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Fellow, International Maternal and Newborn Health; Principal-Maternal & Child Health, Burnet Institute

Dr Elissa Kennedy is Principal for Maternal and Child Health at the Centre for International Health, Burnet Institute, Melbourne Australia. She is a public health registrar with particular expertise in sexual and reproductive health, family planning and adolescent health.

As part of the Women’s and Children’s Health Team, Elissa has been involved in a number of research projects through the AusAID funded Women’s and Children’s Health Knowledge Hub. This work has focused on ensuring universal access to reproductive health, particularly for adolescents in the Pacific region. Recent projects have explored the barriers young people face accessing sexual and reproductive health information and services and identified effective strategies to overcome these. She has also recently undertaken a cost-benefit analysis of reducing unmet need for family planning in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands in partnership with Family Planning International.

In addition, Elissa provides technical support to Burnet's country programs and contributes to post-graduate teaching in women's and children's health, communicable disease control, HIV and primary health care in developing countries. Prior to commencing at Burnet, Elissa worked as a clinician and health advisor to primary health care programs in Kenya and South Sudan, with a particular focus on women’s and children’s health and HIV.


  • 2009–present
    Principal for Maternal and Child Health, Burnet Institute
  • 2011–present
    Advanced trainee, Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine


  • 2009 
    Monash University, Master of Public Health (International Health)
  • 2003 
    Monash University, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Hons)


  • 2011
    Adolescent fertility and family planning in East Asia and the Pacific: a review of DHS reports, Reproductive Health
  • 2011
    Improving adolescent reproductive health in Asia and the Pacific: do we have the data?, Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health

Research Areas

  • Public Health And Health Services (1117)
  • Pacific Peoples Health (111715)
  • Health Promotion (111712)