Support for child welfare and health studies

Flinders University researchers will be buoyed by $472,908 in additional funding from the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation of SA for a range of new projects in 2022.

Professor Tracey Wade, College of Education, Psychology and Social Work, and Children’s Research Foundation stalwart Len Frankham, whose contribution is acknowledged in the new awards.

The latest round of $1.5 million in funding will take “children’s research to new heights,” says CRF Executive Director Greg Ward, also announcing the 45-year-old foundation’s first awards for achievement in children’s research.

Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Psychology Tracey Wade was awarded the inaugural Len Frankham Award for outstanding achievement in children’s education and wellbeing research.

Professor Wade, from the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work, has worked as a clinician and researcher in eating disorders for more than 30 years, supporting many evidence-based mental health interventions for adolescents.

The CRF independent research committee, chaired by Flinders University Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health Kevin Forsyth, reviewed 97 expressions of interest for the latest round of grants, with 19 projects selected from 42 projects invited to submit a full grant application.

The successful Flinders University projects – below – were announced on 28 October.

CI College Project Title Grant Awarded
Luke Grzeskowiak MPH Psychotropic medications in children and adolescents: investigating longitudinal trends and determinants of use, persistence, and outcomes $99,983
Kris Natalier HASS Supporting children experiencing domestic and family violence (DFV) through developing a child-informed, child-centred practice approach in DFV shelters $87,628
Minh-son To MPH Artificial intelligence for reducing radiation exposure and cancer risk in children $100,000
Robyn Young EPSW Evaluation of the Autism Detection in Early Childhood-Virtual (ADEC-V) $85,319
Anna Ziersch MPH Family and domestic violence in migrant and refugee communities – amplifying children’s voices and empowering communities in South Australia $99,978

“Since 1976, our grants have played a pivotal role in supporting quality research into children’s health, education and welfare within South Australia’s world-class research and service organisations,” Mr Ward says.

Professor Jonathan Craig, and CHF board member Professor Claire Roberts, from the College of Medicine and Public Health, with Flinders neurosurgery research registrar Dr Minh-son To at the award presentations.

“Particular emphasis in our grant assessment process is given to research with a focus on improving child protection, mental health, reducing obesity and understanding the impacts that social determinants have on a child’s health and development.”

In its 45-year history, the not-for-profit foundation has channelled almost $42 million (in today’s dollars) to support close to 1000 research projects into children’s health, education and welfare in South Australia.

The Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation Achievement in Children’s Research Awards were announced by CRF Ambassador and 7NEWS Adelaide presenter  Rosanna Mangiarelli and South Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Michael Cusack.

Flinders social work researcher Dr Carmela Bastian, left, and Associate Professor Kris Natalier (College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences) celebrate at the grant round announcement.

University of Adelaide Emeritus Professor Michael Sawyer and Professor Jennifer Couper were respectively awarded for outstanding achievement in children’s education research and children’s health research.

Through its Annual Grant Giving Program, the foundation also actively supports the growth of research careers and capability in SA, covering community-based studies, clinical studies and basic science in the children’s research fields of allied health, fertility and pregnancy, education, environment, nursing, medicine, mental health, midwifery, welfare and protection, and social sciences.

It also remains committed to supporting SA’s world-class research and service organisations, including Flinders University, Novita, University of Adelaide, University of South Australia and the Women’s and Children’s Health Network.


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College of Education, Psychology and Social Work College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences College of Medicine and Public Health