Mary Brushe

Mary Brushe

School of Public Health

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Mary Brushe is a PhD candidate within the University of Adelaide's School of Public Health and a Research Study Manager at Telethon Kids Institute. Her research focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying inequality during the early years, ultimately aiming to reduce inequalities in early childhood development. Her research interests span early childhood development and education, screen time in the early years, inequalities in early language exposure, youth mental health and children's social and emotional wellbeing.

Mary was also selected as one of five PhD candidates across Australia and New Zealand to participate in the 2020 L'Oreal UNESCO For Women in Science Mentoring Program and selected as a finalist from the University of Adelaide in the 2022 CSL Florey Next Generation Award.

Mary is a Adjunct Fellow in the School of Public Health and a Senior Research Office at Telethon Kids Institute. Her research focuses on understanding and supporting the health, development and education of young children. She has a particular interest in screen time in early childhood and how families can be best supported to use screen time in healthy ways. Her PhD focused on the early home language environments, how that impacts early development and early life socioeconomic inequalities. Mary also collaborates on a range of projects focusing on children and adolescent mental health and wellbeing, food insecurity and school breakfast programs, and evaluations of government and non-government early years programs.  

Dr Brushe has expertise in social epidemiology, longitudinal data analysis, participant recruitment and data collection, the development of interventions through co-design methodologies, literature review/synthesis, public health advocacy, and research translation to ensure her research reaches policy makers and the community. 

Mary is also the Vice President of the Public Health Association of Australia (SA Branch), an active member of the 0-3 Early Years Taskforce in South Australia, the PHAA Child and Youth Health Special Interest Group, and the Co-Chair of the Student and Postdoc Committee for the International Social Epidemiology Society. She is always interested in forming new collaborations with passionate researchers, policymakers or practitioners working in public health and the early years system. 

  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2016 - ongoing Study Manager Telethon Kids Institute
    2015 - 2016 Health Promotion Officer Emerging Minds
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2022 Award Embrace Youth Mental Health Award, Conference Category Telethon Kids Institute Australia $2934.00
    2021 Award VOTE Recognition Award Telethon Kids Institute Australia -
    2020 Scholarship Philip Ryan Doctoral Candidate Travel Grant 2020 University of Adelaide Australia -
    2020 Award L'Oreal UNESCO For Women in Science Mentoring Scheme 2020 L'Oreal and UNESCO Australia -
    2019 Award Peers and Partners Travel Award Telethon Kids Institute Australia -
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2018 - 2022 University of Adelaide Australia PhD Candidate (Public Health)
    2011 - 2015 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)
  • Research Interests

Mary has been awarded over $1.3million in Category 1 and 2 funding and over $650,000 in contract research and internal funding. 

  • 2021 - 2024, Brushe, M., Finlay-Jones, A., Brinkman, S., Trapp, G., Melhuish, E., Lynch, J., Reilly, S. Screen time in early childhood: Addressing the next emerging public health crisis. Channel 7 Telethon Trust. 

  • 2019 - 2023, Brinkman, S., Brushe, M., Melhuish, E. Modern families in the era of mobile technology: understanding how the hidden home environment impacts child development. NHMRC Ideas Grant APP1183515.

  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2021 - ongoing Co-Supervisor Influence of school suspensions on child and adolescent wellbeing Telethon Kids Institute Global Health Internship, Princeton University Other - Cindy Cheng
    2020 - 2020 Principal Supervisor Development of a Framework for the Categorisation of Screen-based Children's Content Telethon Kids Institute Public Health Practice Student Internship, University of Western Sydney Other - Georgia Walters
  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2022 - ongoing Member 0-3 Early Years Task Force Raising Literacy Australia Australia
    2021 - ongoing Member Data Linkage Committee Telethon Kids Institute Australia
    2019 - ongoing Treasurer Child and Youth Health Special Interest Group Public Health Association of Australia Australia
    2019 - ongoing Member South Australian Branch Executive Committee, Advisory Coordinator Public Health Association of Australia Australia
    2015 - 2017 Member Youth Advisory Council Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health Australia
    2014 - 2016 Representative Lived Experience Council COPMI National Intitative Australia
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2021 - ongoing Member International Social Epidemiology Society United States
    2019 - ongoing Member Society for Epidemiologic Research United States
    2018 - ongoing Member Public Health Assoiation of Australia Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member Australiasian Epidemiological Association Australia
    2018 - ongoing Member Healthy Development Adelaide Australia
    2017 - ongoing Member International Association for Youth Mental Health Australia
  • Presentation

    Date Topic Presented at Institution Country
    2022 - 2022 Social and Emotional Wellbeing Trajectories throughout Childhood and Adolescence: A longitudinal population level study. - Child and Adolescent Mental Health Conference -
    2021 - 2021 Inequalities in screen time during the early years: Findings from a prospective cohort study. Annual General Meeting Society of Social Medicine and Population Health United Kingdom
    2021 - 2021 The Word Gap: At What Age Does it Emerge? Results from a Prospective Cohort Study. - World Congress of Epidemiology -
    2021 - 2021 At What Age Does the Word Gap Emerge? Findings from the Language in Little Ones Study Australian Early Development Census National Conference 2021 Australian Government Department for Education, Skills and Employment and Telethon Kids Institute Australia
    2020 - 2020 Inequality within the home language environment: Findings from a Prospective Cohort Study. South Australian State Population Health Conference 2020 Public Health Association of Australia (SA Branch) Australia
    2020 - 2020 The Language in Little Ones Research Study Annual General Meeting Playgroup South Australia -
    2019 - ongoing How many words are Australian children hearing in the first year of life? Australian Public Health Conference 2019 Public Health Association of Australia Australia
    2018 - ongoing Language in Little Ones Study - Results from the First Wave Nursing Council South Australian Child and Family Health Service Australia
    2018 - ongoing Language in Little Ones Study - Results from First Wave Buisness Intelligence Technical Forum South Australian Department for Education Australia
    2018 - ongoing The contribution of home language exposure to intergenerational transmission of inequality Australian Early Development Census National Conference 2018 Australian Goverment Department of Education Australia
    2017 - ongoing The Language in Little Ones study Online Interview Early Learning Review Australia
  • Review, Assessment, Editorial and Advice

    Date Title Type Institution Country
    2021 - ongoing Academic Journal Review Journal Review New Ideas in Psychology -
    2021 - 2022 Academic Journal Reviewer Journal Review BMC Public Health -
    2021 - 2021 Academic Journal Reviewer Journal Review Paediatric Medicine -
    2019 - 2019 AEA 2019 Scientific Meeting Abstract Reviewer Conference Review Australiasian Epidemiological Association Australia

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