IHMRI affiliation

Theme:Chronic conditions and lifestyle
Role:Theme Leader / Affiliated Stakeholder Advisory Panel (ASAP)
Level:IHMRI Senior Fellow

Research focus

Senior Professor Tony Okely’s research focuses on movement behaviours (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep) in children, with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries. Tony led the team that developed the Australian 24-hr Movement Guidelines for Children birth to 5 years. He was part of the Guideline Development Group for the WHO Global guidelines on physical activity, sedentary and sleep behaviours in children under 5 years of age, and for similar guidelines in South Africa, Canada and the United Kingdom.  Tony currently leads an international study of movement behaviours in the early years called SUNRISE, which involves 41 countries, 245 of which are low- or middle-income.

Research projects

Publications and funding

Other roles

  • 2021-present
    • Senior Professor, School of Health & Society, University of Wollongong
  • 2021-2023 
    • Adjunct Professor (Professor II) (0.2 FTE), Western Norway         University of Applied Sciences
  • 2020-2025
    • NHMRC Leadership Fellow (Level 2)
  • 2019-2021
    • Technical Advisor (child obesity and movement behaviours), Comprehensive Health and Epidemiological Surveillance System (CHESS), Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, Goroko, Papua New Guinea.
  • 2018-present
    • International Scientific Advisor, Biomedical Research Foundation of Bangladesh
  • Associate Editor, Child: Care, Health and Development

IHMRI research team

Research fellows

Dr Myrto Mavilidi E: myrto@uow.edu.au
Dr Katharina Kariippanon E: kathkar@uow.edu.au
Dr Megan Hammersley E: mhammers@uow.edu.au

Research assistants

Penny Cross - Data Manager E: pcross@uow.edu.au
Rebecca Calleia - Research Officer E: rcalleia@uow.edu.au
Ajinkya Buva - Data Analyst E: abuva@uow.edu.au

PhD candidates

Kalina Kazmierska Relationships between gross motor skills and health and developmental outcomes in young children.
Yazeed Alanazi Cross-sectional and prospective associations between 24-hour movement behaviours (physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep) and health among children in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Kar Hau Chong 4-hour movement behaviours across the primary-secondary school transition: Associations with physical and psychosocial health in preadolescent children
Ruth Crowe Exploring the after-school healthy eating and physical activity environment
Linda Patel Healthy eating, physical activity and sedentary behaviours in Outside School Hours Care services.
Rebecca Emori Translating Child Health and Development Data into Policy and Practice in Papua New Guinea (PNG)
Erin Kerr Healthy Eating and Active Play in Family Day Care
Sarah Ryan A social marketing campaign to promote physical activity in the South Pacific region
Karel Strooband Fine motor skill acquisition in the early years: Understanding children?s progression and supporting development
Andrew Woods Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in Before School Programs in Two NSW Health LHDs
Chalchisa Abdeta Tugu Adherence to international 24-hour movement behaviour guidelines (physical activity, sleep and screen time) and associations with physical and cognitive development in young children in Ethiopia
Georgie Tran Translational Research of Healthy Eating and Active Living in Children