Higher Degree Research Students

PhD group photo

Some of our HDR-students (left to right): Liz van Ekert, Andrea Smith, Kristen Pickles, Siun Gallagher, Jonnie Kennedy, Jane Williams, Lisa Parker

Our PhD and MPhil students are listed alphabetically by surname:


Enrolled Degree

Thesis Title/Topic




Placebo and nocebo in medicine and medical education 

Ian Kerridge, Cameron Stewart



The Epistemology and Ethics of Intersex in Medicine and Law

Chris Jordens, Ainsley Newson

Michelle DE’SOUSA


Pre-implantation Genetic Testing: A Comparative Analysis of the Regulatory Systems of Three Countries

Cameron Stewart,  Ian Kerridge



Exploring the implications of the ‘consumerist’ model of healthcare, the value of autonomy and shared decision making in the context of developments in personal genomics

Ainsley Newson, Angus Dawson

Gemma DYER


The experience of survival following bone marrow transplantation in Australia

Ian Kerridge, Christopher Ward



Human Rights, Dual Loyalties and the Ethics: Healthcare Workers in Australian Immigration Detention

Chris Jordens, Angus Dawson



Valuing for Others: The Role of the Value Proxy in Substituted Decision Making

Chris Ryan, Sascha Callaghan and John McMillan (Otago, NZ)



Coping with a competitive health system: learning experiences and tips for clinician lobbyists

Claire Hooker, David Isaacs



Is prevention of healthcare-associated infection doctors’ business? Ethics and politics of hospital infection control

Ian Kerridge, Julie Mooney-Somers



Data Sharing, Consent and Altruism in Australian Genomics Research

Ainsley Newson, Wendy Lipworth

Larissa LEWIS PhD Social Media and Adolescent Development Rachel Skinner, Julie Mooney-Somers
Bronwen MORRELL PhD Animal Cures? A Critical Examination of the Use of Animal Parts and Products in Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines Ian Kerridge, Wendy Lipworth, Rob Irvine, Chris Degeling
Jessica PACE PhD The Ethics and Politics of Accelerated Access to Medicines, Including Coverage with Evidence Development Wendy Lipworth, Ian Kerridge, Sallie Pearson 

Suzanne PLATER

see 'In the Spotlight below

PhD Are we serious yet? Improving Higher Education Access, Participation and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Adults from Welfare-Embedded Populations Julie Monney-Somers, Jo Lander
Russell SHUTE MPhil Consumer Engagement in Pharmaceutical Policy Making Wendy Lipworth, Ian Kerridge, Narcyz Ghinea
Jindalae SKERMAN PhD Reclaiming Childbirth: Choice, Control and Coercion in Australian Materinity Care Ainsley Newson, Cameron Stewart
Amelia SMIT PhD How Should Genomics be Incorporated into Australian Healthcare to Improve Cancer Prevention and Screening in the Population? Anne Cust, Ainsley Newson, Megan Best
Andrea SMITH PhD Quitting Smoking Without Assistance Stacy Carter, Simon Chapman
Miriam Wiersma  MPhil The Allure of Biomedical Innovation: What are the Social and Psychological Motivators for Doctors' use of Innovative Treatments? Wendy Lipworth, Ian Kerridge
In the spotlight: Suzanne Plater
Suzanne Plater headshot

Suzanne Plater, 4th-year PhD Candidate

Before becoming the academic coordinator for the Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion at the Sydney School of Public Health, Suzanne worked in remote Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities as the Deadly Ears Health Promotion Coordinator. Working with older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people taught Suzanne about their remarkable strengths and capabilities, and their determination to progress as individuals and to develop their families and communities. She also witnessed how they were often overlooked by governments, institutions and agencies in favour of their younger urban-based counterparts.
Suzanne decided to devote her PhD, which she commenced in 2013, to exploring what a university education means to mature-age Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people primarily from remote communities. She travelled more than 16,000 kms by road to collect data using Grounded Theory with an ethnographic element. In June 2016, she will retrace her journey and, with the help of her remote study participants, construct conceptual categories and commence building a theory. Suzanne has presented her work at various forums and written two papers from her PhD (one under review, one available as fulltext here). She is also co-authoring the book chapter, ‘Decolonising Grounded Theory’ with A/Prof Stacy Carter for a new edition of The Sage Handbook of Grounded Theory. Suzanne’s academic profile and contact details.

Information for future Higher Research Degree students at VELiM