Informed, engaged communities for health

Filter by Categories
Aged care
Budgets
Federal Budget 2024-25
Federal Budget 2023-2024
Federal Budget October 2022
Federal Budget 2022-23
Federal Budget 2021-22
Climate and health
Climate emergency
Healthcare sustainability
Heatwaves
National Health and Climate Strategy
#HealthyCOP28
#HealthyCOP27
#HealthyCOP26
#CoveringClimateNow
COVID collection
COVID-19
Long COVID
COVIDwrap
COVID SNAPS
#JusticeCOVID
Caring for the Frontline
COVIDglobalMHseries
Croakey Conference News Service
#WICC2024
Croakey Professional Services
NHLF series
#KidneyCareTogether
ACSQHC series
ACSQHC series 2022
ACSQHC series 2021
ACSQHC series 2020
ACSQHC series 2019
CATSINaM 25 Years
Croakey projects
@WePublicHealth 2024
Summer reading 2023-2024
The Zap
#CroakeyLIVE #DigitalNationBuilding
#CroakeyLIVE #VoiceForHealth
#PHAAThinkTank2023
The Health Wrap
ICYMI
@WePublicHealth
@WePublicHealth2023
#CroakeyVOICES
#SpeakingOurMinds
Croakey longreads
#CroakeyREAD
CroakeyEXPLORE
CroakeyGO
#CroakeyGO #NavigatingHealth
#GamblingHarms
#HeatwaveHealth
Mapping CroakeyGo
Determinants of health
Environmental determinants of health
Social determinants of health
Education
Discrimination
Housing
Internet access
Justice and policing
Justice Reinvestment
Newstart/JobSeeker
Poverty
Racism
Social policy
Commercial determinants of health
Alcohol
Arms industry
Digital platforms
Food and beverages
Fossil fuels
Gambling
Pharmaceutical industry
Plain packaging
Sugar tax
Tobacco
Vaping
Disasters and extreme weather events
Disasters
Extreme weather events
Bushfires
Bushfire-emergency 2019-2020
Floods 2023
Floods 2022
Floods 2021
Floods 2011
Donor-funded journalism
Donor-funded journalism – 2024
Donor-funded journalism – 2023
Donor-funded journalism – 2022
Donor-funded journalism – 2021
Donor-funded journalism – 2020
Elections
lutruwita/Tasmania 2024 election
#NSWvotesHealth2023
Victorian election 2022
Federal Election 2022
The Election Wrap 2022
#QldVotesHealth
SA election 2022
WA election 2021
Tasmanian election 2021
First Nations
Indigenous health
Community controlled sector
Cultural determinants of health
Cultural safety
Indigenous education
Social and emotional wellbeing
Uluru Statement
The Voice
Lowitja Institute
NT Intervention
WA community closures
Acknowledgement
#CTG10
#NTRC
#RCIADIC30Years
General health matters
Abortion
Cancer
Cardiovascular disease
Child health
Chronic conditions
Consumer health matters
Death and dying
Diabetes
Disabilities
Euthanasia
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
Genetics
HIV/AIDS
HRT
Infectious diseases
Influenza
LGBTQIA+
Medical marijuana
Men's health
Mental health
Mpox
Non communicable diseases
Oral health
Organ transplants
Pain
Pregnancy and childbirth
Sexual health
Suicide
Swine flu
Trauma
Women's health
Youth health
Global health matters
Asylum seeker and refugee health
Conflict and war
Global health
WHO
Ebola
NHS
#WorldInTurmoil
Health policy and systems
Co-design
Health financing and costs
Health reform
Health regulation
Medicare 40 Years
MyMedicare
National Health Performance Authority
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
Private health insurance
Royal Commissions
TGA
Workforce matters
Strengthening Medicare Taskforce 2022
National Commission of Audit 2014
Healthcare
Adverse events
Allied healthcare
Australian Medical Association
