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Research Assistant and PHD Student


Driven by her passion in public health, Bernadette completed a Bachelor of Science Honours (H1) at the Telethon Kids Institute in Boorloo (Perth), Western Australia. She continues as a research assistant, working across teams and with communities to end Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD), which disproportionately affects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. In this role, she contributes skills in Strep A clinical microbiology, remote fieldwork coordination and implementation, as well as partnership-building focused communications.

Born and raised in Singapore, Bernadette spent the first 18 years exploring neighbouring ASEAN countries. Her unwavering belief in health equity involved her in impactful research that combats preventable yet neglected diseases. She believes that innovations in medical technologies are key to reducing health disparities in resource-limited settings. Hence, she is also involved with the Australian medical technology network through Perth BioDesign (2020-2021) and The BridgeTech Program (2023) (Queensland University of Technology).

After a few years of learning by doing high-quality research to enable value-add outcomes, she is excited to commence a PhD to sustainably scale up Strep A molecular point-of-care testing (PoCT) in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health services across rural and remote Australia. As part of a collaborative program led by the Kirby Institute (University of New South Wales) and National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), the Strep A PoCT program will align with the National RHD strategy activities towards the elimination of Acute Rheumatic Fever (ARF) and RHD. Timely and accurate detection of primary Strep A infections is crucial in enabling appropriate and effective antibiotics treatment which prevents the development of ARF and RHD.