Fields of Research (FoR)Paediatrics and Reproductive Medicine, Community Child Health
Sue Woolfenden is the Director of Community Paediatrics at Sydney Local Health District. She is a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow with the University of New South Wales School of Clinical Medicine, Discipline of Paediatrics. She has led research that investigates the impact of inequitable health service provision on child health outcomes in the early years of childhood in Australia and globally. Her research has strong translational components....view more
Sue Woolfenden is the Director of Community Paediatrics at Sydney Local Health District. She is a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow with the University of New South Wales School of Clinical Medicine, Discipline of Paediatrics. She has led research that investigates the impact of inequitable health service provision on child health outcomes in the early years of childhood in Australia and globally. Her research has strong translational components. Sue co-chaired the Royal Australasian College of Physicians working group that developed the first Child Health Equity Policy Statement in Australia. She holds a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship in " Overcoming health inequity by using integrated models of care for children with neurodevelopmental problems" in the Population Child Health Research Group at UNSW School of Clinical Medicine, Discipline of Paediatrics.
Successful Competitive Grants
Category 1 Grants:
- 2017- 2022 NHMRC Project Grant $2,877,466 Evidence for action to improve the health of urban Aboriginal children and adolescents: The SEARCH Study Banks E, Eades S, Redman S, Williamson A, Gunasekera H, Clapham K, Purcell A, Woolfenden S
- 2016 – 2018 ARC Discovery Grant (DP160101735) $580,000 (ARC) $90,000 (Federal Department of Education and Training) $90,000 (Victorian Department of Education and Training). Exploring pathways to developmental inequities. Goldfeld S, Williams K, Redmond G, Oberklaid F, Badland H, Freed G, Mensah F, Woolfenden S, Proimos J, Kvalsvig A, Ahmed E.
- 2012 – 2015 Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute CRE:Centre for Research Excellence for Urban Aboriginal Child Health $2,500,000; Banks E, Craig J, Bailey S, Redman S, D’Este C, Fernando D, Williamson A, Gunasekera H, Thiele D, Purcell A, Woolfenden S, Wright D, Lyons S, Raphael B, Barwick D, Senior T, Howard K.
- 2011-2015 NH&MRC Grant $680 598, Universal Surveillance and Early Identification of Developmental Disorders V. Eapen, K. Williams, B. Jaludin, C. Dissanayake S. Woolfenden
- 2010 -2013 NH&MRC Grant 2007 $430,750 for SEARCH, “The Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health”, Studying ear health, hearing, speech and language development in urban Aboriginal children. Eades S, McIntyre P, Oates K, Daniels J, Woolfenden S.
- An original network participant the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) ARC/NHMRC Research Network: Future Generation 2004-2009.
- 2003 Financial Markets Foundation Grant $160 000 for Evidence based methods for predicting outcomes and planning services in Community Child Health Woolfenden S, Williams K, Peat J, Vimpani G, Mellis C
- 2002 Financial Markets Foundation Grant $110 000 for Development of an evidence-based approach for Community Child Health Woolfenden S, Williams K, Peat J, Vimpani G, Mellis C
Category 2/3 Grants:
- 2017-2018 Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation $20 000 Early Childhood Development – Getting it Right, Getting in Early Woolfenden S, Rimes T, Woodland L, Harris E, Fernandez R.
- 2017-2018 NH&MRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre, SPHERE $ 49,786 Improving access to developmental surveillance, Early Life Determinants of Health (ELDoH): Invest Early To Make a Difference leads Woolfenden S , Kohlhoff J
- 2017-2018 NH&MRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre, SPHERE, $ 49,196 “Supporting Children with Complex fEEding Difficulties (SuCCEED) study” Early Life Determinants of Health (ELDoH): Invest Early To Make a Difference- lead Ellliot C,
- 2011-2013 Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research, Liverpool, NSW $200,000 Early Years Research Group. Eastwood J, William, K, Woolfenden S
- 2005 NSW Department of Health, $150,000 Child Development Assessment Review Project Eastwood J, Woolfenden S, Blackmore R.
- 2016-2017 Healthy Communities Projects, Multicultural Health Grant $10 000 "Getting in Early, Getting it Right" Rimes T, Woolfenden S, Gardiner R, Maybury L, Smith R, Leitner R, Hurley K, Homsi J
- 2013-2014 Healthy Communities Projects, Multicultural Health Grant $8000 Early Childhood Development – Making it Everybody’s Business Woolfenden S, Gilbert J, Krchnakova R, Crawford J, Henry A, Sarkozy V, Perkins D
- 2012 – 2013 Healthy Communities Projects, Multicultural Health Grant $7000 Accessing developmental surveillance - Breaking down barriers for CALD communities Woolfenden S, Posada N, Gilbert J, Krchnakova R, Crawford J, Sarkozy V, Perkins D
- 2008 SCH Foundation Grant. $57 000.Williams K., Bayl V., Leitner R., Papadopoulous C., Woolfenden S., Sarkozy V. The prognosis of autism spectrum disorders.
- 2005 UNSW Early Career Researcher Grant $20,000 Developing and validating an instrument to describe the work of early childhood nurse home visitors Kemp, L; Harris E; Woolfenden S.
