Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence:

Congratulations to Emma Grimes, Jodi Phillips and Leigh Moore who have been awarded the 2016 Val Ashe Prize for Academic Excellence. The Val Asche Prize for Academic Excellence is awarded annually to recognise outstanding achievement by students undertaking public health courses.

All three students consistently achieved very high grades and are highly regarded by their lecturers. They were awarded a certificate and a book voucher as part of the Menzies Annual General Meeting on 14 August 2017.

Emma Grimes - Master of Public Health

Emma is an occupational therapist with clinical experience in acute, rehabilitation and community health care. Emma also has a special interest and experience in rural and remote primary health care. Her experience in this area has included working in and managing the aged care and disability allied health service in East Arnhem Land.

Emma recently completed a Master of Public Health through Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University. Emma has a strong interest in maternal and child health in cross-cultural contexts and she completed her Masters research project in West Timor, Indonesia. This research project explored the influence of maternal health policy on the practice of a traditional birth attendant in Eastern Indonesia. Emma currently resides in West Timor, Indonesia, with her family. 


Jodi Phillips and Leigh Moore - Graduate Diploma in Health Research

Jodi Phillips is passionate about food and nutrition. She has worked as a public health nutritionist across Australia for over 20 years on programs aiming to improve and promote nutrition and food security. Jodi currently works across a range of research projects with Menzies School of Health Research, building on the capacity of local community members to be involved in all aspects of the research project. She thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of returning to study combining new theoretical perspectives with practical experience.

Jodi is now completing her Master of Public Health with a research project, investigating anaemia prevention from a remote Aboriginal community perspective with  Dr Therese Kearns and Dr Marita Hefler as  her supervisors.


Leigh Moore has worked as a pharmacist in the Northern Territory for the past 24 years. Since 2007, Leigh has been involved in various roles with the Bachelor of Pharmacy course at Charles Darwin University and the NT Medical Program at Flinders University since 2011. Leigh’s current role with the remote and rural interprofessional learning team at Flinders University allows her to pursue her interest in quality healthcare for Territorians.

The twelve years in the Territory piqued Leigh’s interest in research. She observed the many experiences and views of health among the residents. The Graduate Diploma in Health Research provided the perfect starting point to begin to understand how differences could be addressed to improve outcomes for everyone. Leigh is now pursuing a Master of Public Health through a research project with Professor Amanda Leach as supervisor.