Three questions with… Professor Debra Anderson, Founder and Director of the Women’s Wellness Research Collaborative (WWRC) and Dean of Health at University of Technology Sydney
1. What inspired you to establish the Women’s Wellness Research Collaborative?
I have been a champion for women’s health throughout my career and I’ve made it my mission to look at ways to help other women get the most out of life. This often comes down to making certain lifestyle changes that help us be the best we can be – from making better food choices, drinking more water, doing more exercise or taking up meditation.
So, after years of study and working in various roles with other likeminded researchers, I saw an opportunity to bring together some of the brightest minds in women’s wellness and form the Women’s Wellness Research Collaborative. We’re an international collective of women’s health researchers, focused on helping women live life to the fullest, at every stage of life – from younger women, through to midlife women, women with a cancer diagnosis and women with type 2 diabetes. I think that if we can successfully support women to change certain lifestyle habits then we have the potential to improve their lives and their health trajectory as they progress through life.
2. What is the greatest health challenge facing women today?
There is a lot ‘wellness’ information out there for women that was overwhelming and not evidenced-based – and this presents a real challenge for women today.
Women often don’t know where to turn to for practical, evidence-based information about how to improve their health and wellbeing. I wanted to be able to help women sift through the noise in the wellness and wellbeing space and provide them with evidence-based information to support their quality of life.
3. What impact do you hope the WWRC will have on the health and wellbeing of women across Australia and the world?
Our goal is to help women ‘be the best they can be’ regardless of their age, culture or current health status.
We aim to have a strong impact on women’s health and wellbeing both nationally and globally by supporting women with the latest evidence-based, age and culturally appropriate programs and information that is easy to understand and supports their health and wellbeing at every stage of life.