Welcome to the first edition of our e-news for 2017. The team hopes you had an enjoyable start to this quarter, and are ready to make this year even better than the last.

In this edition we update you on the latest SiREN achievements and activities, highlight the newest research and provide you with upcoming personal development opportunities.


In 2016 the SiREN Team together with partners of the SiREN Project published the following journal article:

A research and evaluation capacity building model in Western Australia

Partners’ perspectives of the SiREN model after 2 years were explored. Qualitative written responses from service providers, policymakers and researchers about the SiREN model were analysed thematically. Stronger engagement between public health researchers, service providers and policymakers through collaborative partnerships has the potential to improve evidence generation and evidence translation. These outcomes require long-term funding and commitment from all partners to develop and maintain partnerships. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation can ensure the partnership remains responsive to the needs of key stakeholders.

In addition members of the SiREN Team have recently published HIV, Other Blood-Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Infections amongst Expatriates and Travellers to Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Systematic Review. The review was conducted to explore HIV, other BBV or STI related knowledge, risk behaviour and acquisition amongst expatriates and travellers, particularly males, travelling from high to low- and middle-income countries.


The Western Australian Substance Users Association (WASUA) are looking for a Youth Outreach Worker

Position objective: To enhance access and improve the level of engagement and participation of young people who use drugs with WASUA services and other relevant agencies by providing a consumer-focused outreach harm-reduction education and referral service to young people at risk of drug-related harm. 

For further information on the position, contact Sarah Grant, Outreach Team Leader, at youthoutreach@wasua.com.au or by calling (08) 9325 8387. Applications close COB Monday 6th March 2017.


The Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA) is calling for Expressions of Interest for those wishing to attain an Indigenous Scholarship. Project or Skill Building scholarships are available. More information can be found on the AHPA scholarships website.

The Scholarship Coordinator, Jamie, is able to answer all your questions or listen to your scholarship ideas. Please email: scholarshipswa@healthpromotion.org.au. Application forms can be found here.

The closing date for applications is Friday 3 March, 9am.


PrEP Trial for WA

The WA AIDS Council is thrilled that the Government has confirmed funding for a WA PrEP demonstration project for 2,000 Western Australians. This demonstration project will help eliminate new HIV transmission as we aim for our 2020 goals. To read the statement made by WAAC CEO Andrew Burry please click here.

On Monday 30th January, the Minister for Health, the Hon. John Day, authorised $1.3 Million in new money to fund the participation of Western Australia in the NSW EPIC PrEP Trial. This is a significant step in getting to zero new HIV transmissions in WA. Read the full statement here.

Launch of new men’s health social media campaign 'Man Up, Stand Up and Sign Up'

Developed by Men’s Health and Wellbeing WA, the campaign aims to advocate for a WA state-based Male Health Policy. For further information, head over to the Men’s Health and Wellbeing WA website here.

New WA Health Get the Facts Website

An exciting newly re-vamped and useful website has just been launched: Get the Facts is full of information. It provides accurate, youth-oriented detail about sexual health, relationships and blood-borne viruses and has been developed by the Department of Health. Get the Facts now features new content, interactive features, and a fresh contemporary exciting and user- friendly design. Check out the website here.

Research Skills Seminar Series

The Research Skills Seminar Series (RSSS) is funded by the Department of Health WA, a partner of the WA Health Translation Network. It offers seminars on key topics across the entire health research process from concept to research translation. Each seminar is presented by an expert in the field. The seminars are free of charge and open access. Seminars are held Friday lunch time (12.30-1.30pm) at PMH however if you can’t make it all seminars are recorded and available on the seminar event page one week after the seminar for a period of time.

Date Topic (abbreviated)  Presenter
10 March 2017 Research Governance Catherine Choong 
24 March 2017 Introduction to Good Clinical Practice Natalie Barber
7 April 2017 Ethics for Research: Obstacle or Powerful Tool Nik Zeps
28 April 2017 Ethics Processes Sue Skull

For more information and to view the 2017 RSSS schedule please click here.

