National Consumer Engagement Strategy for Preventive Health project

Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute and the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) are leading National Consumer Engagement Strategy for Preventive Health project
Monday 21 March 2022

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) and Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute are leading this project to provide policy makers with evidence-based, fit-for-purpose, future-focused framework to guide and facilitate effective and meaningful connections with consumers, community groups and consumer organisations.

About the Consumer Engagement Strategy

The National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030 released in December 2021 aims to create a sustainable prevention system for all Australians, with a particular focus on the social determinants of health, reducing health inequity and addressing the increasing burden of disease. Seven key enablers for enhancing Australia’s prevention system were identified in the strategy, and the Department of Health has initiated two major projects for two of these enablers:  the development of the National Consumer Engagement Strategy for Preventive Health and the National Health Literacy Strategy.

  • The National Consumer Engagement Strategy will provide strategies and engagement tools to strengthen partnerships between policy-makers and the community, and to facilitate consumer participation in preventive health at all levels in the health system. 
  • The complementary National Health Literacy Strategy, conducted by the Sax Institute and the University of Sydney, will focus on practical strategies to improve access to high quality evidence-based information to support all Australians to better manage their health and wellbeing. 

National consultations throughout 2022 will inform the development of each strategy. Both project teams are working collaboratively to ensure the consultations and the strategies will be complementary and mutually supportive. We will provide further details on the timing and approach for the consultations shortly.

What difference will this project make for consumers and communities?

Health is about more than sickness.  Increasingly we can expect to see a greater policy focus on illness prevention and health promotion, accompanied by programs and services to achieve better health and wellness.  This project will develop practical advice and suggestions about how policy makers and  program developers can involve consumers in shaping programs in areas such as:

  • cancer screening
  • smoking cessation and other lifestyle risk factor modification programs
  • mental health promotion
  • and self-care programs.


Project activities

Over 10 months, this project will include a range of activities including:

  • Research and analysis of existing consumer engagement approaches in health and other disciplines to identify exemplars, what works for different population groups, and what doesn’t
  • Stakeholder consultation through a series of workshops and other activities with a focus on identified priority populations and the potential engagement barriers they face including:
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
    • Culturally and linguistically diverse people and communities
    • Rural and remote populations
    • People with disability, their families and carers
    • LGBTIQ+ people and communities
    • Low socio-economic groups
    • People living in residential settings
    • Young people
    • Older people
    • People living with mental health conditions
  • Development and testing of tools and strategies for consumer engagement
  • Deliver a consumer engagement strategy to the Department of Health for use in implementing the National Preventive Health Strategy 2021-2030

Consultation Workshops

CHF and the Mitchell Institute will hold a series of workshops during May and August 2022 in the design and test phases of the project. Key stakeholder organisations will be invited to participate in both face-to-face and online workshops.  Locations and dates of these workshops is currently being finalised and will include:

Workshop 1 - Engaging consumers in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities (Cairns)

Workshop 2 - Engaging consumers in regional and remote communities (Cairns)

Workshop 3 - Engaging consumers from culturally and linguistically diverse communities (Western Sydney)

Workshop 4 - Government (federal, state, local) agencies responsible for health prevention

Workshop 5 - Digital engagement techniques - current and future opportunities

Workshop 6 - Online workshop - engaging with consumers across multiple cohorts

Workshop 7 - Online workshop - engaging with consumers across multiple cohorts



For further information about this project, contact Tammy Wolffs from CHF or Erin Bowen from the Mitchell Institute.

Contact us

Erin Bowen

Policy Fellow

[email protected]