Western Alliance Forums

Western Alliance forums are held throughout the year covering different topics of interest that align with our themes, please subscribe to our Newsletter, Talking Points, below to ensure you are notified of our upcoming events.


Digital Health Research Forum 2020

In collaboration with our friends at the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre and Federation University, Western Alliance held the Digital Health Research Forum, which took place on Friday 14th February 2020 at Federation University, Mt Helen Campus, Ballarat.

The aims of the forum were to:

  • Create the Western Alliance Digital Health Research Hub; a collaboration of health professionals, researchers, consumers and industry experts who will help to set the agenda for digital health research in western Victoria
  • Bring ourselves up to date on current developments and evidence in the digital health space
  • Identify key issues and gaps in digital health across the western region of Victoria, and
  • Identify the key research questions that can be further developed and funded to improve health outcomes

The forum involved a mix of presentations and workshops in an interactive format, with guest speakers that included:

  • Mr Neville Board, Chief Digital Health Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services
  • Professor Tim Shaw, Professor of eHealth and Director of the Research in Implementation Science and eHealth Group (RISe) in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney
  • Dr Isobel Frean, Senior Consultant at Digital Health CRC
  • Professor James Boyd, Chair of Digital Health at LaTrobe University
  • Professor Rajesh Vasa, Head Translational Research of Deakin University’s A2I2 Institute

To view the presentations given on the day, see below:

Neville Board presentation_Digital Health Research Forum_14 February 2020
Isobel Frean_Tim Shaw_James Boyd presentation_Digital Health Research Forum_14 February 2020_Rajeash Vasa_Digital Health Research Forum_14 February 2020_


Ageing Research Forum 2019

In an exciting new partnership, Western Alliance has joined forces with the Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration (MARC) to improve health outcomes across Western Victoria through targeted ageing research initiatives. Led by the National Ageing Research Institute (NARI), MARC is a unique consortium of partners, bringing together health and aged care services, universities, research and advocacy organisations, and the broader community to improve the lives of older people through the rapid translation of research.

The partnership was launched through the Western Victorian Ageing Research Forum, which was held at South West Healthcare in Warrnambool on September 6th 2019. The forum saw over 40 passionate health professionals, consumers, researchers and policy makers gather to identify the key regional issues in ageing and to generate potential research ideas to address these issues. To set the scene, keynote presentations were delivered by three industry experts; Professor Briony Dow (NARI), Professor Alison Hutchinson (Deakin University) and Professor Colette Browning (Federation University). Through robust discussion in several workshops, participants identified a number a key themes for ageing research in the region, which included:

  • Workforce (Attraction, retention and development)
  • Service gaps, access, data and information sharing
  • Isolation & mental health, Ageism and identity
  • Chronic disease and multimorbidity in ageing
  • Models of care for people with dementia & cognitive decline,
  • Choice (person centred care) vs risk

A number of research questions were proposed, and these are currently being scoped against the literature. A shortlist will then be distributed as part of an expression of interest, with Western Alliance and MARC to jointly fund research projects on these topics.

The forum also saw the creation of the Western Alliance Ageing Research Hub, which will be the basis for further research initiatives and professional development in ageing across western Victoria.

A special thanks to our guest speakers, to Debra O’Connor (Director of MARC) and her team for their support and collaboration, and to South West Healthcare for hosting the forum.

You can view the presentations given on the day below:

Colette Browning_ Ageing Research Forum 2019x
Briony Dow_Ageing Research Forum 2019x
Alison Hutchinson_Ageing Research Forum 2019x

Debra O’Connor_Ageing Research Forum 2019x