2016 SiREN Needs Assessment Survey results

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the 2016 SiREN Needs Assessment Survey which closed last month. We had 104 people start the survey this round which is the highest response yet! In addition we had a 50-50 split of responses from SiREN and non-SiREN members so we appreciate your assistance in distributing the survey within your wider networks. The results are currently being analysed and the report will available on the SiREN website at the beginning of March.

Knowledge translation strategy

SiREN is developing a Knowledge Translation (KT) Strategy for the project. The overall aim of the SiREN KT Strategy is to support the creation of new evidence on what works that is relevant to WA, and to enable the sector to apply the best available evidence to decision-making. The development of the Strategy has involved a brief review of the literature, asking SiREN members questions relating to their knowledge translation requirements in the needs assessment and consulting with the SiREN Steering Group. The Strategy aligns SiREN’s existing work in this space under three action areas: enabling (building capacity within the sector to participate in or support research and apply research findings to policy and practice), exchanging (the two way knowledge exchange between SiREN and the sector), and creating (the production of new evidence, as well as the synthesis of existing evidence). The needs assessment survey contained a number of questions related to knowledge translation including questions on types of evidence members use to inform decisions; barriers experienced in applying evidence to decision making; and types of knowledge translation strategies they would find useful. Results of the needs assessment will be used to inform the identification of new strategies for inclusion into the Strategy.

If you would like more information about the strategy please contact Rochelle Tobin at rochelle.tobin@curtin.edu.au.

SiREN PhD scholarship

This study, undertaken by PhD Candidate Rochelle Tobin, is taking a systems approach to develop an evaluation framework and evaluation tools that can be used to determine the impacts and outcomes of SiREN. The study is entitled “How a network of researchers, practitioners and policymakers influence public health practice: An investigation into mechanisms of action and the development of an evaluation framework and evaluation strategies”.

The Curtin Health Sciences Faculty Graduate Studies Committee approved the PhD application for candidacy on 30 November. An ethics application is currently under review by the Curtin Human Research Ethics Committee. Following this, approximately 30 SiREN members who have accessed SiREN support or services in the last two years will be recruited. They will be invited to participate in an in-depth interview, a systems mapping workshop and to provide assistance in testing the evaluation tools developed as part of this project. A systematic scoping review of the literature is underway. This review will identify tools that have been used to determine the effectiveness of partnerships in public health. It is anticipated that the findings of this review will support the development of tools to determine the impacts and outcomes of SiREN.

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) – independent evaluation

SAHMRI has approached SiREN to be independent evaluators of the Blood Borne Viruses & Sexually Transmissible Infections Prevention and Education Programme. A consortium of members from Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) across Australia coordinate the programme. The independent evaluation conducted by SiREN will evaluate the following activities:

  • Uptake of STI/BBV community education resources
  • Peer education programs developed with and delivered by young people
  • Peer education program for clinicians delivered by clinicians. 

There will be opportunities for key stakeholders to work closely with the SiREN evaluation team and STI/BBV Coordinators to provide a participatory action research and learning experience. ACCHS staff and youth peer educators will have opportunities to build evaluation knowledge and skills during the evaluation.

Gilead Research Grant - Barriers and facilitators to HIV testing among sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia populations

SiREN submitted a successful application to the Gilead Foundation in late 2016 to conduct focus groups with people from sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia in regards to barriers and enablers to HIV testing and interviews with health service providers to explore barriers to referring patients to HIV testing. The objectives of this research are to:

  • Identify barriers and facilitators to HIV testing among CaLD populations
  • Assess the perceived acceptability of new HIV testing strategies (rapid tests and home collection tests) among CaLD people
  • Identify barriers to offering HIV testing from the perspective of clinical staff and general practitioners.

