We are all familiar with the typical media image of homelessness – a person hunched in the doorway or asleep on the footpath with a cardboard sign begging for money. Mental illness or drug use is often assumed to be the cause.
How accurate are these stereotypes? What causes homelessness in a city as affluent as ours? Are there really people just like us who are homeless? It has been humbling to realise that Dr Wood too had some inaccurate stereotypes and underestimated just how tough it is to live without a place to call home.
Dr Wood is a tireless advocate for research being relevant and useful to the real world, and the need for academia to go beyond “the ivory tower”. Research and teaching roles at UWA are complemented by nearly three decades of experience in public health in WA, nationally and internationally. Current areas of research and public health activity include homelessness, mental health, sense of community and closing the gaps in Aboriginal wellbeing.