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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…


Taking our work to a world stage

We’re excited to share that many members from our RE-FRESH team will be showcasing their work during the International Congress on Obesity (ICO) next week, when it returns to (Melbourne) Australia after 16 years, as the pre-eminent global gathering for experts in obesity.

A team highlight will be a symposium on Friday, October 21, on “The co-creation of initatives to improve the healthiness of food retail environments” (9.40am-10.30am) which has involved RE-FRESH members Prof. Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Carmen Vargas, A/Prof. Julie Brimblecombe, Dr Meaghan Christian, Dr Megan Ferguson, Dr Jill Whelen, Prof. Steve Allender, Dr Tara Bolesen-Robinson, Dr Miranda Blake, and Dr Gade Waqa.

Those attending the event will also have the chance to hear from:

  • RE-FRESH Director, Alfred Deakin Prof. Anna Peeters,  a cross cutting speaker;
  • RE-FRESH Chief Investigator Prof. Boyd Swinburn, one of five plenary speakers (who has been named an ICO 2022 William Philip T. James Award Winner, in recognition of outstanding achievement on the fields of obesity surveillance, prevention, and management.) &
  • RE-FRESH Associate Investigator Prof. Kathryn Backholer, a symposium speaker.
Full details of our ICO involvement – including further oral presentations and poster presentations – are available on our website READ IT HERE.

Keep an eye on RE-FRESH’s Twitter account from October 18-22 for more on RE-FRESH at ICO.


SPECIAL EVENT – Last chance to join us…

RE-FRESH is pleased to be partnering with the Nourish Network and Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation to offer this free in-person (Deakin Downtown, Melbourne) and live-streamed interactive panel discussion on Tuesday, October 18 (1-2pm AEDT) where experts in their field will share experiences and learnings on the value of working in partnership to make impactful change in the healthiness of retail food environments – informed by years of experience in projects within Australia and overseas.

You will hear from Prof. Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Amy Brown, Fiona Watson and Dr Megan Ferguson; with host Alfred Deakin Prof. Anna Peeters – Director of RE-FRESH & Institute for Health Transformation, Deakin University.

Don’t miss out! Registration essential!



Recent success from our team:


Grant success for early career researchers

RE-FRESH resarchers Dr Tara Boelsen-Robinson and Dr Miranda Blake have been awarded a ‘Rapid Response’ Grant from The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre for a project focusing on healthy food retail in healthcare settings in Queensland.

They are partnering with Health and Wellbeing Queensland and the Nourish Network to test co-created tools supporting retailers, health promotion practitioners, and other stakeholders.


$1.2M funding awarded for partnership project

RE-FRESH researchers are celebrating a $1.2M funding announcement that has given the green light for a partnership project to test and refine real-world solutions for the large-scale application of healthy food retail interventions in local government settings across Australia and beyond.

The five-year NHMRC Partnership Grant has been awarded to the ‘Promoting CHANGE: Community Health and Nutrition and Government Engagement’ project, which has been in development by Alfred Deakin Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Dr Miranda Blake since June 2020.



‘IN PROFILE’ Series: 

In the latest article in our series looking at the “behind the scenes” stories of what drew our early-and-mid-career researchers to our team, we meet Emalie Rosewarne, a Sydney-based researcher described by her PhD supervisor Prof. Jacqui Webster as “a talented researcher and advocate for better food environments with strong leadership potential”.



A selection of new publications from our team:

1. From RE-FRESH’s Jaithri Ananthapavan, Gary Sacks, Marj Moodie and co-authors: PLOS ONE –  “Preventive health resource allocation decision-making processes and the use of economic evidence in an Australian state government – A mixed methods study.”

2. From RE-FRESH’s Anna Peeters, Kathryn Backholer, Cliona Ni Mhurchu, Miranda Blake and co-authors:  PLOS ONE – “Exploring the effects of added sugar labels on food purchasing behaviour in Australian parents: An online randomised controlled trial.”

3. From RE-FRESH’s Jill Whelan, Liliana Orellana, Colin Bell, Boyd Swinburn, Anna Peeters, Marj Moodie, Steve Allender and co-authors:  BMJ Open – “Reflexive Evidence and Systems interventions to Prevention Obesity and Non-communicable Disease (RESPOND): protocol and baseline outcomes for a stepped-wedge cluster-randomised prevention trial.”

4. From RE-FRESH’s Lily Grigsby-Duffy, Tara Boelsen-Robinson, Miranda Blake, Kathryn Backholer, Anna Peeters and co-authors: Health Promotion International –    “The impact of promary school nutrition policy on the school food environment: a systematic review.”







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