About the RCH National Child Health Poll
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 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’.
Ms Alison Errey
Executive Director Communications
For more than 25 years, Alison has led communications, corporate affairs and business transformation programs for some of the country’s largest and most complex organisations. She led the creation of a $20m community foundation and negotiated a national-first partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission to champion workforce reform for mature Australians. With a background in news journalism, Alison has had an extensive career in media and issues management in the NSW public sector across the police, education and health portfolios. Alison has complemented her career with a number of Board appointments in children’s welfare and sports administration. Alison was appointed to the role of Executive Director Communications at the RCH in April 2017.
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).
Dr Monsurul Hoq
Monsurul Hoq is a Biostatistician (Senior Research Officer) at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and is the data analyst for the RCH National Child Health Poll. He has contributed to research projects across a wide range of child health topics at MCRI. Prior to living in Australia, he has obtained a wealth of global experience, working for non-government organisations in Bangladesh and South Sudan. Monsurul has a PhD from The University of Melbourne and has a Master of Public Health, a Master and a Bachelor of Statistics from well reputed universities in Bangladesh. His aim is to advocate appropriate use of the statistical methods to inform clinical and public health practice.
Tara Corcoran is a communications professional with experience managing content for not-for-profit, private and public organisations. Tara developed resources with peak body Early Childhood Australia and held the position of in-house Editor for the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood. At the University of Canberra, she led a team to manage the production of digital and print content including the UnCover storytelling platform. Tara has experience with media management, crisis communications and public relations and joined The Royal Children’s Hospital corporate communications team in 2021. Tara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the Australian National University and a Graduate Certificate in Editing and Electronic Publishing from Macquarie University.
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
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
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.
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.