Courtney Barnes

Courtney Barnes
Research Program:

Why did you get into research?

Fresh out of university, I took a job as a project assistant which involved working with childcare services to improve the types of foods that children ate in care. It became increasingly obvious to me how influential the childcare setting was on the development of children’s nutrition and physical activity behaviours. I thought, how cool is this to be in a field where we can design and deliver research trials that have real potential to impact the quality of children’s diet and their activity levels?! From that, my research journey begun.     

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

My vision would be for children grow up within an environment that fosters the development of healthy eating and physical activity behaviours, which can then be carried into adulthood. I would love for our research to find effective ways to better support childcare services to provide such environments, to improve the health of our future generations.


Courtney Barnes is an accredited practicing dietitian, PhD Student at the University of Newcastle and Project Officer at Hunter New England Population Health. In 2016, Courtney graduated with a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (Honours) from the University of Newcastle. Since this time, Courtney has worked as a private practice dietitian, working with clients to identify and address the barriers to leading a healthy eating lifestyle. Primarily through her role as Project Officer, Courtney has been working with the Good for Kids team to deliver obesity prevention programs and interventions within the childcare setting to improve the dietary intake and physical activity levels of Australian children. 

Courtney’s core research focus is in the implementation of efficacious nutrition interventions within the childcare setting.

Future Focus

  • Simple and scalable strategies to support the implementation of healthy eating guidelines
  • Improving the uptake and use of web-based innovations

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Population level obesity prevention intervention
  • Trials implementation and evaluation
  • Childcare service based physical activity and nutrition promotion