Meet our Researchers - Finding the Answers that help ISCRR make a difference

MEET....Dr Sharon Newnam

Finding the Answers that help ISCRR make a difference

Dr Sharon Newnam works as a Senior Research Fellow in the Monash Injury Research Institute. She is trained as an organisational psychologist and her research focuses on the areas of injury prevention and injury outcomes. Dr Newnam believes that research in injury prevention and outcome will help to prevent injury and reduce the impacts following injury. Prior to moving to Monash in 2012, Dr Newnam's primary program of research was in organisational safety, focusing on workplace road safety. She has continued this program of research at Monash University and was awarded a NHMRC project grant in 2013 and is currently working on an injury outcome project focused on determining the outcomes of compensable injury in Australia.  

Dr Sharon Newnam is one of over 60 researchers who make up the ISCRR research network. Many who form part of ISCRR's network of researchers, like Sharon, help ISCRR find the answers which help make a difference to preventing occupational injury and ill health.

Where do you work?

MIRI – the Monash Injury Research Institute

MIRI is one of the world's most comprehensive injury prevention research centres. At MIRI, we focus on the prevention of injury as well as the treatment and recovery from injury (injury outcomes, acute care).It is unique in being grounded in scientific and academic excellence, while producing research which has real-life implications which are often translated into policy. 

Where were you prior to starting at MIRI?

Queensland University of Technology

How long have you been a researcher with ISCRR?

Three years

What area of research are you working in and what attracted you to this type of research?

I work in the areas of injury outcome and injury prevention. I am attracted to these research areas as I can apply my theoretical knowledge within industry and government. Furthermore, I am fortunate enough to work in multidisciplinary groups, which gives me the opportunity to learn from other exceptionally talented researchers.

What do you like best about your role?

Research translation! I like translating my research into outcomes which can be used to prevent injury and better health outcomes for people following injury.

What was the most fulfilling piece of research you completed?

Based on years of investigating the factors influencing the safety of work-related drivers, I have translated this information into behavioural programs designed to improve workplace road safety. These programs have been found to be successful in improving safe driver behaviour. The programs are my most fulfilling pieces of research because they are the ultimate research translation tool. 

How is your research benefiting/providing impact WorkSafe and the TAC?

Understanding individual behaviour is extremely challenging. My research aims to provide insight, recommendations, and practical outcomes to VWA and TAC in addressing the behavioural side of injury prevention and injury outcomes. 

What is the best piece of advice you've been given, and what would you give?

'There is nothing more practical than a good theory'. 

You can learn a lot about yourself by reflecting on others behaviour (or theory!)

Describe yourself in three words.

Enthusiastic, motivated, positive