Elizabeth Waters Memorial Travel Scholarship

Elizabeth Waters
Vale Professor Elizabeth (Liz) Waters 1966 - 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.

If you would like to donate, please click here.

  • 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, Professor Lisa Gibbs and Associate Directors Associate Professor Eva Alisic and Dr Karen Block.

    The Program has three main focus areas; trauma and resilience, migration and social cohesion, and changing lifestyles and healthy futures.

    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 year to staff, Higher Degree candidates, partners and collaborators in The Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program (‘Program’) (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.

  • 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
    • Mrs Elizabeth Loorham
    • Ms Penelope Loorham
    • 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

    In this inaugural year of the scholarship, it was possible to award funding to two separate scholarships.

    The first was 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 allowed 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

    Paul, Charlie and Lara, family of Elizabeth Waters, award the inaugural scholars at the 'Putting the Mouth Back into the Body' Conference at North Richmond Community Health 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 used the scholarship funds to travel to South Africa in 2017 to attend the Cochrane Colloquium which was a combined event with other evidence networks at the first ever Global Evidence Summit. At the colloquium, Jodie promoted the work of Cochrane Public Health and continued to build the profile of Cochrane Public Health both within Cochrane and internationally.

    Ms Jodie Doyle

    A full report from both recipients can be accessed here

    Excerpts from both reports as well as coverage is included in the Jack Brockoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program 2017 Annual Report.

  • 2018 Recipients

    In 2018 it was possible to award funding to two separate scholarships.

    Dana Young

    Sociology of Sport & Alternative Futures

    Ms Young is a Research Fellow in the Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program currently working on the Count Me In and Pursuit of Wellbeing studies. She is about to embark on her PhD to extend her research into the role and contextual factors of sport participation in building social capital for children and youth from refugee and migrant backgrounds in Australia. Ms Young applied for the scholarship to enable her to attend the World Congress of Sociology of Sport in April 2019 as it offers a unique opportunity to consider how research, teaching, public service and political activism can connect private experiences of sport participation with wider social structures and promote social inclusion within local communities.

    Associate Professor Eva Alisic 

    Children’s Mental Health in the Face of Trauma: Building a Collaborative Global Network

    Associate Professor Alisic joined the Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program in 2018 in a leadership position, with research interests relating to childhood trauma. Associate Professor Alisic applied to the Scholarship to help her to build a global network of collaborators regarding children’s mental health in the context of trauma by: 1) connecting with research leaders in low- and middle-income countries, with a focus on Africa and South-East Asia through interactive conferences of Future Africa and the Global Young Academy; 2) connecting with research and practice leaders within Australia.

  • 2019 Recipients

    In 2019 it was possible to award funding to two separate scholarships.

    Katitza Marinkovic

    Katitza Marinkovic
    Supporting Global Child Mental Health in the Climate Emergency

    Katitza Marinkovic is a Research Fellow and international PhD Candidate in the Jack Brockhoff Child Health & Wellbeing Program. Her research interests relate to disaster resilience and participatory methods involving children and youth as co-researchers. She notes that increasing evidence shows the benefits that children’s interactions with the natural environment have for their wellbeing. However, the climate emergency puts this positive relationship under threat. On one hand, there’s increasing research on the detrimental effects of climate change on children’s mental health. On the other hand, engaging in climate action has been suggested as a source of resilience and empowerment. Kati plans to attend the XI International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research (ICPHR) Annual Working Meeting in 2020 to organize an international working group interested in collaborating around this issue using a rights-based approach to doing research with children. (This scholarship was delayed until 2022 due to pandemic restrictions on travel)

    Maria Belén Sotomayor

    Maria Belén Sotomayor, a collaborator at Universidad de Chile on the Think Big study,  will also benefit from a small amount of travel assistance under the Scholarship to attend an Annual Meeting of the International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research in Uruguay in 2020 as part of the Kids in Action network. (This scholarship was eventually declined by the recipient because the proposed travel was no longer feasible after pandemic travel restrictions were lifted).

  • 2022 Recipient

    Maria Belén Sotomayor

    Maria Belén Sotomayor has a five-year undergraduate degree in Social Work from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) and a Master’s Degree in Education specializing in school curriculum and communities from Universidad de Chile. She is a previous collaborator with the Child and Community Wellbeing Unit on the multi-national Think Big study which involved child participatory health research initiatives scaled up through technology. 

    Belén is part of an initiative by the Chilean Child Integral Protection Subsystem to begin a participatory and intergenerational process for the design of Local Policy for Children and Adolescents of the commune of Melipilla, Metropolitan Region of Chile. In this initiative, it is expected to have the participation of the children and adolescents of Melipilla as co-investigators in the design, implementation, preliminary analysis and dissemination.

    Belén plans totravel to the University of Melbourne to meet with the members of the Child and Community Wellbeing Unit who were part of the Think Big study, and other university research teams that are focused on child- and adolescent-led local policy-making processes. She is particularly interested in how to encourage attempts at the participation of children and adolescents in the First Local Policy for Children and Adolescents in Melipilla; especially considering implementing the Chilean Law No. 21.430, SDGs 2030 and social determinants of health from the WHO/OMS. In that context, she will represent her team and gain valuable experience that will enhance her work with children and adolescents as a co-researcher. This exchange about child and youth participatory processes will also enhance the work of the Child and Community Wellbeing Unit.
  • Recipient reports

    Full reports from recipients can be found here

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

Donate towards the scholarship