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Personal profile


Dr Brushe is a Senior Research Officer at Telethon Kids Institute whose research focuses on understanding and supporting the health, development and education of young children. She has a particular interest in screen time in early childhood and how families can be best supported to use screen time in healthy ways. Her PhD also focused on the early home language environments, how that impacts early development and early life socioeconomic inequalities. Mary also collaborates on a range of projects focusing on children and adolescent mental health and wellbeing, food insecurity and school breakfast programs, and evaluations of government early years programs.  

Dr Brushe has expertise in social epidemiology, longitudinal data analysis, participant recruitment and data collection, the development of interventions through co-design methodologies, literature review/synthesis, public health advocacy, and research translation to ensure her research reaches policy makers and the community. 

Mary is also the Vice President of the Public Health Association of Australia (SA Branch), an active member of the 0-3 Early Years Taskforce in South Australia, the PHAA Child and Youth Health Special Interest Group, and the Co-Chair of the Student and Postdoc Committee for the International Social Epidemiology Society. She is always interested in forming new collaborations with passionate researchers, policymakers or practitioners working in public health and the early years system. 

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

Education/Academic qualification

Public Health, PhD, Investigating language exposure and screen time in the early home environment: A longitudinal analysis of a prospective cohort study

Award Date: 31 Dec 2023

Psychology, BPsych(Hons)

Award Date: 31 Dec 2015

External positions

Adjunct Fellow, University of Adelaide

1 Jan 2024 → …

Senior Research Officer - Epidemiology, Telethon Kids Institute

1 Jun 2016 → …

Research expertise keywords

  • child health
  • social epidemiology
  • mental health
  • early childhood
  • language development
  • screen time
  • public health


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