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In Conversation — Commissioning Research Differently: Launching the National Centre's Commissioned Research Program

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Event description

Join us as we celebrate and discuss the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse's Commissioned Research Program. 

Learn more about:

  • administering a safe, supportive and trauma informed commissioning approach, guided by victims and survivors
  • the scope and depth of the research program and how this links to action and change for victims and survivors
  • a current research and quality improvement project as part of the program.

Moderated by National Centre CEO Dr Leanne Beagley, this webinar features Professor Andrea de Silva, Director of Knowledge Generation, Research and Evaluation at the National Centre, Dr Amy Webster, Manager of Policy, Advocacy and Research at Sexual Assault Services Victoria, Associate Professor Lynne McPherson, Director of Research at the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care and Associate Professor in Social Work at Southern Cross University, Alexandra Shriane, Manager for Research and Evaluation at the National Centre and Jamie Sorby, a Kamilaroi woman who serves as a member of the National Centre’s First Nations and Lived Experience Colleges and is a lecturer with the University of South Australia.

Date: Thursday 28 September 2023

Time: 1pm-2pm AEST

Where: Online 

Please note this webinar will be recorded.

Featuring a live Q&A session with the speakers, all are welcome.


Professor Andrea de Silva is an experienced applied research professional, knowledge generator and thought leader with over 20 years of experience working across diverse areas of public health, prevention, social justice, and inequalities. Her skills include co-designing and evaluating solutions to complex societal problems informed by lived experience, data, evidence and practice-based knowledge. Andrea uses her expertise and experience to create evidence-based services, policies and laws, and drive system reforms to address barriers that harm, marginalise and oppress. She has led research teams in top tier universities and previously held roles as Research Director in several Victorian public sector organisations. In addition, Andrea has published over 150 research articles and reports, presented internationally and is an adjunct Professor at Monash University.

Dr Amy Webster is the Manager of Policy, Advocacy and Research at Sexual Assault Services Victoria (SASVic), the new peak body for specialist sexual assault and harmful sexual behaviour services in Victoria. Amy is a researcher, writer and evaluator with a PhD in government-community sector relations. In 2018, Amy led the design and establishment of Victoria’s new dedicated sexual and reproductive health information service, 1800 My Options. Amy is currently working on a number of research projects as a part of a multidisciplinary team at SASVic where, among other things, she is working on a new project funded by the National Centre focused on addressing the knowledge and training gaps of the specialist sexual assault and harmful sexual behaviour workforce in Victoria.

Amy is the Project Lead of Delivering trauma-informed support for child sexual abuse victims in Victoria: mapping the knowledge gaps and training needs of the specialist sectors, funded by the National Centre. 

Associate Professor Lynne McPherson specialises in Social Work in the Faculty of Health at Southern Cross University. She is the Director of Research for the Centre for Excellence in Therapeutic Care (CETC), a division of the Australian Childhood Foundation, and is also the Deputy Director of the Centre for Children and Young People, Southern Cross University. Lynne’s research interests include child sexual abuse, responses to complex developmental trauma, therapeutic approaches in out of home care, child, youth and family issues, and supervision and leadership.

Lynne is the Project Lead of Listen UP! Learning from victims and survivors about what helps disclosure and responses to child sexual abuse, funded by the National Centre.

Alexandra Shriane is the Manager for Research and Evaluation at the National Centre, and has a background in social and health science research, as well as in clinical practice as a psychologist and paramedic. Alex is completing her PhD in behavioural sleep interventions, and is passionate about using research to improve the lives and wellbeing of marginalised or underrepresented populations.

Jamie Sorby is a Kamilaroi woman and serves as a member of the National Centre’s First Nations and Lived Experience Colleges. Jamie was a peer assessor in the 2022 Competitive Grants Round and is a lecturer with the University of South Australia.


Dr Leanne Beagley is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse. She has clinical, leadership and legal qualifications and 15 years of clinical experience in child and family mental health services, with subsequent experience as a senior leader within health, mental health and primary care settings. She has undertaken policy leadership within government and policy advocacy from within the sector.

About the In Conversation series

Hosted by the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse, our In Conversation series brings together experts from research, law, policy and practice to explore how we can work together to reduce, eliminate and respond to child sexual abuse so that victims and survivors are believed and supported to heal and recover.

About the National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse

The National Centre for Action on Child Sexual Abuse (the National Centre) is a partnership between three respected organisations — the Australian Childhood Foundation, Blue Knot Foundation and the Healing Foundation. Established in late 2021, following a recommendation by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the National Centre commissions critical research, builds the capability of workers and organisations and raises community awareness to reduce stigma. Central to this work is elevating the voices of victims and survivors of all ages, life stages and communities.

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