University of Queensland researchers win three Rotary grants

14 Mar 2006

Life may soon be just a little easier for parents of autistic children thanks to a parenting program being trialed at The University of Queensland (UQ). 

Professor Matt Sanders, founder of the world-renowned Triple P Positive Parenting Program, has received a grant from the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund (ARHRF), to evaluate the effectiveness of his Stepping Stones Triple P Program for parents with autistic children. 

The Stepping Stones Triple P Program is a parenting program designed for families of children with developmental disabilities and helps them better manage their children's behaviour. 

Professor Sanders also received a second ARHRF grant to test the benefits of the Triple P on female teachers who are also mothers. It is hoped that participants will experience lower levels of family and workplace stress, which will have a positive impact not only on their families but on their classroom and students. 

Katherine Morley, from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, is now in the final year of her three-year Ian Scott Fellowship where she is investigating the genetic factors that influence people's ability to quit smoking, and how genes may modify the effects of drugs used to help people quit smoking. 

In all, researchers from UQ have picked up grants worth more than $103,050 from the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund. 

The ARHRF is one of the largest independent medical research funds in Australia. Since its establishment in 1981 the Fund has invested more than $12 million in research projects ranging from cot death and adolescent health, to the Ross River virus and bowel cancer screening. 

ARHRF CEO Joy Gillett said that on any given day Rotarians around Australia are selling raffle tickets, organising markets or involved in some other type of fundraising activity to raise money for the Research Fund. 

“Over 1,200 Rotary clubs and 40,000 Rotarians support the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund,” Mrs Gillett said. 

“Without their efforts, we simply couldn't fund this research.”