Dr Kasia Bolsewicz MPH, PhD
Research Fellow, Social Science

Kasia Bolsewicz joined NCIRS in 2019. She brings a doctoral-level qualifications and work experience in qualitative research methods and public health, social and behavioural sciences, 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, including culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Kasia has also been working with four local health districts in NSW using the World Health Organization’s Tailoring Immunization Programmes to identify areas of low childhood vaccine coverage and to gain a greater understanding of factors that influence childhood immunisation. 

Dr Maryke Steffens BSc/BA, GradCert Journalism, MPH, PhD
Research Fellow, Social Science

Maryke Steffens 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.

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

Bianca Bullivant joined NCIRS in July 2018. She holds Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) and Master of Research (Human Sciences) degrees from Macquarie University. Bianca has previously worked as a research assistant at Macquarie University, working on a qualitative project on eating disorders and obesity health literacy. At NCIRS, she supports the Social Science Unit's research projects and collaborations, including SKAI (Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation) and COSSI (Collaboration on Social Science and Immunisation). She is interested in immunisation-related beliefs and attitudes of parents and healthcare professionals.

Kathleen Prokopovich BHSc (Diag. Cytology), MPH
Research Officer – Social Science

Kathleen Prokopovich joined NCIRS in January 2023 as a Research Officer in Social Science. She holds a Master of Public Health and is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Wollongong. 

Her PhD is focused on the use of research partnerships and community engagement to explore how a culturally and linguistically diverse community engages with school and HPV vaccination.

She has previously worked as a research assistant at the Australian Centre for Health Engagement, Evidence and Values (University of Wollongong) working on deliberative democratic and dialogue projects to explore what matters to people in regard to healthcare. Kathleen is interested in exploring how ‘trust’ influences immunisation-related beliefs and attitudes and is passionate about addressing barriers to health equity.

Justin Boxall BCrim (Hons), BPsychSc
Research Assistant, Social Science

Justin Boxall joined NCIRS in September 2023 as a Research Assistant in Social Science. He holds a Bachelor of Criminology (Honours) and a Bachelor of Psychological Science from Deakin University. At Deakin, Justin’s Honours project focused on the accuracy and effectiveness of awareness campaigns in the media regarding elder abuse. He has also previously worked as a research intern at Barwon Community Legal Centre, where he contributed to a project examining civil law issues for older people in the Barwon region. Justin is interested in how factors such as community attitudes and disadvantage impact beliefs and behaviours regarding immunisation.

Last updated February 2024