News and Events

Congratulations to Dot Henning

Dots front page IJSA March 2014Dot Henning is congratulated for her efforts in leading new research into the sexually transmitted infection Mycoplasma genitalium in young people experiencing homelessness who access care at the Young People’s Health Service (YPHS) that is run by the Centre for Adolescent Health.

The study offered STI screening (Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Mycoplasma Genitalium) to asymptomatic young people accessing primary level care at YPHS for health concerns other than sexual and reproductive health. Of the sixty young people tested, 8 tested positive for Mycoplasma Genitalium and 10 for Chlamydia, and three testing positive for both. Mycoplasma Genitalium is increasingly recognized as an important STI, and this study provides important data to the prevalence of this STI amongst marginalized youth. Additionally, this study highlights the complex health needs of this population, and supports the need for comprehensive primary health care.The research findings have just been published in the March 2014 edition of the International Journal of STD & AIDS with the article gaining a mention on the journal’s front cover. Dr Peter Azzopardi (Research fellow, Centre for Adolescent Health), Clinical Nurse Consultant Donna Eade and Youth Health Nurse Alison Langstone (previously) from YPHS, and Dr Alex Marceglia and Nurse Practitioner Alison Bean-Hodges from the Sexual Health Service at the Royal Women’s Hospital provided valuable assistance with the study.

New Intake of students

Orientation 2013 006Centre for Adolescent Health and the University of Melbourne recently ran a two day orientation to welcome this year’s intake of post graduate students. Students undertake a Graduate Certificate, a Graduate Diploma or a Masters in Adolescent Health & Wellbeing, and come from a variety of professional backgrounds including nursing, teaching, medicine, allied health, social work and youth work. What they all have in common is a passion for making a difference with young people.

12 year partnership

PoliceSince 2003, the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne (Sunrise) has sponsored a member of Victoria Police to study adolescent health & wellbeing at the University of Melbourne through the Centre for Adolescent Health at RCH.

With young people disproportionately represented in crime statistics, the capacity of Victoria Police to effectively engage with young people is vital. The most recent recipient of the Silk Miller Scholarship, Liz Toffoletti (undertaking the Masters) recently received her award at a morning tea, attended by Tom Callander (Rotary), Prof Susan Sawyer ( CAH) and Commander Sue Clarke (Victoria Police), pictured here with Liz Toffoletti

Graduation Day


Proud smiles, congratulations and photos were the order of the day as we honored the achievements of our graduates at a ceremony held in the beautiful Gryphon Gallery in the 1888 building at the University of Melbourne. Moving testimonials were delivered by Rachel Hughes from the oncology stream and Gavan Bennett from the wellbeing stream. It was great to catch up with students to hear about their work and future plans as they put theory into action at their respective workplaces.

New facilities for homeless young people

YPHS photoThe Centre for Adolescent Health provides health services to homeless and socially marginalised young people through the Young People’s Health Service (YPHS) at Frontyard, 19 King Street Melbourne. Melbourne City Mission has undertaken a major renovation of the space at Frontyard, with a new-look entrance and intake area that now provides an open, respectful waiting area for young people who can access a range of youth services including primary healthcare.

YPHS has three specially equipped clinic rooms that enable the team of three  nurses with advanced adolescent skills to provide clinical services (Monday to Friday) between 12 and 4.30pm.

Alongside the physical restructure, a new intake and assessment tool has been developed to facilitate access to the range of services at Frontyard for all young people who are homeless and / or at risk of homelessness. The tool is designed to ensure that young people are aware of the range of services available at Frontyard as well as identifying the various needs individuals might have. In particular, the tool enables greater engagement by our nurses in prevention of health issues before they become a crisis.


Few Australian adolescents with type 1 diabetes have confidential visits with doctors


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Not many adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) in Australia have confidential visits with their doctors as guidelines recommend, new research suggests.While guidelines emphasize the benefits of seeing young people alone for confidential consultations, parental involvement is known to contribute to better diabetes control in young people with T1DM, and parents may feel conflicted about allowing their children to have more independence in the health setting, the authors write online February 10 in Journal of Adolescent Health.

New publication: Balancing parental involvement with adolescent health care

Dr-Rony-DuncanA recent paper Balancing Parental Involvement With Adolescent Friendly Health Care in Teenagers With Diabetes: Are We Getting It Right? was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

This paper discusses how the rates of confidential care for adolescents in chronic illness outpatient settings are low. Parents also feel conflicted about confidential care for adolescents in this setting. Understanding how to attend to both parent and adolescent perspectives is an important clinical and research opportunity.

Lancet Editorial

adolescents1One Quarter of the world’s population are adolescents. Over the last 18 months there have been increasing numbers of academic publications recognizing the importance of adolescent issues, and now there is to be a Lancet Commission in Adolescent Health in partnership with the University of Melbourne, University College London, London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Columbia University. Vol 383 February 1, 2014 385
Click here to read the Article

Congratulations to Professor Daniel Le Grange


Warmest congratulations to Professor Daniel Le Grange who has just been awarded the Academy of Eating Disorder’s Leadership Award for Research for 2014.

The Academy for Eating Disorders is a global professional association committed to leadership in eating disorders research, education, treatment and prevention. Their Leadership Award for Research honours an individual who has used research to develop new knowledge about eating disorders that has had a measureable impact on the field.

Given the contribution that Prof Le Grange has made to Family Based Treatment for adolescent eating disorders, he is a most worthy recipient, who we are honoured to work with. Thanks to a grant from the Baker Foundation, Professor Le Grange spends part of the year at the Centre for Adolescent Health in a research leadership role (Professorial Fellow) within the RCH Eating Disorder Program (The University of Melbourne). His core academic appointment is at The University of Chicago, where he is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Eating Disorders Program at The University of Chicago.

Centre farewell’s visiting doctoral student from Iran


The Centre for Adolescent Health recently farewelled Ms Elham Khoori, a senior midwife from Gorgan, Iran who has a special interest in adolescent reproductive and sexual health.

Accompanied by her husband, a reproductive biologist, and their two sons, Ms Khoori spent 6 months at the Centre for Adolescent Health and at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute as part of her doctoral training at Tehran University of Medical Sciences, School of Nursing and Midwifery.  The topic of her doctoral thesis is ‘Health Concerns of Iranian Adolescents: A Mixed Methods Study”, which is a school based study that focuses on the concerns of Iranian young people, including aspects of their sexual and reproductive health. In addition to her research experiences, Ms Khoori was also able to learn about different Australian models of clinical services for adolescents in both primary care and specialist settings.

Prior to her departure, Ms Khoori presented some of her research findings to the clinical and research groups of the Centre for Adolescent Health, which were met with much interest. She also presented her finding to the Department of General Practice at The University of Melbourne.

We wish her well on her return home

Susan Sawyer