ELIZABETH ECKERMANN ENDOWED TRACK ON GENDER AND QUALITY OF LIFE
Named for an ISQOLS leader and pioneer in the advancement of gendered quality of life research, contributions made to the “Elizabeth Eckermann Endowed Track” will permanently endow a track on the “Gender and Quality of Life” to be held as part of each ISQOLS international conference program. This track will include as least two sessions consisting of three or more participants whose research activities overlap with the purpose of this endowment.
Only the income earned from this Fund will be used to support the endowed track.
Named for an ISQOLS leader and pioneer in the advancement of gender sensitive quality of life research, contributions made to the “Elizabeth Eckermann Endowed Track” will permanently endow a track on the “Gender and Quality of Life” to be held as part of each ISQOLS international conference program. This track will include as least two sessions consisting of three or more participants whose research activities overlap with the purpose of this endowment. Only the income earned from this Fund will be used to support the endowed track.
Elizabeth (Liz) Eckermann (M.A., PhD) was a professor at Deakin University in Australia with a personal chair in medical sociology. She worked as a consultant for the World Health Organization in Geneva and Manila and as editor of the journal, Health Promotion International. She was Associate Dean: Research and Head of the School of History, Heritage and Society in the Arts and Education Faculty at Deakin University, and concentrated on research and advocacy activities in the Asia Pacific region including as a delegate to the United Nations.
Her research and publications covered a wide field from gendered health, maternal health, health promotion, public health, and quality of life to domestic violence, alcohol related harm and eating disorders. The underlying theme of this wide-ranging research is a critical engagement with comparative and gendered understandings of wellbeing as exemplified in her editorial pieces in Health Promotion International on “From health impact assessment to quality of life assessment” 2013 Vol 28, No 4, “Health promotion principles as a catalyst for translating the SDGs into more transformative action” 2016 vol 31. No 2, and “Global health promotion in the era of galloping populism” 2017 Vol.32. Gendered dimensions of quality of life is the key theme of Liz’s recent Springer publications on “Gender Lifespan and Quality of Life: An International Perspective” in 2014; a chapter on the “History of Well-being and the Social Progress of Women Throughout the World” in The Pursuit of Well-being: The Untold Global History edited by Richard J. Estes and M. Joseph Sirgy, in 2017; a chapter on “Living Alone and Living Together: Their Significance for Well-being” in W. Glatzer (ed.) Global Handbook of Quality of Life in 2015; and “The Quality of Life of Adults” in Handbook of Social Indicators and Quality of Life Research in 2012, edited by Kenneth C. Land, Alex C. Michalos, and M. Joseph Sirgy.
Much of Liz’s research over the past decade was conducted in Lao PDR. A project funded by the Italian government to build and evaluate 17 maternity waiting homes in the southern provinces of Lao PDR and an AusAID grant to “develop new and effective ways to evaluate intervention in maternal health services in illiterate and innumerate communities in southern Lao PDR”, have contributed to significant policy and health provision changes in the poorer provinces of Attepu, Sekong and Salavan in southern Lao PDR. Liz’s research, using the Diamond Dialogue Tool to measure wellbeing amongst ethnic minority communities in these provinces, won her the Zonta International Outstanding Achievement Award for commitment to the advancement of women’s health in Lao PDR. Publication of these findings include “Resilience as a double-edged health promotion goal: case examples from Lao PDR”, published in Health Promotion International in 2016; “Quality of Life for Pregnant and Recent Parity Women in Lao PDR” in the edited book on Gender, Lifespan and Quality of Life: An International Perspective; “Home delivery in Southern Lao PDR: challenges to achieving MDG 4 & 5 targets” (with Sanaphay, Daenseekaew, Smith and Scopaz) in Philippine Journal of Nursing, vol. 84, no. 1, pp. 24-31; “Diamond Dialogue Method for the Evaluation of Personal Wellbeing after a Maternal Health Intervention in Lao PDR” (with Scopaz and Clarke) in the International Journal of Happiness and Development Vol 1, No.1 2012, pp 49-62; and “Maternal Health in Lao PDR: Repositioning the Goal Posts” (with Scopaz and Clarke) in the Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy Vol. 16, No. 4, Nov. 2011, pp 597-611.
Liz latest research project, with researchers from Universiti Sabah Malaysia, extends that research to examine the impact on quality of life of an alcohol-related harm intervention program in Kadazan /Dusun kampongs in Sabah, Malaysia.
Liz had a long involvement with ISQOLS spanning two decades. She was on the Board of Directors of the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies where she was Vice-President: Development and was made a Distinguished Research Fellow of the Society. Her key contribution in the field has been to promote a gendered approach to both quality of life and well-being as reflected in the article “Elizabeth (Liz) Eckermann: A Pioneer in Gendered Understandings of Quality of Life”, Applied Research in Quality of Life 2015 DOI: 10.1007/s11482-015-9420-0. She presented the Richard J. Estes lecture on comparative understandings of quality of life and well-being at the 2016 ISQOLS Conference in Seoul.
Liz attended the first World Conference on Quality of Life in 1996, became a foundation member of ISQOLS, undertook various roles within it, and researched and wrote on gender and quality of life and the development of gender-sensitive QOL indicators. At the time she was diagnosed with brain cancer in February 2018 she was President-Elect of ISQOLS, but had to withdraw due to failing health. She died peacefully in the early morning hours of Monday 13 May in the presence of her husband John and son, Simon.
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