Let’s Talk Early Menopause webinar series now accessible online!

March 2021

To coincide with World Menopause Day 2020 and its theme of Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI), researchers from our Early Menopause project, women with lived experience, and some of our partner organisations came together to host a series of three webinars on early menopause held in October and November 2020. These were recorded and we are pleased to announce that all three are now available to watch online!

Each webinar had a different theme – the first explored spontaneous early menopause and POI, the second focused on early menopause following cancer treatment, and the final was on early menopause following breast cancer treatment.

Webinars began with short presentations from an endocrinologist (Dr Amanda Vincent), a woman with lived experience, a health and family sociologist (Dr Kate Johnston-Ataata) and an obstetrician-gynaecologist (Dr Jacqueline Boyle). In the second half, participants had the opportunity to ask questions of the presenters, with Dr Rhonda Garad (a knowledge translation specialist) as moderator.

For more details and links, please see below.

Let’s Talk Spontaneous Early Menopause

Co-hosted by Women’s Health Victoria, 19 October 2020
Featuring Early Menopause: Women’s Experiences research participant Kirsty (diagnosed with spontaneous POI at age 31).

Let’s Talk Early Menopause and Cancer

Co-hosted by Counterpart, 16 November 2020
Featuring Counterpart Consumer Representative Rebecca (diagnosed with breast cancer at age 41)


Let’s Talk Early Menopause and Breast Cancer

Hosted by Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI), 30 November 2020
Featuring BCNA Consumer Representative Tania (diagnosed with breast cancer at age 32).


Healthtalk Australia & Equally Well join forces for new project on physical health experiences of people who have accessed mental health services

July 2020

Healthtalk Australia is pleased to be collaborating with Equally Well on new research exploring the physical health experiences of people who have accessed mental health services. Thirty people from across NSW and Victoria will be interviewed on film and audio, and their experiences will be used to develop online resources to support and inform other people with physical and mental health concerns, their family and friends, and health practitioners. Supported by the National Mental Health Commission, NSW Mental Health Commission and the Victorian Department of Health, the project will be conducted by researchers at RMIT University and Charles Sturt University. See here for more details or to register your interest in participating.


Healthtalk Australia researchers receive ARC funding for new project exploring experiences of Borderline Personality Disorder

January 2020

Healthtalk Australia researchers have been awarded ARC funding (Linkage Scheme) for a new project titled 'Borderline Personality Disorder as Social Phenomena'. Professor Renata Kokanović, Director of Healthtalk Australia, will lead the interdisciplinary project together with a team of researchers from RMIT University, Orygen, Mind Australia, Spectrum, Sane Australia and University of London (Birkbeck; Goldsmiths).

The project will collect and analyse accounts of people living with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and perspectives of social support practitioners in order to provide a sophisticated understanding of BPD as a social phenomenon, develop sociological evidence based on lived experiences, and generate Australian digital resources (including narratives of BPD, creative outputs and practitioner perspectives). Partners on the project include the Victorian Department of Health, Mind Australia, National Mental Health Commission, Mental Health Victoria, Neami National, Eastern Health, Sane Australia, Melbourne Health and the Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network (Australia).


Victorian Minister for Women launches new online resources on early menopause for women and health practitioners

November 2019

Two new Healthtalk Australia online resources on early menopause aimed at women & health practitioners were launched by the Victorian Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams MP on 4 November at Women’s Health Victoria. Over morning tea, attendees heard from the research team, Minister Williams, Monash University Provost Professor Marc Palange and Women's Health Victoria CEO Dianne Hill, before research participant Natalie wrapped up proceedings by generously sharing her story and thoughts about the website.

The resources were created as a result of a NHMRC Partnership Project entitled 'Early Menopause: Experiences and Perspectives of Women & Health Practitioners', a joint endeavour between RMIT University, Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, the Women's, University of Western Australia, our 7 partner organisations (National Breast Cancer Foundation, Healthdirect Australia, Monash Health, Women's Health Victoria, Breast Cancer Network Australia, Australasian Menopause Society and Endocrine Society of Australia), the many members of our Reference Group, and the 30 women and 16 health practitioners who were interviewed for the research.

We invite you to have a look at the two websites and share them with your networks! Access them via the Healthtalk Australia home page, or by clicking on Topics at the top and scrolling down to Early Menopause.

