Home' Southern Health News : November 2017 Contents Twice the Tall Poppy
“Professor Tracey Wade, my PhD and Post-
Doctorate Supervisor, and Professor Bogda
Koczwara, have been collaborating with me
the whole way through. While it’s been quite
independent work, without their continued
support it wouldn’t have happened,” she said.
Lisa said Finding My Way was developed to meet
a need in the community.
“We recognised that although my clinical service
at Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) is fully booked,
it isn’t for everyone. There are people out there
who are really distressed but they can’t come to
the hospital for a number of reasons.
“They could live out in the country, or they might
not like coming into a hospital environment or
they might not feel comfortable talking to a
psychologist. My research has been about getting
resources and support to that group of patients
who otherwise wouldn’t be seeing anyone,” she
Through smaller trials, focus groups and patient
consultation, Lisa developed six modules to cover
the most commonly experienced issues that
people face while undergoing cancer treatment.
This then led to a large national four-year clinical
trial, funded by the National Health and Medical
Lisa found that compared to simply receiving
online informational material, patients who used
Finding My Way had a better quality of life. It
reduced their need to access other health services
and some participants reported that it made them
more open to accessing further psychological
“Some people said it broke down that initial
barrier, they did this as a first step and it’s
made them more willing to accept face-to-face
treatment later on,” she said.
Underscoring all Lisa’s achievements so far has been
her ability to run a national trial while working part
time and raising two children under six.
“I work as a Clinical Psychologist at FMC one day
a week, and do two days of research based at
both Flinders University and the Cancer Council
SA, as a Cancer Council SA Postdoctoral Fellow.
“I think when you’re having to give up time with
your children to be at work, you want to make
sure what you’re doing is high value and vice-
versa it makes you appreciate your family life
more too,” she said.
As a Young Tall Poppy Science Award winner,
Lisa will become an ambassador, encouraging
young people towards careers in science as well
as shining a light on the importance of scientific
research to the wider community.
“I’ve done some teaching already but I haven’t
had an opportunity to go into schools and I’m
looking forward to it.
“I think communicating science to the community
has never been more important than right now,”
The Tall Poppy of the Year Award winner was
announced at the SA Science Excellence Awards
on Friday 11 August 2017.
“I was so honoured to be a finalist as the three
other women I was up against were all very
“It was a win for women in Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)," she said.
Dr Lisa Beatty from
the Flinders Centre for
Innovation in Cancer
recently won the 2017 SA
Young Tall Poppy Award.
BY WISHA SMITH
A PhD project started 12 years ago at
Flinders by Dr Lisa Beatty has become
an international tool for helping people
cope with their cancer diagnoses.
Now Lisa is being recognised twice for all
her hard work, counting herself among eight
researchers awarded the South Australian (SA)
Young Tall Poppy award from the Australian
Institute of Policy and Science as well as one of
four finalists for the Tall Poppy of the Year award
for the SA Department of State Development.
Lisa said she was thrilled to receive the Young
Tall Poppy Science Award, which is designed to
recognise the success and achievements of young
scientists across Australia.
“I’m not drawn to the limelight naturally but it’s
an opportunity to promote the work we’ve been
doing and build the profile of psychology as a
science,” she said.
Lisa’s work - which started as part of her PhD
project at the Flinders University College of
Education, Psychology and Social Work 12 years
ago - has become Finding My Way, a free online
resource offering psychological support and
guidance to people undergoing cancer treatment.
What started as a print based workbook has
become an international resource for cancer
patients and is being trialled in the United States,
the United Kingdom, Germany and Romania.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have two women
who have been very instrumental in mentoring,
supervising and guiding me.
SPECIAL RESEARCH EDITION
SOUTHERN HEALTH NEWS / NOVEMBER 2017 / 7
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