Staff Profile

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Career Summary

Biography

Dr Josephine Gwynn’s clinical and academic career has been substantially based in rural and remote Australia. Her professional career as an Occupational Therapist spanned 13 years in primarily leadership positions, and included establishing hospital and community based services.  Her latter 2 years as a clinician were spent on Groote Eylandt in East Arnhemland and it was there that she commenced her work with Aboriginal communities. Subsequently she commenced her academic career at the University of Newcastle (UoN) in a tenured teaching position in the undergraduate Occupational Therapy program, whilst managing a young family. Her duties included course and year co-ordination, and initiating new content such as a final year course on rural and remote practice with Aboriginal communities. Her wider UoN engagement at that time was reflected by her membership of a number of committees including that which established YAPUG, a pathway program designed to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people gain skills for entry into undergraduate degrees at the UoN, and another which established undergraduate Interprofessional education in the Faculty of Health. She was also an inaugural staff member of the UoN Department of Rural health, establishing the Occupational Therapy program in Tamworth. Dr Gwynn commenced her research career in Aboriginal health following the receipt of an NHRMC scholarship in Aboriginal Health in 2001. She established The Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project (MRDPP) in 2002. The MRDPP was a program of research and health promotion which addressed 2 key risk factors for type 2 diabetes, unhealthy food intake and low levels of physical activity participation. The MRDPP was a long term partnership between the UoN and 2 Aboriginal Medical services, and is currently in the results dissemination phase. Dr Gwynn’s PhD was conferred in 2012, and since then has been employed in Research only positions.

 Dr Gwynn’s research interests focus on young Aboriginal people and their nutrition, physical activity, well-being and related determinants; Aboriginal community governance of research; models of Aboriginal community delivered health promotion; and the capacity building of Aboriginal researchers, project officers and community members. Dr Gwynn has just completed a large NHMRC study The Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project – Phase 3. The MRDPP was short listed for the national Indigenous Governance awards in 2012, and Dr Gwynn was awarded the Faculty of Health Staff Award in 2011 for Indigenous collaboration. Dr Gwynn is an early career researcher, and has consistently been successful in being awarded research funding over her research career including whilst completing her PhD.

Dr Gwynn has mentored a number of Aboriginal project officers to complete their diplomas and degrees as well as attain leadership positions in their communities and in both state and national arenas. Current activities and collaborations include as co-leader of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research and Innovation Cluster at the UoN; leader of the Aboriginal Nutrition, Physical Activity and Wellbeing ‘Node’ at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney; and co-convener of the Aboriginal Advisory Committee at the UoN Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle, 08/08/2012
  • Master in Cognitive Science, University of New South Wales
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy), University of Sydney

Research

Research keywords

  • Aboriginal Health
  • Children
  • Nutrition
  • Physical Activity
  • Youth

Research expertise

My Public Health Research experience is in the field of Aboriginal Health which is my research area of interest and has been so since I established the Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project in 2001. I have developed a systematic program of research designed to ensure that the current (and future) intervention programs (health promotion strategies is our preferred term) are developed with rigor and community control /guidance.

This program of research aims to reduce the unacceptably high prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes in Australias Indigenous communities by focusing on supporting children and young people to access healthy foods and participate in physical activity. Whilst an improvement in both of these lifestyle risk factors will influence the future prevalence of many chronic diseases, the partner communities have a particular concern regarding the extent of Type 2 Diabetes and this is the disease that is the specific focus of prevention for the Many Rivers project. The Many Rivers project takes a whole of community approach, and as such participants are from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous communities.

This work has included both qualitative and quantitative research. The Qualitative research included interviews with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous adults with Type 2 Diabetes, focus groups with children, interviews with their parents and community focus groups regarding determinants and barriers to physical activity participation and access and availability of healthy foods.

The quantitative research has involved the development of self report surveys on food intake and physical activity participation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous rural children (both of which have been validated), a parent questionnaire exploring the determinants for their children and a diabetes knowledge questionnaire.These surveys have been used to evaluate health promotion programs delivered to 2 rural NSW communities by the Many Rivers team of Aboriginal community project officers. I am currently analysing the data from the 2000 non-Aboriginal and 500 Aboriginal children who participated, and their parents. I have also described the physical activity and food and nutrient intake of 215 rural children ( 47% of whom where Aboriginal children) using data gathered by accelerometer and by 24 hour recalls.

I have directed a productive research partnership between the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service (ACCHS) sector and the University of Newcastle since 2001. This partnership has evolved a governance structure that is widely respected and regarded as innovative in the tools that it uses to ensure Aboriginal Community Control of the research process. These tools include Data Access Agreements with external experts who assist with analysis, MOUs with the experts place of employment and regular convening of Aboriginal community reference groups who advice on all aspects of the project from the information and consent process to feedback on journal articles and conference presentations.

