Knowledge Translation

Research into Practice

Translation of research into community practice, clinical application and policy is an important value of the research conducted by the National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH).

Research into Clinical Practice

Research that aims to validate and integrate new policy and procedure Into clinical services offered by the NCFH.

In-field Personalised Cholinesterase Assessment Project (In-field PCAP)

Research supported by Deakin University and the Shepherd Foundation grant to conduct a much needed research that has formed the basis of a database of cholinesterase activity (an enzyme inhibited by organophosphate pesticides) from farmers exposed to agricultural pesticides in their workplace.  Organophosphates have been associated with chronic neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s in sheep farmers in particular. The critical window for exposure to toxicants may occur years before the onset of neurological symptoms. This research has also assessed and improved the integration of cholinesterase monitoring into routine agricultural health clinics such as AgriSafe™ and in the field, whilst providing farming people with a link between their individual cholinesterase activity and their household and agrichemical use.

For further information please contact:

Dr Jacquie Cotton
03 5551 8533

Research into Community Practice

Research informing and engaging farming communities across a number of sectors and regions across Australia and internationally.

Sustainable Farm Families™ (SFF™)

Funded by the Victorian Government, the SFF™ program is a strong and effective tool with an evidence base which demonstrates that the program is increasing farm families knowledge and skills, while supporting them to change their lifestyle and reduce risk behaviours.

The program fits well in the community and primary health portfolio because it:

  • Integrates health promotion with improved outcomes for the farming community.
  • Creates supportive environments for health as a result of personal skills development and strengthened community action.
  • Expands service options and access to information to support self-management.
  • Takes a coordinated approach to chronic disease management.
  • Promotes service coordination.
  • Values the participation of farm families in the continuous improvement of the program.

The research data and information which is collected as part of the program provides critical insight to the relationships between the farmer, their health, their farm and farming sustainability.

The program has been showcased as an innovative approach to long-standing rural health issues, and has been recognised with numerous awards.

The program is delivered by Registered Nurses (Division One) and requires strong industry support and an understanding of adult learning and social research models. Through cross-sector collaboration the program builds capacity in the workforce, community, agricultural industry and the individual.

Further Information:

If you are a rural professional or a farm man, woman or agricultural worker and interested in the Sustainable Farm Families™ program, please contact:

Tracey Hatherell
03 5551 8533

Sustainable Farm Families Alberta, Canada

The SFF™ program is now spreading from Australia as other countries wish to adopt the program. However, experience has shown that for the SFF™ program to be successfully repeated and transferred, it needs to be supported by a suitable organisation.

Digital storytelling workshops

The National Centre for Farmer Health have used the process of digital storytelling to record powerful personal stories on a wide range of topics including the lived experience of suicide and poor mental health, physical health challenges, financial struggles, drought and farm succession. These stories are used in a variety of community-based applications including reducing stigma, raising awareness, increasing empathy and stimulating personal action to improve health, wellbeing and safety.

For further information please contact:

Dr Alison Kennedy
03 5551 8533

Suicide prevention research

A range of suicide prevention projects have been conducted by the team at the National Centre for Farmer Health including research to improve understanding of:

  • the Impact of suicide bereavement on farming families
  • the needs of mental health carers
  • what works to reduce the experience of stigma for those with a lived experience of suicide
  • the contributing factors to farming-related suicide in rural Victoria.

The outcomes of these projects have informed evidence presented before the Victorian Royal Commission into Mental Health Services; a submission made to the Senate Inquiry into Accessibility and Quality of Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Australia; and, direct presentations to government departments.

Dr Alison Kennedy
03 5551 8533

Financing Fortitude: evaluating scholarship in strengthening Victorian rural woman and agriculture

This research project investigated a group of Victorian women who attended the 2nd International Conference on Women in Agriculture in Washington DC, 1998. Following the rural women’s movement of the 1980s and 1990s, the Conference was designed to recognise the contribution of women, globally, to agriculture, education programs in rural areas and commitment to furthering the status of rural women. Moreover, attending the Conference provide women with the opportunity to further develop their skills and knowledge through exposure to the ideas of women involved in agriculture throughout the world.

Acknowledging a selection of Victorian women for their ongoing contributions to agriculture and rural women’s issues, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment awarded 20 travel bursaries and organised a pre-Conference Agricultural Tour through California. Limited follow-up evaluation has explored whether the intended objectives and outcomes of the Conference and travel bursaries were realised. This research measured Conference attendees’ association between different elements of the experience and their career choices in the last two decades. Findings were reported to government departments and improved understanding of the opportunity for growth and progress when investing in Victorian agricultural women.

Further Information

For more information please contact:

Dr Alison Kennedy
Acting Director
03 5551 8533