Personal profile


Dr Helen Kelsall is an experienced researcher, a public health physician / epidemiologist and Senior Research Fellow in the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPHPM), Monash University.

Helen Kelsall graduated in medicine through Monash University in 1983. She subsequently worked in general medical practice in Melbourne until completing specialist public health medicine training 1994-1996 through the work based Victorian Public Health Training Scheme and a Master of Public Health (MPH), Monash University. She attained Fellowship Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, RACP, 1996, and continued to work in the field of public health medicine whilst in the Department of Human Services.

Helen joined the SPHPM in April 2000 as a Senior Research Fellow working on the Australian Gulf War Veterans' Health Study. She was awarded an NHMRC Public Health PhD Scholarship and completed her PhD on the respiratory and neurological health, symptoms, medical conditions and chronic fatigue syndrome in Australian Gulf War veterans, for which she was awarded the 2005 Vice Chancellor's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence. In 2005 Helen was awarded an NHMRC Public Health Postdoctoral Fellowship (2006-09) and gained experience at The Cancer Council Victoria in cancer epidemiology, on the Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study, and on record linkages, before returning to Monash University.

Dr Helen Kelsall is lead or co- investigator on several research projects in the fields of public health and occupational and environmental health, military and veterans' health and epidemiological research. Current and recently completed collaborative research includes:

  • study of long term outcomes of work injury for Victorian workers – identifying factors that contribute to outcomes and opportunities to improve outcomes;
  • Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme assessing the physical and mental health and social wellbeing of current and ex-serving Australian Defence Force personnel;
  • 3.5 year longitudinal study of the physical, psychological health and social health and wellbeing, mortality and cancer incidence, in the Australian Gulf War veteran cohort that we first studied 10 years ago;
  • series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of psychological disorder, multisymptom disorder and chronic fatigue in Gulf War, Iraq War and Afghanistan veterans; and
  • US and Australia Joint research effort to understand differences/similarities between military deployment contexts, health impacts, and veterans’ health care systems between Australia and the US for post-1990 deployments.

Awards include the 2014 and 2015 Australasian Military Medicine Association (AMMA) Patron’s Prize for best peer review publication by a Member of the Association, the AEA Mid-Career International Travel Award for international conference travel and the 2014 SPHPM Research Excellence Award for Mid Career Researcher best published paper.

Helen is actively involved in public health education and training and in professional engagement. Within SPHPM, her educational roles include Course Coordinator, Master of Public Health and Unit coordinator, Introductory and challenges in public health unit within the MPH.

Helen is also a member of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Ethics Committee. She is a member of the Editorial Board and a Sub-Editor for the Journal of Military and Veterans’ Health. She has held Committee positions in the AFPHM, RACP on the Victorian Committee, Continuing Professional Development Committee, and Scientific Committees for the Conference of AFOEM and AFPHM 2007 and 2006-08 Defence Health & AMMA Conferences. She has supervised three PhD candidates and one DPH to completion and several international visiting academics in their study programs. Helen has mentored Research and AFPHM Fellows.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research area keywords

  • Public Health
  • Occupational and environmental health
  • Physical and mental health
  • Epidemiology
  • Veterans and military health

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or