Dr Maryke Steffens BSc/BA, Grad. Cert. Journalism, MPH, PhD
Research Fellow, Social Science

Maryke joined NCIRS in November 2019. Her research interests include challenges to health promotion and communication presented by today’s changing media landscape, and strategies to improve vaccination communication. Maryke completed her PhD with Macquarie University’s Australian Institute of Health Innovation in 2021. Her research focused on strategies to address poor quality vaccination information and misinformation on social media and in other types of written communication. Maryke completed a Master of Public Health at The University of Sydney in 2015 and has a background in science and health communication and journalism. She has previously worked as a media and communications officer for various health and research-oriented organisations, and as a health and science reporter for media outlets, including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Dr Kasia Bolsewicz MPH, PhD
Research Fellow, Social Science

Kasia joined NCIRS in 2019 where she has been conducting original research and working collaboratively with various teams across the organisation to seek insights on factors influencing vaccine uptake and effective strategies to improve vaccine uptake in various population groups. As part of the University of Newcastle research team where she holds a part-time position, Kasia has also been working with four local health districts in NSW using the World Health Organization’s Tailoring Immunization Programmes (TIP) to identify areas of low childhood vaccine coverage and to gain a greater understanding of factors that influence child immunisation. Kasia has qualifications in psychology, qualitative research methods and public health, and a cross-cultural background in chronic illness management research (cancer, HIV, dementia), public health policy and evaluation. She is passionate about capacity building and has experience in teaching and training for various audiences. 

Ikram Abdi BMedSci, MPH
Senior Research Officer, Social Science

Ikram Abdi joined NCIRS in June 2021. She recently submitted her PhD at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) where she explored the barriers and facilitators of immunisation in refugee and migrant communities in Australia. Prior to completing her PhD, she completed a Bachelor of Medical Science and a Master of Public Health at the University of Sydney. Ikram has previously worked as a research assistant for multiple projects at the School of Population Health at UNSW and as a facilitator in the UNSW undergraduate medicine program. She is passionate about health equity and conducting research that drives policy change at a national level to improve health outcomes for population subgroups. 

Bianca Bullivant BPsych(Hons), MRes
Research Officer, Social Science

Bianca Bullivant joined NCIRS as a research officer in the Social Sciences unit in July 2018. She is leading on the organisation of Collaboration on Social Science and Immunisation (COSSI) knowledge exchange and committee meetings and working on the implementation of SKAI (Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation). Bianca completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) and then a Master of Research (Human Sciences) at Macquarie University in 2017. Bianca was employed previously as a Research Assistant at Macquarie University, working on a qualitative project on eating disorders and obesity health literacy. She is interested in immunisation-related beliefs and attitudes of parents and health professionals. 

Last updated August 2021