Professor Evonne Miller

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Co-Director, HEAL

PhD (University of Otago), Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) (University of Otago), Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing Management) (University of Otago)

Evonne Miller is Professor of Design Psychology at Queensland University of Technology and Director of the QUT Design Lab, where we reimagine and redesign the future. Evonne’s research centres on design for health, drawing on participatory co-design, arts-based and knowledge translation approaches to understand, communicate, improve and re-design the experience of healthcare - especially for older people in residential aged care.

Evonne is co-Director of the Queensland Health funded Healthcare Excellence AcceLerator (HEAL, 2020-23), a bridge between the QUT design and innovation community and Queensland Health. HEAL is accelerating healthcare improvement efforts by integrating the positive creative energy and mindsets of  ‘design thinking, design doing and design visioning’ into healthcare across the state: 30+ projects in 8 HHS. HEAL was awarded 2 x Good Design Australia Awards (‘service design’ & ‘social impact’) in 2021, as well as the QUT Vice-Chancellors Award for Partnerships, and, in 2022, Queensland Health Award for Excellence in ‘Pursuing Innovation’.

Evonne’s impactful inter-disciplinary research has attracted over $4M in funding, including 4 ARC grants and an NHMRC Ideas grant. Current collaborative projects include:

  • Re-imagining senior living, through the co-location of retirement villages with high schools to enable inter-generational living and learning (NHMRC Ideas Grant)
  • Creating and evaluating if and how non-traditional arts-based forms of storytelling (poetic inquiry, participatory photography, citizen storytelling, interactive art, media analysis) might better engage policymakers, providers, and the public in a reflexive conversation about the past, present and future of aged care (ARC DIscovery Grant)
  • Re-designing the process by which prisoners request and access healthcare, with the new visual form -  winning a prestigious global design accolade as a named finalist at the 2022 Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD) Global Design Awards (QLD Office of Prisoner Health & Wellbeing)
  • Creating and evaluating arts-based training materials that engage, educate, and support aged care staff in deploying VR (virtual reality) into aged care (philanthropic research grant from Facebook/Meta)

Evonne has published over 120 academic journal articles, book chapters, conference papers and industry reports, as well as 4 books. Her books have used the creative-arts methods of photovoice, photography and research poetry to explore entering, living, and dying in aged care, as well as how to re-design our urban environment to be sustainable, salutogenic (health promoting), inclusive and playful. She is currently working on her fifth book, an edited book documenting the origins and impacts of the designers in healthcare (HEAL) initiative.

Evonne is also an experienced and dynamic workshop facilitator, leading 30+ projects and co-design workshops in aged and healthcare on pathways to virtual, connected and integrated care, planning for the pandemic, reducing procedural pain, informal caregiving, and palliative care. In recognition of her contribution to the field of ageing, Evonne is also a Fellow of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) and is currently the Queensland AAG President.

Additional information

Evonne’s research focuses on how to design environments – built, technical, socio-cultural and natural – that better engage and support all users, especially older people in residential aged care. She works in partnership with built environment, design and health care organisations across public, private and community sectors, drawing on design and creative arts-based participatory approaches to change and enhance practice and knowledge translation. She is the QUT led of HEAL - the Healthcare Excellence AcceLerator - a collaboration hub with the Healthcare Improvement Unit at Clinical Excellence Queensland designed to act as a bridge between the QUT design and innovation community and Queensland Health, accelerating healthcare improvement efforts across the state. HEAL connects healthcare policymakers, clinicians, and administrators across Queensland with designers, who have worked together using design approaches to transform thinking, spaces, places, processes and products, and positively transform healthcare.

Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2023
Details
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) founded the Observatory of Public Sector Innovation (OPSI) in 2011 to provide cutting-edge public sector innovation support and guidance, supporting governments to adopt new approaches. The Queensland Health Bridge Labs Program: An ecosystem approach to healthcare transformation - was recognised as a leading international exemplar in the 2023 Embracing Innovation report. Central to the Bridge Labs Program is QUT Design Lab's HEAL (Healthcare Excellence AcceLerator) initiative - embedding designers as change agents in healthcare. HEAL is co-lead by me - Prof Evonne Miller (QUT Design Lab) - and Dr Satyan Chari (Clinical Excellence QLD). See: https://oecd-opsi.org/innovations/queensland-bridge-labs/
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2023
Details
In June 2022, our project Agency and Access: Re-Designing the Prison Health Request Process was shortlisted and awarded a prestigious global design accolade: named finalist at the 2022 SEGD (Society for Experiential Graphic Design) Global Design Awards in Portland, USA. The awards celebrate design that inspires and improves the human experience for individuals of all backgrounds and abilities, with our project focused on prison healthcare. Funded by Queensland Health's Office for Prisoner Health and Wellbeing, in collaboration with Capricornia Correctional Centre, Health Consumers Queensland and Clinical Excellence Queensland, Prof Evonne Miller and Prof Lisa Scharoun from QUT Design Lab led this project: to enhance health access and communication by redesigning the health request form. This was trialled in one regional men's prison, to be rolled out across Queensland prisons. Co-designed with prisoners, clinicians and guards, the redesigned procurement form uses icons and pictograms t
Type
Committee Role/Editor or Chair of an Academic Conference
Reference year
2023
Details
In 2023, I was Conference Chair of the 56th Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) annual conference, entitled "Reimagining ageing - diving into an ocean of possibilities", on Queensland's Gold Coast. In 2021, I was also Co-Scientific Committee Chair of the 54th Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) 2021 annual conference - online due to COVID - entitled "Innovation in Ageing for the Future". Both conferences invite us all to question and redefine how we think and work to open up new ways of approaching the challenges and possibilities of an ageing world.
Type
Other
Reference year
2023
Details
Mid-stream urine samples used for diagnostic testing rely on patients using a correct collection technique to avoid sample contamination. But in a time-poor and busy emergency department, how can we help patients to do that? Project "Reducing Urine Contamination in Emergency or RedUCE!"saw simple instructions placed as posters in Emergency Department toilets with the pilot site (the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Metro South Health) demonstrating a 15% reduction in contamination rate. In 2022, through the Bridge Labs Program / HEAL - the PROV-ED Project Team worked with the QUT Design Lab (Prof Evonne Miller, Prof Lisa Scharoun, Zoe Ryan) to visually redesign and update the posters, which have been professionally printed on A3 repositionable vinyl. As of Feb 2023, Queensland Health EDs are getting one!
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2022
Details
The Australasian Journal on Ageing Book Award is a prize awarded to a book that is related to the topic of ageing, published during the previous two years, and authored or edited by a resident of the Asia┬┐ Pacific Region. IN 2022, the panel of reviewers chose to award the prize to my book:Creative Arts-Based Research in Aged Care: Photovoice, Photography and Poetry in Action (Routledge, 2021), praising how it revealed, in creative ways, the lived experience of aged care.
Type
Appointment to Prestigious Positions
Reference year
2022
Details
In 2012, Evonne was made a Fellow of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG), for contributions to Gerontology (the study of ageing). Evonne has served as AAG National Hon. Secretary (06-09); AAG QueenslandChair (08-11; 22), actively shaped national conferences. Evonne has also served as conference chair of the 2023 AAG conference on the Gold Coast, scientific committee co-chair in 2021 (online, due to COVID), and co-conference chair of the 2012 AAG annual conference "Challenging the Boundaries" in Brisbane where ~500 attendees shared and debated best innovative practice, research and policy in ageing.
Type
Academic Honours, Prestigious Awards or Prizes
Reference year
2021
Details
In 2021, the Queensland Health funded HEAL (Healthcare Excellence AcceLerator) initiative, co-led by Prof Evonne Miller from the QUT Design Lab and Dr Satyan Chari from Clinical Excellence Queensland (CEQ) was awarded two Good Design Australia awards in Service Design and Social Impact. HEAL has embedded designers (design doing and thinking) into 30+ projects across 10+ Queensland Hospitals and Health Services, with our collaborative design-led innovation increased clinical efficiency and effectiveness, addressing the valley of death for new technologies (e.g., co- design of specialist virtual clinic; graphic design for health literacy; animated videos on cultural safety), as well as prototypes of child-friendly personal protective equipment and designs for playful way-finding and placemaking, with 10+ videos outlining HEALs unique design-led approach. Good Design Awards Jury praised HEAL as: A large scale, broad-spectrum look at bringing designers, practitioners and clinicians
Type
Curatorial role (head curator, membership of curatorial board) of a prestigious event
Reference year
2021
Details
Initiated and curated the inaugural interdisciplinary exhibition at the 54th Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) 2021 annual conference. Entitled "Art, Ageing & Innovation", the exhibition enriches, challenges, inspires and provokes reflection on ageing - inviting us to pause and look at the familiar in a new way. The exhibition features over 20 artists and creative works about ageing including paintings, photographs, research poetry, installations, interactive VR, digital stories, and short films on topics as diverse as improving dementia awareness in culturally and linguistically diverse communities, to "talking trans ageing", a series of videos designed to help trans and gender diverse people start a conversation about their needs and safety in residential aged care.
Title
Amplifying Voices from the Royal Commission into Aged Care
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
DP210100589
Start year
2021
Keywords
Title
An Inter-Generational Learning and Living Campus: A New Model for Healthy Senior Living and Integrated School Communities Across Urban and Regional Australia
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
1187656
Start year
2020
Keywords
Aged Care; Aged Health; Services Research; Health Care Delivery; Health Care Worker Education
Title
Facilitating Active Ageing in Residential Aged Care: Strategies, Opportunities and Future Directions
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP130100036
Start year
2013
Keywords
Acitve Ageing; Population Ageing; Residential Aged Care
Title
The Neglected Dimension Of Community Liveability: Impact On Social Connectedness And Active Ageing
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP0883447
Start year
2009
Keywords
Community Liveability; Social Engagement; Community Well Being; Social Isolation; Population Ageing
Title
Growing Sustainable Regions: Developing a Rural Statistical Sustainability Framework
Primary fund type
CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
Project ID
LP0776795
Start year
2008
Keywords
Sustainable Regions; Rural Sustainability; Regional Growth; Spatial Decision Support Systems; Economic Development; Decision Making
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