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$27 million to boost research in preventive and public health

A media release about an Australian Government investment in vital research to help promote better health and prevent people from getting ill.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

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General public

The Morrison Government continues to invest in vital research to help promote better health and prevent people from getting ill.

Our Government is investing $27 million in 22 preventive and public health projects through the landmark $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

This funding will enable research teams across Australia to look at new ways to prevent people from getting ill. Telehealth will have a key role in a number of these projects.

The new research will concentrate on vulnerable groups, mothers, babies and children, with a focus on improving diet, nutrition and physical activity.

One of the key projects will look at using telehealth to address developmental impairments in very preterm babies as well as their parents’ wellbeing.

Every year approximately 5000 babies are born very preterm – at less than 32 weeks – in Australia.

Many of them will go on to have developmental impairments in later childhood, such as motor, cognitive or academic difficulties.

A great concern is that parents of preterm infants can have high rates of anxiety and depression and this can also affect child development.

Intervention in the first year of life is the best chance of avoiding long-term disabilities.

The University of Melbourne will receive more than $1.8 million to trial the remote ‘tele-rehabilitation’ service over the internet so families can get help in their home, no matter their circumstances or location.

Telehealth services have helped 8 million Australians receive essential health care and advice during the COVID-19 pandemic. GPs have provided more than 13.5 million telehealth services, supporting patients who are self-isolating to control the spread of COVID-19.

Our Government is profoundly committed to strengthening and expanding access to life saving services.

Further information on the MRFF is available at



Project Title


University of Melbourne

Tele-rehabilitation for early intervention to improve neurodevelopmental outcomes of infants born preterm and their patients' wellbeing: a randomised controlled trial


University of Sydney

Can a pre-conception weight loss program improve maternal and infant outcomes for women with overweight or obesity? A pragmatic randomised control trial


La Trobe University

Exploring the impact of caseload midwifery on preterm birth among vulnerable and disadvantaged women: a multi-centre randomised controlled trial


University of Melbourne

Prenatal environment, offspring neurodevelopment and epigenetic programming


University of Adelaide

A pragmatic randomised controlled trial to test whether incentives and carbon monoxide monitoring help pregnant women quit smoking


Menzies School of Health Research

A life course approach to reduce intergenerational diabetes in remote northern Australia through improved systems of care and consumer engagement


University of Canberra

A good start in life for young children: reducing vulnerability and health inequity


University of Adelaide

The begin better randomised trial


Monash University

Healthy lifestyle in preconception, pregnancy and postpartum HIPP – personalised medicine meets public health


University of Wollongong

Peer support for breastfeeding for Aboriginal women


University of Sydney

Developing and evaluating an interactive web-based Healthy Beginnings program for preventing obesity in the first years of life


University of Sydney

Physical activity promotion by health professionals to increase physical activity: two hybrid type II implementation effectiveness cluster randomised waitlist controlled trials in hospital outpatient settings


Deakin University

TeleFFIT – a personalised, telehealth exercise and lifestyle risk factor management program to reduce falls and fracture risk in older adults: a 12 month hybrid effectiveness implementation trial


University of Tasmania

Developing benchmarks and a smart online tool for assessing walkability in regional and rural communities: Supporting rural Australians to live healthy, active lives


University of South Australia

Healthy Choices: Co-designed community programs to enhance healthy lifestyle choices for people with chronic conditions


Victoria University

Optimising the dose of exercise to promote improvements of cerebrovascular function and health in middle aged adults


University of Adelaide

Time restricted EATing to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (TREAT)


Edith Cowan University

Developing a novel approach to improve diet and lifestyle


University of Newcastle

Building the capacity of community mental health services to provide preventive care for people with a mental health condition


University of Melbourne

A precision medicine approach to improving developmental outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children


University of Technology Sydney

The impact of neonatal care on long-term healthcare needs and outcomes


Queensland University of Technology

Effectiveness of an early childhood intervention to promote healthy child development and prevent chronic disease in families attending community playgroups: a multi-cluster randomised trial


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