You are here

Round 3 Grant Outcomes

Date posted: 19th of December 2017

The CRE has just announced the Round 3 Grant outcomes. Applications were of a high calibre and we were impressed with the continuing body of work on otitis media across Australia.

Congratulations to the successful applicants and good luck for your research. We also would like to thank all applicants who made the effort to apply but who were unsuccessful this round.

Congratulations to Jemima Beissbarth who was awarded a CRE Scholarship top-up to complete her PhD at Menzies School of Health Research.

Below are a summary of the successful projects:

Lead Short Title Summary

Dr Chris Brennan-Jones

Telethon Kids Institute

EAR Portal

This study aims to pilot a telehealth program within the Nyoongar Djarli Waakinj program, an Aboriginal ear health program, which provides community ear health surveillance for Aboriginal children living in urban areas in their first 2 years of life.

Using specialist telehealth-enabled equipment and through community consultation we will establish a culturally appropriate telehealth service that will enable local Aboriginal Ear Health Champions to provide a comprehensive ear health care service for children in their community with the support of ENT and Audiology specialists at PMH.

The primary aim of this project is to create an equitable health service for these children by reducing the time to first ENT consultation from more than 2 years to 2 weeks.  

Associate Professor Kelvin Kong

Hunter Medical Research Institute

OM Quality of Life in

Hunter New England

Aboriginal Children

The lack of data for the Hunter New England Local Health Districts (HNELHD) of NSW on the impact of ear disease and hearing loss is associated with a definite disadvantage in accessing adequate health services for children and families affected. With no ENT specialist services outside of Newcastle, the coastal urban centre of the HNE LHD, patients from regional, rural and remote areas experience long waiting lists to access services and are required to travel great distances, which is expensive and often prohibitive to lower income families.

The Quality of Life Study will provide data to present to government and health service representatives and will indicate the direction needed for further qualitative research. Given the uniquely diverse nature of our HNE LHD demographic, data generated from this pilot study will be able to be used by researchers and public health policy makers across Australia to plan future projects and health service delivery.

Professor Amanda Leach

Menzies School of Health Research


The OM-App has been created according to project summary in original application. The OM-Guidelines are in the final stages of completion. The next step are:

1. Finalise the OM-App
2. Test and evaluate the OM-App with Clinicians and Health Workers.

3. Translate key messages from the guidelines into at least 5 Indigenous languages. We envisage that this will help 1-1 clinician communication in rural and remote settings.

4. Ensure OM-APP gains rural and remote uptake. An outreach program for training on usability of OM-App in rural and remote health centres 

Dr Robyn Marsh

Menzies School of Health Research

IHEARBETA Extension Study

The overall aim is to comprehensively characterise the bacteriology underlying CSOM in Aboriginal children.

The reasons why many children with CSOM don’t respond to standard treatments are not understood, but likely reflect factors related to the underlying infection. Current CSOM treatments were informed by culture-based studies that used methods optimised for detection of classical otopathogens; however, these methods may underestimate bacterial diversity as species with atypical growth requirements will not be detected. It is not known whether bacteria undetected by standard culture methods are present (and potentially contributing to treatment failure) in children with CSOM. Microbiota analysis is needed to address this knowledge gap.

Professor Jennifer Reath

Western Sydney University

Hearing Health in Inala

This project aims to determine the prevalence of hearing loss in urban-living four year old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children at Inala Indigenous Health Service (IIHS), and further strengthen Claudette (Sissy) Tyson’s ear health skills and knowledge and her research capacity.

This project will increase Ms Tyson from part-time (0.6FTE) to fulltime (1FTE) for 2 years, to implement a screening program for four year old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children attending IIHS.

IIHS is participating in the NHMRC funded WATCHii and INFLATE trials. Both trials are multicentre, open label randomised trials in urban-living Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. The first is comparing antibiotics to watchful waiting for AOM, and the second is examining nasal balloon auto-inflation for OME.

A key focus of WATCH and INFLATE is valuing and strengthening the skills and knowledge of the Aboriginal ROs

Victoria Stroud and Jane Ogilvie

Telethon Kids Institute

Koorlungkas yarning;

speech pathology clinic

This project is an extension to the CRE_ICHEAR funded ‘Exploring the impact of OM on early language and communication skills in urban Aboriginal families’ project, (now called ‘Koorlungkas Yarning’, Noongar for ‘children talking’), one of three projects within the Urban Aboriginal Ear Health Program (which includes Kadadjiny Dwank and epidemiology and risk factors projects). During discussions with families and Aboriginal health services involved in this research program, they have asked for greater access to speech pathology support for their children.

It will develop a clinical speech pathology service model for study participants that addresses the needs of Aboriginal families so we can create a non-culturally biased, community informed service to better assess the impact of early intervention to language, social and learning outcomes for children with early onset OM. 


For researchers

Otitis Media (OM), sometimes known as glue ear or runny ears…

For health practitioners

Otitis Media (OM), sometimes known as glue ear or runny ears…

For families and communities

Many Indigenous children, and almost all Indigenous children living in remote communities...