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
1. 2020-2023 MRFF grant. $887,186 ACCESS: Aboriginal Community Controlled Ear health Support Systems: developing, embedding and evaluating best practice models of care. Gunasekera H, Wright D, Woolfenden S, Bailey S, Falster K, Banks E, Craig J, Sherwood J, Teixeira-Pinto A.
2. 2020-2022 Australian Research Council Linkage Project (LP190100921). $475,014 $5,000 (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute), $150,000 (Beyond Blue), $130,000 (Victorian Health Promotion Foundation), $7,500 (Brotherhood of St Laurence), $105,000 (Federal Department of Health), $90,000 (Federal Department of Social Services) Child health and developmental inequities: Evidence for precision policy Goldfeld S, O’Connor M, Williams K, Woolfenden S, Badland H, Priest N, Moreno-Betancur M, Azpitarte Raposeiras F, McCoy A, Gilley T.
3. 2020- 2024 NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies $2,256,758.20 Early Moves: A prospective cohort study to identify an early biomarker for cognitive impairment AI
4. 2019-2022 NHMRC Career Development Fellowship $262,220.00 Overcoming health inequity by using integrated models of care for children with neurodevelopmental problems. CIA
5. 2019-2023 NHMRC partnership grant $1,195,014.00 “Watch Me Grow”: Changing practice to improve Universal Child Health and Developmental Surveillance in the primary care setting. CIE
6. 2019- 2022 NHMRC partnership grant $1,432,584.80 Strengthening Care for Children: A stepped-wedge translational trial to reduce hospital burden. CID
7. 2017- 2022 NHMRC project grant $2,877,466 Evidence for action to improve the health of urban Aboriginal children and adolescents: The SEARCH Study CIH
8. 2017-2022 Associate investigator on the NHMRC CRE $2 497871.90 Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Partnership Pathway to Better Care and Outcomes for Aboriginal Young People (APP1135271) CIA Prof J Craig AI
9. 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. CIH
10. 2012 – 2015 Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute CRE: Centre for Research Excellence for Urban Aboriginal Child Health $2,500,000; CIK.
11. 2011-2015 NH&MRC Grant $680 598, Universal Surveillance and Early Identification of Developmental Disorders V. CIE
12. 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. CIE
13. An original network participant the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) ARC/NHMRC Research Network: Future Generation 2004-2009.
14. 2003 Financial Markets Foundation Grant $160 000 for Evidence based methods for predicting outcomes and planning services in Community Child Health CIA
15. 2002 Financial Markets Foundation Grant $110 000 for Development of an evidence-based approach for Community Child Health CIA
16. 2021-2022 Corella Fund $99780 The Healthier Wealthier Families program: addressing child poverty through better healthcare systems, Price A, Burley J, Woofenden S Goldfeld S
17. 2021 – 2023 NSW Health Translational Research Grant Scheme $840,547 First 2000 Days Care Connect (FDCC) – a holistic first 2000 days model of care for migrant and refugee populations. Woolfenden S, Rimes T Rogers H, Lingam R, Eapen V, Green M, Eastwood J, Sorensen J, Lyle K, Jones C, Foureur M, Henry A.
18. 2021 – 2023 NSW Health Translational Research Grant Scheme $949,154 RuralKidsGPS - delivering equitable care to children in rural NSW. Lingam R, Dickins E, Zurynski Y, O'Meara M, Preddy J, Schroeder L, Woolfenden S, Nassar N, Bos D, Kerrigan A, Ging J.
19. 2021-2023 Cerebral Palsy Alliance/Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation $400 000 Equitable Pathways in Integrated Care Woolfenden S, Ostojic K, Lingam R, Strnadová I, Chambers G, Scott T, Paget S, Dale R, Burnett H, Dee Price BJ.
20. 2020-2021 Frontiers Technology Clinical Academic Group COVID-19+BEYOND Rapid Response Scheme $30 000 Using the Watch Me Grow web app to screen for parental mental health problems Eapen V, Lingam R, Woolfenden S, Mendoza A, Schmeidt V
21. 2020-2021 UNSW Health@Business research network seed funding $8,000 Healthier Wealthier Families Fairfield Woolfenden S/Forster G
22. 2020 Implementation Science Platform Translational Seed Funding Scheme. $19,481 Healthier Wealthier Families: A pilot feasibility trial addressing child poverty through health care service delivery. J Burley, S Woolfenden, R Fernandez.
