- Deputy Director (Programs)
- Burnet Institute
- AM. MBBS, FRACP, PhD, FAFPHM.
“Transitioning from adolescence into young adulthood in the era of social media – risks, harms and health”.
Professor Hellard has considerable experience in translating research outcomes into health policy and practice. Her work has led to major new insights in several research areas, with her work having a strong influence on improving health practice through better clinical care and more targeted and informed prevention programs both within Australia and globally.
She is known both nationally and internationally for her research on the use of social network models to understand disease transmission and the use of new technologies as tools in health promotion.
For more than 10 years Professor Hellard has undertaken work that aims to improve the community by conducting high quality, policy-relevant and innovative research that addresses the major public health problems associated with infectious diseases, drug use and related behaviour. Her work has focused on HIV, Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), sexually transmitted infections and drug and alcohol use, aiming to reduce the impact of these diseases and behaviours, particularly in highly vulnerable populations.
There is an epidemic of risk in Australia impacting on young people. Young people experience high levels of substance use disorders, risky sex with consequent sexually transmitted infections or unplanned pregnancy, blood-borne viruses, unintentional injuries and interpersonal violence.
In order to intervene and reduce the impact of risk behaviours on young people’s health we must first understand the key influences and interplay of factors that result in risk, and better understand the role of social media in this setting.