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Public Health Researchers Reap Two National Awards

Sep 14 2015

Dr Ashleigh Guillaumier is one of two UoN winners from the CAPHIA public health awards.

Dr Ashleigh Guillaumier

University of Newcastle researchers have won two categories awards at the national 2015 CAPHIA (Council of Academic Public Health Institute Australia) Awards announced last week.

The CAPHIA 2015 Team Award for excellence in public health research was awarded jointly to the University of Newcastle and the University of Queensland for their work on the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health.

This award was accepted at the 2015 Public Health Teaching and Learning Forum in Hobart by Professor Julie Byles, University of Newcastle, and Professor Gita Mishra, University of Queensland.

It recognises the study as an exceptional public health resource that provides an evidence base for government and other decision-makers to formulate public health policy.

The latest report from the study was released in early September and examines chronic conditions, physical function and health care use across four different cohorts of Australian women.

The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health is a long-term study of over 58,000 women which began in 1996. The four cohorts studied were aged 18-23, 45-50 and 70-75. In 2012/13 a new cohort of women aged 18-23 was introduced.

The Study assesses the women’s physical and mental health, along with psychosocial aspects of health (including lifestyle factors and socio-demographic factors).

The CAPHIA 2015 Award for PhD Excellence in Public Health was awarded to Dr Ashleigh Guillaumier, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle.

Dr Ashleigh Guillaumier was honoured for the high quality of her thesis on ‘An exploration of socioeconomically disadvantaged smokers’ responses to three tobacco control strategies’.

Working with Associate Professor Billie Bonevski the research yielded six published papers in international journals and was the first in Australia to examine the responses from highly socioeconomically disadvantaged smokers to several tobacco control policies (mass media, plain packs and pricing and tax).

The research highlights the ways current policies could be improved to increase their effectiveness among highly disadvantaged groups.

“It’s exciting to be able to put this research into the spotlight and acknowledge that cigarette use is still a major public health issue that needs attention,” Dr Guillaumier said.
"We are consistently getting smoking rates down but we need to refocus what we’re doing to support people who have been left behind in a sense.