Felicity Roux wins 2020 Fogarty WAIER Prize

August 12, 2020

Congratulations to Felicity Roux, winner of the 2020 Fogarty Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER) Prize.

Felicity is a PhD student at the school of Public Health at Curtin University. She is developing a program to equip 13 to 16-year-old females with the skills to understand their ovulatory-menstrual cycles from a whole-person perspective (physically, intellectually, spiritually, socially and emotionally.)

“Research has found that over 90% of teenage girls have period cramps, and up to 26% of girls regularly miss school because of this. Abnormal bleeding patterns and premenstrual tension can also start happening. All of these difficulties impact their quality of life,” Ms Roux said.

“Other research has found that the natural increase in body weight needed for a girl’s first bleed is linked to some girls worrying about eating, body image and trying to lose weight.It is important for a girl to understand her cycles so that she knows if she is healthy and can accurately explain difficulties about her ovulatory-menstrual health to health care providers,” she said.

The project aim is to develop and trial an ovulatory-menstrual health literacy program for teenage girls. The program has been informed by a contingent of specialists in health care, education and public health and women’s advocacy.

Ms Roux will use the $5000 in prize money for the implementation of her thesis: A formative intervention research study to develop and trial a school-based whole person ovulatory-menstrual (OM) health literacy program for 13-16 year old (Year 9-10) females in Perth WA.

“This prize money will assist girls to remain connected and engaged with their schooling through the provision of teaching resources and a web based learning platform that help positively reframe ovulatory and menstrual health as not just a biological but also a psychosocial phenomenon,” she said.

The Western Australian Institute for Educational Research (WAIER) was established in the 1980s for the purpose of promoting and disseminating new educational research generated, for the most part, here in Western Australia.

Their aim is to support educational researchers conducting research directly relevant to early childhood, primary, secondary or tertiary education. Sponsored by the Fogarty Foundation, the prize supports educational researchers studying at an approved higher education institution who do not have ready access to funds or resources for research.

“Our aim at the Fogarty Foundation is to invest in education to provide opportunities for individuals to realise their potential,” said Caitlyn Fogarty, Executive Officer at the Fogarty Foundation.

“Felicity is a very worthy recipient of this prize and we look forward to seeing how her research can change and enrich the lives of many young women.”

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