitter: @PhilBakerNZ; Website:,

Dr Anna Klas

Dr Anna Klas, PhD, is an early career lecturer and social psychologist in the School of Psychology, Deakin University. She takes a mixed methods approach to research, with a broad interest in examining the socio-psychological components of environmentalism and health. Current research programs include investigating how best to frame politicised issues (e.g., climate change), determining the impact group processes (e.g., social norms) have on health and environmental behaviours, and, exploring how the public views politicised beliefs and groups (e.g., environmentalists, vegans). Dr Klas is also a member of the Misinformation Lab ( located in the School of Psychology, Deakin University which aims to develop and test theories regarding the spread of vulnerability of false beliefs. In conjunction with her research, Dr Klas is also a passionate tertiary educator, teaching into a number of undergraduate psychology subjects. Her teaching pedagogy is primarily orientated towards facilitating student-centred learning and creating flexible learning environments.

Dr Klas can be found at: Email:; Twitter: @annaklas_; Website:



We are very excited to announce that we have an incredibly diverse and high-quality program of workshops! We believe that these workshops are relevant to all HDR students attending the conference. All attendees are welcome to attend two workshops.

The workshop program can be found here.

International job opportunities

Please find the PDF file for this presentation here.

Presenters: A/Prof. Antonina Mikocka-Walus (Europe/UK) and Dr Subhadra Evans (the US), School of Psychology, Deakin University

This workshop is dedicated to looking for job in academia and research internationally. The presenters are academics who have held academic / research posts at universities in Australia and overseas and will draw on their own international experiences while discussing key aspects of an academic track record helpful in securing an international post. More specifically, the workshop will provide an overview of the academic / research environment in Europe, UK and the US. Both academic and research pathways will be discussed as well as the career structure, salaries and relevant job / post-doc search sites. The workshop will conclude with some practical activities facilitated by the presenters.

Applying for grants and postdoctoral fellowships

Please find the PDF file for this presentation here.

Presenter: Dr Emma Sciberras, School of Psychology, Deakin University

This workshop will focus on the major postdoctoral fellowship grants that early career researchers can apply for. Emma will cover her own pathway from student to being awarded her first postdoctoral research fellowship. She will also cover the details of the major NHMRC and ARC funding schemes for early career researchers. The overall aim of this workshop is to help you to identify strengths and weaknesses in your own track records and to use these to maximise your success with future grant applications.

Policy research

Please find the PDF file for this presentation here.

Presenter: Dr Phillip Baker, Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University

Policy is about organizing and taking action to achieve desirable goals – like making sure everyone has access to affordable health care, or nutritious and sustainable food. Governments make and implement policy (public policies), as do private groups like NGOs and industry (private policies). Working in policy can involve interesting career trajectories - from developing international health responses at the World Health Organization, through to working within national, state or local government agencies, or for NGOs to advocate for healthy public policies. This workshop will introduce you to working in policy and the various options and strategies you might consider in a policy-focused career.

Inclusion and equity

Please find the PDF file for this presentation here.

Presenter: Dr Kevin Murfitt, School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University

In this interactive session Kevin will first clarify the often confused meaning of the terms diversity, inclusion, and equity, or the ‘what’ of inclusion and equity. Participants will then briefly explore the ‘why’ of inclusion and equity, and then look at the practice elements of inclusion and equity, or the ‘how’. In doing the ‘how’, Kevin will present examples of academic and professional career pathways that have inclusion and equity at their heart. The session also includes cameos of Barak Obama, and a young girl in Vanuatu who gets carried to school each day by her father.

Where can your PhD take you? Careers in Industry

Please find the PDF file for this presentation here.

Presenter: Prof. Dineli Mather, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graduate Employment, Deakin University

If you’re considering how to use your PhD outside of academia, this session is for you! We will help you understand where your PhD can take you by showcasing the stories of PhD’s who have built successful careers in industry and how they’ve leveraged their PhD to do so. Discover resources available at Deakin to help market your skills, build your brand and explore the range of possibilities for a career in industry.

