10 questions with… Louise Ellis


A Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Dr Louise Ellis‘ areas of research include mental health, complexity and implementation science, innovative technologies and health systems improvement.

She also happens to be a registered psychologist and a Macquarie alumna (BPsych (Hons) 1998).

1. Something you feel proud of
My co-authors and I just won the Peter Reizenstein Award for best paper published in the International Journal for Quality in Healthcare for 2020. Titled ‘The 40 health systems, COVID-19 (40HS, C-19) study’, the paper was a collaborative team effort and I really enjoyed the opportunity to examine international datasets and play with some new graphing tools.

2. Something you’d like staff to know about 
Over the last year, I’ve really loved working on a side-project with a great team from the Centre for Health Informatics, on the role of augmented reality games, like Pokémon Go, in supporting mental health and wellbeing. It’s been such a fun project and very rewarding.

3. What you need to do your best work
My laptop, a quiet space and a good barista-made coffee. I lived in Melbourne for a couple of years, which is certainly the place to get an appreciation for coffee! My friends tell me I’ve become a bit of a coffee snob.

4.  A Macquarie person you admire
I really admire and look up to my colleague, Associate Professor Robyn Clay-Williams, who was one of the first two women to serve as a pilot in the Royal Australian Air Force. As a female pioneer, I really admire how she has shaped Australia’s history. Robyn is now an internationally regarded health services researcher. However, first and foremost, she is a wonderful role model, while remaining down-to-earth, trusted and a highly-collaborate colleague.

5. Something you’ve read that has had an impact on you
bad-blood_insetBad Blood: Secrets and Lies of a Silicon Valley StartupIt’s a must-read about the rise and shocking collapse of Theranos, a multi-billion dollar US startup. This book provides such an interesting insight into its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, who committed one of the biggest corporate frauds since Enron. Next, I’m really interested in following the story of fraudster Anna Delvey, whose story will be released on Netflix soon.

6. A favourite photo from your camera roll
I feel so blessed to have had some time away with my family in Port Douglas before the current Sydney lockdown. This photo expresses joy, freedom and warmth.


7. What you like about where you live
I am lucky enough to live quite close to Macquarie in the north-west suburbs. I moved there with my family so that we could have big backyard with a pool. As soon as I saw our house, I knew it was meant for us.

8. A website or app you can’t live without
I’ll sound like such an academic when I say this, but of course how could any of us survive without Google Scholar. It’s the quick go to when searching for academic literature. Of course, it’s also a great place to see how many citations my publications have received. ;o) 

9. Something you’re trying to do differently in 2021
I’ve made a conscious decision to ensure that I continue to support others and be a positive role model. I think it’s particularly important in the competitive, cut-throat academic environment we can sometimes find ourselves in.  

10.  The first person you go to for advice
Definitely my mum, who has been a constant source of inspiration to me. My mum is the most incredible optimistic woman, never letting anything get her down or stand in her way.

The major event that shaped my mum’s life was a very bad car accident that she was involved in when she was in her 20s. She was hit by a drunk driver, her parents died and she suffered a very bad traumatic brain injury. She lost most of her memory and had to learn to read and write again.

She was told she would never walk again, but with constant persistence, she did.  She could not recognise her husband and had no memories of their relationship, but they worked things out together. The doctors told mum that she would not be able to have children but she defied all odds there too. My mum’s optimism was what got her through, and this has greatly shaped who I am today.





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