23. 2020-2021 Royal Australasian College of Physicians / Research Establishment Fellowships RG192323 $75,000 Social prescribing for housing to address child health inequities: developing equity focussed pathways for clinicians to improve child health. Woolfenden S
24. 2020-2021 UNSW Health@Business research network seed funding $14 700 Healthier Wealthier Families Fairfield Woolfenden S/Forster G
25. 2020-2021 Disability Innovation Institute Research Seed Funding $29,600 What does it mean to have a good hospital experience? Participatory research with children with intellectual disability. A/Prof Reema Harrison, Ms Laurel Mimmo, A/Prof Sue Woolfenden, Prof Joanne Travaglia, Prof Iva Strnadová, Dr Michael Hodgins, A/Prof Angela Dew, Ms Karen Philips, Dr Kate Oulton.
26. 2019-2020 NSW Health, Paediatric Innovation Funding Scheme (PIFS) $199,926.02 α-NSW – Transforming Child Health Systems Lingam R, Nassar N, Woolfenden S, Ging J, Eapen V, Eastwood J, Rimes T, Zwi K, Fasher M, Schmied V,Baur L, Shaw T, Wakefield C,Chambers G, Altman L,Thurman D, Dale R, Badawi.
27. 2019-2021 Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation AU$180,000.00 CDG04318 Opportunities for prevention and early detection of cerebral palsy in Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait children Martin T, Mc Intyre S, Woolfenden S, Smithers Sheedy H
28. 2019 -2020 Murdoch Children’s Research Institute seed funding. $30 000 Adaptation and piloting of a parent support programme for early intervention among preterm infants at high-risk of cerebral palsy in Fiji. Milner K, Tuibeqa I, Kleinitz P, Spittle A, Woolfenden S, Tann C
29. 2019-2022. SPHERE Translational Research Fellowship. $316,179 At what cost? The impact of health systems and policies exposing children with Intellectual Disability to poor experiences of care and preventable harms, and masking system failures Mimmo L ( PhD student), Woolfenden S, Harrison R, Lingam R, Travaglia J
30. 2019 UNSW Research Infrastructure grant $287,375 The PEA POD: A fundamental component of the BestSTART-SWS Community Interventional Cohort and Research Translation Platform Lingam R, Eapen V, Makris A, Chay P, Woolfenden S, Ioannides S, Mendoza Diaz A, Hu N, Liaw T, Jalaludin B, Raman S, Samir N, Richmond R, Stack J, Bhaskar S, Katz I, Strnadova I, Chambers G, Jorm L, Masi A, Montgomery A, Zieba J, Walker A, Morris M, Voineagu I, Smoleniec J, Churches T, Henry A, Ivers R.
31. 2018-2019 The George Institute Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health seed funding, $16,000 “Healthy housing: improving communication pathways between health, social and housing services for Aboriginal families in South East Sydney”, Hunter K, Andersen M, Woolfenden S, Maza S, Williams C, Clapham K, Coote R, Lingam R, Zwi K.
32. 2018-2019 SPHERE Early life determinants of health seed funding $19,988 “Healthy housing: developing an integrated care pathway through partnerships with families, child health, social and housing services to improve Aboriginal child health and wellbeing”. , Andersen M, Hunter K, Woolfenden S, Lingam R, Clapham K, Mazza S et al.
33. 2018-2019 NH&MRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre, SPHERE $ 20 000Care Close to Home: Using integrated care strategies to improve transfer to local care for children with complex medical conditions living in rural or remote NSW CIA Altman L ( CI Woolfenden S)
34. 2018 -2020 Bayside Council Stronger Communities Grant$ 49,654- CIA V Tebyani (CI Woolfenden S )
35. 2018-2021BestSTART-SW Academic unit SWSLHD $1,050,000 Eapen V, Baker J, Colley A, De Leeuw E, Ingram S, Kemp L, Kohlhoff J, Lingam R, Woolfenden S
36. 2018-2019- – Career Development Grant – Research Foundation of Cerebral Palsy Alliance $30 000 - 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 (CIA Woolfenden S)
37. 2018-2019 Healthy Communities Projects, Multicultural Health Grant SESLHD $19 0968 “Research-informed education resources for Nepalese parents experiencing difficulty with child feeding project- CIA Ellliot C, (CI Woolfenden S)
38. 2018 – Ongoing Financial Markets Foundation for Children/ UNSW 5,000,000 Establishment of the Foundation Chair of Paediatric Population Health (includes relocation and staff package) at UNSW (Clinical Academic in Department of Community Child Health at SCHN). Zwi K, Woolfenden S, Jaffe A
39. 2017 -2020 Ramaciotti Health Investment Grants. $128,502Watch me Grow e app CIA Kohlhoff J( CI Woolfenden S)
40. 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.
