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Elizabeth Waters Memorial Travel Scholarship

Elizabeth Waters
Vale Professor Elizabeth (Liz) Waters 1996 - 2015

Early in 2016, the Elizabeth Waters Memorial Travel Scholarship was established by Liz’s friends and family to honour two of Liz’s great passions in life: excellence in child public health and travel. 

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  • About Professor Elizabeth Waters

    Professor Elizabeth Waters’ made a lasting contribution to the field of public health both nationally and internationally, fuelled by her passion and commitment to justice, equity and upholding the rights of children.

    Professor Waters’ career in public health began in the mid 90s. A background in science, nursing and exposure to global health issues provoked her interest in preventative health which led her to pursue a Master of Public Health at Monash and then complete her PhD at Oxford University, with a focus on child health and wellbeing.

    Equipped with experience at the Royal Children’s Hospital, VicHealth, Oxford University, Centre for Community Child Health, and Deakin University, Professor Waters arrived at the University of Melbourne in 2007 with an established team of researchers passionate about government and community partnership approaches to preventative health.

    In 2008 Professor Waters and her team was awarded the Jack Brockhoff Foundation Centenary Grant, a $5 million philanthropic gift distributed over a ten-year period. The grant was the largest amount ever awarded by an Australian Foundation or Trust to support a child health research program within a University. It established Professor Waters as the Jack Brockhoff Chair of Child Public Health and Director of the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program. Here Professor Waters led a team of researchers and a wide body of work aiming to improve children’s lives; tackling childhood obesity, improving oral health, disaster recovery, quality of life for children with disabilities, health of children and families with same-sex parents and social inclusion for those with a refugee/migrant family background.

    Alongside her work in child health, Professor Waters was an influential leader within the international group the Cochrane Collaboration, determined that evidence should have an impact on the health of populations globally. In 1999, she took on leadership of the Health Promotion and Public Health Field and subsequently developed the Field, in collaboration with the international community, to be registered as the Cochrane Public Health Group. She also represented Cochrane on the World Health Organization (WHO) – Cochrane Partnership Group, represented Cochrane and public health within the WHO Global Commission on Social Determinants and World Health Assembly, and was invited to represent Cochrane public health interests on the WHO Clinical Trial Registration and Reporting, and Guidelines for Review Committee. In 2014, Liz was instrumental in establishing satellites of Cochrane Public Health in India and Europe.

    Professor Waters established herself as an international expert on childhood obesity, as lead author of one of the most highly cited Cochrane reviews in the history of its publication (Interventions for preventing obesity in children), and co-authored 10 other Cochrane reviews.

    Contributing to the field of public health more broadly, Professor Waters was on scientific advisory committees for NHMRC, ESRC, MRC, ARC, Department of Veterans Affairs, UNICEF and CDC. She was also on the editorial board of 3 international health journals and had acted as a reviewer for 16 other journals. She was an author on over 250 peer-reviewed publications and throughout her career attracted over $45 million in grants.

    In 2014, Professor Waters received the Anne Anderson award in recognition of her role as a visible and fearless role model for women, helping to bring about changes that have promoted women in leadership in Cochrane.

    The legacy of Professor Waters’ work will continue to support others to make evidence-based decisions to promote health and wellbeing in Australia and internationally. Her intellect and vision brought people and science together, and has created lasting programs of work that benefit the health and wellbeing of children and their families into the future.

  • About the Program

    The Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program is situated in the Centre for Health Equity, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health and comprises a multi-disciplinary team of leading public health researchers. The team is led by the Director, Associate Professor Lisa Gibbs and Associate Directors Dr Elise Davis and Dr Rebecca Armstrong. The Program also comprises the research group Public Health Insight, which generates and reviews evidence for effective interventions in public health.

    The Program is concerned with the key drivers of child health; the influence of culture and social contexts on a child’s early years that impact health, educational, social and employment prospects later in life.

    Situated in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, the program collaborates extensively across the University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and internationally. The program embraces a model of strong inter-sectoral policy-research partnerships, which have been formed with a wide variety of sectors and disciplines, including: government, education, community health, dental health, disability, emergency management, social welfare and childcare. We also collaborate with other research organisations in Australia, India, UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, France, the US and Canada.

  • About the Scholarship

    The Elizabeth Waters Memorial Travel Scholarship honours two of Liz’s great passions: excellence in child public health and travel. Funds have been raised to enable the University to provide one scholarship every two years to staff, Higher Degree candidates, partners and collaborators in The Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program (‘Program’) and the research service, Public Health Insight (‘Insight’) (or such other programs focused on child public health research) at the University of Melbourne, who demonstrate excellence in their field of work. The scholarship assists the successful applicants with expenses associated with attending a domestic or international conference, event or opportunity. The scholarship is also be available to international applicants travelling to Australia to collaborate with the Program and/or Insight.

