Transcript

Professor Gary Dowsett:

I'm mainly interested in researching human sexuality in relation to health. In particular HIV/AIDS is the area I really started working on in 1986, and that's been a fairly important issue to work on in this country. We've had an epidemic now for twenty five years, and while it's small it's still going on.

Professor Rhonda Nay:

The emphasis of the work that we're doing is particularly on people with dementia and how we can actually provide care that is person-centred, or that takes account of the person rather than just focusing on the dementia.

Dr Hylton Menz:

The goal of our centre here is to further the understanding of the prevalence causes and impact of musculoskeletal disorders and also to evaluate the efficacy of the different treatments for these conditions. The sort of we're looking in the centre include gait disorders and accidental falls in older people, lower back pain, foot and ankle problems, knee replacement surgery and also the effects of exercise on people with a disability.

Professor Rhonda Small:

Well, Mother and Child Health Research is a multidisciplinary public health research centre focused on child birth and on the health of mothers and babies. Our research is very diverse. I for example have been involved in research on maternal depression, on caesarean section rates, on experiences of immigrant and refugee women and on issues in intimate partner violence.

Professor Gary Dowsett:

Well human sexuality is an area that people often forget about and while there are diseases and infections and things like that that make it important at an urgent level in terms of health, it's also one of the most powerful driving forces behind human society and so studying human sexuality, while health might be our main arena, is one of the ways of understanding our society a lot better.

Professor Rhonda Nay:

One of the things we try and do is to make sure that all of the research is interdisciplinary, so we don't just work with one discipline, that it's translated into practice. I think a lot of research in the past has sat on university shelves and not really made a difference to policy or practice.

Dr Hylton Menz:

Our centre is a truly multidisciplinary centre in that our staff come from a range of different backgrounds, from clinical biomechanics and sports science, through to physiotherapy, podiatry, prosthetics orthotics and also orthopaedic surgery. Another unique aspect of our centre is we do research across the full range from laboratory-based studies all the way through to clinical trials.

Professor Rhonda Small:

We do a lot of research in partnership with hospitals, for example, the Royal Women's Hospital is one our research partners and we're currently involved in a research project with them addressing the concerning rates of caesarean section we have in Australia currently.

Professor Gary Dowsett:

If you just think about young people and sexual experimentation, it's quite important that we learn about what they're thinking, what influences them, what they're reading and what they're doing which is why in this centre we survey Australian young people every five years, to find out what's going on nationally.

Dr Hylton Menz:

Well musculoskeletal disorders are very, very common in the general community and have a very large impact not only on the quality of life of an individual but also in relation to the health expenditure that's required to treat these conditions.

Professor Rhonda Small:

Almost a third of women in Australia now give birth by caesarean section, so this study which is a trial of case load midwifery is aimed at reducing fragmentation and providing better support for mothers and hopefully reducing unnecessary caesarean section.

Professor Rhonda Nay:

All of the research that we do has a very strong application to the real world where we're trying to make a difference to the lives of older people.

Professor Gary Dowset:

I'm Gary Dowset, I'm Professor and Deputy Director of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society here on the city campus in Melbourne of La Trobe University.

Professor Rhonda Small:

My name is Rhonda Small, and I'm the Professor and Director of Mother and Child Health Research at La Trobe University.

Dr Hylton Menze:

I'm Hylton Menze, I'm Associate Professor and Director of the Musculoskeletal Research Centre at La Trobe University.

Professor Rhonda Nay:

My name is Rhonda Nay, I'm Professor of Interdisciplinary Aged Care at La Trobe University.