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Meet our brilliant minds: Laura Biggs

What is your role at MCRI? 

I’m a postdoctoral researcher in the Refugee and Migrant Program, Intergenerational Health Group 

Tell us about your journey in getting to where you are today as a researcher here at MCRI? 

I am a midwife by background. I became interested in research early in my career - I think for me it was about wanting to understand how things could be better for both families and health professionals.  
 
After I completed my PhD in perinatal mental health, I knew I wanted to work in a team that understood mental health from a social justice perspective, including its intersections with gender-based violence and other social determinants of health. This is what motivated me to join the Intergenerational Health Group at MCRI.  

What research are you undertaking here at the MCRI and what you are hoping to make possible for children & families through the work that you’re doing? 

A lot of my work is within the Stronger Futures Centre of Research ExcellenceI’m working on a range of projects relevant to refugee and migrant health and perinatal mental health, including Strong Families Strong Babies and Listening to What Matters

I’m passionate about the role qualitative methodologies can play in helping us understand complex health issues and systems. 
I hope that this work can generate new understandings about the ways health professionals and systems can best support women and families who have experienced complex trauma, with the ultimate goal of preventing intergenerational cycles of trauma. 

What excites you most about working in this field? 

Working closely with our awesome team of bicultural researchers, families, and health professionals is a huge part of why I love my job. Ultimately, I’m excited by the idea that our work can help to improve health experiences and outcomes for families, and support health professional wellbeing.  

Any career highlights? 

The opportunity to lead the study Making Sense of the Unseen in 2020 has been a huge highlight for me. The study, in collaboration with James Cook University and PANDA – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia, generated a grounded theory to explain suicidality during pregnancy and the following year. I’m looking forward to publishing our theory later in 2021.  

Tell us a little bit about yourself outside of MCRI? 

When I’m not working, you’ll probably find me in the garden listening to podcasts or playing with my dogs (and cat who thinks he is a dog). I am lucky to live, work, and play on Wurrundjeri Country - my love of forests and plants helps to keep me strong and resilient.