- News & Events
- News & Events at Telethon Kids
Telethon Kids researchers finalists in Premier’s Science Awards
Two outstanding Telethon Kids Institute researchers, as well as an innovative science engagement initiative created by the Institute’s Autism Research team, are finalists in the 2017 Premier’s Science Awards.
Telethon Kids and UWA researcher Professor Donna Cross is a finalist in the Scientist of the Year category for dedicating her career to improving the social, mental and emotional wellbeing of children and adolescents. She is one of Australia’s leading researchers investigating ways to reduce bullying and increase the cyber-safety of children. Professor Cross’s extensive school and community-based research has influenced health promotion practice, government policy, and has advanced the wellbeing of young people.
Dr Asha Bowen is a finalist in the Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year award for her research to reduce the burden of infectious diseases in Aboriginal Australian children, particularly skin infections – a major cause of health problems in remote communities. She is leading the first comprehensive skin control program for WA, which aims to halve the incidence of skin infections in Kimberley Aboriginal children, and is leading the development of national guidelines on treatment, prevention and public health control of skin infections.
The Institutes ’60 Second Science’ video series is a finalist for the Chevron Science Engagement of the Year category. The series - presented by internationally recognised autism researcher Professor Andrew Whitehouse and his Autism Research Team – is a video series which strives to deliver the latest in autism research to the autism community in a highly engaging, accessible way. The videos have been enthusiastically embraced by the autism community with significant engagement on Facebook including more than 800,000 views, and hundreds of likes, shares and positive comments.
Telethon Kids Institute Director, Professor Jonathan Carapetis, said the announcement of all three as finalists reflected the high calibre of researchers based at the Telethon Kids Institute.
“The work of Professor Cross is known internationally and is particularly important in the ever-increasing digital world we live,” Professor Carapetis said.
“Dr Asha Bowen is leading the way in skin infection research in Western Australia and her work could make a big difference for Aboriginal kids.”
“I’m thrilled that Professor Andrew Whitehouse and the Autism Research team are being recognised for the amazing work they are doing to educate and engage the autism community in a friendly and accessible way.”
“Being named a finalist in these prestigious Premier’s Science Awards is a wonderful acknowledgement of the important work they are doing to help our kids and educate the community.”
The winners will be announced by the Premier in August.
Read the Minister’s statement here.
-- Ends –
About the finalists
Professor Donna Cross
Donna Cross is a Professor with the Telethon Kids Institute and The University of Western Australia (UWA). She has dedicated her career to improving the social, mental and emotional wellbeing of children and adolescents by conducting research that is readily and effectively translated into policy and practice.
She is one of Australia’s leading researchers investigating ways to reduce bullying and increase the cyber-safety of children. Her globally recognised research has been repeatedly translated into community-based interventions, including school bullying prevention resources disseminated to over 3000 schools nationally and internationally.
Her research has contributed to significant health-promoting interventions including child bicycle helmet laws and 40km speed limits in school zones, and has increased awareness and positively influenced policy and the quality of young people’s mental health, road safety, and sun safety, and reduced their smoking and drug use behaviours.
She is a 2017 Churchill Fellow and was named WA’s 2012 Australian of the Year for services to children’s health.
Dr Asha Bowen
Dr Asha Bowen is a clinician-NHMRC early career researcher at Telethon Kids Institute and Paediatric Infectious Diseases specialist at Princess Margaret Hospital.
She is passionate about reducing the burden of infectious diseases in Aboriginal Australian children, particularly skin infections – a major cause of health problems in remote communities. About 45% of remote-living Aboriginal children are affected by impetigo (skin sores) at any one time – the highest prevalence in the world – and scabies is endemic. These infections can lead to life-threatening conditions including kidney disease, rheumatic heart disease, skeletal infections and blood poisoning.
Her PhD, the Skin Sore Trial, was a world-first trial of the treatment of impetigo in remote Aboriginal children. The results, published in The Lancet, were presented internationally and translated into local, regional and national guidelines.
She is also leading the first comprehensive skin control program for WA, which aims to halve the incidence of skin infections in Kimberley Aboriginal children; and is leading the development of national guidelines on treatment, prevention and public health control of skin infections.
Her research aims to reduce the burden of disease by implementing the latest evidence-based treatment regimens, and to increase education, training, diagnosis and understanding around skin infections.
60 Second Science video series
60 Second Science - presented by internationally recognised autism researcher Professor Andrew Whitehouse and his Autism Research Team at Telethon Kids Institute – is a video series which strives to deliver the latest in autism research to the autism community in a highly engaging, accessible way.
This innovative series, published weekly on Facebook, uses short (one minute), clearly articulated videos to explain recently published international research – often inaccessible to the public – in bite-sized chunks that demystify the science, raise awareness, and give lay people tangible takeaway messages.
This much-needed initiative has filled a gaping hole in science communication: the videos have been enthusiastically embraced by the autism community with significant engagement on Facebook including more than 680,000 views, and hundreds of likes, shares and positive comments.
60 Second Science was recently awarded the Advancement Award from Autism Spectrum Australia for communicating scientific findings to families in a clear and accessible manner.
Please direct general enquiries to our reception on (08) 6319 1000.
Please direct media enquiries to our media team:
Media and Content Manager
Phone: 08 6319 1642 (office) or 0437 575 875 (mobile)
Phone: 08 6319 1644 (office) or 0408 946 698 (mobile)
About Telethon Kids Institute
The Telethon Kids Institute is one of the largest, and most successful medical research institutes in Australia, comprising a dedicated and diverse team of more than 700 staff and students.
We've created a bold blueprint that brings together community, researchers, practitioners, policy makers and funders, who share our vision to improve the health and wellbeing of children through excellence in research.
The Institute is headed by leading paediatrician and infectious diseases expert Professor Jonathan Carapetis, with Founding Director Professor Fiona Stanley now Patron.
Telethon Kids is independent and not-for-profit. The majority of funding comes from our success in winning national and international competitive research grants. We also receive significant philanthropic support from corporate Australia and the community.