Choosing Wisely
cohealth
Complementary medicines
Conflicts of interest
Co-payments
Digital technology
E-health
Emergency departments and care
Equally Well
General practice
Health Care Homes
Health ethics
Hospitals
International medical graduates
Medicare Locals
MyHospitals website
Naturopathy
NDIS
Nursing and midwifery
Out of pocket costs
Palliative care
Paramedics
Pathology
Pharmacy
Primary healthcare
Primary Health Networks
Rural and remote health
Safety and quality of healthcare and aged care
Screening
Social prescribing
Surgery
Telehealth
Tests
Media and health
Media-related issues
Health & medical marketing
Misinformation and disinformation
Public interest journalism
Social media and healthcare
The Conversation
Media Doctor Australia
News about Croakey
Public health and population health
Air pollution
Artificial intelligence
Australian Centre for Disease Control
Government 2.0
Gun control
Health communications
Health impact assessment
Health in All Policies
Health inequalities
Health literacy
Human rights
Illicit drugs
Injuries
Legal issues
Marriage equality
Nanny state
National Preventive Health Agency
Obesity
Occupational health
Physical activity
Prevention
Public health
Road safety
Sport
Transport
Vaccination
VicHealth
Violence
Web 2.0
Weight loss products
#PreventiveHealthStrategy
#UnmetNeedsinPublicHealth
Research matters
Cochrane Collaboration
Evidence-based issues
Health and medical education
Health and medical research
NHMRC
#MRFFtransparency
The Croakey Archives
#cripcroakey
#HealthEquity16
#HealthMatters
#IHMayDay (all years)
#IHMayDay 2014
#IHMayDay15
#IHMayday16
#IHMayDay17
#IHMayDay18
#LoveRural 2014
Croakey Conference News Service 2013 – 2023
2023 Conferences
#GreenHealthForum23
#hpsymposium2023
#NMS23
#HEAL2023
#ASMIRT2023
#NSPC23
Our Democracy Forum
#AskMSF
#Lowitja2023
2022 Conferences
#16nrhc
#GreenHealthForum22
#Heal2022
#ICEM22
#NAISA22
#NNF2022
#RANZCP2022
#RethinkAddiction
#RTP22
GiantSteps22
Equally Well 2022 Symposium
Choosing Wisely National Meeting 2022
2021 conferences
#21OPCC
#BackToTheFire
#FoodGovernance2021
#GiantSteps21
#GreenHealthForum21
#HealthClimateSolutions21
#HearMe21
#IndigenousClimateJustice21
#NNF2021
#RANZCP2021
#ShiftingGearsSummit
#ValueBasedCare
#WCepi2021
#YHFSummit
2020 conferences
#2020ResearchExcellence
#Govern4Health
#HealthReImagined
#SAHeapsUnfair
2019 Conferences
#ACEM19
#CPHCE19
#EquallyWellAust
#GiantSteps19
#HealthAdvocacyWIM
#KTthatWorks
#LowitjaConf2019
#MHAgeing
#NNF2019
#OKtoAsk2019
#RANZCOG19
#RANZCP2019
#ruralhealthconf
#VMIAC2019
#WHOcollabAHPRA
2018 conferences
#6rrhss
#ACEM18
#AHPA2018
#ATSISPC18
#CPHCE
#MHED18
#NDISMentalHealth
#Nurseforce
#OKToAsk2018
#RANZCOG18
#ResearchIntoPolicy
#VHAawards
#VMIACAwards18
#WISPC18
2017 conferences
#17APCC
#ACEM17
#AIDAconf2017
#BTH20
#CATSINaM17
#ClimateHealthStrategy
#IAHAConf17
#IDS17
#LBQWHC17
#LivingOurWay
#OKtoAskAu
#OTCC2017
#ResearchTranslation17
#TheMHS2017
#VMIACConf17
#WCPH2017
Australian Palliative Care Conference
2016 conferences
#AHHAsim16
#AHMRC16
#ANROWS2016
#ATSISPEP
#AusCanIndigenousWellness
#cphce2016
#CPHCEforum16
#CRANAplus2016
#IAMRA2016
#LowitjaConf2016
#PreventObesity16
#TowardsRecovery
#VMIAC16
#WearablesCEH
#WICC2016
2015 conferences
#CPHCEforum
#CRANAplus15
#HSR15
#NRHC15
#OTCC15
Population Health Congress 2015
2014 conferences
#IPCHIV14
