For the latest news, opinion pieces and events from the Australian Health Policy Collaboration go to the Mitchell Institute for Education and Health Policy

This page lists past news, opinions and events.


Australia’s Health Tracker by Socio-economic status was launched in November 2017 at the National Press Club. The national report card examines the association of economic circumstances with rising levels of poor health in Australia's largest population segments.

The launch included a panel discussion on the ‘Changing nature of employment in Australia and its impacts on heath, wellbeing and the economy’ with Alan Kohler (expert financial journalist and commentator) and Dr Mukesh Haikerwal AO (leading general practitioner in Melbourne’s Western suburbs).

Australia’s Health Tracker by Socio-economic status calls for tailored policies to address the health impacts of socio-economic conditions that will significantly improve many aspects of society.

Leading health experts, organisations and policy leaders joined AHPC to launch Heart Health: the first step to Getting Australia's Health on Track in Canberra.

Heart Health calls for a national strategy to ensure screening of all high risk individuals nationally as cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of Australia’s biggest killers.

It provides an implementation map for one of the ten priority policy actions proposed in AHPC’s Getting Australia’s Health on Track to reduce preventable illness and disability.

Download: Heart Health: the first step to Getting Australia's Health on Track

More than 80 organisations including the National Stroke Foundation, the National Heart Foundation, Cancer Council Australia and the Public Health Association of Australia met at a national forum in Melbourne to discuss strategies to combat preventable chronic diseases and drive national agenda for change.

Australia’s Health Tracker, launched at the forum, shows increased rates of obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and dangerously high levels of salt and sugar consumption in Australian adults.

The Forum’s key note speaker, Graham MacGregor, a Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, has praised the work and urged that Australia follow the lead of the United Kingdom in sugar and salt reform.

Download: Chronic diseases in Australia: Accountability and action forum report

At a forum on 25 November 2015, representatives from seven working groups and the broader public health sector came together to discuss chronic disease targets and indicators. The working groups covered the topics of:

  • mortality, morbidity and high risk populations
  • alcohol
  • salt
  • physical inactivity
  • tobacco
  • diabetes and obesity
  • mental health.

Attendees supported development of a prevention scorecard.

Download: Chronic diseases in Australia: Targets, indicators and accountability

The Australian Health Policy Collaboration hosted a private roundtable with a select group of health experts and opinion leaders.

Key topics of the roundtable focused on how best to position Australia’s health services to manage the pressures of:

  • increasing health expenditure and public funding of health care
  • hospital and health workforce
  • ageing population
  • escalating impact of chronic disease
  • rising costs of health treatments and technologies that manage those chronic diseases and prolong life.

Download: Are there lessons from the past? Australian national health policy making in the 1970s

Over 70 of Australia's chronic disease and population health experts took part in the Chronic diseases: the case for changing course policy forum, which looked at how to reorient Australia’s response to chronic disease from acute care towards disease prevention.

The forum, held at the State Library of Victoria commenced with a panel of speakers, including:

  • Professor Rob Moodie of the University of Melbourne
  • Dr Erin Lalor, CEO of the National Stroke Foundation
  • Victoria University’s Professor Maximilian de Courten and Michael Moore
  • CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia. Policy-forum-chronic-diseases-presentations.pdf

View their presentations.

Download: Chronic diseases: The case for changing course policy forum report

In the news

Helping young people with mental health issues find work, Michael Mackenzie, ABC Radio National – Afternoons, 9 December 2016.

Bolshie food industry hampering efforts to cut salt and sugar: expert, Fran Kelly, ABC Radio National Breakfast, 30 November 2016.

Prescription for a healthy Australia: cut salt levels, save thousands of lives, Rania Spooner, The Age, 28 November 2016.

Australia’s Health Tracker reveals huge health gaps between Sydney suburbs, Kate Aubusson, The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 November 2016.

Wealthiest Aust postcodes the healthiest, Sarah Wiedersehn, Yahoo! 7 News, 24 November 2016.

The wealthier you are, the healthier you are, health data shows, Julia Medew, The Age, 24 November 2016.

Health report shows Australians among the world’s fattest and have increasingly high blood pressure, Brigid O’Connell, The Herald Sun, 5 July 2016.

Our teenagers are on course to be inactive, unhealthy and unwell, Cayla Dengate, The Huffington Post, 5 July 2016.

Australian’s among the world’s fattest, Australia’s Health Tracker reveals, Ritwik Roy, The International Business Times, 5 July 2016.

Australia’s Health Tracker: worrying report card on chronic health issues – and government performance, Mary McIrney, Croakey, 5 July 2016.

New Heart Foundation report reveals high levels of obesity and physical inactivity in Melbourne’s west, Alesha Capone, Brimbank Leader, 13 May 2015.

Bigger than the both of us: Obesity is best tackled at a community level, Stephen Simpson and Rosemary Calder, The Age, The Brisbane Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times, 24 April 2015.

The government is missing the point with its health pricing ideas, David Donaldson, The Mandarin,13 February 2015.


Health tracker: Where you live could be making your children fat, Chloe Booker, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 May 2017.

Health Tracker: Do you live in Victoria's fittest postcode?, Rania Spooner, The Age, 2 May 2017.

Two-thirds of Aussies don't exercise much, Sarah Wierdersehn,, 2 May 2017.

AHPC Opinion piece, Rosemary Calder, James Dunbar and Hazel Fetherston, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 November 2016.

The ten things Australia needs to do to improve health, Rebecca Lindberg, Sharleen O’Reilly and Kevin Mc Namara, The Conversation, 28 November 2016.

Are these the best ways to get Australia’s health on track? Hazel Fetherston and Rosemary Calder, Croakey, 28 November 2016.

Why we need to be protected from making unhealthy choices, Rosemary Calder, The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 November 2016.

Too much salt and sugar and not enough exercise – why Australians' health is lagging, Rebecca Lindberg, Rosemary Calder, Maximilian de Courten, The Conversation, 5 July 2016.

Australia’s new health tracker reveals weak progress towards NCD targets, Connor Rochford, Rosemary Calder, Rob Moodie, NCD Alliance Blog, 5 July 2016.

Opinion piece: Advance Australia Fair – Improving Health and Equity by 2025, Rosemary Calder, May 2016.

The Medical Journal of Australia. Australia making no progress to prevent obesity, alcohol harm: MJA report. Penny Tolhurst, Professor Rob Moodie, Jane Martin, 4 April 2016.

Opinion piece: Joining up physical and mental health, Maria Duggan, 4 March 2016.