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Our Mission

Our mission is to transform health systems to address the changing health needs of children and young people. Chronic, non-communicable diseases account for most disability adjusted life years lost (DALYS) among children and young people in high-income countries. Obesity, respiratory diseases like asthma, and neuropsychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression are among the most common causes of morbidity.

The Population Child Health research group works across Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network and UNSW to understand what determines poor health in children and young people. We want to develop and evaluate scalable, integrated intervention packages that can be delivered by existing practitioners. Our focus is on translational research that will have a direct impact on the lives of children. We focus on children and young people whose voices often go unheard, such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, children from refugee families, and children living in socioeconomic disadvantage or out-of-home care.

Our Team

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Prof Raghu Lingam

Director

Raghu established the Population Child Health research group and is a senior clinical academic with expertise in maternal and child health services research. During the last 5 years, Raghu has developed and evaluated large-scale child health intervention programs to optimise the health, growth and development of children and young people at extreme disadvantage. He is Professor of Paediatric Population and Health Services Research at UNSW, Honorary Professor of Population Child Health at Kings College London, Honorary Professor at the Black Dog Institute, and a Consultant Community Paediatrician within the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network.

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A/Prof Sue Woolfenden

Deputy Director

Sue leads research that investigates the impact of inequitable health service provision on the early years of life. She is a senior staff specialist in the Department of Community Child Health within Sydney Children's Hospitals Network and co-chairs a Royal Australasian College of Physicians working group that has developed the first Child Health Equity Policy Statement in Australia. Sue holds a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship in overcoming health inequity. She is a representative on the Awards and Advocacy Committee of the Australasian Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Sydney. Sue conducts lectures, research and bed-side teaching at the University of Gajah Mada, Indonesia, and conducts lectures, research, tutorials, supervision and bed-side teaching at universities and hospitals in Fiji. Sue is an external examiner for postgraduate paediatrics at Fiji National University.

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Prof Karen Zwi, OAM

Priority Populations Lead

Professor Karen Zwi has achieved significant health and wellbeing improvements for vulnerable populations and is a strong advocate and leader for refugee health on a state and national level. She is a member of SCHN's Clinical Ethics Response Group and a Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) representative to the International Society for Social Paediatrics and Child Health (ISSOP). Karen is a member of the Budapest Declaration Advisory Committee on Children on the Move (refugee children) and a member of the NSW Refugee Health Plan Implementation Group. She is also a member of the UNSW Clinical Mentoring Scheme for Aboriginal medical students. In 2021, Karen received a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to paediatric medicine.

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Dr Nan Hu

Research Fellow

Nan is an epidemiologist and bio-statistician by training, and has more than 10 years of professional and academic experience in public health research. Nan has a great interest in child health, with particular interests in mental health and behavioural problems, social disadvantage and vulnerability, early intervention strategies and polices, and clinical integration and innovation.

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Michael Hodgins

Research Associate

Michael is a Research Associate within the Population Child Health Research Group. He holds a Master of Qualitative Health Research and is awaiting conferment of a Doctor of Philosophy exploring emotion and knowledge translation in community-based palliative care. Michael's research experience reflects a keen interest in qualitative methods and knowledge translation. He has a passion for arts-based and innovative methodologies. Michael's work has included exploring health priorities and knowledge translation in community-based palliative care, knowledge translation in youth health, the delivery of mental health services to rural populations, and the evaluation of health implementation initiatives.

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Dr Jade Burley

Research Associate

Jade is a research fellow at UNSW. She is passionate about improving the health and well-being of children, with a research interest in physical activity and sedentary behaviour, health inequality, early intervention strategies and policy change. Jade is passionate about research innovation, translation, and accessibility. 

Dr Tammy Meyers Morris

Research Associate

Coming soon.

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Katarina Ostojic

Research Associate

Katarina Ostojic is a Research Associate within the Population Child Health research group. She is a mixed-methods researcher with experience collaborating with local health districts, NDIS and university research groups. Katarina is passionate about improving mental health, psychosocial functioning, and participation for people with a lived experience of chronic illness, particularly those with a disability. Katarina has experience working with children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, especially young people with cerebral palsy. She is passionate about investigating novel interventions to improve health outcomes, and working together with consumers, clinicians, and researchers to embed this knowledge into routine clinical care.

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Nora Samir

Research Assistant

Nora's research interests include transforming health systems and service delivery for priority populations like refugees and migrants. She is passionate about adolescent mental health and integrating the voices of children and young people into research through participatory research methods. Nora co-leads the BestSTART South West Sydney Youth Research Advisory Group and has engaged with more than 200 high-school students from a priority population to discover their health priorities and opinions. 

Dr Gabrielle Georgiou

Research Assistant

Coming soon.

Nicola Paul

Research Administrator

Coming soon.