Bonnie Furzer, AEP

Associate Professor, BSc/BA, PhD, Grad. Cert. Tertiary Teaching

  • The University of Western Australia (M408), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

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Personal profile

Biography

Bonnie is a teaching and research academic within the School of Human Sciences (Exercise & Sport Science) at the University of Western Australia (UWA). In addition to her academic role, she also maintains a clinical service role as a Senior Exercise Physiologist and Service Lead at Fremantle Hospital Mental Health Service, and as the Founding Director of Thriving Exercise Rehabiliation Inc.  Recent achievements include awarded Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (2022), and ESSA Practice of the Year 2020 (Thriving Inc).

She is heavily involved in the teaching and training of postgraduate students working towards the attainment of accreditation as Exercise Physiologists (allied health), and is active within the exercise and health industry holding a number of industry roles.

Funding overview

As a clinically informed and integrated researcher, Dr Furzer's community exercise and health activities have been supported with over AUD2.5M funding from various prestigious and competitive schemes.

Select Grants:   Total value of funding received = ~$2.5mil

  • 2023-2025 Stan Perron Charitable Foundation Community Grant ($300,000) - Thriving in Motion Youth Moves
  • 2023-2025 WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries  Inclusive Participation Grant ($300,000) – Thriving in Motion Youth Moves
  • 2023 Medibank Strategic Support Fund – UNSW ($140,000) - Feasibility evidence and program expansion of an on-campus exercise program for students with mental health problems
  • 2013– 2023 Telethon 7 Trust Grants (confidential amounts), including:
    • Thriving @UWA: Building strong and healthy young people through exercise (Service & Research),
    • Auditory processing and rhythmic exercise (Research),
    • Thriving Mental Health First Aid Training (Service),
    • Mental Health Movement Program (Service)
  • 2022-2023 National Eating Disorders Research Centre (IgnitED) Funding, Supporting healthy eating and exercise behaviours in trans communities ($25,000)
  • 2021-2022 Medibank Strategic Support Fund + UWA Student Life ($83,703) - Feasibility evidence and program expansion of an on-campus exercise program for students with mental health problems
  • 2022 Healthway Healthy Communities Grant, ‘Thriving in Motion – Movement for Trans Young People’ ($96,393)

Research interests

Exercise to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people with unique needs.

Current projects include:

  • Thriving Families: family-based education program to support children and their families to engage with community-based physical activity initiatives
  • Exercise for children with neurodevelopmental, emotional and/or behavioural disorders
  • Rythmic Exercise and listening difficulties in children with neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Exercise in child and adolecent gender diversity services

Co-lead of "Mental Health & Exercise Research Group (MHEX)"

Broadly, this research group is exploring the role of exercise in the management of physical and mental health outcomes for those living with, or at risk of, mental ill health.

Current projects include:

  • Move Your Mind: exercise to support the physical and mental health outcomes of individuals living with severe mental illness
  • Exercise & Substance Use Disorders in Youth
  • The co-design and pilot of a sport-based mental health intervention for children at risk of mental illness
  • Stride: An on-campus referral-based exercise program from students with mental health problems
  • Eating and exercise behaviours in trans and gender diverse folk
  • Human Thriving in Recurring Potentially Traumatic, Elevated Threat and High Stress Work Environments

Exercise to improve outcomes in chronic &/or complex conditions.

Current projects include:

  • Musculoskeletal Function, Health & Patient Rated Outcomes in Active Adults
  • Exercise Oncology 

Teaching overview

Bonnie coordinates the Masters of Clinical Exercise Physiology within School of Human Science (Exercise & Sport Science).

She teaches across units related to Clinical Exercise Physiology, primarily at the Postgraduate, level including:

  • Chronic & Complex Conditions (incl cancer, pulmonary, osteoporosis, age related events)
  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Neurological Rehabilitation
  • Work Integrated Learning (Clinical Exercise Physiology)
  • Evidence Based Practice 
  • Work Integrated Learning: Diverse Populations + Settings
  • Advanced Exercise Rehabilitation
  • Workplace Injury Prevention & Management

Bonnie has been awarded Senior Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy, and continues to play a role in the mentor and assessment activities regarding to the Academcy Fellowship Scheme at UWA. 

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 10 - Reduced Inequalities

External positions

Honorary Research Associate, Telethon Kids Institute

2022 → …

Senior Exercise Physiologist, Fremantle Hospital

15 Jan 2019 → …

Director, Thriving Inc.

2011 → …

Industry keywords

  • Health
  • Children and Young People
  • Sport and Recreation

Research expertise keywords

  • Exercise physiology
  • Mental health and well-being
  • Exercise rehabilitation
  • Youth mental health
  • Mental illness
  • Children's physical activity
  • Adolescent substance use
  • Paediatrics
  • Allied health service research
  • Chronic disease management

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