AIDA Conference 2014
Congress Lowitja 2014
CRANAplus conference 2014
Cultural Solutions - Healing Foundation forum 2014
Lowitja Institute Continuous Quality Improvement conference 2014
National Suicide Prevention Conference 2014
Racism and children/youth health symposium 2014
Rural & Remote Health Scientific Symposium 2014
2013 conferences
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation Forum 2013
Australian Health Promotion Association Conference 2013
Closing the Credibility Gap 2013
CRANAplus Conference 2013
FASD Conference 2013
Health Workforce Australia 2013
International Health Literacy Network Conference 2013
NACCHO Summit 2013
National Rural Health Conference 2013
Oceania EcoHealth Symposium 2013
PHAA conference 2013
Croakey Professional Services archive
#CommunityControl
#CommunityControl Twitter Festival
#COVIDthinktank21
Lowitja Indigenous knowledge translation series
Croakey projects archive
#PHAAThinkTank 2022
Summer reading 2022-2023
#CommunityMatters
#CroakeyFundingDrive 2022
#CroakeyLIVE #Budget2021Health
#CroakeyLIVE #USvotesHealth
#CroakeyLIVE Federal election 2022
#CroakeyYOUTH
#HousingJusticeAus
#IndigenousHealthSummit
#IndigenousNCDs
#JustClimate
#JustJustice
#LookingLocal
#OutOfPocket
#OutOfTheBox
#RuralHealthJustice
#TalkingTeeth
@WePublicHealth2022
@WePublicHealth2021
@WePublicHealth2020
AroundTheTraps
Croakey register of influence
Croakey Register of Influencers in Public Health
Croakey Register of Unreleased Documents
Gavin Mooney
Inside Story
Journal Watch
Naked Doctor
Poems of Public Health
Summer reading 2021-2022
Summer reading 2020-2021
Summer Reading 2019-2020
Summer Reading 2017-2018
Summer Reading 2016-2017
The Koori Woman
TOO MUCH of a Good Thing
Wonky Health
CroakeyGO archive 2017 – 2018
CroakeyGo 2018
#CroakeyGO #QuantumWords 2018
#CroakeyGO #VicVotes 2018
#CroakeyGO Albury 2018
#CroakeyGO Callan Park 2018
#CroakeyGO Carnarvon 2018
#CroakeyGO Marrickville 2018
#CroakeyGO Palm Island 2018
CroakeyGo 2017
#CroakeyGO Adelaide 2017
#CroakeyGO Melbourne 2017
#CroakeyGO Newcastle 2017
#CroakeyGO Sydney 2017
Elections and Budgets 2013 – 2021
Budget2020Health
Federal Budget 2020-21
Federal Budget 2019-20
#AusVotesHealth Twitter Festival 2019
#Health4NSW
Federal Election 2019
NSW Election 2019
Federal Budget 2018-19
Federal Budget 2017/18
NZ Election 2017
Federal Budget 2016-17
Federal Election 2016
#HealthElection16
NT Election 2016
Federal Budget 2015-16
Qld Election 2015
NSW Election 2015
Federal Budget 2014-15
Victorian Election 2014
Federal Budget 2013-14
Federal Election 2013
Federal Budget 2012-2013
Federal Budget 2011
Federal Budget 2010
Federal Election 2010
Federal Budget 2009-2010
Support non-profit public interest journalism
Filter by Categories
Aged care
Budgets
Federal Budget 2024-25
Federal Budget 2023-2024
Federal Budget October 2022
Federal Budget 2022-23
Federal Budget 2021-22
Climate and health
Climate emergency
Healthcare sustainability
Heatwaves
National Health and Climate Strategy
#HealthyCOP28
#HealthyCOP27
#HealthyCOP26
#CoveringClimateNow
COVID collection
COVID-19
Long COVID
COVIDwrap
COVID SNAPS
#JusticeCOVID
Caring for the Frontline
COVIDglobalMHseries
Croakey Conference News Service
#WICC2024
Croakey Professional Services
NHLF series
#KidneyCareTogether
ACSQHC series
ACSQHC series 2022
ACSQHC series 2021
ACSQHC series 2020
