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Latest updates from our unit

UVR protection policy statement - Over 90% of skin cancers are considered preventable by following the Sunsmart guidelines

17 October 2018


Bronwen McNoe and Tony Reeder received credit last week, when the Public Health Association members unanimously ratified a newly developed policy statement on UVR protection and skin cancer prevention they had drafted.

Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) protection Policy Statement (PDF)

Our Annual Report 2017 – Fresh off the press

12 April 2018

Annual Report 2017

We would like to share with you our Annual Report for the calendar year 2017!

Read or download the SBRU Annual Report for 2017 (PDF 2.9 MB)

Fresh off the press – take a peek inside to see everything we've accomplished this past year.

If you would like to request a hard copy of the report, please contact Anne-Cathrine Petersen.

Tel +64 3 479 7177

Congratulations to Mary Cane Demecillo for her Bachelor of Medical Science Honours Award

15 March 2018

Our student, Mary Cane Demecillo, was awarded a Bachelor of Medical Science Honours today at a ceremony held at the Otago Medical School. Congratulations from the unit, well done Mary Cane!

See a picture from the ceremony on the Otago Daily Times website

Mary Cane Demecillo's project is titled Otago medical students' perspectives on spirituality and its role in healthcare.

Opinion: Long past time for effective government action on skin cancer levels in New Zealand

26 February 2018

Tony Reeder winter lecture

New Zealand has the highest melanoma skin cancer rate in the world, and we should be embarrassed by it, Associate Professor Tony Reeder writes.

Read the full article on the Otago Daily Times website

Lindsay Robertson presenting at the Achieving Smokefree 2025 Seminar

1 November 2017

Lindsay Robertson is giving a talk titled Overview of the tobacco retail landscape—Policy options to reduce tobacco retail availability and acceptability of options to tobacco retailers at the Achieving Smokefree 2025 Seminar to be held in Te Hāpua Halswell Centre, Christchurch, on the 9th of November 2017.

Lindsay's research explores different tobacco retail policies that could be introduced in New Zealand to change the way tobacco is sold. At the moment tobacco is sold almost everywhere, which is inconsistent with the Government’s goal of becoming a smokefree country by 2025. She has been examining tobacco retail policies that have been introduced in overseas countries: Is there evidence of effectiveness? How acceptable are these policies amongst key stakeholder groups in NZ? What are the likely effects of those policies on smoking? Lindsay is also working on an HRC-funded project on e-cigarettes (led by Professor Janet Hoek) and research on supportive care in cancer.

Lindsay is a member of the ASPIRE2025 research collaboration. In 2016 she was selected as a World Heart Foundation Emerging Leader.

More information about the seminar

Strategic Planning Day

7 August 2017

It has been 3 years since SBRU last time had a Strategic Planning Day, so it was time for our unit to meet and set new goals and focus areas for 2018–2020.

Unit photo at Strategic Planning Day August 2017

From left, top row: Anne Cathrine, Anna, Lindsay, Jude, Bronwen, Rob, and Tony.

Second row: Richard, Aimee, Rose, Judy, and Louise with Eskimo and Tricky.

Richard Egan joins Meaningful Ageing Australia as a research consultant

29 June 2017

Meaningful Ageing Australia logo version 1

Richard Egan has joined Meaningful Ageing Australia as an honorary research consultant. Congratulations from the unit!
Richard Egan            

World No Tobacco Day

31 May 2017

The 31st of May is World No Tobacco Day, and as New Zealand moves towards being smoke free by 2025, ideas coming out of the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine’s Cancer Society Social and Behavioural Research Unit are really important.

Louise Marsh Rob McGee and Lindsay Robertson

Louise Marsh, Lindsay Robertson, and Rob McGee are three key figures in this smokefree research.

The focus of their work is on reducing the availability of tobacco in New Zealand. One of their first studies in this area mapped tobacco retailers throughout NZ and highlighted how widely tobacco is sold, the higher density of tobacco outlets in more deprived neighbourhoods, and the fact that nearly half of all NZ secondary schools have at least one shop that sells tobacco within a 500m walk. This work has led to more recent research exploring different retail policies that could change how tobacco is sold in New Zealand.

If you want to know more, please contact Lindsay Robertson.


SunSmart primary school survey – more than 2,100 letters posted out

17 April 2017

Photo of mailout April 2017

Bronwen McNoe and Tony Reeder are reviewing the Sunsmart Programme in New Zealand, which was launched more than 10 years ago. All primary schools in New Zealand are invited to participate in a 15-minute online survey. If you want to know more about the survey, please email Bronwen McNoe.


Our Annual Report 2016 – Fresh off the press

13 April 2017

Photo of SBRU annual report 2016

We would like to share with you our Annual Report for the calendar year 2016!

Fresh off the press – take a peek inside to see everything we've accomplished this past year.

If you would like to request a hard copy of the report, please contact Anne-Cathrine Petersen.

Lindsay Robertson and Kale Fruean working with Hāpai Te Hauora

17 February 2017

SBRU researchers Lindsay Robertson and Kale Fruean are working with Hāpai Te Hauora on e-cigarette research.

SBRU researchers working with Hapai on e-cigarette research

The 21st Public Health Summer School

Public Health Summer School 201714 February 2017

Louise Marsh and Lindsay Robertson will be presenting at The 21st Public Health Summer School on the 15th of February, at the University of Otago, Wellington. Louise Marsh's lecture will be on "Geospatial modelling of tobacco outlets in New Zealand" and Lindsay Robertson will present "NZ stakeholders’ views on tobacco retail regulation".

Welcome to the summer students in our unit

22 November 2016

We wish our 4 summer students welcome to our unit:

  • Johanna Nee-Nee, who is looking at New Zealand media reports regarding cancer.
  • Elizabeth Peterson, who is looking at New Zealand media reports regarding sun safe behaviours and melanoma coverage.
  • Mary Jane Kivalu, who is looking at translation services as a barrier to Pacific access to appropriate healthcare.
  • Emilie Butterfield, who is looking at New Zealand health promoters: A national cross-sectional survey.

Lindsay Robertson continues to be part of SBRU

10 November 2016

Lindsay Robertson has submitted her PhD thesis, titled ‘Regulation of tobacco retailing’. Well done, Lindsay! We are happy to announce that Lindsay will continue to be part of our unit having successfully obtained a HRC grant, and a departmental postdoc position.

Lindsay Robertson

Congratulation to Anita Grant

25 October 2016

Congratulations to Anita Grant on submitting her MPH thesis (Secondary school health education: An analysis of the underlying processes) for examination today!

Supervisors: Richard Egan and Catherine Morrison (College of Education).

Manal Murad graduated

12 September 2016

Congratulations to our international student, Manal Murad, who graduated with her Master’s degree in Public Health. The title of Manal’s thesis is: “Local authority Long Term Plans and Smokefree 2025: How committed are councils to the goal?” We wish Manal all the best in the future.

Photo of International student Manal Murad

Melanoma The Burning Issue

28 September 2016

Melanoma The Burning Issue had premiere on Channel 39 featuring Associate Professor Tony Reeder and Mrs Bronwen McNoe from the Cancer Society Social Behavioural Research Unit. It can still be viewed on the web:

Flyer for the programme called Melanoma The Burning Issue on Channel 39

Winter Series Lecture by Tony Reeder

1 September 2016

Associate Professor Tony Reeder has been away in Wellington and Auckland for the winter series lectures. Tony gave a presentation called ‘Ultra Violet and the Sun Smart Kid’ in August. Well done—Congratulations from the unit.

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