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MAY 2023 eNEWS


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…

RE-FRESH launches Year 4 Report

Our ‘Year 4 Report’ has just launched, highlighting the work of our team over 2022. Inside you will find a two-page snapshot of the year, updates from all research streams, a list of our publications and presentations and stories showcasing three projects – including an Impact Case Study on the Healthy Stores 2020 remote Indigenous stores project that has had significant impact both nationally and internationally.

In this edition you will find live links to our website for further reading – we hope you enjoy the opportunity to delve deeper into the stories behind our work.


Catch up on our latest healthy food retail event

RE-FRESH was pleased to collaborate with the Nourish Network to deliver a free lunchtime webinar with visiting Danish PhD student Katrine Duus who shared her project on a healthy food retail intervention in a Danish supermarket aimed at supporting families with young children.


In this special webinar, Katrine presented on: the process of developing a partnership with a Danish supermarket chain to carry out healthy food retail research, and the learnings from this; details of the intervention, how it was carried out from a practical and theoretical perspective; and reflections of the experience of all stakeholders.

Comments and reflections on the Danish experience are then provided by RE-FRESH researchers A/Prof. Julie Brimblecombe and Dr Megan Ferguson who have worked extensively to transform retail food environments to be health-enabling in remote Australian Indigenous settings.

Award recognises international partnership work

ABOVE:  Dr Tailane Scapin accepts the award on behalf of her team, from Deakin University Faculty of Health Executive Dean Prof. Rachel Huxley.

RE-FRESH researchers working to promote healthier retail food environments in East Asia and globally have been recognised with a Deakin University Faculty of Health 2023 ‘Partnerships in Practice: Research Impact Award’ for an International Partnership. Congratulations to the Deakin University-based team behind this award: A/Prof. Adrian Cameron, Prof. Gary Sacks, Dr Tailane Scapin, Jasmine Chan, Ella Robinson and Sarah Dean.
The award recognises the team’s partnership work with UNICEF’s East-Asia and Pacific Regional Office to develop guidelines on ways supermarkets can promote children’s rights to good health and nutrition, and their work with 10 of the largest global supermarkets to implement a range of healthy retail initiatives.

Premier’s award for RE-FRESH Chief Investigator

ABOVE: Dr Jaithri Ananthapavan receives the award from MP Mary-Anne Thomas. Image credit: Victorian Department of Health

Congratulations to RE-FRESH Chief Investigator Dr Jaithri Ananthapavan who has been awarded the 2022 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research in Public Health by the Victorian Government.

The Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow leads RE-FRESH’s ‘Population diet, health and business impact modelling’ stream and was recognised for her contribution to public health research.

Through her PhD research, Dr Ananthapavan developed a cost-benefit analysis framework to aid cross-sectoral decision-making regarding the value for money for obesity prevention initiatives. She then used the framework to assess the cost-effectiveness of a policy to improve the healthiness of supermarkets.

RE-FRESH Director to speak at Queensland expo 

RE-FRESH Director Alfred Deakin Prof. Anna Peeters is set to share her expertise on healthy food retail initiatives as a guest speaker at Health and Wellbeing Queensland’s inaugural ‘A Better Choice’ Conference and Expo on May 30.
The event can be attended in-person or online (virtual attendance) and will bring together audiences from school, sport and recreation and healthcare interested in making it easier for Queenslanders to access healthy food and drink options outside the home.
The event aligns with Queensland’s ‘A Better Choice’ strategy, a state-first public health approach which recognises that creating healthy food environments is an important part of public health work.


Latest publications from our team:

1. From RE-FRESH’s Dr Shaan Naughton and co-authors: BMC Public Health – “Dissemination of public health research to prevent non-communicable diseases: a scoping review.” 

2. From RE-FRESH’s A/Prof. Julie Brimblecombe and co-authors: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health – “Towards healthy food retail: An assessment of public health nutrition workforce capacity to work with stores.”

3. From RE-FRESH’s Carmen Vargas, Prof. Steve Allender, Prof. Colin Bell, Dr Jill Whelan and co-authors: Australian Journal of Rural Health – “Lived experience of participants who engaged in the co-creation of initatives to improve children’s health in a rural Australian community.”


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