Work history…

Helen Skouteris has had an extensive career in academia, having gained significant experience working on early childhood development and women’s health research projects at La Trobe University and Deakin University, prior to her current position at Monash University in the Health and Social Care Unit (HSCU)

Career Collaborations…

Helen has worked with many government, community and Not For Profit (NFP) organisations to ensure there is a strong connection to the ‘real world’ when conducting the applied research needed to provide the evidence base for fostering the health and wellbeing of children, parents and families.



Dr Juliana Betts is a medical practitioner who is currently undertaking specialty training with the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Royal Australasian College of Physicians. After completing her medical studies, Juliana worked clinically for a number of years in a range of hospital and community settings prior to commencing at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in 2018. During her time with the school, Juliana has undertaken projects in a number of research areas including the Hazelwood Health Study and Infectious Diseases Epidemiology. Juliana was also seconded to the Victorian Department of Health in 2019 to work in the Health Protection Branch and the COVID-19 response. Juliana has recently joined the HSCU working with Helen and Michelle Gooey to investigate policy responses to the issue of childhood obesity.

Sue-Anne Hunter is a strong Wurundjeri woman and social worker who works to support cultural healing of the Aboriginal Community.

Please see her website:

Sue-Anne, Helen and Heather Morris have worked together for years. Sue-Anne led a paper under Heather’s mentorship that is currently under review:
Hunter, S., Skouteris, H, & Morris, H. (2020) Cultural factors that build resilience in Indigenous Australians: A conceptual model. Submitted for review.
Sue-Anne has also worked with Rachael Green and the HEALing Matters team.

Dheepa Jeyapalan is a dietitian and public health professional with a passion for addressing health inequities and working with communities in a way that centres self-determination. She is currently an advisor to the CEO of VicHealth, fostering a broad understanding of the systems that promote and prevent good health for all Victorians.  Previously, she has worked for Save the Children Australia as a Program Advisor and in research at the University of Sydney. These varied experiences in diverse areas of the public health sector have culminated in a keen interest to understand the intersections where social work, community services and public health meet and how these sectors can work together in delivering meaningful outcomes for the health and wellbeing of families.

Dheepa is working with Helen, Michelle Gooey, Alex Chung, and Rachael Green as a visiting collaborator.

Ann MacRae is the Senior Researcher at Baptcare.  Ann has a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) and Master of Family Studies.  Ann has experience working in the Child Protection, Housing and Homelessness and family services sectors in Hobart, Tasmania.  Ann moved to Victoria in 2016 and commenced in a research role, undertaking research in various human services fields including out-of-home care, aged care and affordable housing.   Additionally, Ann has been part of the implementation team for outcomes measurement at Baptcare. Ann has an interest in developmental trauma and attachment and has a passion for trauma-informed practice. Ann has recently completed a specialist certificate in Implementation Science and hopes to apply this knowledge to the implementation of evidence-based, trauma-informed approaches to human services delivery.

Ann is a Monash Affiliate at HSCU who works with Helen, Renee O’Donnell, Darsh Ayton, Melissa Savaglio, Mandy O’Connor and Kostas Hatzikiriakidis on Baptcare collaborative projects.

Elaine Miller is an award-winning stand-up comedian and successful women’s health physiotherapist.
Elaine is renowned internationally for combining clinical evidence with laughter to chat with women about sensitive topics, including childbearing and leaky bladders.
For education and comedy see:
Helen and her team recently collaborated with Elaine on a systematic review of humour-based strategies for addressing public health priorities, which is currently under peer review:
Miller, E., Bergmeier, H.J., Blewitt, C., O’Connor, A., Skouteris, H. (2020). A systematic review of humour-based strategies for addressing public health priorities.

Yvonne Sun is a research assistant and a kindergarten teacher. She has completed her Bachelor of Sociology (Honours) and Master of Teaching (Early Childhood).

She is interested in socio-emotional learning and intervention for children in early childhood education and care settings, especially for those with trauma background. She aims to pursue a Phd in early childhood education.

Yvonne is working with Claire Blewitt and Helen on a review of trauma-based programs in early childhood education and care.

Louisa Whettam is a descendant from the Wiradjuri tribe in New South Wales Australia, and a proud cultural advisor. She has worked with NGOs under the reforms of the QLD Department of Communities and has facilitated a number of Local Level Alliance roles in communities, bringing together government and non-government organizations in around the referral pathway for vulnerable families.

Louisa was the first to represent the First Nations Peoples of Australia at the Salzburg Global Seminar program, Halting the Childhood Obesity Epidemic: Identifying Decisive Interventions in Complex Systems. She is a Salzburg Fellow and worked with Helen and Alex Chung at Salzburg.

Please see more information about Louisa here:

Helen and her team recently collaborated with Louisa on a paper:

Whettam, L., Bergmeier, H., Chung, A., & Skouteris, H. (2020). The ongoing impact of colonization on childhood obesity prevention: A First Nations’ Perspective. This paper has now been submitted for review.

Dr Skouteris has also extensively collaborated with international academics.

The extent to which can be found at


Academic Papers Published


Research Grants


Health and Social Care Unit (HSCU)

School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine

Faculty Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

553 St Kilda Road Melbourne 3004

+61 414 409 563

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