Researcher biography

Dr Kath Benfer is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre, The University of Queensland. Her Post-Doctoral work focuses on community-based early detection and intervention for infants at high risk of cerebral palsy in low-resource countries (India and Bangladesh). She was awarded the prestigious Endeavour Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship through the Australian Commonwealth Government to conduct the study. Kath's PhD explored oropharyngeal dysphagia, gross motor function, growth and nutrition in preschool children with cerebral palsy, in both Australia and Bangladesh. Her work arising from her doctoral studies has been published in 10 peer-reviewed publications and presented widely at international conferences. Dr Benfer has over 12 years of experience as a speech pathologist within paediatric disability, with community-based child and family support services. Kath also has an interest in cross-cultural issues in child health, having worked in Bangladesh for over 2 years both as an AusAid volunteer teaching on the country's first Bachelor of Speech Therapy degree, as well as conducting research in this context. She has completed her Master of Public Health at La Trobe University in Melbourne within the research and international health streams.