Clare Desmet

Clare Desmet

What are your research insterests?

  • Obesity Prevention – I am interested in the combination of factors that has lead 2/3 of us to be overweight and obesity 
  • Knowledge Translation – getting the right info, to the right people, at the right time, in a way that they can understand and use it!
  • Cultural Appropriateness – I am just scratching the surface here and hugely value the input from Aboriginal people 

Why did you get into research?

I was a curious child. I remember wondering what other kids did in their free time. Did they play sports like me? Video games? Eat chocolate? Watch TV? What makes people do things they know aren’t good for them?

I want to better understand behaviour so I can contribute to the tools and environments that promote a healthy life – sounds simple right?!?!

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

To see the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics media release stating that Australian overweight and obesity levels are decreasing and to know that I contributed to that.


Clare is a project officer in the Maternal Health team at Hunter New England Population Heath (HNEPH). As an exercise physiologist and dietitian, she employs her skills to approach health-related behaviours from a broad perspective.

She has worked across a number of programs that have promoted physical activity and healthy eating in primary school communities and maternity services.  Much of her work involves translating evidence-based health practices into strategies that are acceptable, feasible, effective, and scalable for stakeholders across our region.

Clare’s roles have included planning and design, implementation and evaluation of research projects. She enjoys the variety that her role provides from delivering guest lectures at the University of Newcastle to facilitating focus groups with parents, to fine-tuning research protocol documents to getting out working directly with Hunter New England stakeholders.

A strong believer that ‘there is always more to learn’, Clare keeps an ear out for development and networking opportunities and new techniques to improve health outcomes. She is particularly proud of facilitating a successful virtual forum for TIDIRH (Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health) at short notice when COVID first reared its ugly head.

Future Focus

Knowledge Translation. There are some valuable research outcomes available that are not always reaching the people who need it. I am committed to delving deeper into community partnerships, communication, and engagement for more efficient knowledge translation across all research and program delivery.

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Trials implementation and evaluation
  • Behaviour Change techniques
  • School based programs
  • Obesity prevention