Kelly is currently the Maternal and Child Health Program Manager at Burnet. In this role, she is part of the leadership team for this diverse program working closely with the MCH Program Director and MCH Deputy Director to oversee a portfolio of approximately 40 research and development projects across the Asia Pacific and Africa.
Kelly has a Masters in Public Health and a background in sexual and reproductive health. She has worked for development NGOs and the United Nations on a range of areas including reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) as well as healthy ageing.
She is passionate about comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights, and committed to improving the lives of individuals in developing countries through access to quality information and healthcare.
Her experience includes leading teams in both developed and developing countries, managing clinical and outreach service provision, advising on operating and management procedures, preparing training, IEC materials and reports, monitoring and evaluating implementation, and overseeing quantitative and qualitative research activities.
Prior to joining Burnet in 2011, Kelly was based in Beijing China, providing technical and management oversight of the sexual and reproductive health components of UNFPA’s country program across 30 provinces.
Kelly has provided strategic, program management and business development support to large multi-donor funded country programs in the Philippines, Vietnam, Fiji and Sri Lanka, and provided shorter technical inputs into projects and training workshops in Thailand, Nepal, PNG, Timor, Tuvalu, Samoa, the Solomon Islands and other Pacific island nations.
Kelly represents Burnet as part of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Consortium, the Asia Pacific Alliance for SRH (APA) and is a member of the Burnet Institute Gender Equity Committee.
She also lectures on sexual and reproductive health and rights, contraception and HIV prevention, early childhood health and nutrition including breastfeeding, disability inclusion, healthy ageing and other topics as necessary.
2009: Masters in Public Health, Monash University
Part of the Victorian Consortium for Public Health. Major areas of study: Health Economics & International Health
2002: Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, University of Melbourne
Major areas of study: Behavioural Neuroscience & German
- Deans Award for Academic Excellence (Melbourne University Science 1998)
- Accelerating ART initiation among Infants (AAMI Study)
This project will trial the POC VISITECT® CD4 test and POC LYNX HIV p24 early infant diagnostic test.
- Access to affordable and accurate HIV-1 VL testing
Laboratory evaluation of a novel filter paper-based method of plasma separation for viral load testing.
- ACORN Nutrition Project - PNG
A program to identify and address key determinants of child undernutrition in PNG.
- ANCP Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies
The sustainability and expansion phase of the ANCP Healthy Mothers, Health Babies project.
- Collaborative Community Checklists for Immunisation (CCCI)
Adapting the WHO Immunisation Checklist to increase the uptake of immunisation in Myanmar.
- Developing vaccines against malaria
This project aims to identify key antigens and specific epitopes that are targets of protective immunity.
- Development of a point-of-care test for neonatal sepsis
Aimed at enabling healthcare workers to provide initial diagnosis in resource-constrained settings.
- Discovering the mechanisms and targets of immunity against malaria
Identifying the key targets of protective immunity in people who live in malaria-endemic regions.
- Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies
A collaborative research program aimed at providing life-saving health care for women and children in PNG.
- HMHB - Health Services for Postnatal and Infancy Care
Focuses on services during postnatal period and through the first 12 months in East New Britain, PNG.
- HMHB: The impact of nutrition, malaria and STIs on pregnant women and infants
Determining the major preventable causes of poor maternal health and low birth weight of babies in PNG.
- Immunity to malaria during pregnancy
How are pregnant women affected by infectious diseases such as malaria?
- Impact of microbiota metabolites on the cervicovaginal mucosa
This study aims to determine the action of lactic acid to treat and prevent vaginal inflammation.
- Improved point-of-care test to eliminate congenital syphilis
Optimising and validating an innovative test to enable immediate treatment at the point of care.
- Increasing demand and uptake of quality, facility-based services, Zimbabwe
Reducing maternal and neonatal deaths in Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe.
- Integrated multi-sectoral approach to improve the SRH of young people (10 to 18 years) in Magwey, Myanmar (IMSA)
This formative study provides evidence of current knowledge and attitudes among adolescents.
- MNCH support in Myanmar's Northern Shan State
This project involves Namhsam, Namtu and Manton townships.
- Non-communicable diseases in adolescents in Indonesia
An investigation of the burden of these diseases amongst Indonesian 16-18 year-olds.
- Promoting WASH-nutrition integration in Cambodia
A stakeholder consultation to identify barriers to the efforts to improve WASH and nutrition.
- The Last Taboo: Menstrual hygiene interventions in the Pacific
Research in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea to understand the challenges around menstruation.
- The Mbereko + Men Model: Rural Zimbabwe
A community-based program to improve MNCH services, care and support in the home.
- Vaccines against Plasmodium vivax and P. falciparum malaria
This involves identifying and prioritising candidate antigens for vaccine development.
- WHISPER and SHOUT - mHealth interventions among Kenyan sex workers
Mobile phone-based health promotions sent to sex workers in Mombasa.
- Factors associated with social participation amongst elders in rural Sri Lanka: a cross-sectional mixed methods analysis.
Marsh C, Agius PA, Jayakody G, Shajehan R, Abeywickrema C, Durrant K, Luchters S, Holmes W
BMC Public Health. 2018 May; 18(1):636
- Impact of vision impairment and self-reported barriers to vision care: The views of elders in Nuwara Eliya district, Sri Lanka.
Holmes W, Shajehan R, Kitnasamy S, Abeywickrama C, Arsath Y, Gnanaraj F, Inbaraj S, Jayakody G, Durrant K, Luchters S
Glob Public Health. 2018 Feb; 13(5):642-655
- Translation, cultural adaptation and field-testing of the Thinking Healthy Program for Vietnam.
Fisher J, Nguyen H, Mannava P, Tran H, Dam T, Tran H, Tran T, Durrant K, Rahman A, Luchters S
Global Health. 2014 Mar; 10(1):37
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