Alexandra van Beek
Alexandra van Beek is a PhD candidate, and works part-time as a research worker, with CIHER. She completed a bachelor degree in social geography at James Cook University in the early 90s, after which she left to explore the wide world. After 15 years of being grounded in the reality of working in heavy mining processes as one of very few women working longterm in that industry, she eventually found her way back to academia to complete a bachelor of psychological science (1st class honours) in 2016 with CQUniversity. Her PhD is focussed on building a systems-level understanding of the interacting factors and structures underlying research impact in community-based participatory research. Her academic passion lies in the fields of applied systems thinking and research impact. Her good fortune lies in having the support of Prof. Janya McCalman and Prof. Roxanne Bainbridge as her supervisory team, and Dr Tessa Benveniste and Mrs Erika Langham as her unofficial mentors, for her PhD journey.
Joel Johnson is a PhD student working closely with Dr Mani Naiker. Mr Johnsons area of focus is in functional foods (foods that provide health benefits as well as nutritional benefits) and their bioactive compounds. He also has an interest in studying the chemical basis behind traditional Australian medicinal plants utilised by Indigenous people.
Dr Robyn Preston
Robyn's teaching focuses on engaging future health professionals in how to work in partnership with the most marginalised members of their communities. Shes specialises in health promotion, community engagement and research methods. She is a public health-focused social scientist with research interests in health services and health professions education. She has three interlinked research areas: 1) Access to health services for under-served communities (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, refugees; rural and remote peoples); 2) Socially Accountable Health Professional Education; and 3) Health Promotion in the tropics. The development of these research areas are also linked to her teaching; service and engagement. She is a health promotion and community development practitioner with international and Australian experience. Robyn's service roles combine her local interest in health promotion/public health and national and international focus on socially accountable health professions education and health services development. Robyn is recognised internationally for her expertise in socially accountable health professions education and locally for connecting community groups and health promotion professionals with the CQUniversity.
Stephen is a credentialed senior mental health nurse and nurse researcher with a strong commitment to recovery-oriented and trauma-informed care. Stephen is currently working in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Sciences and completing his PhD with CQUniversity.
Dr Tafadzwa Nyanhanda
Tafadzwa is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health with the School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences at CQUniversity. She has over 20 years experience in program design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and nutrition and health research. She has led large-scale research and evaluations of complex, multi-sectoral community development programmes in Sri Lanka, Armenia, Ethiopia and Senegal. Tafadzwa has also developed evaluation and outcomes frameworks, indicator development and monitoring and evaluation systems for regional areas in Victoria State, Australia. She has led and investigated the role of nutrition/food in health and substantiated nutrition and health-related claims leading to development of evidence-based functional/novel foods and plant cultivars. She is currently a FAO consultant. Research interests include food environments, food systems, food policy, migration and health, maternal and child health, prevention of non-communicable diseases and implementation science research. She earned a PhD in Molecular Nutrition with minors in Developmental Biology and Toxicology from Cornell University, Ithaca, USA in 2008 and a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Zimbabwe in 2000. She completed her Postdoctoral training at the New Zealand Institute of Plant and Food Research in New Zealand.