The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) National Child Health Poll is a quarterly, national survey of Australian households shedding new light on the big issues in contemporary child and adolescent health – as told by the Australian public.

The poll’s structure and focus combines the rigour of academic discovery with the timeliness and reach of online quantitative research, to deliver significant new knowledge about the health, wellbeing and lives of children and young people in contemporary Australia.

Uniquely, the poll consistently puts the voice of Australian families and communities at the heart of the conversation about child and adolescent health. It aims to inform national discourse, health priorities and policy formulation, and stimulate further research into the new and emerging health issues facing Australian children and teenagers, and their communities, today.

The poll is funded through the RCH Foundation. The project protocol has been approved by the RCH Human Research Ethics Committee.

The RCH National Child Health Poll was formerly known as the Australian Child Health Poll.

About the team

The RCH National Child Health Poll is directed by Dr Anthea Rhodes, paediatrician at the RCH Melbourne.

The project team includes A.Prof Daryl Efron and US paediatrician and health services research specialist, Professor Gary L Freed.


Dr Anthea Rhodes

Dr Anthea Rhodes


Dr Anthea Rhodes is a paediatrician, researcher and child health advocate.
She has clinical interests in the health needs of the vulnerable child, with expertise in child development and behaviour.

Anthea undertook her paediatric training at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, where she has worked since 2004. She has a masters in medical education and is a lecturer at the University of Melbourne and an honorary research associate in the Health Services Research Group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Anthea is the founding Director of the RCH National Child Health Poll.

Anthea is passionate about health literacy, health promotion and effective science communication. Through her work on the RCH Poll, Anthea seeks to put the voice of Australian children and families at the heart of the conversation about common and current child health issues.

Anthea is a mum to four children, including her own ‘COVID baby’.


Dr Mary-Anne Measey

Senior Researcher and Project Manager

Mary-Anne has worked in the field of public health and epidemiology in a variety of settings including state health departments and academia. She has been involved in population health research and developing public health information to guide evidence-based health policy and practice at state and national level. Her research interests include the prevention of ill-health, paediatric and perinatal epidemiology, and the antecedents of ill-health across the life course. Mary-Anne is passionate about the communication and promotion of information to improve child health. She has a PhD in perinatal and paediatric epidemiology (University of Western Australia), a Master of Public Health (University of Sydney) and a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (University of Sydney).

Carolyn Bedggood

Digital Engagement Advisor

Carolyn is a multi-award-winning designer with more than 20 years of experience, working in both advertising agencies and businesses. Since 2011, Carolyn has been a valued member of the Creative Services team at The Royal Children’s Hospital and most recently transitioned to the Digital and Online team in 2019. She is a highly proficient designer with outstanding technical expertise, and has a passion for digital communications, supporting our digital and online team with web and app design and build. Carolyn has experience in both Australian and the U.K. markets across a wide range of print and electronic media, making her a valuable all-rounder on the RCH Poll team.

Prof Gary L Freed

Project Mentor

Gary L. Freed MD, MPH is the Director of the Health Systems and Workforce Unit, Professor of Population Health at the University of Melbourne and Visiting Scholar in Health Care Policy at the RCH. He currently divides his time between Melbourne and Ann Arbor, Michigan where he is the Murphy Professor of Paediatrics in the School of Medicine and Professor of Health Management and Policy in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. For 15 years Prof Freed was Director of General Paediatrics and Director of the Child Health Evaluation and Research (CHEAR) Unit at the University of Michigan. He is a frequent consultant to state and federal agencies in the United States as well as the Institute of Medicine and the World Health Organisation.

A.Prof Daryl Efron

Project Mentor

Daryl is a general and developmental-behavioural paediatrician at The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Senior Research Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and Associate Professor in the University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics. A.Prof Efron’s research areas include ADHD, psychopharmacology, models of care for children with developmental disorders, and the mental health service system for children and adolescents. He is interested in health-education interface, and also novel clinical trials e.g. medicinal cannabis for children with autism spectrum disorder. A.Prof Efron is on the steering groups of the Australian Paediatric Research Network and the Children’s Inpatient Research Collaboration of Australia and New Zealand.

Survey methods

The RCH National Child Health Poll is a quarterly survey of a nationally representative sample of 2000 Australian households with children. The surveys are conducted by the Online Research Unit (ORU) using rigorous established web-based survey technology. Each sample is subsequently weighted to reflect the latest Australian population figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics census data.

Each quarter a different topic or theme is the focus of the poll. The process for selecting poll topics is responsive to and informed by the national political and social agenda. For more detailed information, read about the poll survey methods.