A NSW Government website


Population Health Research and Evaluation

The Population Health Research and Evaluation Hub leads and delivers high-quality research and evaluation to inform the development and implementation of effective population health programs for Sydney Local Health District and NSW.

Since 2020, the team has collectively published 40 high-quality peer reviewed articles including JAMA Pediatrics; Pediatric Obesity; BMJ and Journal Medical Internet Research. We have attracted more than $6 million in Category 1 project funding (for example Medical Research Future Fund; National Health and Medical Research Council grants schemes; and local district funding schemes). Our team leads and collaborates with world-renowned researches in health promotion, obesity prevention and the first 2000 days of life. 

Major Grants



Funder Ref

Project Title

Funding Period

Department of Health (Federal Government)

MRFF – Preventive and Public Health Research


Developing and evaluating an interactive web-based Healthy Beginnings program for preventing obesity in the first years of life.


Department of Health (Commonwealth Government) 

National Nutrition Grant


Connecting the Dots for Healthy Beginnings in Early Childhood – A National Approach.


National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence Grants


Centre of Research Excellence in the Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood-Translate (EPOCH-translate).


National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

NHMRC Partnership Grants


A partnership approach linking two randomised controlled trials for optimising early obesity prevention programs for children under 3 years.


National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

NHMRC Partnership Grants


Parenting Improving health and service-use outcomes through health literacy training for new parents: an effectiveness-implementation hybrid trial.


National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

NHMRC Ideas Grants


Economic Modelling for Childhood Obesity.


National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

NHMRC Ideas Grants


TOPCHILD (Transforming Obesity Prevention for CHILDren): Looking into the black box of interventions.


Cancer Institute NSW

Innovations in Cancer Control


Breast Cancer Concierge Program for Arabic, Cantonese, Italian, Korean, Mandarin and Vietnamese speaking patients.


Sydney Local Health District

Sydney Institute for Women, Children and their families, Seed funding


Taking health literacy and cultural context into consideration in developing a web-based Healthy Beginnings program for CALD communities.


Sydney Local Health District

Pitch Funding


Co-designing and co-facilitating online early childhood nutrition workshops for culturally and linguistically diverse families.


Research Papers and Publications

Healthy Beginnings Research

Healthy Beginnings is the flagship research program of Population Health Research and Evaluation Hub. Over the past 15 years, in partnership with the University of Sydney and other Local Health Districts, we have developed, implemented and evaluated a suit of Healthy Beginnings programs aiming to improve healthy growth in the first 2000 days of life.

This staged early childhood health promotion program delivered by Child and Family Health Nurses, has helped over 2000 families in NSW to form healthy lifestyles from birth. The home-visiting Healthy Beginnings was the world first early prevention project to show its effectiveness in preventing early onset childhood obesity, reported in the BMJ. It is now listed on the United States Department of Health and Human Services website as an evidence-based model in early childhood.

Continuously funded by National Health And Medical Research Council, NSW Health Translational Research Grants Scheme (TRGS), The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and Federal Government’s Health Department, Healthy Beginnings has been adapted into a telehealth model and also culturally adapted for Arabic and Chinese speaking communities.

Currently, an interactive web-based Healthy Beginnings program is being developed. Healthy beginnings is also being imbedded into Karitane, one of Australia’s largest parenting service programs. For more information about Healthy Beginnings, go to healthybeginnings.net.au