Professor Sarah Durkin
BA (Psych), PgradDip (Psych), PhD
Acting Director, CBRC
Beginning her career in health behaviour research in 1997, Sarah joined Cancer Council Victoria in 2003 and has since served in increasingly senior research and evaluation roles. She is now Acting Director of CBRC and a Professorial Fellow in the University of Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. She leads a multidisciplinary team of talented researchers and evaluators who are committed to understanding how large-scale behavioural and environmental interventions can reduce population cancer risk. Sarah’s research focusses on developing and examining the impact of public communication messages and multi-media campaigns in cancer prevention, especially tobacco control and bowel cancer screening, using qualitative research, message-testing, experimental studies, population surveys and cohort studies. Her research has substantially influenced state, national and international practice, as it provides guidance for governments on the optimal level and duration of campaign investment, the features of campaign messages that maximise impact, and how priority target audiences respond to messages. She also collaborates on tobacco policy research and served as a senior member of the team that evaluated the impact of Australia’s world-first tobacco plain packaging policy. Sarah is President-Elect of the Oceania Chapter of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. She received the Public Health Association of Australia’s Health Promotion Award for Service (Research) in 2022 and recently completed a period of service as Senior Editor of the British Medical Association’s international journal Tobacco Control.