41. 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- Woolfenden S, Kohlhoff J, Eapen V, Rimes T.
42. 2017-2019 NH&MRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre, SPHERE, $ 69,196 “Supporting Children with Complex fEEding Difficulties (SuCCEED) study” Early Life Determinants of Health (ELDoH): Invest Early To Make a Difference- CIA Ellliot C (CI Woolfenden S)
43. 2017 – Career Development Grant – Research Foundation of Cerebral Palsy Alliance CDG6516- Opportunities for prevention and early detection of Cerebral Palsy in Australia and globally through the examination of sociodemographic profiles $33, 000 (CIA Woolfenden S)
44. 2016-2017 Healthy Communities Projects, Multicultural Health Grant SESLHD $10 000 "Getting in Early, Getting it Right" Rimes T, Woolfenden S, Gardiner R, Maybury L, Smith R, Leitner R, Hurley K, Homsi J
45. 2013-2014 Healthy Communities Projects, Multicultural Health Grant SESLHD $8000 Early Childhood Development – Making it Everybody’s Business Woolfenden S, Gilbert J, Krchnakova R, Crawford J, Henry A, Sarkozy V, Perkins D
46. 2012 – 2013 Healthy Communities Projects, Multicultural Health Grant SESLHD $7000 Accessing developmental surveillance - Breaking down barriers for CALD communities Woolfenden S, Posada N, Gilbert J, Krchnakova R, Crawford J, Sarkozy V, Perkins D
47. 2011-2013 Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research, Liverpool, NSW$200,000 Early Years Research Group. Eastwood J, William, K, Woolfenden S
48. 2008 SCH Foundation Grant. $57 000.Williams K., Bayl V., Leitner R., Papadopoulous C., Woolfenden S., Sarkozy V. The prognosis of autism spectrum disorders.
49. 2008 GESCHN funding -$25 000 Alperstein G, Eastwood J, Raman S, Vimpani G, White L, Williams K, Woolfenden S, Zwi K.: Scoping project to assess the feasibility of an Institute of Child Health in NSW.
50. 2005 NSW Department of Health, $150,000 Child Development Assessment Review Project Eastwood J, Woolfenden S, Blackmore R.
51. 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.
52. 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.
53. 1998 New Children’s Hospital Fund Small Grant $1728.Woolfenden S
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.
1. 2019 – UNSW Paediatrics ILP Awards Finalists 2019 – People’s Choice Award Winner.
2. 2018- Finalist Collaborative Leader of the Year – NSW Health Awards
3. 2018 – Outstanding Staff Member of the Year – Annual Quality and Innovation Awards, Sydney Children’s Hospital Network
4. Zwi K, Woolfenden S, Jaffe A. Establishment of the Foundation Chair of Paediatric Population Health (includes relocation and staff package) at UNSW (Clinical Academic in Department of Community Child Health at SCHN). Financial Markets Foundation for Children ($5,000,000). 2018
5. 2017 – Michelle Beets Memorial Award – Humpty Dumpty Foundation $20 000
6. 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
7. 2017 - “Kids GPS Integrated Care – Leaving the Ivory Tower”. Woolfenden S, Altman L, Breen C, Ging J. Finalist best poster RACP Congress Melbourne 2017
8. 2016 – UNSW Paediatrics ILP Awards Finalists 2016 – People’s Choice Award Winner.
9. 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
10. 2016 – “Kids GPS Integrated Care – Leaving the Ivory Tower”. Altman L, Woolfenden S, Breen C. Runner up best poster APAC Forum 2016
11. 2013 - Best Consultant Teacher award(JMO) SCHN
12. 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
13. 2001 Mc Caughey Research Entry Scholarship, $25 000, Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
14. 1999, 2000 2001Travelling Fellowship with the Paediatric Research Society of Australia $1100
15. 1997 The John Hirshman International Health Prize, $200, University of NSW.
16. 1988 PF Sobotka Undergraduate Scholarship $1800, University of WA.
17. 1987 Clinical Association Prize in Medicine, $200, Royal Perth Hospital.
My Research Activities
Sue has 135 peer-reviewed papers 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 37 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