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Dr. Elise Rivera

PhD in Public Health, Master of Arts in Physical Activity and Health, Bachelor of Sciences in Kinesiology and Health Sciences
Lecturer - Public Health-702910
School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
(03) 9616 0455
0396160426 Alternative Phone
Melbourne - 4/02.02
About Me

I am a passionate Public Health educator and researcher. I have previously worked in the USA, Germany, and Australia in academia, non-government organisations, consulting, and start-up environments to enable people to reach their full health potential. My academic and professional achievements focus on utilising qualitative and quantitative research methods to better understand how to create supportive environments that promote health across the lifespan. My PhD thesis utilised a socio-ecological perspective to explore the optimal design of parks to encourage physical activity and social connectedness among adolescents. My research interests include how to enhance the provision of recreational facilities and services to promote physical activity and health among priority populations (e.g., ethnic minorities, women, the elderly, people living with a disability, etc.); the relationship between park use and physical activity and social connectedness among youth and adults; and the promotion of healthy movement behaviours among toddlers. 

Universities Studied At

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health, Deakin University in Australia (2018-2022)
  • Master of Arts in Public Health and Physical Activity, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany (2015-2018)
  • Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health Sciences, The College of William and Mary in the USA (2010-2013)

Universities Worked At

  • Central Queensland University (2023-present)
  • Deakin University (2018-2023)


  • Australasian Epidemiological Association's Early Career Professional Development Award (2023)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2023)
  • Public Health Association of Australia's Child and Youth Health Special Interest Group Scholarship Recipient (2022)
  • Deakin College's Excellence in Teaching Awards for 'Exercise and Physical Activity and Health (2022)
  • Finalist for People's Choice Award, Australasian Society for Physical Activity Inaugural Conference (2021)
  • Winner, Parks and Leisure Australia VIC/TAS Awards of Excellence Research Project of the Year (2020)
  • Finalist, Parks and Leisure Australia National Awards of Excellence Research Project of the Year (2020)


Previous teaching

I currently teach or have previously taught a range of units related to Public Health and the Health Sciences, which include:

  • Public Health Action and Evaluation
  • Physical Activity and Exercise for Health
  • Physical Activity Promotion and Evaluation
  • Children's Physical Activity and Health
  • Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Nutritional Issues from Childhood to Adolescence
  • Human Growth, Development and Ageing for Exercise Scientists
  • Understanding Health Behaviour

Professional Experience

  • Research Fellow, Deakin University (2022-2023)
  • Senior Project Officer, Public Health Association of Australia's VIC Branch, Australia (2022-present)
  • Casual Tutor and Research Assistant, Deakin University (2018-2022)
  • Editorial Content Manager, 365 Digital Starters, Germany (2018)
  • Health Promotion Team Lead, Movement Without Borders, Germany (2016-2017)
  • Health and Fitness Writer and Editor, Fitness Republic, USA (2014-2018)
  • Human Factors and Usability Researcher, Scitor Corporation, USA (2014-2015)

Professional Memberships

  • Council of Academic Public Health Institutions Australia (2023-present)
  • Public Health Association of Australia (2022-present)
  • Australian Health Promotion Association (2022-present)
  • Australasian Epidemiological Association (2022-present)
  • International Society for Physical Activity and Behavioural Nutrition (2020-present)
  • World Urban Parks (2019-present)
  • Australasian Society of Behavioural Health and Medicine (2019-present)
  • Parks and Leisure Australia (2018-present)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (2014-present)

Research Interests
Built Environment And Design

Design - Sustainable design
Park design

Built Environment And Design

Urban and Regional Planning - Public participation and community engagement

Built Environment And Design

Urban and Regional Planning - Urban planning and health

Health Sciences

Epidemiology - Behavioural epidemiology

Health Sciences

Public health - Public health not elsewhere classified
Healthy movement behaviours

Health Sciences

Public health - Public health not elsewhere classified
Physical Activity

Health Sciences

Public health - Public health not elsewhere classified
Social connectedness

Health Sciences

Public health - Social determinants of health

Health Sciences

Sports science and exercise - Sports science and exercise not elsewhere classified

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