Students


Zoe Aitken

How do demographic and socioeconomic characteristics influence the effect of disability acquisition on mental health? An analysis of effect measure modification and mediation.

People with disabilities experience vast mental health inequalities. However, the mechanisms by which disability acquisition leads to a decline in mental health are poorly understood. This PhD thesis aims to form a better understanding of how people’s socioeconomic circumstances influence the relationship between disability acquisition and poor mental health. The identification of characteristics that attenuate or exacerbate mental health declines among people who acquire a disability may highlight factors that are amenable to public health interventions to improve mental health and reduce the mental health inequalities currently experienced by people with disabilities.

Zoe is a recipient of a scholarship from the National Health and Medical Research Council Scholarship and is based at the Centre for Health Equity, University of Melbourne. 


Lauren Krnjacki

Violence against people with disabilities

People with disabilities are more likely to experience all types of violence.  There is currently a lack of reliable and cohesive data on disability and violence in Australia.  We know that adults with disability are two to three times as likely to experience all forms of interpersonal violence (e.g. physical violence, emotional abuse, sexual violence) than those without disabilities.  Previous work has only applied to people with disabilities overall, and it has not been possible to disaggregate by the type of disability.  People with disabilities are a largely heterogeneous group and my work will investigate how the experience of violence varies for people with different impairments and across a variety contexts.  I will also investigate existing interventions to prevent and respond to violence against people with disability. 

Lauren is a PhD student and CRE-DH scholarship recipient based at the Centre for Health Equity, University of Melbourne.


Bernice Hua Ma
Monash University 

Estimating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of disability policies

Bernice is a second-year PhD student in health economics. Her PhD topics are around the estimation of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of disability policies (e.g. NDIS in Australia). She is also interested in contributing to the consistency in methodology while conducting economic evaluation in this field. She is based in the Centre for Health Economics at the Monash Business School, Monash University. 


Jacqui Parncutt

Who cares? The lives and trajectories of Australian carers with disability

People with disability and informal carers are both recognised as populations that are prone to poor health and socioeconomic outcomes.  The prevalence of disability among primary carers in Australia is twice that of the non-caring population, however carers and people with disability are usually considered separately in health and social policy. 

Jacqui is a PhD candidate in the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Health Equity’s Disability and Health team, undertaking quantitative research into primary carers with disability.  Her interest in social epidemiology and the social determinants of health drive her PhD research.


Stephanie Luz Mantilla

Examining how (in)visible disability is represented in recent Australian obesity prevention media campaigns. 

This thesis examines how invisible (and visible) disability are represented within public health campaigns, as well as how the normal ‘healthy’ body is constructed in the recent  Girls Make Your Move (2016) and the Make Healthy Normal (2015) NSW campaigns.

Stephanie is a PhD student and a scholarship recipient based at the University of Sydney.


Gianina Raymundo

Access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme for culturally diverse women with disability

Since the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in 2016, it is apparent that there are significant disparities of access between different groups of people with disabilities. This has been especially highlighted in the underutilisation of the NDIS by more vulnerable groups such as women, and people of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds with disability. These populations each have gender and culture-specific barriers, attitudes, beliefs and experiences, which all impact their ability to access the NDIS and disability services. This research aims to identify the barriers that prevent access to this scheme, and the facilitators that enable access to the NDIS for this population. This study also hopes to identify culturally-appropriate strategies and solutions to address barriers to the NDIS. Gianina is a PhD scholarship recipient at the University of Sydney.