The establishment of a new research centre partnership between The University of Queensland (UQ) and Health and Wellbeing Queensland (HWQld) is set to boost the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders.
The Health and Wellbeing Centre for Research Innovation (HWCRI) will see an initial investment of more than $2 million invested into the delivery of impactful preventative health research and programs, designed to reduce health inequities, and improve the health of all Queenslanders.
The HWCRI is jointly funded by HWQld and UQ and allows for a more targeted, evidence-based, and responsive approach to health prevention and promotion actions, policies, and practices across Queensland.
HWQld CEO, Dr Robyn Littlewood, and Head of UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, Professor John Cairney, are co-directors of the centre, with a multidisciplinary team of research and clinical experts from areas including physical activity, health promotion, child health and development, nutrition science, dietetics, Indigenous health and education, and the prevention and management of chronic disease.
HWQld CEO, Dr Littlewood, said the establishment of the centre was a significant step forward in HWQld’s partnership with UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences.
“Health and Wellbeing Queensland is delighted to consolidate our unique research partnership with The University of Queensland through the establishment of Health and Wellbeing Centre for Research Innovation,” Dr Littlewood said.
“That the centre will advance knowledge and evidence-based practice to help improve the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders perfectly aligns with our preventative health actions and policies.”
In producing evidence-based research in healthy behaviours including physical activity and nutrition to inform policy and practices in health prevention, the HWCRI will utilise expertise across UQ to bring together research organisations, healthcare, government, industry, and community sectors at local, state, national and international levels.
“Queenslanders from across the state, including urban, rural and remote communities, will benefit from the Health and Wellbeing Centre for Research Innovation’s advances in equitable, evidence-based and sustainable prevention approaches for healthy active living and healthy eating,” Professor John Cairney said.
“With expertise from across the spectrum of health, education, policy, and research, and a program of work supporting Queenslanders across their lifespan, the centre will be at the forefront of capacity building and workforce development.
“The centre will inform and enable Health and Wellbeing Queensland’s program design, implementation and evaluation, with targeted research to deliver the most impactful preventative health for all Queenslanders.”
Key elements of the HWCRI’s agenda include:
- High quality evidence-based, innovative research in healthy behaviours including physical activity and nutrition
- Pragmatic valuation of health prevention programs across the life course
- Clinical and research excellence
- Practice leadership for health prevention and promotion
- Program design to reduce health inequities
- Interventions to improve population health
- Policy advice to government
- Student training opportunities
- Opportunities for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games to deliver lasting health benefits.
Since the partnership began between HWQLD and UQ’s School of Human Movement and Nutrition in December 2021, it has attracted more than $2.3 million in grant funding. Key collaborative projects between UQ and HWQld include Logan Healthy Living, Podsquad, Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) and clinical prevention training. The centre has already supported 26 research students, contributed to 47 research publications, and strengthened multiple industry and university partnerships.