RE-FRESH Director Alfred Deakin Professor Anna Peeters has been recognised for significant service to community health in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours List, announced June 12, 2023.

Prof. Peeters was named a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) which confers the highest recognition for outstanding achievement and service in a particular activity. Her work in obesity research was highlighted.

In addition to her role with RE-FRESH, Prof. Peeters has been the inaugural Director of Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation since 2015 and is program manager of DELIVER, a $9 million research project funded through the Australian Commonwealth Government Medical Research Future Fund, led by IHT and the Western Alliance Academic Health Science Centre.

DELIVER brings together, for the first time, healthcare consumers, regional and rural health services, peak bodies, universities and primary healthcare providers across western Victoria to achieve better healthcare closer to home.

Prof. Peeters also holds the following positions currently:

  • Strategic Advisor for the Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition (GLOBE)
  • Director of Obesity Australia since 2016
  • Expert Executive Member of the World Obesity Federation
  • Steering Committee Member Food For Health Alliance (formerly Obesity Policy Coalition), since 2017
  • Member, Policy Advisory Group, World Cancer Research Fund International
  • Board Member, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth)
  • Chair, Advisory Board, Deeble Institute for Health Policy Research.

She has also contributed via the following roles:

  • President, Australia and New Zealand Obesity Society 2011-2014
  • Member, Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) Peer Review Working Committees 2021-2022, 2017-2019
  • Member, Project Grant Review Panels 2011-2014
  • Chief Investigator, 14 funded grants, since 1992
  • Expert Advisor, Obesity Report, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017-2018
  • Expert Advisor, Healthy Food Provision Policy, NSW Health 2017
  • Expert Member, Parents Voice 2007-2019.
  • Associate Professor and Head, Obesity and Population Health, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute 2012-2015.

She has been a public health researcher since 1977 and has held various research positions at Monash University and Erasmus MC (The Netherlands) before joining Deakin University.

Driving the systemic change required to achieve health equity and better health outcomes for everyone is the focus of all Prof. Peeters work and she has built a formidable national and international network of collaborators throughout her career.

“I love working with others to come up with new approaches to solving thorny problems,’ Prof. Peeters says.

“A number of our current systems, from the food system through the aged care system to the mental health system, are not working effectively, efficiently or equitably. They have grown up over the past century in a piecemeal fashion, aiming to deliver specific outcomes, with little understanding of how they no longer as a whole benefit population health and wellbeing.

“Redesigning these systems needs a lot of different perspectives working together to identify, test, adapt and track improvements.

“My research uniquely brings a number of unusual suspects together to focus on the common goals of health and wellbeing for all. Through doing this, we have identified new ways of sustainably providing healthier food options, delivering better care to Australians in regional areas, and putting the citizen at the centre of our decision making. Taking a collaborative approach to our most complex health challenges will deliver real and lasting impact for all Australians.”



RE-FRESH Director Anna Peeters bestowed the title of Alfred Deakin Professor



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