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
111701Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Health70
111104Public Nutrition Intervention30

Awards

Recognition.

2011Staff Award for Indigenous Collaboration
University of Newcastle Faculty of Health (Australia)
Award received in recognition of collaborative research undertaken with Aboriginal Communities in Australia
2010Outstanding publication performance in 2010 as an early career researcher
University of Newcastle Faculty of Health (Australia)
In Recognition and appreciation of outstanding publication performance in 2010 as an early career researcher

Research Award.

2012Poster Prize: Early Origins of Chronic Disease Symposium
Australian Society for Medical Research (Australia)
Poster presented at the Early Origins of Chronic Disease Symposium Australian Society for Medical Research. Title: CLOSING THE GAP? NOT IN THEIR LIFETIME …..the food and nutrient intake of rural NSW Aboriginal young people: The Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project.

Invitations

Review Panel: Masters in Health Sciences Program
University of Newcastle, Australia (External Reviewer - Programs.)
2013
Post Graduate Review Panel
School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Australia (Chair)
2013
Post Graduate Examinations Review Panel
School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Australia (Chair)
2014

Administrative

Administrative expertise

Subject and course co-ordination involves every type of administrative function known to the academic world!

Teaching

Teaching keywords

  • Aboriginal Health
  • Occupational Theraph
  • Rural and Remote

Teaching expertise

I taught in the undergraduate Occupational Therapy degree at the University of Newcastle from 1992 to 2005. I have been subject and course co-ordinators- including that of the honours stream, and head of discipline. I have developed new modules of learning and a post-graduate subject, and assessed students using methods ranging from Viva's to group presentations to examination formats. I have undertaken a review of the degree course and mentored students. From 2002 to 2005 I was involved in the establishment of the joint teaching program with the Department of Rural Health in Tamworth, establishing videoconferencing as a method of teaching rural health issues between sites. Since 2002 I have mentored rural undergraduate students and from 2010 onwards have tutored in the Global Health elective of the 3rd year Bachelor of Medine program. In 2011 I tutored in the undergraduate public health courses offered by the Discipline of Health Behaviour across the Faculties of Health and Education. Since 2012 I have participated as an interviewer as part of the admissions process to the Joint Medical Program at the Unversity of Newcastle.

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Highlighted Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2010Gwynn JD, Hardy LL, Wiggers JH, Smith WT, D'Este CA, Turner N, et al., 'The validation of a self-report measure and physical activity of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous rural children', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34 S57-S65 (2010) [C1]

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Journal article (6 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2012Gwynn JD, Flood VM, D'Este CA, Attia JR, Turner N, Cochrane J, et al., 'Poor food and nutrient intake among Indigenous and non-Indigenous rural Australian children', BMC Pediatrics, 12 1-14 (2012) [C1]
2012Louie JCY, Gwynn JD, Turner N, Cochrane J, Wiggers JH, Flood V, 'Dietary glycemic index and glycemic load among Indigenous and non-Indigenous children aged 10-12 years', Nutrition, 28 e14-e22 (2012) [C1]

