Dr Emma Webster

DrPH
Senior Lecturer: Rural Research
School of Rural Health

Telephone 0258099423
Fax 0259099498

Website School of Rural Health
Kidsafe NSW

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Biographical details

Dr Webster (nee Craythorn) is Senior Lecturer in Rural Research at the School of Rural Health in Dubbo. Before coming to academia in 2015, she worked in Health Promotion and Public Health (in management, research and evaluation) for Greater Western Area Health Service, followed by 10 years with the Rural Research Capacity Building Program run by NSW Health. She has a BSc (Hons 1A) from the University of Western Australia (1992) and a Doctor of Public Health from Flinders University (2010).

Having lived and worked in western NSW for 25 years, Dr Webster has built enduring collaborations with numerous public and private organisations, agencies and community groups, and has a strong academic network across rural NSW. She currently serves on the School of Rural Health Executive, the Western NSW Health Research Network Steering Committee and the Kidsafe NSW Council, and previously served on the Australian Rural Health Research Collaboration Advisory Council. She also continues to contribute to the Rural Research Capacity Building Program, teaching research methods and mentoring Program candidates.


Research interests

Dr Webster’s research combines her experience in public health and health promotion with expertise in the application of both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. She particularly enjoys working in a way that strengthens social capital with a view to improving the social determinants of health. She collaborates with public and private health providers to undertake health services research to drive improvements in care for rural communities.

Dr Webster is passionate about improving health care and health outcomes for rural and regional communities and building the research capacity of clinicians in rural and regional areas. Her work encompasses collaborating with Aboriginal people and communities, acknowledging Aboriginal values (axiology), ways of knowing (epistemology) and doing (methodology).She has recently applied the concept of a ‘decolonising gaze’ to enhance the participation of Aboriginal people in research.

Dr Webster convenes a monthly Research Interest Group which provides a forum for encouragement and development of research skills in novice researchers from health and education backgrounds.

Dr Webster has recently undertaken consultancy work for the Western NSW Primary Health Network, Marathon Health, Southern NSW Local Health District and NSW Health Education and Training Institute. She has been invited by the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation to co-present a keynote and workshop on 8 Ways of Aboriginal learning and clinical yarning with respected Aboriginal Educator Sharon Taylor.

Higher degree research opportunities

Dr Webster’s particular interest is in supervising rural clinician researchers to undertake a research higher degree where the research topic is close to practice and research findings are likely to enhance services or improve patient, community or population outcomes. Potential candidates are encouraged to discuss their ideas with Dr Webster.

Would you like to volunteer as a research assistant?

Opportunities exist for research volunteers in Dubbo, who, supervised by Dr Webster, work alongside local health services and academics to assist undertaking research, evaluation or reporting on health programs. Past volunteers have assisted with tasks such as: designing research protocols, performing literature searches, collecting data, cleaning data, analysing data, collaborating with others, presenting findings; and writing for publication. These experiences have assisted past volunteers to build their research curriculum vitae and develop their research networks, but most importantly volunteering has given them a realistic experience of undertaking research prior to committing to a research higher degree or research related career.

To apply to be a research volunteer, please e-mail the following to Dr Emma Webster (emma.webster@sydney.edu.au):

  • A cover letter outlining why you are interested in this research training opportunity, and the number of hours, days and available start and end dates.
  • Your curriculum vitae including the contact details of your referees.
  • Your academic transcript, or other documents that include grades achieved in your current and / or previous degree.

Teaching and supervision

Dr Webster teaches research methods to clinicians and teaches Population Medicine to Stage 3 at Sydney Medical School. She supervises rural clinicians undertaking research, MD student research projects, summer scholars, higher degree research students and research volunteers. She also coordinates a collaboration of rural academics who teach research methods to rural clinicians, as part of NSW Health’s Rural Research Capacity Building Program. She has herself supervised approximately 100 graduates of this program.

Current research students

Project title Research student
�Investigating prescription rates and attitudes towards medicines to prevent relapse in Indigenous Australians with alcohol use disorders� Gemma KHODR

Current projects

  • Employing clinical ‘yarning’ to improve communication in healthcare between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal clinicians.
  • Undertaking a qualitative enquiry to better understand why patients with low acuity conditions present to a rural hospital Emergency Department and develop recommendations to improve access to health services to address patient needs
  • Development of a practice-based research network for western and far western NSW to create a community of practice for rural clinician researchers
  • Undertaking a qualitative enquiry into on-farm use of quad bikes to better understand how and why farmers choose to use quad bikes for farm work
  • Evaluation of acceptability and effectiveness of hairdressers as peer educators to encourage breast screening in women aged 50-74 years

Awards and honours

  • 2015 Certificate of Appreciation from NSW Health Education and Training Institute for contributions to the NSW Rural Research Capacity Building Program 2006-2015
  • 2000 Active Australia Awards ‘Highly Commended’ for Macquarie Area Health Service as a Large Provider
  • NSW Better Health Good Health Care Awards 2000. Finalist in the Working in Partnerships category “Active Communities”
  • NSW Better Health Good Health Care Awards 1999. Finalist in the Working in Partnerships category “Creating supportive environments for physical activity”

Selected grants

2018

  • Yarning in healthcare settings; Webster E, Wild J, Luscombe G, Collett J, Riley L, Walke E, Brown A, Martin T, Hawke C; DVC Education/Large Educational Innovation Grant.

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Book Chapters

  • Webster, E., Johnson, C., Johnson, M., Kemp, B., Smith, V., Townsend, B. (2017). Engaging Aboriginal people in research: taking a decolonizing gaze. In Pranee Liamputtong (Eds.), Handbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences, (pp. 1-17). Singapore: Springer. [More Information]

Journals

  • Webster, E., Johnson, C., Kemp, B., Smith, V., Johnson, M., Townsend, B. (2017). Theory that explains an Aboriginal perspective of learning to understand and manage diabetes. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 41(1), 27-31. [More Information]
  • Schmidt, D., Robinson, K., Webster, E. (2014). Factors influencing attrition from a researcher training program. International Journal for Researcher Development, 5(1), 56-67. [More Information]
  • Webster, E., Thomas, M., Ong, N., Cutler, L. (2011). Rural research capacity building program: capacity building outcomes. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 17(1), 107-113. [More Information]
  • Fitzgerald, E., Bunde-Birouste, A., Webster, E. (2009). Through the eyes of children: engaging primary school-aged children in creating supportive school environments for physical activity and nutrition. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 20(2), 127-132.

2017

  • Webster, E., Johnson, C., Johnson, M., Kemp, B., Smith, V., Townsend, B. (2017). Engaging Aboriginal people in research: taking a decolonizing gaze. In Pranee Liamputtong (Eds.), Handbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences, (pp. 1-17). Singapore: Springer. [More Information]
  • Webster, E., Johnson, C., Kemp, B., Smith, V., Johnson, M., Townsend, B. (2017). Theory that explains an Aboriginal perspective of learning to understand and manage diabetes. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 41(1), 27-31. [More Information]

2014

  • Schmidt, D., Robinson, K., Webster, E. (2014). Factors influencing attrition from a researcher training program. International Journal for Researcher Development, 5(1), 56-67. [More Information]

2011

  • Webster, E., Thomas, M., Ong, N., Cutler, L. (2011). Rural research capacity building program: capacity building outcomes. Australian Journal of Primary Health, 17(1), 107-113. [More Information]

2009

  • Fitzgerald, E., Bunde-Birouste, A., Webster, E. (2009). Through the eyes of children: engaging primary school-aged children in creating supportive school environments for physical activity and nutrition. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 20(2), 127-132.

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