Establishment of the Elizabeth Waters Memorial Travel Scholarship

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.


Professor Elizabeth Waters, DPhil, FPH 1996 – 2015

  • 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 would honour two of Liz’s great passions: excellence in child public health and travel. Funds raised would enable the University to provide one or more scholarships 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(s) will assist the successful applicants with expenses associated with attending a domestic or international conference, event or opportunity. The scholarship(s) will also be available to international applicants travelling to Australia to collaborate with the Program and/or Insight.

  • What funding will be required to fund the scholarship in perpetuity?

    The aim of the Elizabeth Waters Memorial Travel Scholarship is to raise at least $50,000 by 30 June 2019 to establish a fund in perpetuity. If we reach this target we will have sufficient capital to provide one or more travel scholarships to chosen candidates.

    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. Gifts will also be acknowledged in the annual report of The Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program.

  • Donors

    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.

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

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