News & Stories

Passion for health begins at home

Tim Kariotis' journey to connect the dots with the Master of Public Health.


It wasn’t until he studied at university that Timothy Kariotis fully gained an understanding of why people from his hometown in Devonport, Tasmania were experiencing poor health.

Since completing the Master of Public Health at the University of Tasmania, Timothy is using the knowledge he’s gained through his studies to research and better understand the health needs of rural and regional communities like his.

“I’ve always had an interest in public health and I think there are a lot of social and economic factors that impact peoples’ health," Timothy said.

“Growing up on the North West coast of Tasmania, I had family and friends who experienced poor health, and when I learnt about the social determinants of health in my undergraduate studies, it all clicked for me, why people in my community were experiencing poor health.”

Having studied psychology, community nutrition, exercise science, and public health, Timothy has gained a thorough understanding of the social and economic factors that impact health at the individual, community, and population level.

Timothy says he’s driven by a passion for public health, mental health, and community development, and his lecturers at the University of Tasmania shared these passions and encouraged his interests.

“I was honestly shocked that the people who were teaching me had taught, researched, and worked all around the world.”

Tasmania faces a combination of health, social, and economic challenges, and the team at the University of Tasmania is invested in – and passionate about – trying to solve these challenges and teaching the next generation of clinicians, policy professionals, and advocates.

“I am proud to have studied at a university which invests so much in our community.”

Timothy is now based at a Melbourne university and is a current PhD candidate. His PhD research explores information continuity between primary health care, community mental health care, and housing and homelessness services for people with a lived experience of severe mental illness.

“The Master of Public Health supported my application for a PhD.

I looked first to the University of Tasmania when I decided to undertake my master's. The programme, being online, was appealing, but I also knew of the high quality of the University’s postgraduate programs.

Timothy is involved in several projects on a range of topics including, digital health, digital data ethics, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, and LGBTIQ housing and homelessness.

His links to the University of Tasmania remain through Shock Verdict – a social media campaign that aims to inspire Australians to save a life by calling 000, providing lifesaving chest compressions, and using an AED. Timothy is responsible for designing the evaluation of the campaign.

He’s also involved in scoping out a state-wide research program into out-of-hospital cardiac arrests (OHCA). This role has included extensive stakeholder engagement, reviewing literature and examples from other jurisdictions, and writing academic papers. Central to this work has been a scoping project into cardiac arrest registries in Australia, and how these could inform a model for Tasmania.

What health means to my hometown in north-west Tasmania may be completely different to Melbourne or Hobart, for example.

“I think health is different for each community, and we should not try to provide a top-down definition of health and apply it to the many communities people may align with."

Interested in Public Health? Apply now to study a Master of Public Health