School of Population Health

Public Health Seminar Series

The School of Population Health Seminar Series offers an opportunity for staff, students and others with an interest in public health research to learn more about the research and related activity of the School. Seminars are held most Wednesdays between 12pm and 1pm and are available online through Microsoft Teams. If you would like more information about the Seminar Series, or if you have suggestions regarding speakers and or topics (including your own) please contact Professor Robyn Richmond. Upcoming seminars may be found at Events.

Watch seminar videos

Strengthening and monitoring food policies to reduce chronic disease in the Pacific Islands

A/Prof Jacqui Webster (BA Sociology, MA Development Studies, PhD Public Health, RPHNut) is Head of Advocacy and Policy Impact in the Centre for Health Systems Research and Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre on Population Salt Reduction at the George institute for Global Health

Discusses the results of an NHMRC-funded salt reduction intervention project in Fiji and Samoa. The project used a pre-post study design to evaluate the impact of multi-faceted population-wide interventions. Measurement of population salt intake and knowledge and behaviours around salt was integrated into the WHO’s STEPwise program for Noncommunicable disease risk factor surveillance at baseline.  <Download flyer>  (Presented: 12 July 2017)


A quick guide to working with climate data

James Goldie, PhD student, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW Sydney

Weather observations and climate models are integral to many environmental health studies, but not all datasets are created equal. This talk introduces the variety of climate data available to researchers, from the satellite and weather station records covering our past to the climate models developed to gain insight into the future.  (Presented: 28 June 2017)


Interviewing sensitive populations – stories from a researcher

Dr Sarah Wayland, BSW, PhD (Health) is a qualitative research methodologist who has extensive experience in examining traumatic loss and mental illhealth within vulnerable populations

This seminar explores the experiences, challenges and benefits of working with vulnerable populations. It identifies the guest speakers’ lived experience in working with victims of crime, people living with complex mental health needs and in the justice health space.  <Download flyer>  (Presented: 21 June 2017)


Multi-method computational modelling to build evidence supporting planning, preparedness and decision making in high risk health protection, security and operational response contexts

Dr David Heslop, Associate Professor School of Public Health and Community Medicine UNSW Sydney, Senior Medical Adviser for CBRNE to Special Operations Headquarters Australia and to Australian Defence Force (ADF) joint senior leadership

In this talk recent developments in multi-method computational modelling approaches incorporating Agent Based Modelling coupled with Discrete Event and Systems Dynamics, supported by the recent increased availability of low cost high performance computing resources, will be discussed. How these can be used to answer questions about policies that cannot be easily investigated in real life will be discussed, using examples of current research projects at the SPHCM exploring how health systems and health policies perform under extreme conditions such as mass casualty events and mass contamination events.  <Download flyer>  (Presented: 31 May 2017)


Environmental and public health impacts of nuclear versus renewable energy: Deconstructing arguments and exposing subjective judgements

Dr Mark Diesendorf was Associate Professor in Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences, UNSW Sydney

Public understanding and government policy on climate and energy policy is polarized. In the UK and several other countries nuclear and renewable energy are competing for providing the major part of the solution to the global climate crisis. This seminar will deconstruct the arguments of both sides in this debate, exposing the assumptions and subjective judgements of the contenders and the presenter. <Download flyer>  (Presented: 17 May 2017)


Rethinking health Planning; using a spatial approach in Public Health

Dr Ori Gudes, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in City Futures Research Centre, UNSW Sydney

This talk explores the topic of GeoHealth and the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in Public Health. Specifically we will explore why GIS or spatial technologies are used in health, how primary health care can be improved with spatial analysis, the applicable health disciplines and the use of GIS and Health in QLD and WA. We will also consider future trends and GIS research and discuss other possibilities for measuring, analysing and understanding disease and health using spatial technology. <Download flyer>  (Presented: 10 May 2017)


Improving Hospital Death Certification in Viet Nam:  Results of a pilot study implementing an adapted WHO hospital death report form in two national hospitals

Professor Merrilyn Walton, AM, University of Sydney

Viet Nam does not have a system for the national collection of death data that meets international requirements for mortality reporting. It is identified as a ‘no-report’ country by the World Health Organization. Verbal autopsy reports is used in the community but excludes deaths in hospitals. This study confirms the viability of implementing a death report form system compliant with international standards in hospitals in Viet Nam and provides the foundation for introducing a national death report form scheme. <Download flyer> (Presented: 26 April 2017)


Using data linkage with the 45 and Up dataset to understand alternative methods of measuring vaccine coverage for influenza and to understand the factors associated with gastroenteritis in middle-aged and older Australians

Analie Dyda and Yingxi (Cimo) Chen, SPHCM PhD Graduates, UNSW Sydney

This seminar describes findings from the 45 and Up study, a large prospective cohort study investigating healthy aging, and other routinely collected datasets. Amalie reports the use of the linked data to investigate alternate methods of measuring vaccination coverage, and predictors of influenza and pertussis vaccination using chi-squared tests and logistic regression. Yingxi (Cimo) Chen describes the epidemiology of gastroenteritis, and  investigates factors associated with hospitalisation with all-cause and cause-specific gastroenteritis in this large cohort of middle-aged and older Australians. <Download flyer> (Presented: 19 April 2017)


Delivering better health care for and with people with intellectual disability

Tracey Szanto, Manager of the Intellectual Disability Health Network, Agency for Clinical Innovation, NSW Health

Tracey will speak about the establishment, evaluation and functions of the NSW intellectual disability health network and three pilot health teams under NSW Health. This work has included co-design with consumers, carers and clinicians alongside the development of a  resource pack and self – assessment  toolkit for health services to support them deliver health services for people with intellectual disability. <Download flyer> (Presented: 4 April 2017)


Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases: Threats to Pacific Human Health and Security

Dr Salanieta T Saketa, Public Health Physician and medical epidemiologist, Fiji Public Health System

Prevention and control of infectious diseases will not only require expertise on epidemiology, surveillance and disease management but also changes in human behaviour and an enabling environment both at the national and regional levels. A concerted strategy on infectious diseases that cuts across relevant sectors driven by enhanced surveillance, rapid and prompt response, partnership building and collaboration, complemented with a robust research and monitoring and evaluation component to guide policy development is a must. <Download flyer> (Presented: 31 March 2017)