  • What funding is required to fund the scholarship?

    The aim of the Elizabeth Waters Memorial Travel Scholarship was to raise at least $50,000 by 30 June 2019 to establish a fund in perpetuity. In April 2016 the scholarship was launched and thanks to the support of many of Liz's close family, friends and professional colleagues, the fund has already raised over $67,000!

    This total enables two great outcomes.

    Firstly, the inaugural Elizabeth Waters Memorial Travel Scholarship is able to be awarded in 2016. The inaugural scholarship recipients were announced in November 2016.

    The successful applicants will be featured here and in the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program Annual Report in November of each year.

    Secondly, the remaining funds will be used to create an Endowment for the scholarship with the interest or dividends earned made available for scholarships. The corpus of funds will be invested, enabling this prestigious scholarship to be awarded for generations to come in honour of Liz’s legacy.


    Over time, if the fund grows further it may be possible to award additional travelling scholarships. All gifts are fully tax deductible and will be acknowledged as part of Believe – the Campaign for the University of Melbourne which aims to advance the University’s teaching and learning, research and engagement aims.

  • Donors

    The University is proud to be supporting this scholarship and we particularly acknowledge the contribution of Liz’s husband Paul Joyce and children, Charlie and Lara. We would like to sincerely thank the many donors (listed below in alphabetical order) who have made this scholarship possible .

    • Professor Glenn Bowes AO and Professor Jo Anne Douglass
    • Ms Jane Burns
    • Professor Lisa A Cameron
    • Dr Jane M Collins
    • Mr David Conolly
    • Ms Miranda Cumpston
    • Dr Alessandro Demaio
    • Dental Health Services Victoria
    • Professor John Haisken-DeNew
    • Ms Bridget Harper
    • Professor Janet E Hiller
    • Professor Catherine Humphreys and Mr Ray Ison
    • Ms Louise I Hutchings
    • Dr Catherine Joyce and Dr John H Chesterman
    • Dr Gerard Joyce and Associate Professor Marie R Joyce OAM
    • Mr Paul G Joyce
    • Ms Marie Kinsella
    • Miss Hannah Littlecott
    • Professor Geraldine Macdonald
    • Professor John D Mathews AM
    • Dr Sarah McIntyre
    • Mr Paul Montgomery
    • Mrs Elizabeth and Mr Murray A Neil
    • Ms Sophie A Nilsson
    • Professor Terence M Nolan AO
    • Ms Therese A O'Dwyer
    • Dr Jenny Proimos and Mr Nicholas P Glenning
    • Professor Dinah S Reddihough
    • Ms Lisa G. Sassella
    • Mr Andrew Stevens
    • Professor Collette Tayler
    • Mr Stuart Waldron
    • Ms Helen Walsh
    • Mr Terence and Mrs Tiffany P Walsh
    • Dr Alison Weightman
    • And the 11 donors wishing to remain anonymous.
  • Tributes
  • 2016 Recipients

    This year it was possible to award funding to two separate scholarships, the first is being led by Dr Martin Hall, a long term partner and Honorary Research Fellow of The Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program. Martin is the General Manager of Clinical and Oral Health Services at North Richmond Community Health. In addition to his role at North Richmond Community Health, Martin has also been conducting a pilot oral health intervention program in East Timor. The Kose Nehan program is currently being tested across eight schools in the district of Aileu and there is interest from the Timorese Government and the National University of Timor-Leste in expanding Kose Nehan to other districts in Timor.  To ensure successful program implementation (including sustainability) there is the need to develop local capacity in evaluation and research. The Scholarship will allow Ms Ana Tillman, the Kose Nehan program officer and dental therapist, to travel to Australia on a study visit to gain support from sister schools in Australia and to spend time with The Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing team to develop her skills in evaluation and research.

    Ms Ana Tillman & Dr Martin Hall with a school group in East Timor 2016.

    The second scholarship was awarded to Jodie Doyle. As the managing editor of Cochrane Public Health, Jodie plays a crucial role in facilitating the publication of Cochrane Public Health reviews. Jodie will use the scholarship funds to travel to South Africa in 2017 to attend the Cochrane Colloquium which will be a combined event with other evidence networks at the first ever Global Evidence Summit. At the colloquium, Jodie will promote the work of Cochrane Public Health and continue to build the profile of Cochrane Public Health both within Cochrane and internationally.

    Ms Jodie Doyle


Further information about the University of Melbourne’s endowment policy is available.

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