Field of Research (FoR)
Sue Woolfenden is a senior staff specialist in the Department of Community Child Health at Sydney Children’s Hospital Network. She is a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow with the University of New South Wales School of Women’s and Children’s Health. 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 a...view more
Sue Woolfenden is a senior staff specialist in the Department of Community Child Health at Sydney Children’s Hospital Network. She is a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow with the University of New South Wales School of Women’s and Children’s Health. 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 a strong translational components. Sue is the co-chair a Royal Australasian College of Physicians working group that developed the first Child Health Equity Policy Statement in Australia. From 2019 to 2022 she will hold and NHMRC Career Development Fellowship in " Overcoming health inequity by using integrated models of care for children with neurodevelopmental problems" in the Population Child Health Group at UNSW School of Women and Children's Health.
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
She has over 70 peer-reviewed publications/book chapters of which half have been published since 2011. She also provide peer reviews for 10 paediatric and public health journals.
She is an investigator on over AU$10 M worth of successful grant submissions, of which over $ 8M has been awarded since 2011. She is a chief investigator on the NH&MRC and ANU CRE funded SEARCH (The Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health) project; a CI on the NH&MRC funded “Watch me Grow” project (Universal Surveillance and Early Identification of Developmental Disorders) and a PI on the ARC funded “Exploring pathways to developmental inequities”. She is a co-convener of the Ingham Foundation Early Years Research Group and a co-convener of the Cochrane Prognosis Methods Group. She holds a Career Development Fellowship with the Research Foundation for Cerebral Palsy Alliance to investigate inequities in the prevalence, severity and detection of Cerebral Palsy. In 2019 She will hold an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship
She has a strong interest in developing and testing models of care that reach marginalised populations. She has had research funded by Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation and the NH&MRC Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre, SPHERE, Early Life Determinants of Health (ELDoH): Invest Early To Make a Difference stream to develop new models of child health care in developmental surveillance for children from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse backgrounds. This project is a case study in the 2016 State of the Sector Public Service Commissioner’s report to Parliament as an excellent example of collaboration between NSW Health and NGOs, and collaboration outside the public sector to better serve the community.
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