Ruth is a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at RMIT University, based in the School of Art and Design and Creative Practice Enabling Capability Platform.
I am currently a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at RMIT University, based in the School of Art and Design and Creative Practice Enabling Capability Platform. I am a nurse, academic and community engaged researcher in gender, race, health and digital technologies. Prior to coming to RMIT, I was the academic co-convenor of the The Data, Systems and Society Research Network (DSSRN), a collaborative research network across the University of Melbourne. My Fellowship will engage health professionals in finding new ways to understand, co-design and implement sustainable cultural safety initiatives in a range of health contexts in response to health inequities. I also have an Honorary Senior Research Fellow role at The Centre for Digital Transformation of Health at The University of Melbourne and my own consulting practice.
My research work in progress includes: whether health technologies provide an opportunity for addressing health inequalities; a critical health agenda around the intersections of race, class, gender, neoliberalism and health technology; examining how wearable health technologies can enhance consumer participation agendas eg through co-design and shared decision making; the implications of new health information technologies for the health care workforce; implications of new health information technologies; and data ethics in the context of the secondary use of clinical data and aggregation of patient data.
Collaborating on a range of research projects and activities.
- PhD 2011 (AUT University)
- MA 2002 (Massey University)
- Graduate Diploma in Advance Nursing Practice (Counselling) 1996 (AUT University)
- Diploma in Nursing 1984 (AUT University)
My research has been primarily community engaged. I have worked in partnership with refugee, migrant and well child services in New Zealand to identify research questions and undertake research. Since coming to Australia, I initially held a joint appointment with Monash University and the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH) at North Richmond Community Health (NRCH), Melbourne, then while based at CEH, worked with researchers and students at the University of Melbourne to explore the impact of the proliferation of mobile and wearable health technologies. In particular examining how these developments are reconfiguring power relations, relationships and practices in health care through the lens of health literacy, consumer participation and cultural competence/safety. I have also had a consulting practice and worked with organisations such as Beyond Blue, Our Watch, cohealth and others.
- ACN Diversity and Inclusion Working Party. Australian College of Nursing (2019-current).
- Project Reference Group. Fair Play Access and Inclusion Project for the Creative Industries in Victoria, Diversity Arts Australia (DARTS). (2019).
- Member of the sub-working group on refugee women’s health within The Migrant and Refugee Women’s Health Initiative (a joint project by The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Migration Council Australia) (2017-2019).
- Member of the Multicultural and LGBTIQ Sector Specialist Committee advisory body to Switchboard Victoria (2018).
- Reference Group, Victorian Transcultural Mental Health Unit (2014-2018).
In New Zealand
- NZ Mental Health Literacy Programme Reference Group (2009-2011)
- Community and Public Health Advisory Committee, the Hospital Advisory Committee, the Maori Advisory committee (Pou) and the Pacific Health Advisory Committee to the Counties Manukau District Health Board (PHAC) -(2008-2010).
- Guidelines Technical Advisory Group (GTAG) for the development of evidence based guidelines for the management and treatment of overweight and obesity for children/youth and adults in New Zealand (2008-2009).
- National service specifications for specialist mental health and addictions- Asian and Refugee services (2009)
- Te Pou Asian, refugee and migrant research agendas (2007).
- Community Development Review: Auckland City Council (2007).
- Public Health Reference Group for Improving Nutrition, Health Sponsorship Council (2006-2007).
- Creative New Zealand Advisory panel for project Arts attendance and participation within Asian communities (2006-2007)
- Member and Deputy Chair of the West Auckland Living Skills Homes Trust Inc (WALSH Trust) 2005-2008
- Waitemata DHB mental health strategic workforce development plan steering committee (2007)
- Waitemata DHB District Mental Health & Addictions Plan - Asian Chapter Development (2008-2010)
- Counties Manukau DHB Mental Health and Addiction Network Committee (2008-2010)
- Mayoral Task Force on Family Violence (Waitakere City Council 2007).
- Chair, research sub-committee Auckland Regional Migrant Services Trust (ARMS), 2002-2006
- Member Indian Health and Social Services Group (Founding member)
- Member Sky City Asian Problem Gambling reference group
- Board member Asian Social Services New Zealand, 2002 -2004
- Inaugural Board member Auckland Regional Migrant Services Trust (ARMS), 2002-2006.
- Abdolkhani, R.,Gray, K.,Borda, A.,DeSouza, R. (2020). Quality assurance of health wearables data: Participatory workshop on barriers, solutions, and expectations In: JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 8, 1 - 11
- DeSouza, R.,Higgins, R. (2020). Cultural Safety: An Overview In: The Relationship Is the Project, Brow Books, Australia
- Abdolkhani, R.,Gray, K.,Borda, A.,DeSouza, R. (2019). Patient-generated health data management and quality challenges in remote patient monitoring In: JAMIA Open, 2, 471 - 478
- Ion, R.,DeSouza, R.,Kerin, T. (2018). Teaching ethics: Intersectionality, care failure and moral courage In: Nurse Education Today, 62, 98 - 100
- Nairn, R.,DeSouza, R.,Barnes, A.,Rankine, J.,Borell, B.,McCreanor, T. (2014). Nursing in media-saturated societies: implications for cultural safety in nursing practice in Aotearoa New Zealand In: Journal of Research in Nursing, 19, 477 - 487
- DeSouza, R. (2014). 'This child is a planned baby': Skilled migrant fathers and reproductive decision-making In: Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70, 2663 - 2672
- DeSouza, R. (2014). One Woman's Empowerment Is Another's Oppression: Korean Migrant Mothers on Giving Birth in Aotearoa New Zealand In: Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 25, 348 - 356
- DeSouza, R. (2013). Regulating migrant maternity: Nursing and midwifery's emancipatory aims and assimilatory practices In: Nursing Inquiry, 20, 293 - 304