Heart Health Connect

Our Contributors

Alun Jackson

Professor Alun Jackson

Alun commenced his role as Director at the Australian Centre for Heart Health (formerly the Heart Research Centre) in July 2013. Alun holds Honorary Professorial positions with the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne and the Centre on Behavioural Health, University of Hong Kong. Much of his research focus has been on understanding what helps people improve their own health behaviour. He has authored and co-authored over 20 books and research monographs and published over 150 academic papers.

Alun is interested in a variety of health issues having designed and run programs for patients and their families. Some of his interest areas include HIV prevention, problem gambling, mental health, cardiac and family support. Alun’s key research interest areas at the ACHH include the relationship between sleep and heart disease, and supporting families with chronically-ill children.

His interests are also around translating research into practice and this is extended through developing education programs in both the community and nationally for health professionals and the general public. Alun and colleagues have developed various clinical screening tools including a Paediatric Discharge Planning Screening Tool.



1983    PhD, Warwick University

1976    Master of Science (Social Psychology / Sociology), Bristol University

1972    Diploma of Social Studies, University of Melbourne

1974    Bachelor of Arts (Psychology / Politics), University of Melbourne

Barbara Murphy

Associate Professor Barbara Murphy

Barbara is the Deputy Director, Director of Research and Principal Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Heart Health. She is interested in how heart patients cope emotionally after heart attack or surgery, how they adjust to their illness and how they overcome distress and depression.  Dr Murphy has over 60 publications in refereed journals, most related to how patients fare emotionally. With support from beyondblue, she and colleagues developed and piloted the ‘Cardiac Blues’ resources to help patients during their recovery. The patient brochures and online health professional training have been disseminated to health professionals across Australia. With support from the Victorian Clinical Cardiac Network, she and her colleagues developed and piloted ‘Teleheart’, a telephone program to help patients with behavioural and emotional wellbeing. Dr Murphy is an advisor to the Mental Health Professional Network, Honorary Senior Fellow in the Department of Psychology at the University of Melbourne, Honorary Associate Professor, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, and a Conjoint Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine and Public Health at The University of Newcastle.



2000    PhD, Swinburne University

1986    Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of Melbourne

Rosemary Higgins

Associate Professor Rosemary Higgins

Rosemary is a Senior Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Hearth Health and registered Health Psychologist. Her research is focused on how our moods, our thoughts, and our social situations affect physical health and quality of life. Assoc. Prof. Higgins has over 40 publications in peer reviewed journals many of which relate to her interests in improving cardiac rehabilitation attendance and helping patients adjust both emotionally and behaviourally to their heart disease. She and colleagues have developed various clinical interventions that aim to improve patient outcomes. Assoc. Prof. Higgins was a key person in the development of the Beating Heart Problems, a patient group self-management program that has led to further development of online (Help Yourself Online) and telephone (Teleheart) versions of rehabilitation alternatives. Assoc. Prof. Higgins also plays a major role in the training of health professionals working in cardiac rehabilitation, having developed several training programs including online training. Over the years, she has trained thousands of health professionals and continues to develop training that reflects the Centre’s latest research.



2010    Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology, Swinburne University,

1997    Graduate Diploma Behavioural Studies in Health Care, La Trobe University

1995    Bachelor of Behavioural Sciences, La Trobe University

Lyndel Shand

Dr Lyndel Shand

Lyndel is a registered Health Psychologist Psychologist and Research Fellow at the Australian Centre for Heart Health. Lyndel has a special interest in the psychological adjustment and the lived experience of individuals following illness, such as heart disease or cancer. She is also interested in understanding the psychological aspects of health and illness, and supporting behaviour change and self-management in people chronic disease through the use of online technologies for both patients and health practitioners.

Lyndel is the coordinator of Heart Health Connect and the MHPN Victorian Psycho-Cardiology Network. She is an Honorary Fellow with the Faculty of Health, Deakin University.


2014    Doctor of Psychology (Health), Deakin University

2008    Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Psychology), Monash University

Michael Le Grande

Mr Michael Le Grande

Michael is a Research Fellow with the Australian Centre for Heart Health. He has several research interests in heart disease particularly in areas of sleep, exercise and quality of life. Most of his research focusses on improving patients’ lives as well as helping them live longer. Michael is also the Centre’s data management and statistical analysis expert. He is currently undertaking his PhD looking at the link between sleep apnoea and cardiovascular risk and disease outcomes.


2002    Master of Public Health (Epidemiology and Biostatistics), University of Melbourne 1986  Bachelor of Science with Honours (Psychology), University of Tasmania

Michelle Rogerson

Dr Michelle Rogerson

Michelle is a registered Psychologist and Research Fellow in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Science, Deakin University.   Michelle has a keen interest in cardiovascular health, and a specific interest in the psychological benefits of physical activity, and has a long association with the Australian Centre for Heart Health. She is currently designing a physical activity intervention for people with cardiac disease and depression. Her PhD investigated the relationship between physical activity and depression in people with coronary heart disease.


2009    PhD, Victoria University,

2001    Master of Applied Psychology, Victoria University

2000    Bachelor of Science (Honours in Psychology), University of Melbourne

Dr Donita Baird

Dr Donita Baird

Donita is a registered Clinical Psychologist.  She has a long history in chronic disease management. In 2003 she was awarded a Victorian Travelling Fellowship by the Department of Humans services to examine models of integration between acute and community sectors aimed at preventing hospital admissions in older adults with Heart Failure in the USA, UK and Sweden.  Donita has over 10 years of experience providing clinical psychology services to a heart failure program at a major metropolitan health network, in a catchment area which was culturally and linguistically diverse and economically disadvantaged.  Her research interest is an integrated approach to chronic disease management and depression management. Donita has also contributed to the Chronic Heart Failure training management program at the Australian Centre for Heart Health and has been involved in the development og online training to support heart failure self-management.


1999 Doctor of Psychology (Clinical), University of Melbourne

1995 Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Deakin University

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