How to train your supervisor in 45 minutes (or less)!

Please find the PDF file for this presentation here.

Presenters: Dr Ryan Wood-Bradley and Jacqueline Payne MAPS, School of Medicine, Deakin University

Welcome to an opportunity to develop practical strategies to gain the most out of any supervisor/student/work relationship. Feeling uncertain? Feeling overwhelmed? Unclear processes? This workshop will enable you to have a clear framework of behaviour that will allow you and your supervisor(s) to work together and still respect each other along the way. What to bring? Attitude of openness, willing to be interactive, commitment to participation and change is possible. Suggested Reading: Finish your PhD!: The Proven Way by Sandeep Reddy. Available through the Deakin Library or via Amazon. Find the workshop flyer here.

Publishing from your Master’s or PhD Research

Please find the PDF file for this presentation here.

Presenter: Prof. Tony LaMontagne, Professor & Director, Centre for Population Health Research, School of Health & Social Development

Keen to publish from your Master’s or PhD research? This session will include discussion of the benefits and costs of publishing during your candidature, common challenges faced by those who are new to publishing and some strategies to address them, and an overview of the most common paper format in the health sciences: the IMRAD format. IMRAD stands for the standard headings in an empirical research paper: Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion. As time allows, we may discuss a few participants’ ideas for or questions about publishing.

DUHRS Members and Advisors

2018 Student members

Simone Verswijveren

School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Simone is currently in her final year of her PhD. Her PhD focuses on patterns of physical activity and sedentary behaviour and associations with cardio-metabolic health in children and adolescents. Simone is based at the Burwood Campus of Deakin University.

Sasha Davies

School of Psychology

Sasha Davies is in her 2nd year of her PhD program. Her primary research focus is on using EEG to investigate whether pregnancy changes the neural indices of women’s cognitive functioning. Sasha spends most of her PhD life reading, writing, wrestling with MatLab and EEGlab, and convincing undergrads to be as mad as her by signing up for the PhD life. She is a member of the Cognitive Neuroscience Unit team at Deakin University’s School of Psychology (Burwood campus).

Alissa Burnett

School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Alissa is currently in the second year of her PhD. Her PhD focuses on the parental factors influencing the dietary intake of pre-school children. Alissa is based at the Burwood Campus of Deakin University.

Emiliano Mazzoli

School of Health and Social Development
Schedule and abstracts

Emiliano Mazzoli, is an international PhD student in his final year of candidature. His research interests focus on the relationship between sitting time, physical activity and cognitive functions in children, and the possible application of the research findings to educational practices. Emiliano is part of the School of Health and Social Development, and based at the Burwood campus.

Christina Zorbas

School of Health and Social Development

Christina is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and PhD Candidate within the Global Obesity Centre. Her PhD focusses on building the evidence-base of food and nutrition policies that can equitably improve population diets across the socioeconomic gradient. Christina is based at the Burwood Campus.

Liam Hall

School of Medicine

Liam is currently in the second year of his PhD. His PhD focuses on the role of the Alzheimer’s disease protein amyloid beta in heart disease. He is based at the Metabolic Research Unit at the Waurn Ponds campus.

Jac Kirkman

School of Medicine 
Workshops co-ordinator

Jac is currently in the second year of her PhD. Her research focuses on the impact of rural clinical placements on optometry students. Jac is based at the Waurn Ponds campus.

Ashlyn Sahay

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Ashlyn is in the final year of her PhD. Her research explores the impact of clinician interactions on patient safety outcomes. Ashlyn is based at Waterfront Campus.

