• The University of Western Australia (M431), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 497 Citations
  • 9 h-Index
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Personal profile


My passion is to assist with improving the mental and physical health of vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. I am a teaching and research academic in the School of Population Health. My main research includes;

The Thoughtful Schools Project

With colleagues, I recently initiated 'The Thoughtful Schools Project' a collaborative project with Curtin University and Edith Cowan University. This early intervention pilot project will provide WA schools with evidence-based information to assist them to implement Trauma-Informed Practice Principles. With a goal of intervening early with vulnerable and at risk students, the project aims to improve the mental wellbeing of students and staff. By leveraging sector resources and local support networks, this innovative intervention is designed to be up-scalable and sustainable. To support this intervention we are in the process of gathering expert input into the Trauma Informed Practice Principles and evidence-based strategies to support schools.  The project will be evaluated in 2020.

Western Australia Trauma-informed And Restorative Schools Collaboration

In 2015, I brought together multidisciplinary experts who are working towards increasing awareness about the impact of trauma on children and adolescents. We named ourselves the Western Australia Trauma-informed And Restorative Schools Collaboration (TARSC WA). Members of the collaboration support schools to intervene early, reduce school punitive practices and increase compassionate and restorative school practices.


Other research

Over the past 20 years I have undertaken research within diverse health fields such as psychological and post-traumatic distress, domestic violence, mental health, loneliness, and health in homeless and refugee populations. Previously, I also completed research in physical activity, screen use, overweight and obesity and palliative care.


Roles and responsibilities

- Undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research supervision
- Identify research gaps, priorities and opportunities within individual research field
-Prepare literature reviews and proposals, seek and apply for grants
-Seek appropriate research approvals including Institutional Ethics
- Coordinate data collection and supervise staff
- Prepare and analyse data and prepare manuscripts
-Disseminate and translate research via conferences and directly to stakeholders
-Liaise with the media, providing television, radio and newspaper interviews in disseminating research
-Apply research findings in health and well-being advocacy
- Service to the community, population health field, and the University

Future research

Restorative and trauma-informed practice and student well-being in disadvantaged secondary schools.

Funding overview

Past 5 years;

Previous positions

Sessional Lecturer, Curtin University of Technology
Research Project Coordinator, University of Western Australia and Edith Cowan University
Research Facilitator, Hollywood Private Hospital

Current projects

Promoting trauma informed practice in WA secondary schools

Industrial relevance

Project industry partners:
Department of Education, Government of Western Australia
Australian Secondary Principals Association
Mental Health Commission
Department of Corrective Services
Department of Child Protection and Family Services

Department of Sport and Recreation
Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority
City of Subiaco

Teaching overview

Health Research Design and Methods, Communication and Project Planning in Health, Population Health Practicum (UWA)
Previously; Bistatistics 180, Curtin University of Technology
Research methods, Curtin University of Technology
Health Science Communication, Curtin University of Technology
Professional Development for Practitioners;Shifting to Trauma-Informed Practice in Schools


Post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological distress and antisocial behaviour in disadvantaged adolescents.
Loneliness and psychological distress in adolescents who are refugees.
Best Practice Principles for Interventions with Domestic and Family Violence Perpetrators from Refugee Backgrounds
Journey to Social Inclusion (intervention for homeless individuals in Melbourne)
Evaluation of St Vincent's Homeless Progam
Evaluation of DRUMBEAT for mental well-being promotion in vulnerable and disadvantaged youth,
The Impact of Holyoake’s DRUMBEAT Program on Prisoner Wellbeing in Western Australian Prisons,
Children's physical activity in the school setting (PhD).
Child and Adolescent Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey (CAPANS) 2008.
Child's play; child, parent and stakeholders' perspectives of playspaces.
Relationship between children's learning, behaviour and development and physical activity.
Benefits of nature for children.


  • Children's physical activity
  • Childhood trauma
  • Childhood adversity
  • Delinquent behaviour
  • Mental health
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Nature benefits for health and learning for children
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Psychological distress
  • Prisoner health
  • School students
  • Student health and wellbeing
  • Suicide riskPhysical activity at school
  • The relationship between physical activity and learning for children
  • Trauma-informed practice

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Karen Martin is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 52 Similar Profiles
Mental Health Medicine & Life Sciences
Energy Drinks Medicine & Life Sciences
Mental Health Services Medicine & Life Sciences
Vulnerable Populations Medicine & Life Sciences
Homeless Persons Medicine & Life Sciences
Western Australia Medicine & Life Sciences
Self Report Medicine & Life Sciences
Delivery of Health Care Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2004 2019

A mixed methods randomised control trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the journey to social inclusion – phase 2 intervention for chronically homeless adults: study protocol

Vallesi, S., Flatau, P., Thielking, M., Mackelprang, J., Taylor, K., La Sala, L., Spiers, J., Wood, L., Martin, K., Kragt, D., Lester, L., Whittaker, E. & Courtney, R., 22 Mar 2019, In : BMC Public Helath. 19, 13 p., 334.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Homeless Persons
Random Allocation
Case Management
Quality of Life

P147 Individual, social and environmental factors associated with adolescent energy drink consumption

Trapp, G., Christian, H., McStay, C. L., Martin, K., Ambrosini, G., Bromberg, M., Howard, J. & Cross, D., Jul 2019, In : Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 51, 7S, p. S98-S99 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstract/Meeting Abstract

Energy Drinks
Odds Ratio
Social Environment
Mental Health Services
Mental Health
Western Australia
Costs and Cost Analysis
1 Citation (Scopus)
Mental Health Services
Mental Health
Delivery of Health Care
Health Policy
medical care
qualitative interview

Projects 2004 2022