Co-authors: John Wiggers

2011Gwynn JD, Flood VM, D'Este CA, Attia JR, Turner N, Cochrane J, Wiggers JH, 'The reliability and validity of a short FFQ among Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous rural children', Public Health Nutrition, 14 388-401 (2011) [C1]
2011Louie JC-Y, Flood V, Turner N, Everingham C, Gwynn JD, 'Methodology for adding glycemic index values to 24-hour recalls', Nutrition, 27 59-64 (2011) [C1]
2010Gwynn JD, Hardy LL, Wiggers JH, Smith WT, D'Este CA, Turner N, et al., 'The validation of a self-report measure and physical activity of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous rural children', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 34 S57-S65 (2010) [C1]
2005Gwynn JD, 'Occupational therapists working with indigenous Australians use communication strategies, assessment tools and assistive devices that are more culturally appropriate for this population', Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 52 91-92 (2005) [C3]
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Conference (16 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Gwynn J, 'The impact of an Australian Indigenous community governed program of health promotion on key risk factors for obesity: The results of the Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project.', Obesity Reviews, Kuala Lumper (2014)
2013Gwynn JD, Turner N, 'Impact of an Aboriginal community governed project: adiposity and food intake of rural children.', 12th National Rural Health Alliance Conference, Adelaide, SA, Australia (2013) [E3]
2012Gwynn JD, Turner NH, Flood VM, 'Steps to engagement: Working in partnership with indigenous communities', Steps to engagement: Working in partnership with indigenous communities, Sydney (2012) [E3]
2012Gwynn JD, Flood V, 'The validity of a short food frequency questionnaire: Advantages and limitations for indigenous and non-indigenous children internationally', 8th International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods (ICDAM 8). Abstract Book, Rome, Italy (2012) [E3]
2012Gwynn JD, Turner N, 'CLOSING THE GAP? NOT IN THEIR LIFETIME ¿..the food and nutrient intake of rural NSW Aboriginal young people: The Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project.', International Society of Hypertension Conference 2012: The Australian Early Origins of Hypertension Workshop, Adelaide South Australia (2012)
2011Smith JD, Syron LA, Turner NH, Gwynn JD, 'The Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project: Governance, Aboriginal children's knowledge of diabetes, and their food and nutrient intake', Proceedings of the 3rd Coalition for Research to Improve Aboriginal Health (CRIAH) Aboriginal Health Research Conference, Sydney, NSW (2011) [E3]
2010Gwynn JD, Turner N, 'Closing the Gap? Not in their lifetime - food security for rural NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children: The Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project', Food Futures: An Australian Approach. Program, Canberra, ACT (2010) [E3]
2008Louie JC-Y, Everingham C, Turner N, Cochrane J, Gwynn JD, Smith WT, et al., 'Dietary glycemic index and glycemic load among children aged 10 to 12 years: many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project', National Nutrition Networks Conference, Good Tucker - Good Health. Abstracts, Alice Springs, NT (2008) [E3]
2008Gwynn JD, Turner N, Cochrane J, Smith WT, Wiggers JH, 'Validity of short nutrition questions among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children aged 10 to 12 years using multiple 24-hour recalls: Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project', National Nutrition Networks Conference, Good Tucker - Good Health. Abstracts, Alice Springs, NT (2008) [E3]
2008Cochrane J, Cochrane S, Gwynn JD, Turner N, 'Community mapping of food access and food services in rural NSW communities: Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project', National Nutrition Networks Conference, Good Tucker - Good Health. Abstracts, Alice Springs, NT (2008) [E3]
2008Flood V, Gwynn JD, Louie JC-Y, Turner N, Cochrane J, Cochrane S, et al., 'Mean nutrient intake and foods contributing to selected nutrients amongt children aged 10 to 12 years: Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project', National Nutrition Networks Conference, Good Tucker - Good Health. Abstracts, Alice Springs, NT (2008) [E3]
2006Gwynn JD, Turner N, Cochrane J, 'Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project', International Forum on Diabetes in Indigenous Peoples, Melbourne (2006) [E3]
2003Cooper RJ, Staples L, Gwynn JD, Lyons M, 'Beyond Fieldwork: The experience of the Northern NSW UDRH rural based occupational therapy program', 1st NSW Rural Allied Health Professionals Conference, Sydney (2003) [E3]
2003Cooper R, Gwynn JD, Lyons MJ, Yardy AP, 'Teaching with Information Technology: The Experience of a Rural-based Occupational Therapy Programme', The Network Towards Unity For Health, Newcastle, NSW (2003) [E3]
2003Lyons MJ, Gwynn JD, 'Crossing the Divide: The Northern NSW UDRH Initiative', OT Australia 22nd National Conference and Exhibition, 2003, Melbourne (2003) [E3]
2002Gwynn JD, 'Online in the Outback: a rural based final year undergraduate occupational therapy curriculum', Action for Health in a new Millennium, Stockholm, Sweden (2002) [E2]
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Other (1 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Wiggers JH, Gillham K, Heard TR, Janke T, Gwynn JD, 'Hunter New England Population Health: Authorship and Acknowledgment Guidelines', (2013)
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants18
Total funding$2,776,857

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2014 (1 grants)

12th International Congress on Obesity, Kuala Lumpar Malaysia, 17-20 March 2014$1,238
Funding Body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,23820142015
GNo:G1400127

2012 (1 grants)

International Congress of Dietetics, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, 5 - 8 September 2012$800
Funding Body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$80020122012
GNo:G1201001

2011 (1 grants)

Many rivers diabetes prevention project$611,579
Funding Body: Health Administration Corporation

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn, Ms Letetia Harris
SchemeRole
Research GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$611,57920112012
GNo:G1100011

2010 (1 grants)

PHAA Food Futures: An Australian Approach / The Way Forward for Indigenous Health: A focus on Food and Nutrition symposium, Canberra ACT, 20-22 April 2010$1,162
Funding Body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Health and Medicine

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,16220102010
GNo:G1000505

2009 (2 grants)

