Dr Elissa Kennedy from Burnet’s Centre for International Health (CIH) has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Gust-McKenzie Medal for her global public health research with a focus on adolescent sexual and reproductive health policy, programming and research in low- and middle-income countries.
Dr Kennedy is the first CIH researcher to receive The Gust-McKenzie Medal, awarded to an outstanding mid-career Burnet staff member in recognition of excellence in research and/or public health.
Currently on parental leave, Dr Kennedy was unable to attend the presentation at Burnet’s 27th Annual General Meeting, held in the AMREP Theatre.
Accepting the award on her behalf, CIH Head Professor Robert Power said: “Elissa absolutely epitomises Burnet both in terms of her commitment to research and commitment to public health."
IMAGE: Professor Robert Power accepts the Gust-McKenzie Medal from Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC on behalf of Dr Elissa Kennedy
“The fact that she is the first from the Centre for International Health to win this award makes it doubly pleasing. The Gust-McKenzie Medal is very prestigious and it reflects the qualities of the Institute.”
Dr Kennedy is a medical doctor and Advanced Trainee with the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, with a Master of Public Health specialising in international health (Monash University).
She has led and contributed to research examining adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health needs in various settings, including China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.
She has also conducted intervention studies and evaluations of programs aiming to improve adolescents’ access to sexual and reproductive health information and services.
As a collaborator and co-author of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing released earlier this month, she contributed to the analysis of global burden of disease data to identify priority health needs of 10-24 year olds globally.
Dr Kennedy also provides technical support to adolescent and maternal and child health policy and development projects in Asia, the Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa.
“Elissa is highly respected in her field, she’s got multiple roles across the Institute, as a mentor, a Principal and someone who’s very engaged in advocacy work,” Professor Power said.
“Not only is Elissa an incredibly accomplished person, but she’s very, very humble, and there’s no-one more deserving of this wonderful honour.”
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