Student Profile: Elissa Mortimer

Explain a little bit about your background. What kind of work are you doing and how is this connected to public health?

I am a qualified dietitian, completing my Master of Nutrition and Dietetics from Flinders Uni in 1998.  I have been fortunate to work in a diverse a range of roles since then including as a clinical dietitian in Adelaide and Darwin, a Nutrition Consultant with Australian Volunteers International for Nepal’s National Vitamin A Program, a health promotion officer with Hepatitis SA, a policy and funding officer with SA Health and I currently work for Flinders Uni as a Project Manager on global health projects within the School of Medicine.


What do you enjoy about working/studying in public health? And what are the challenges?

I enjoy solving health problems of marginalized populations with the populations themselves.


What drew you to the Discipline of Public Health at Flinders University to do postgraduate study?

Working in research management at Flinders has been so enjoyable and rewarding so I now want to undertake the Doctorate of Public Health to develop more skills and experience to enable me to lead global health research in the future.


What kind of course did you or will you complete through Flinders University? If you plan to undertake research, what topic did you have in mind?

Doctorate of Public Health.  I plan to conduct a research study on the developing infant’s gut microbiome in a low income country setting.


How has/are you hoping this course will shape what your work now or in the future?

With the chance to develop my research expertise in a low-income country setting, I hope to ultimately identify the research area and setting where I can best put my skills to effective use to address global health priorities. More than anything, I look forward to the people I will meet and the stories I will hear about their experience of working in health, both within Australia and globally.


What is your best culinary output? Any particular place that has inspired this?

From my time living in Kathmandu, one of everyone’s daily diet is daal bhat which is rice and lentil curry.  I have cooked this quite a few times with varying success.  I must admit that it is hard to beat daal bhat made by a Nepali!

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