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Senior Research Fellow - Fraser Mustard Centre (Adelaide)

BSc (Hons), PhD

Tess is a Senior Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute. Tess sits in the Fraser Mustard Centre, an innovative initiative between the Telethon Kids Institute and the South Australia Department for Education and Child Development aimed to improve research translation.

Tess holds a Bachelor of Science (Maths and Computer Science) and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Adelaide. While at the University of Adelaide, Tess' research focussed on individual differences in cognitive abilities and personality in children, adults and the elderly. After leaving the University, Tess worked as a post-doctoral fellow in the School of Medicine at Flinders University, exploring the psycho-social factors impacting cancer screening decisions. Tess left this position after two years to pursue her interests in developmental psychology, with a specific focus on children.   

In 2012, Tess took up a Senior Research Fellow position at the Telethon Kids Institute with Dr Sally Brinkman to work on a research project using the Australian Early Development Index (AEDI) to inform policy and practice in Australia. In this role, Tess works across a series of projects to deliver high quality academic research and output and to translate research findings into policy briefs, research snapshots, and fact sheets for the federal government's Department of Education and the general public via the AEDI website.

Tess also works with policy makers from the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) in South Australia on a range of different projects through her position in the Fraser Mustard Centre, including a project to trial the Canadian Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) in South Australian and Western Australian schools.    Tess is a chief investigator on a recently awarded ARC Linkage Project Grant with colleagues from the Telethon Kids Institute, Menzies School for Population Health, and the University of British Columbia to psychometrically validate the MDI for use in Australia, including culturally adapting the tool for Australian Aboriginal children.

Tess has over 30 publications including journal articles, technical reports, government reports, conference abstracts, and translational materials such as research snapshots and fact sheets.

She also has a Lecturer position at The University of Western Australia.