2018 end of year message from HoTS

Merry Christmas from Nutrition and Dietetics


Like all years, 2018 has whizzed by and we look back over much hard work and many achievements.

We began the year without Dr. Jacqui Miller who resigned to work with SAHMRI, but instead welcomed Assoc. Prof. Rebecca Golley (Research Lead) and her team of researchers (Dr. Dorota Zarnowiecki and Dr. Lucy Bell) and PhD students (Brittany Johnson, Chelsea Mauch and Joyce Haddad). In addition we welcomed two new PhD students: Morgan Pankhurst and Georgia Middleton. Sadly by the end of the year we are farewelling Marian McAllister who is taking up a Public Health Nutrition position with SA Health. Finally, I am retiring at the end of the year after a career in Nutrition & Dietetics spanning 34 years and 24 of those at Flinders in a casual, part-time and then full-time capacity.


We are pleased to congratulate Dr. Olivia Farrer on the award of her PhD. Those of us who completed our PhDs while working, understand the hard work and discipline required to achieve this.


Preparing for the 5-yearly DAA Re-Accreditation has been a strong focus for the year and we expect the Review team to survey some of you next year, and conduct an on-site visit with us.


The Bachelor of Human Nutrition is developing nicely with 2018 being its second year of operation. We look forward to graduating our first cohort at the end of 2019.


Teaching has gone well this year with topics consolidating curriculum changes for improved alignment with the new DAA National Competency Standards. The student centred approach emphasising reflective practice, e-portfolio and co-production of assessment, has been well accepted by students and Placement Educators, in all our placement topics. The pedagogy is being implemented in topics prior to placement. The bachelor of Human Nutrition is developing new specialisations in: Media and communication; Ageing; and, Sport.


The Mobility program enabling domestic students to undertake some of their study abroad, has had another successful year under Louisa Matwiejczyk’s leadership. The program is funded by the Commonwealth Government and students work with partner agencies. Bachelor and Masters students have had opportunities to do their Independent Studies topic in Indonesia and Philippines, and in 2019, Vanuatu will be added to the sites available for students.


In keeping with University Strategic focus on producing enterprising and entrepreneurial graduates, we enrolled in professional development with the New Venture Institute, and were joined by 3 practising dietitians, Anthony Meade (RAH), Rhiannon Crane (SALHN) and  Carolyn Dent (UCWB). It has been great to learn these new skills which we will apply to our curricula. We are trialling 2 Innovative ISP projects in 2018 with SA Health and Test Kitchen. More broadly, Louisa Matwiejczyk is leading a project to strengthen innovation in all our curricula. In order to model entrepreneurialism to our students, we have established a consultancy  service that we hope will also enable us to provide nutrition services to the community and share some paid employment with new graduates.


Our nutrition partnerships with Nazareth Community College, Yorke Peninsula Council and Wakefield Regional Council are all going well and yielding strong project outcomes. Our partnership with Sprout enhances teaching and is developing some research collaboration. We are pleased to share a new video of the cooking classes.


This year our research has consolidated under the banner ‘Nutrition across the life course’ with sub-groups that play to our strengths in Child (and families) Nutrition and Chronic disease prevention and management (incorporating aging). Funding success has supported several new projects and consultancies including a rapid literature and website review for the Sax Institute, an evaluation of commercial apps to support family food provision (supported by the FMC Foundation – recruiting in early 2019, keep up to date with this study on Facebook) and a five-year program to increase children’s vegetable intake (Consortia with CSIRO and Nutrition Australia Vic Division, funded by Hort Innovation). In early 2019, we look forward to welcoming back from her Endeavour fellowship Dr Kacie Dickinson who has been developing skills and collaborations with the University of Toronto in areas such as front of pack labelling and nutrient profile models. Research dissemination activities have included articles in The Conversation by A/Prof Rebecca Golley and a series of presentations by Dr Alison Yaxley and Ms Morgan Pankhurst to the aged care and food service sector. A Nutrition and Dietetics HDR group is up and running and provides opportunities for mentorship and peer support. Our PhD cohort have celebrated much success including: Ms Chelsea Mauch (finalist in the Asia Pacific 3 Minute Thesis championship) and several students achieving ‘first’ peer-reviewed publications from either their honours or PhD studies.


Selected research publications from 2018:

Johnson BJ, Zarnowiecki D, Hendrie GA, Mauch CE, Golley RK. How to reduce parental provision of unhealthy foods to 3- to 8-year-old children in the home environment? A systematic review utilizing the Behaviour Change Wheel framework. Obes Rev. 2018 Oct;19(10):1359-1370. doi: 10.1111/obr.12702.

Dao MC, Subar AF, Warthon-Medina M, Cade JE, Burrows T, Golley RK, Forouhi NG, Pearce M, Holmes BA. Dietary assessment toolkits: an overview. Public Health Nutr. 2018 Nov 15:1-15. doi: 10.1017/S1368980018002951

Moores CJ, Miller J, Daniels LA, Vidgen HA, Magarey AM. Pre-post evaluation of a weight management service for families with overweight and obese children, translated from the efficacious lifestyle intervention Parenting, Eating and Activity for Child Health (PEACH). Br J Nutr. 2018 Jun;119(12):1434-1445. doi: 10.1017/S0007114518001083.

Matwiejczyk L, Mehta K, Scott J, Tonkin E, Coveney J. Characteristics of Effective Interventions Promoting Healthy Eating for Pre-Schoolers in Childcare Settings: An Umbrella Review. Nutrients. 2018 Mar 1;10(3). pii: E293. doi: 10.3390/nu10030293..

Dickinson KM, Chan L, Moores CJ, Miller J, Thomas J, Yaxley A, Jackson K, Mehta K, Matwiejczyk L, Wray A, Miller M. Eating occasions and the contribution of foods to sodium and potassium intakes in adults. Public Health Nutr. 2018 Feb;21(2):317-324. doi: 10.1017/S1368980017002968.

Miller M, Hamilton J, Scupham R, Matwiejczyk L, Prichard I, Farrer O, Yaxley A. Development and Psychometric Testing of a Novel Food Service Satisfaction Questionnaire for Food Service Staff of Aged Care Homes. J Nutr Health Aging. 2018;22(2):205-215. doi: 10.1007/s12603-017-0885-4.

Farrer O, Sasanelli L, Matwiejczyk L, Yaxley A, Miller M. The role of dietitians in residential aged care: How do cooks and chefs perceive their contribution? Australas J Ageing. 2018 Sep 17. doi: 10.1111/ajag.12584.


Thank you to each and every one of you for your interest in Flinders Nutrition and Dietetics. We value our relationships with our colleagues, towards teaching and research. Please share your ideas with us.

Wishing each of you a Happy Christmas and New Year.

And a special goodbye from me.


Assoc. Prof. Kaye Mehta

Head of Teaching Section

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