Dr Rebecca Stanley, Dame Bridget Ogilvie, and PhD candidate Kelly Lambert. Photo by Mark Newsham

IHMRI has demonstrated its commitment to supporting and rewarding the careers of Illawarra women in health and medical research through new awards

In the week of International Women’s Day, IHMRI has funded two awards to celebrate outstanding work by IHMRI researchers, with the inaugural recipients receiving $3000 each. The recipients were announced at a special event, Lunch with Dame Bridget Ogilvie, held on the 6 March.

IHMRI statistics about their researcher community during 2016 showed there were more female PhD students than male but the balance changes as careers progress, with significantly more male Professors. This trend is typical of many organisations in Australia and internationally – women are not being retained in senior roles.

IHMRI Executive Director Professor David Adams said IHMRI aimed to build a strong community of collaborators and funding awards was a practical way to initiate positive change in the progression of women through their research careers.

“Along with our inaugural Lunch with Dame Bridget Ogilvie event held earlier this week, the awards are a way in which we can provide support at that crucial early to mid-career point, to assist female researchers progress in their careers,” he said.

Citation Award

Associate Research Fellow Dr Rebecca Stanley received the Dame Bridget Ogilvie Citation Award, which recognises research excellence in outstanding publications by an early-mid career female researcher.

Dr Stanley is a childhood health researcher particularly focused on culturally appropriate school, afterschool, and community-based interventions to increase physical activity, reduce sedentary behaviour and promote healthy lifestyles in children and adolescents, particularly in Indigenous children.

Dr Stanley is also outstanding in being awarded one of the first NSW Health Early – Mid Career Fellowships last year for her project to develop an after-school Aboriginal cultural activity program for children living in the Shoalhaven region.

Dr Stanley hopes to put her award towards travel to Canada where she can learn from researchers who also work with Indigenous peoples and bring those skills to her own work with local Aboriginal communities.

Clinical Excellence Award

Kelly Lambert received the Dame Bridget Ogilvie Clinical Excellence Award, which recognises outstanding contribution to clinical practice by an early-mid career female researcher.

A clinical dietician, Kelly is an active member of the renal unit at the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) and Research Central at The Wollongong Hospital.

She is currently enrolled in a PhD supervised by Associate Professor Judy Mullan and sponsored by the ISLHD/UOW Clinical PhD Scholarship Program. She is investigating early recognition of cognitive impairment in renal patients.

Kelly won this award for her demonstrable translation of her research to improved care of patients with chronic kidney disease. Her research empowers patients to manage their own health. Although in the early stages of her research career she is clearly establishing a national and international profile.

Kelly would like to use the award to visit clinical researchers in Chicago to learn about questioning styles to use with patients who have poor health literacy. “I’d like to see [their methods] in practice to see how they apply [them] so that I could adapt it here in Australia. It is really opportune that I have received this award,” she says.

Top picture: Dr Rebecca Stanley, Dame Bridget Ogilvie and Kelly Lambert. Photo by Mark Newsham.


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