Symposium Program

Health Promotion Symposium 2018: Better Practice Better Placed

We face unprecedented challenges and exciting opportunities for human and planetary health both locally and globally.

Better Practice Better Placed is an intentionally ambiguous and ambitious theme for the Health Promotion Symposium. The Symposium aims to encourage analysis, debate and provide opportunities to network, discuss, and share practices, research and policies that have led, or will lead, to better and more equitable population health outcomes. It is an opportunity to share and assess where we are in health promotion and what we need to do, to be better placed to ensure a healthier population within supportive social, built and natural environments.

In Australia a rapidly growing, ageing, and diverse population along with substantial ecological, political, economic and social change has led to broad and complex health needs and inequities.  At the same time we face a range of planetary level challenges that will have or are already having an impact on population health and wellbeing. 

At the Symposium we will explore challenges and identify opportunities and actions in policy and politics, places, partnerships and programs that contribute to building sustainable and liveable places with equitable opportunities and a healthy planet for all, now, and for future generations.

The Symposium’s main focus areas are:

1. Policy, Power and Politics

Tackling the inequitable distribution of power is a key recommendation for global action to achieve health equity. Health inequities are influenced by rapidly changing socio-political contexts, which in turn shape government policy agendas. These agendas are often focused on improving economic outcomes not population health and health equity. But as the former WHO Director-General Margaret Chan has suggested, money does not buy better health; good policies that promote equity have a better chance. A decade after the World Health Organisation’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health, it is useful to reflect critically on the actions that Australia has taken to tackle the inequitable distribution of power and whether we have made progress or failed to effect change.  We must consider our role in a shifting landscape, exploring where we lack capacity, knowledge and critical skills needed to nurture future policy and practice.

Our focus is to draw on the experiences of researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and civil society across sectors to shed light on the interaction between power, policy and politics and the role for health promotion in advocacy, leadership, and participatory governance for health.  

2. Populations, Partnerships and Programs

Chronic diseases are a significant and growing health challenge in Australia. Many share common risk factors (which are largely preventable) and are influenced by complex social, cultural, and environmental factors that require multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary collaborative action. These problems require political and community investment and call for learning and adaptation through policy and program experiments at scale. There is a recognised need for health promotion to develop innovative methods and to capture evidence of the (often) subtle but critical changes in local contexts because of practice efforts. In other words, how do we move beyond simply counting the ‘reach’ of programs, to capturing evidence of community engagement and of sustainable changes in complex systems? Programs aimed at changing behaviours and environments must also reduce inequalities and inequities between groups, and ensure that the people/populations most affected and most disadvantaged are at the ‘decision and design’ table.

Our focus is to stimulate thinking about how best to use opportunities and resources, that new and existing programs and partnerships provide, to impact local places and populations. We look at examples from research and practice of strategically placed partnerships, of programs that achieve more than what is measured, and of practice-based evidence that could inform research and policy and lead to better placed more effective practice and programs. 

3. Planet and Place

Place and planet matter. Where we grow, live, learn, work, and play have a profound impact on our health and wellbeing. We are increasingly aware of the importance of planetary health and the catastrophic impacts of climate change (and the health benefits of climate mitigation and adaptation strategies). Uncertainty, high stakes, and conflicting values demand clear and active roles for health promotion in facilitating social cohesion, developing environments which support health and a vibrant community life, protecting our planet and ensuring no one is left behind. Engaging communities and working together creates broad opportunities in areas such as urban and regional planning; aged care, housing and welfare services; food production and security; transport infrastructure; sport and recreation; sustainability and contributing to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. More than ever, technology and innovation enable unprecedented action and participation. 

Our focus is to explore future challenges and solutions and the best ways to work to make a difference, globally and locally, with a focus on better understanding and responding collaboratively to maintain or change our built, social and natural environments which impact on health. 

Symposium Program


09:00 – 09:30 Welcome to Country and Symposium opening
09:30 – 11:00

Policy, Power and Politics 
Keynote Speakers: Prof Fran Baum & Prof Lisa Jackson Pulver
Panel Discussion with Q&A: Prof Fran Baum, Prof Lisa Jackson Pulver and Michael Thorn

11:00 – 11:30 Morning tea
11:30 – 13:00

1) The Application of Systemic Inquiry Processes and Methods in Communities: The Case of Prevention Tracker
2) Health in All Policies – A Framework for Shaping Policy, Sharing Power and Navigating Politics 
3) Power and Politics: Countering Industry Involvement in the Development of Health Policy

Rapid presentations with a twist:
1) Group 1 (Policy and Advocacy) – Policy, advocacy, industry influence, food & drink environments, gambling, guns, alcohol, e-cigs and media
2) Group 2 (System and Place Based): Systems thinking, theory and practice, challenges of place based initiatives, social inclusion, cohesion & collaboration

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:30

Population, Partnerships and Programs
Keynote Speakers: Prof Chris Rissel & Ms Donish Duff
Panel Discussion with Q&A: Prof Chris Rissel, Ms Donisha Duff, Stephanie Harvey & Kristen Corben

15:30 – 16:00 Afternoon tea
16:00 – 17:30

1) Systems Practices: ‘How to use Systems Thinking in your Everyday Work’
2) Health Promotion Practitioner Registration has Arrived – Where to from here?

Workshop/Seminar –  Aboriginal Health: We need to do better: What will we do better? How will we do it?

Seminar – The Healthy Beginnings Program: Journey from the Beginning through to Now

Rapid presentations with a twist:
1) Group 3  (Early Childhood and Schools) – Infancy, early childhood, pre & school settings, obesity prevention, nutrition, physical activity, barriers and enablers
2) Group 4 (Partnerships – Collaboration & Challenges): Partnerships, local government, collaboration, stakeholder consultation & engagement, sustainability, collective impact, challenges & lessons learned

19:00 – 23:00 Fun Food and Drinks @ QT Speakeasy
Presentation of the Ray James Award, the Chris Rissel Award and the Glen Paley Award


09:00 – 11:00

Planet and Place
Keynote speakers – Prof Tony Capon & Prof Susan Thompson
Panel Discussion with Q&A – Panellists: Dr Hannah Badland, Dr Iain Butterworth, & Dr Xiaoqi Feng (Chairperson: Prof. Peter Sainsbury)

11:00 – 11:30 Morning tea
11:30 – 13:00

1) ‘Urban Liveability – Different Perspective on a Shared Issue’
2) Community Health Ethics Board (CHEB) for Health Promoters – What is it? What’s the best fit?
3) Healthy Active Living @ the Heart of all Design
4) Tips for Writing and Reviewing for the Health Promotion Journal of Australia: A Practical Guide

Rapid presentations with a twist:
Group 5 (Indigenous, CALD, Low Socioeconomic Populations): Campaigns, Indigenous, CALD, low socioeconomic groups, healthy ageing, sexual health, health literacy, behaviour change, apps and digital inclusion

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:00 Barry Sandison, Director (CEO) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
15:00 – 15:30 Afternoon tea
15:30 – 16:30 Influencing Policy – Q&A
1) The Heart Foundation’s Move More Sit Less Campaign – Rohan Greenland (The Heart Foundation)
2) Influencing Policy Through Co-design – Mel Edwards & Justin Barrie (Design Managers Australia)
3) Mandatory Pregnancy Warning Labels – Sarah Ward (FARE)
16:30 – 16:45 Poster Award Presentation & Symposium Close