- 2005 New Children’s Hospital Fund Small Grant $5000 Dietary manipulation for autism: what should a trial really include? Garnett S, Wheeler D, Woolfenden S, Williams K.
- 1998 New Children’s Hospital Fund Small Grant $1728.Woolfenden
2016 Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) University of New South Wales Sydney, School of Public Health and Community Medicine “Inequity in developmental vulnerability, its determinants and the role of access to early identification and intervention”. This was the School’s nomination for the Council of Academic Public Health Institutions Australia (CAPHIA) 2016 award for Ph.D. excellence in public health
2000 Fellow - Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Completed Specialist Advisory. Committee Requirements in Community Child Health.
1999 Master of Public Health (MPH) - University of New South Wales Sydney.
1994 Diploma in Child Health - University of New South Wales Sydney.
1993 Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTM&H) – London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
1989 Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) - University of Western Australia.Please enter your qualifications.
2019-2022 NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (CDF) APP1158954 $262,220.00 (0.6FTE) Overcoming health inequity by using integrated models of care for children with neurodevelopmental problems. Woolfenden S
2018 – Outstanding Staff Member of the Year – Annual Quality and Innovation Awards, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network
2018-2019- – Career Development Grant – Research Foundation of Cerebral Palsy Alliance - To what extent does the ‘inverse care law’ apply to paediatric health care in Australia? Investigating how disadvantage changes access to health care for children with CP and other disabilities at a population, service and family level $30 000
2017 – Michelle Beets Memorial Award – Humpty Dumpty Foundation $20 000
2017 – Career Development Grant – Research Foundation of Cerebral Palsy Alliance - Opportunities for prevention and early detection of Cerebral Palsy in Australia and globally through the examination of sociodemographic profiles $33, 000
2017 –“Research translation in urban aboriginal health: the search and heals model” RACP Gunasakera H, Purcell A, Woolfenden S, Craig J. Winner Rue Wright Memorial Award Congress Melbourne 2017
2017 - “Kids GPS Integrated Care – Leaving the Ivory Tower”. Woolfenden S, Altman L, Breen C, Ging J. Finalist best poster RACP Congress Melbourne 2017
2016 – UNSW Paediatrics ILP Awards Finalists 2016 – People’s Choice Award Winner.
2016 - UNSW School of Public Health and Community Medicine nomination for Council of Academic Public Health Institutions Australia (CAPHIA) 2016 award for PhD excellence in public health
2016 – “Kids GPS Integrated Care – Leaving the Ivory Tower”. Altman L, Woolfenden S, Breen C. Runner up best poster APAC Forum 2016
2012 “Iron Deficiency in Children with Global Developmental Delay and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD); Yoong T, Sidrak S, Woolfenden S” 2012 Best poster prize in Paediatrics and Child Health at the 2012 RACP Future Directions in Health Congress
2001 Mc Caughey Research Entry Scholarship, $25 000, Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
1999, 2000 2001Travelling Fellowship with the Paediatric Research Society of Australia $1100
1997 The John Hirshman International Health Prize, $200, University of NSW.
1988 PF Sobotka Undergraduate Scholarship $1800, University of WA.
1987 Clinical Association Prize in Medicine, $200, Royal Perth Hospital. Please list your current and past awards and prizes.
My Research Activities
Sue has 105 peer-reviewed papers (59 since 2017) and has successfully translated her work into practice and policy. She also provides peer reviews for 10 paediatric and public health journals. Sue is an investigator on 36 grants with >$13 M funding over the last 5 years. She holds a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship to address health inequities in children at risk of or with neurodevelopmental disorders. She has a strong interest in developing and testing models of care that reach marginalised populations. Key areas of work are:
First 2000 Days Care Connect (FDCC)
Sue is CIA on FDCC, which is a holistic, first 2000 days model of care for migrant and refugee populations. Her team has been successful in securing Translational Research Grant Scheme funding from NSW Health to evaluate the impact of an integrated Child and Family Health (CFH) hub on attendance at CFH services, completion of developmental checks, support for child growth and development, breastfeeding and maternal wellbeing, and meeting family psychosocial needs. This research is done in partnership with South East Sydney Local Health District, South West Sydney Local Health District and Northern Sydney Local Health District with embedded project officers in each Local Health District.
Equitable Pathways in Integrated Care in Cerebral Palsy (EPIC-CP)
Sue has received funding from the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Foundation and SCHN ($400,000) to develop a social care navigator pathway for disadvantaged children and young people with CP. She is working in close partnership with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and the Rehabilitation Units in NSW to undertake this translational research. It is overseen by an advisory group of young people with CP and another advisory group of parents of children with CP.
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
ILP, Honours, PhD, Masters
- Inequalities/Inequities in Child Health and Health Care
- Child Development
- Priority Populations
- Global child health
- Integrated models of care to address inequities
- Inequity in quality and safety for children with intellectual disability in hospitals
- Addressing inequitable health outcomes for urban Aboriginal children
- Addressing inequitable health outcomes for children with cerebral palsy
- Optimising early child development outcomes in the Asia Pacific region
- Social determinants in neurodevelopmental disabilities
- Early child development and developmental vulnerability
Evidence based medicine in child health
Child health inequities