Champions for Children: Meet Anthea

Dr Anthea Rhodes a developmental and behavioural paediatrician. She’s also the Director of the RCH Poll and an exciting new project called the RCH Health Literacy Project.

Recent findings have shown over half of all Australian adults have low health literacy. There is a need to empower future generations of Australians by developing accessible reputable health information.

Thanks to the Good Friday Appeal, The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Health Literacy Project aims to create a range of new, engaging and inclusive digital health resources with and for young people, to elevate the voice of the child. The project will expand on two current health communications initiatives – the RCH National Child Health Poll and RCH Kids Health Info (KHI).

Hi Anthea! Can you tell us a bit about your work at the RCH?

I’m a developmental and behavioural paediatrician with a special interest in Health Promotion and Communication. This is my twentieth year at the RCH! I work in the Department of General Medicine as the Clinical Lead of Outpatients, and I am also the Director of the RCH Poll and an exciting new project called the RCH Health Literacy Project.

Can you explain what the term ‘health literacy’ is?

Building health literacy is all about empowering people to keep healthy and safe in the community by giving them the tools and information they need to stay healthy and well​. At RCH we are a highly trusted source of health information for parents, caregivers, children and young people. Through the RCH Health Literacy Project we will ask young people and their parents and caregivers what they know and what else they need to know to stay happy and healthy, and we will generate creative and engaging ways to share this health information with people far and wide. Through this project we will reach and help children and families in our community who may never step foot inside RCH.

Is there any such thing as a typical day in your job and if so, what does that look like?

I am incredibly lucky that my job involves a wide range of activities with awesome colleagues, and every day is different! A typical week involves seeing patients and families in clinic, attending meetings with my research team to learn more about the views and knowledge of parents, children and young people, and working with our talented creative team to develop videos and materials to share on RCH social media channels to empower children, young people and families with the tools they need to keep healthy and safe.

What are three things you’d take with you to a desert island?

Not my four kids or my husband!! Probably a good book, a hammock and a hat!

 

Dr Anthea Rhodes sat at a desk.

 

If you’d like to learn more or to donate to the Good Friday Appeal and support projects like the RCH Health Literacy Project, you can visit their website: www.goodfridayappeal.com.au/donate/

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