Image: The Hon Gabrielle Williams MP and the research team

Healthtalk Australia researchers part of new NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence on Women’s Health in Reproductive Life

September 2019

Renata Kokanović and Kate Johnston-Ataata are set to continue their research collaboration on women’s experiences of reproductive health with Helena Teede and her team at the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation (MCHRI), Monash University. Renata is an Associate Investigator and Kate a Research Fellow on the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence on Women’s Health in Reproductive Life (WHIRL) announced on 29 August 2019. A five-year research program led by Helena, CRE-WHIRL is aimed at better understanding of and effective knowledge translation in relation to key problems in women’s reproductive health – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), infertility and early menopause. Renata and Kate’s involvement in CRE-WHIRL builds on their existing collaboration with MCHRI through the Early Menopause: Women’s Experiences and Health Practitioners’ Perspectives NHMRC Partnership Project.


Healthtalk Australia mental health resources to be included on Head to Health website

August 2019

Healthtalk Australia learned recently that our four mental health digital resources (on mental health and supported decision-making, mental health and carers’ experiences, depression, and emotional experiences of early parenthood) have been approved for inclusion on the Head to Health website. Head to Health is a national digital platform providing links to credible, high quality Australian digital and phone supports, resources and treatment options for mental health, and is working towards establishing a national certification framework for digital mental health services. Currently Healthtalk Australia is one of only 33 organisations nation-wide listed on the Head to Health platform. Testament to the high quality of Healthtalk Australia’s digital repository of health experiences, our mental health resources received written support and endorsement from our key stakeholder and project partner, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services as part of the application process.


Healthtalk Australia is on Facebook!

July 2019

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We now have a presence on both Facebook and Twitter - check out our page at @healthtalkaus to see what we have been up to!


Oxford Brookes University's Professor Tina Miller launches 'Paths to Parenthood' in Melbourne

Image: Professor Tina Miller and co-editor Dr Kate Johnston-Ataata

February 2019

On a hot afternoon in late February, Healthtalk Australia and RMIT's Social and Global Studies Centre were delighted to host Professor Tina Miller, visiting from Oxford Brookes University in the UK. Professor Miller launched our edited collection Paths to Parenthood: Emotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Parenting (Kokanovic, Michaels and Johnston-Ataata, 2018, Palgrave MacMillan).

Professor Miller, herself a renowned scholar of the transition to parenthood, described the book as ‘ambitious’ and ‘innovative’ in its interdisciplinary, collective analysis of a single dataset. Summarising Paths to Parenthood, she commented: ‘Together, the chapters weave a highly readable account of contemporary experiences of Australian parenting, with attention to historical, cultural and policy contexts, while evoking the intensity and overwhelming emotional experience which is motherhood, fatherhood, and parenthood.’

Copies of the book are available from Palgrave Macmillan here and at all good university libraries!

Image: Professor Renata Kokanovic's opening remarks at the launch.

Hot off the press! 'Paths to Parenthood: Emotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Parenthood' out now from Palgrave MacMillan

August 2018

We are thrilled to announce that Paths to Parenthood: Emotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Parenthood (Kokanovic, Michaels and Johnston-Ataata) is now available in e-book format from Palgrave MacMillan (hard copy due out in September 2018). An edited collection with a difference, Paths to Parenthood is based on analysis of the Emotional Experiences of Early Parenthood project interview data by 11 Australian scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds. The chapters carefully chart the emotional trajectories of becoming a parent from conception through to early parenthood of a diverse group of 38 mothers and 10 fathers living in contemporary Australia. In the words of reviewer and social historian Dr Kerreen Reiger, the stories contained within its pages 'belie idealised images of early parenthood', making the book 'important reading'.


Mental Health and Supported Decision-Making project - Final Report and other resources published

September 2017

A comprehensive suite of downloadable resources on supported decision-making has been produced as a result of the Mental Health and Supported Decision-Making project. These resources are aimed at improving supported decision-making practices for people with experience of severe mental health problems, and to assist family members and other supporters’ participation in supported decision-making. They include the following:

Healthtalk Australia is on Twitter!

July 2017

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We have set up a Twitter account - if you'd like to stay in touch with what we are doing (new publications, projects we are recruiting for, events we're presenting at), and what we're interested in, you can follow us at @healthtalkaus

First book based on a Healthtalk Australia project accepted for publication

May 2017

We are pleased to announce that Palgrave Macmillan has accepted a proposal for an interdisciplinary edited collection exploring emotions during the journey from pregnancy to early parenthood, due for publication in 2018. The collection is based on data from the Emotional Experiences of Early Parenthood in Australian Families project, analysed from a range of disciplinary perspectives including cultural studies, sociology, history, psychiatry, and gender studies. The editors are Professor Renata Kokanovic (RMIT University), Associate Professor Paula Michaels (Monash University), and Kate Johnston-Ataata (HTA Coordinator).