ASHA award for Dr Elissa Kennedy

Burnet Institute’s Dr Elissa Kennedy has been recognised for excellence in research, advocacy and teamwork with the Australian Sexual Health Alliance Mid-Career Interdisciplinary Achiever Award for 2020.

The award is presented annually to an individual working in the field of sexual health who has demonstrated outstanding achievements, leadership and advocacy as a member of an interdisciplinary team over the previous 12 months.

Dr Kennedy, Burnet’s Co-Program Director Maternal and Child Health, and Co-Head of Global Adolescent Health, said she was grateful for the acknowledgment, but also surprised to win the award.

“What I’m most proud of is the recognition for the amazing team of people that I work with at Burnet and also the strength of the collaborations that we have in Asia and the Pacific,” Dr Kennedy said.

“Adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights is incredibly complex and requires creative thinking and diverse expertise and I’ve been privileged to be able to work with some amazing teams of young people, researchers, policymakers and practitioners, not only across the health sector, but the education sector as well.

“That’s enabled us to come up with new understandings and new ways of approaching some really significant challenges in the region.”

Dr Kennedy’s recent projects include the first ever comprehensive analysis of gender inequality among 0-18-year-olds globally conducted in partnership with UNICEF, and a comprehensive analysis of the sexual and reproductive health of young people in the Asia-Pacific region in partnership with UNFPA.

She’s also the co-leader of a multidisciplinary implementation research project in Myanmar to strengthen school-based sexuality education and the quality of adolescent sexual health services.

The award was announced and presented virtually during the 2020 ASHA Sexual Health Conference.

Burnet Institute’s Dr Megan Lim was the inaugural winner of this award in 2015 for her work focused on the impact of social media and mobile technologies on the sexual development of young people.

Find out how you can SUPPORT Burnet’s work in Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health.

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