Olumuyiwa Omonaiye

School of Nursing and Midwifery
Schedule and abstracts

Muyiwa is currently in the second year of his PhD. His PhD research involves examining medication adherence among pregnant women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), receiving antiretroviral therapy in Nigeria. As a developing country, Nigeria has major problems in managing the transmission of HIV. Nigeria is responsible for 30 percent of the global burden of mother to child transmission of HIV. Muyiwa is based at the Burwood Campus of Deakin University.

Denise Foley

School of Psychology

Denise is in her second year of her PhD in Psychology in the Cognitive Neurosciences Unit. Her PhD research is an investigation of the neural correlates of inhibition in obesity using EEG. Denise is passionate about health behaviour, health interventions & medtech. Denise is based at the Burwood Campus.

2018 Advising staff

Associate Professor Tess Knight

HDR Coordinator Faculty of Health

Tess Knight is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at Deakin University and a registered Psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia. Her teaching and research is primarily in developmental psychology, education, and health. She is Chair of the Faculty Higher Degree by Research Program and with over 15 years of experience through collaboration, teaching, her own research projects, and supervision of Doctoral and Masters students, she leads the teaching of qualitative research methodology in the School of Psychology.

Associate Professor Antonina Mikocka-Walus

HDR Coordinator School of Psychology

Antonina Mikocka-Walus is Associate Professor in Health Psychology at Deakin University. She is also a visiting Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Adelaide, visiting Senior Research Fellow at the University of York and holds an adjunct senior role at the University of South Australia.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I be involved in the 2020 DUHRS conference organisation?
Applications for the 2020 DUHRS committee will open in mid-2019. If you are interested in being involved, please send an email to

When will the conference take place?
The 2018 Faculty of Health conference will take place on Monday, the 3rd of December. Registrations open at 8:00 am. The program will commence at 8:45 am run through to 5:00 pm.

Where will the conference take place?
The conference will be held at Deakin Downtown, located at 727 Collins St Docklands, Melbourne.

What is the easiest way to travel to the conference?
Deakin Downtown is a 5-minute walk from Southern Cross train station, which is the recommended way of travelling to the conference. Alternatively, parking can be located nearby with Secure Parking at 664 Collins St and 700 Collins St, or Wilsons Parking at 750 Collins St.

Details about getting to Deakin Downtown can be found here

How do I register to attend the conference? How much is registration?
Registration is completely free.
You can register to attend the conference via Eventbrite here

When will registrations close?
Registrations will close on the 16th of November 2018.

Who is able to register for the event?
The conference is open to all Faculty of Health HDR students and staff. Please note that student attendance will be prioritised over staff in the event that the conference exceeds Deakin Downtown’s venue capacity.

How do I submit an abstract and when is the deadline?
Abstract submissions closed on Friday 19th October, 2018.

When will the outcomes of abstract reviews be released?
Outcomes of abstract reviews will be released in October 2018.

How do I register for workshops?
All attendees have received a link to pre-register for their preferred workshops from on the 19th of November 2018. Please use that link to ensure a spot in your workshop of choice! Note: The link expires on 23-11-2018 11.59PM. If you are unable to pre-register via the link, please choose your workshop on the day between 8:00-8:50am.

What do I do if I have special dietary requirements?
All registered attendees have received a link to request dietary requirements from on the 19th of November 2018. Please use that link to inform us about your diet. Note: this link expires on 23-11-2018 11.59PM.

A paperless conference; a conscious choice
There will be limited printed materials provided at the DUHRS conference. All materials, such as the program, abstracts and workshop descriptions, will be provided electronically via this website.

Can Masters students who have completed a major research project also present abstracts?
Yes, we welcome abstracts from both our Masters and PhD students.  It is a great opportunity to present your research to your peers and supervisors!

My question is not listed here, who can I contact?
If you have further questions, please contact the Deakin University Health Research Committee at email:

Contact us: The DUHRS Committee 2018

Deakin University Health Research Students (DUHRS) was established in 2017 to connect Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students across the five schools within the Faculty of Health at Deakin University.

Email us!

Last updated:
Page custodian: Faculty of Health