This grant application was prepared by Corie Gray (CoPAHM), Gemma Crawford (CERIPH), Dr Roanna Lobo (SiREN), Dr Graham Brown (ARCSHS), Assoc Prof Rebecca Guy (Kirby Institute), Dr Skye McGregor (Kirby Institute), Dr Praveena Gunaratnam (Kirby Institute), Assoc Prof Alison Reid (Curtin) and Assoc Prof Garrett Prestage (Kirby Institute). A CoPAHM member (Dr Chris Lemoh) also provided feedback on the proposed project.

Australian Health Promotion Association (WA Branch) Healthway Health Promotion Graduate Scholarship

Corie Gray (CoPAMH), supervised by Dr Roanna Lobo, has received a Graduate Scholarship from the Australian Health Promotion Association (WA Branch) to conduct research at the Collaboration for Evidence, Research, and Impact in Public Health (CERIPH). Her project, titled Exploring barriers and facilitators to HIV testing among people from sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia, will explore barriers and facilitators to HIV testing among people from sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia living in Perth. This includes barriers to accessing health services and perceived stigma and discrimination. This project hopes to provide much needed contextual data that can inform health promotion programs and policy development on how to increase HIV testing and early access to health services among people who are born in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asian countries.  

In addition, a grant was also received to conduct this work in other jurisdictions - please see above on the Gilead Grant for more information. In addition, interviews with health professionals will be conducted to explore barriers to referring patients to HIV testing.

This grant application was prepared by Corie Gray (CoPAHM), and the same team as per the Gilead Research grant.

These two projects will be completed by the end of the year. For more information about the two projects, or to be involved in the development of the project, please contact Corie Gray at corie.gray@curtin.edu.au.

Schools back!

Curtin University students are returning back to their studies this month and will be looking for work experience projects. If your organisation has a potential project please get in touch with either Linda Portsmouth or Gemma Crawford:

Dr Linda Portsmouth (Undergraduate 100 hour placements)
Undergraduate Course Coordinator, Health Promotion
Tel: 9266 4404
Email: L.Portsmouth@curtin.edu.au

Gemma Crawford (Masters projects over 1 or 2 semesters)
Postgraduate Course Coordinator, Health Promotion and Public Health
Tel: 9266 4851
Email: g.crawford@curtin.edu.au

Students – a call for volunteerism

Any students who would like to volunteer within SiREN at Curtin - please send in a short 2 page CV, and brief cover letter via email, stating why you may want to volunteer. Please submit these to our general mailbox SiREN@curtin.edu.au.

Health Promotion 12 Weeks Online Course: Planning, implementing and evaluating health promotion interventions: March 13 –June 2, 2017

This flexible 12 week online course will provide you with an understanding of the role and importance of health promotion and the broader concept of health within a community and national setting. The course aims to provide you with the skills needed to plan, implement and evaluate a health promotion program. You will be introduced to relevant health behaviour theories and health promotion frameworks as well as approaches to evaluation. You will plan a health promotion intervention of your choice. A range of learning strategies and learning activities are available for each module.

Cost per person: $975 + GST. 10% discount for AHPA and PHAA members. For more information please click here. To enrol in the course please contact Maria Chanmugam at maria.chanmugam@curtin.edu.au.

Save the date

  • STI and BBV Quarterly Forums, 1 March 2017, Perth
    Hosted by Health WA once every 3 months, the Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Program facilitates a forum on sexual health, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood-borne viruses (BBVs).
  • 15th World Congress on Public Health (WCPH), 3–7 April 2017, Melbourne
    The Congress serves as an international forum for the exchange of knowledge and experiences on key public health issues, contributing towards protecting and promoting public health at a national and global level.
  • Flux Symposium, 5th April 2017, Sydney
    The Flux symposium is a one-day event to discuss the motivations for and consequences of drug use among gay and bisexual men.
  • 14th National Rural Health Conference, 26–29 April 2017, Cairns
    This biennial event has a unique reputation as a meeting place for people involved with the health care of people who live in the diverse communities of rural and remote Australia.
  • 4th Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference, 15–17 May 2017, Gold Coast, Queensland
    Covering topics surrounding prevention, treatment and recovery the 2017 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference will include presentations from leading sector specialists, researchers, psychologists and medical practitioners in addition to multiple concurrent streams, poster presentations and workshops.
  • 2017 Primary Health Care Research Conference, 7-9 August 2017, Brisbane
    The PHC Research Conference, convened by PHCRIS in partnership with Flinders University, provides the opportunity for allies from across the health sector to share both evidence and innovations on some of the key priorities in PHC.