Health Behaviour Research Centre (HBRC)$267,361
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Laureate Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher, Conjoint Professor Afaf Girgis, Professor John Wiggers, Conjoint Professor Alison Jones, Conjoint Professor David Durrheim, Associate Professor Christine Paul, Associate Professor Erica James, Associate Professor Billie Bonevski, Conjoint Associate Professor Colin Bell, Doctor Allison Boyes, Professor Kypros Kypri, Conjoint Professor Cate d'Este, Professor John Attia, Doctor Luke Wolfenden, Doctor Frank Tuyl, Ms Lyn Francis, Ms Megan Freund, Dr Claire Johnson, Doctor Josephine Gwynn, Associate Professor Jennifer Bowman, Doctor Sue Outram, Doctor Marita Lynagh, Doctor Natalie Johnson, Doctor Conor Gilligan, Conjoint Professor David Sibbritt, Doctor Edouard Tursan D'Espaignet, Doctor Libby Campbell
SchemeRole
Priority Research CentreInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$267,36120092012
GNo:G0189877

Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project (MRDPP) - Stage 2$80,000
Funding Body: Department of Health

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn, Professor John Wiggers
SchemeRole
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health ProgramChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$80,00020092009
GNo:G0190389

2008 (1 grants)

National Nutrition Networks Conference, Good Tucker - Good Health, Alice Springs, 12/3/2008 - 14/3/2008$1,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,00020082008
GNo:G0188620

2007 (1 grants)

Many Rivers Diabetes Prevention Project - Glycemic Index Analysis and LGA collaboration$50,708
Funding Body: Department of Health

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn, Professor John Wiggers, Conjoint Professor Wayne Smith
SchemeRole
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health ProgramChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$50,70820072007
GNo:G0188162

2005 (1 grants)

A type-2 Diabetes Prevention Program for primary school aged rural Indigenous children$1,497,370
Funding Body: NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn, Conjoint Professor Wayne Smith, Dr Michael Booth, Professor John Wiggers, Mr L Clay, Ms Robin Roberts
SchemeRole
Healthy Start to Life for Aboriginal & Torres Strait ChildrenChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,497,37020052009
GNo:G0184019

2004 (3 grants)

Development of measures of physical activity and food habits for use among indigenous rural children$95,000
Funding Body: Telstra Foundation

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn, Mr L Clay, Professor John Wiggers, Conjoint Professor Wayne Smith
SchemeRole
Community Development FundChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$95,00020042005
GNo:G0182949

Development of a Type 2 Diabetes Prevention program for Aboriginal & Non-Aboriginal rural children$40,000
Funding Body: Diabetes Australia

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn, Conjoint Professor Wayne Smith, Professor John Wiggers
SchemeRole
Research GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$40,00020042004
GNo:G0183184

Development of a culturally appropriate Type 2 Diabetes Prevention program for Indigenous and non-indigenous primary school aged children$4,928
Funding Body: Eli Lilly Australia

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn
SchemeRole
Diabetes Nurse Educator GrantsChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$4,92820042004
GNo:G0183215

2003 (2 grants)

A Family Focussed School Based Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Program.$60,013
Funding Body: Commonwealth Department of Health & Aged Care

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn, Mr Steve Blunden, Ms Robin Roberts
SchemeRole
Rural Chronic Disease Initiative.Chief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$60,01320032003
GNo:G0182282

OT Australia - 22nd National Conference, Melbourne Victoria. 5-9 April, 2003$386
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$38620032003
GNo:G0182919

2002 (1 grants)

13th World Congress on Occupational Therapy, Sweden, 23 June 2002$1,697
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,69720022002
GNo:G0181942

2001 (2 grants)

Communication Patterns in Aboriginal Health$62,976
Funding Body: NHMRC (National Health & Medical Research Council)

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn
SchemeRole
Training Scholarship for Indigenous Australian Health ResearchChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$62,97620012004
GNo:G0181961

OT Australia 21st National Conference, Brisbane 1-4 April 2001$439
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$43920012001
GNo:G0180693

1999 (1 grants)

Occupational Therapy Australia: 20th National Conference, Canberra.$200
Funding Body: University of Newcastle

Project Team
Doctor Josephine Gwynn
SchemeRole
Travel GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$20019991999
GNo:G0180434
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Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions0

No Supervisions.

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Dr Josephine Gwynn

Work Phone(02) 40420526
Cell / Mobile Phone0414584375
Email
PositionPost Doctoral Research Fellow
Medicine and Public Health Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health
Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health
Faculty of Health and Medicine
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaIndigenous Health
Office
West Wing Level 4,
Hunter Medical Research Institute,
Hunter Medical Research Institute
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/josephine-gwynn