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At the Centre of Research Excellence in Food Retail Environments for Health (RE-FRESH), we work to transform retail food environments to improve diet and health at a population level. 

Our team is focused on high quality cross-disciplinary research and collaboration to build the evidence, methods and tools needed to accelerate the uptake of proven healthy food retail initiatives, strengthened through our solid partnerships with government and non-government organisations, community organisations and food retailers.

We are pleased to bring you our latest news…

Major funding boost to propel healthy food retail research for another five years

We are very excited by the news that the National Health and Medical Research Council has granted $2.5 million funding for a new five-year Centre of Research Excellence to build upon the great work of RE-FRESH.

The ‘RE-FRESH Next Generation CRE’  – to be known as ‘RE-FRESHING’ – will be led by A/Prof. Adrian Cameron (pictured) and officially begins in February. This will follow the end of the current five-year NHMRC-funded RE-FRESH CRE in January.

The centre will take the next step in the healthy food retail research journey – examining which  government policy options are most effective and provide value for money, developing new tools for benchmarking retailers on both the health and sustainability of food environments across multiple settings, and developing new tools to drive implementation of sustained change at scale.


Researchers use two channels to shine a light on challenges facing prevention workforce

Our researchers Alfred Deakin Prof. Anna Peeters (AM), Prof. Simone Pettigrew, Dr Tara Bolesen-Robinson and Dr Shaan Naughton teamed up with fellow members of the Australian Prevention Partnership’s Centre’s Collaboaration for Enhanced Research Impact (CERI) to pen an article in the latest issue of Research Australia’s ‘Inspire‘ magazine which was dedicated to future workforce planning.

The article, titled ‘Creating a level playing field – why investment is urgently needed to future-proof the Australian public health research workforce’ highlights the chronic underfunding for public health research into the large-scale complex problems underpinning preventable disease and provides recommendations for the way forward.


Following the article’s release, Dr Tara Boelsen-Robinson was involved with further advocacy on the topic. She joined an episode of The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre’s podcast “Prevention Works” as a prevention expert to discuss why now is the right time for a more strategic approach to chronic disease research investment, based on Australia’s most significant problems in health.

The podcast was released last week:


UPCOMING EVENTS – You’re invited…

WEBINAR: Transforming University Food Environments

Date: Tuesday, November 21
Time: 12pm -1pm AEDT
Registration essential for this FREE special event 

Join RE-FRESH and the Nourish Network for a special webinar exploring how universities can promote healthier, more equitable, and environmentally sustainable food environments.

In this webinar we will launch the results of a project that benchmarked nine Australian universities on their food environments, outline best practice, and provide practical tips for helping to transform university policy and practice.

Come along to hear real-world examples of how Australian universities are supporting equitable access to healthy and affordable food, and making strides to reduce food waste, source sustainably, and promote environmentally responsible practices.

This webinar will feature Deakin University  Prof. Gary Sacks, a RE-FRESH Chief Investigator who specialises in food policy, and  on-the-ground practitioners experienced in creating change.  Shirley Phan  from Monash University, and Sandy Murray and Dr Catherine Elliott , both from the University of Tasmania, will discuss the interdisciplinary collaborations across the university that helped them improve their food environments and share practical actions that can be taken to implement positive change.

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, engage in discussions, and be part of a movement that is reshaping the way universities think about food.


WEBINAR: Featuring healthy food retail co-creation insights

Delivered by the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre
: Wednesday, November 22
Time: 2pm -3.30pm AEDT
Registration essential for this FREE special event Join RE-FRESH Manager Dr Shaan Naughton, a Research Fellow with Deakin University’s Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition, and project partner Sherridan Cluff, Senior Dietitian/Nutritionist with Health and Wellbeing Queensland, to hear about testing co-designed implementation support tools for both retailers and practitioners (in the context of healthcare settings).

The pair will give one of five presentations at this special webinar organised by The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre to showcase strategic research projects into preventive health funded by the centre.


Celebrating success


  • Dr Miranda Blake (pictured) who has been awarded a fellowship from the Australian Research Council (ARC) under its Discovery Early Researcher Awards (DECRA) scheme to further her research on sustaining innovations for the promotion of healthier food in retail environments.Dr Blake is the Chief Investigator of Promoting CHANGE, a project which is now underway to test and refine real-world solutions for the large-scale application of healthy food retail interventions in local government settings.
  • A/Prof. Cameron who will join Dr Tailane Scapin in partnering with UNICEF to deliver a webinar with South East Asian retailers and policymakers. The webinar is the culmination of a three-year partnership to support retailers to improve the healthiness of retail food environments in the East Asia and Pacific region. Visit the project website to find out more about this work.A/Prof. Adrian Cameron for being invited to be a plenary speaker at the Malaysian Association for the Study of Obesity Scientific Conference 2023, held in Kuala Lumpur last month. He spoke on ‘Actions to encourage healthier food environments in Malaysia and the region’.

RE-FRESH funding takes Jasmine to Quebec

RE-FRESH ‘Early-to-Mid-Career Knowledge Exchange’ funding saw researcher Jasmine Chan spend two weeks last month working alongside the Canadian research team of the global BIA-Obesity initiative.

She shares her experience in a special report: READ IT HERE

Latest publications from our team:

1. From RE-FRESH’s Oliver Huse, Prof. Kathryn Backholer, Prof. Gary Sacks, Prof. Colin Bell, Alfred Deakin Prof. Anna Peeters (AM), Dr Jaithri Ananthapavan and co-authors:  The Lancet Regional Health – Western Pacific – A comparative analysis of the cost-utility of the Philippine tax on sweetened beverages as proposed and as implemented.”

2. From RE-FRESH’s Ella Robinson (PhD candidate), Prof. Gary Sacks and co-authors:  BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health – Landscape analysis of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing metrics for consumer nutrition and health in the food and beverage sector.”  

3. From RE-FRESH’s Dr Jill Whelan, Dr Tara Boelsen-Robinson, Dr Miranda Blake, Prof. Steve Allender and Prof. Colin Bell:  Health Research Policy and Systems – Combining systems thinking approaches and implementation science constructs within community-based prevention: a systematic review.”   




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