The overall theme of the conference is "Healthy places, healthy people - where are the connections?".

  • 2017 Australian HIV & AIDS Conference, 6-8 November 2017, joint with the 2017 Australasian Sexual Health Conference, 8-10 November 2017, Canberra
    The conference encourages all disciplines involved in sexual health medicine and sexual health promotion to come together and share experiences, new research and discuss national and local responses to sexual health in Australasia. Want to be the first to receive information and updates on the 2017 Conferences? Join the mailing list now so you won't miss a thing.


If you are unable to access any of the following research articles and would like a PDF copy please get in touch with us at siren@curtin.edu.au.

Young people

Men who have sex with men




HIV and mobility




Prior to completing an application, applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their ideas with Healthway.

Health Promotion Project Grants

  • Health Promotion Under $5,000
  • Health Promotion Over $5,000
  • Health Promoting Schools
  • Aboriginal Health

For more information and instructions on how to apply see the Healthway website.

Health Promotion Research Grants

  • Intervention Research Grants: up to $120,000 per annum for three years, and $150,000 per annum for the year/s the intervention will be developed.
  • Exploratory Research Grants: offering up to $75,000 over 2 years.

For more information and instructions on how to apply see the Healthway website.

Telethon-Perth Children's Hospital Research Fund (TPCHRF) 

Applications for research funding for the fifth round of the TPCHRF are now being accepted. Applications close 1:00pm, Monday 3 April 2017.

  • Stream 1: Short-term Project, projects can be awarded up to $250,000 and must be completed within 24 months (special initiative funding is available for health service led research)
  • Stream 2: Strategic Research Initiative, projects can be awarded up to $500,000 and may be conducted over 3 years (grants that aim to increase child and adolescence health research capacity in WA and thereby lead to the improvement of research productivity and translational impact)

For more information and instructions on how to apply please click here.

AIDS Trust of Australia

The AIDS Trust of Australia is a national charity that raise funds nationally and distribute them to state, regional and local organisations that deliver awareness, prevention, support, care, advocacy and social research programs relating to HIV/AIDS. For further information on previous projects and how to apply for funding, visit the AIDS Trust website here.

Bupa Health Foundation Grants Program

Every year, the Bupa Health Foundation aims to fund new initiatives that are likely to deliver clear benefits to the health of the Australian community. The Foundation is interested in funding innovative replicable interventions and projects that:

  • Empower people to either prevent or better manage health conditions
  • Empower people to use health education and engagement to tackle health risk factors and promote healthy lifestyle habits. Grants range from $100,000 to $500,000 for up to three years

An expression of interest opening date for 2017 is yet to be announced. To receive expression of interest notifications, email foundation@bupa.com.au.

For a comprehensive list of funding opportunities please click here.  


Don’t forget SiREN is here to assist you with your research and evaluation activities! We are available to help you write funding applications, draft conference abstracts, support you with project planning and evaluation, and assist you in creating surveys just to name a few. Support is free but there are a few criteria we require you to meet (please click here to see the checklist). If you are unsure if your project meets the criteria please contact SiREN to discuss further.

Organisations accessing support are encouraged to contact SiREN in the early stages of planning where possible. Start a conversation with the SiREN team by emailing siren@curtin.edu.au or phoning us on 9266 7819.


Please send in to siren@curtin.edu.au and we will be more than happy to include it.

Look out for out next issue in June, and any alerts that come in-between via the SiREN list dissemination and website updates.