The Child Health and Wellbeing Program works towards a vision of every child having the opportunity for a fulfilling and healthy life. Our research, through partnerships and an evidence-informed approach, aims to improve child health and reduce gaps in health inequalities.
The research carried out by the program addresses gaps in the knowledge base and answers important questions to inform policy and practice at both the community, national and international levels.
We are committed to promoting fulfilling and healthy lives for all children.
We work across areas of research, knowledge translation and capacity building to inform policy and practice and address health inequalities.
The program contributes to the production, synthesis and dissemination of research data. Our work uses the social determinants of health lens to increase understanding of the risk and protective factors which contribute to child health and well-being; improve understanding of what works to reduce child health inequalities in disadvantaged and culturally diverse communities; and promote an evidence-informed approach to decision-making and service delivery.
The approach that distinguishes our program is a genuine and meaningful engagement with communities, organisations and partners. In partnership with these groups, we design research together, publish together, celebrate together and reflect on outcomes together. Working in this way ensures that:
- The depth and validity of our data is enhanced
- The relevance of our work to community issues is improved
- Engagement with evidence is increased
- Communities have more ownership of research-led solutions
In addition, in the same way that policy and practice requires evidence to improve outcomes, the program’s success depends on meeting the needs of those working in policy and practice environments. We meet these needs through mutually respectful partnerships with:
- health and social services
- non-government organisations
- cultural groups, community organisations
- children and families.
For our research to make a difference, we acknowledge the different spheres of influences on children and families that impact on health and wellbeing. As a program, we recognise the need to work across multiple levels and within the multiple settings of programs to have the opportunity to make a change that will improve health outcomes.
Who we are
The Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program at the University of Melbourne 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.
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. Through collaborations and direct funding, the program has attracted over $25 million in the past 5 years.