ACSQHC series 2019
CATSINaM 25 Years
Croakey projects
@WePublicHealth 2024
Summer reading 2023-2024
The Zap
#CroakeyLIVE #DigitalNationBuilding
#CroakeyLIVE #VoiceForHealth
#PHAAThinkTank2023
The Health Wrap
ICYMI
@WePublicHealth
@WePublicHealth2023
#CroakeyVOICES
#SpeakingOurMinds
Croakey longreads
#CroakeyREAD
CroakeyEXPLORE
CroakeyGO
#CroakeyGO #NavigatingHealth
#GamblingHarms
#HeatwaveHealth
Mapping CroakeyGo
Determinants of health
Environmental determinants of health
Social determinants of health
Education
Discrimination
Housing
Internet access
Justice and policing
Justice Reinvestment
Newstart/JobSeeker
Poverty
Racism
Social policy
Commercial determinants of health
Alcohol
Arms industry
Digital platforms
Food and beverages
Fossil fuels
Gambling
Pharmaceutical industry
Plain packaging
Sugar tax
Tobacco
Vaping
Disasters and extreme weather events
Disasters
Extreme weather events
Bushfires
Bushfire-emergency 2019-2020
Floods 2023
Floods 2022
Floods 2021
Floods 2011
Donor-funded journalism
Donor-funded journalism – 2024
Donor-funded journalism – 2023
Donor-funded journalism – 2022
Donor-funded journalism – 2021
Donor-funded journalism – 2020
Elections
lutruwita/Tasmania 2024 election
#NSWvotesHealth2023
Victorian election 2022
Federal Election 2022
The Election Wrap 2022
#QldVotesHealth
SA election 2022
WA election 2021
Tasmanian election 2021
First Nations
Indigenous health
Community controlled sector
Cultural determinants of health
Cultural safety
Indigenous education
Social and emotional wellbeing
Uluru Statement
The Voice
Lowitja Institute
NT Intervention
WA community closures
Acknowledgement
#CTG10
#NTRC
#RCIADIC30Years
General health matters
Abortion
Cancer
Cardiovascular disease
Child health
Chronic conditions
Consumer health matters
Death and dying
Diabetes
Disabilities
Euthanasia
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)
Genetics
HIV/AIDS
HRT
Infectious diseases
Influenza
LGBTQIA+
Medical marijuana
Men's health
Mental health
Mpox
Non communicable diseases
Oral health
Organ transplants
Pain
Pregnancy and childbirth
Sexual health
Suicide
Swine flu
Trauma
Women's health
Youth health
Global health matters
Asylum seeker and refugee health
Conflict and war
Global health
WHO
Ebola
NHS
#WorldInTurmoil
Health policy and systems
Co-design
Health financing and costs
Health reform
Health regulation
Medicare 40 Years
MyMedicare
National Health Performance Authority
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
Private health insurance
Royal Commissions
TGA
Workforce matters
Strengthening Medicare Taskforce 2022
National Commission of Audit 2014
Healthcare
Adverse events
Allied healthcare
Australian Medical Association
Choosing Wisely
cohealth
Complementary medicines
Conflicts of interest
Co-payments
Digital technology
E-health
Emergency departments and care
Equally Well
General practice
Health Care Homes
Health ethics
Hospitals
International medical graduates
Medicare Locals
MyHospitals website
Naturopathy
NDIS
Nursing and midwifery
Out of pocket costs
Palliative care
Paramedics
Pathology
Pharmacy
Primary healthcare
Primary Health Networks
Rural and remote health
Safety and quality of healthcare and aged care
Screening
Social prescribing
Surgery
Telehealth
Tests
Media and health
Media-related issues
Health & medical marketing
Misinformation and disinformation
Public interest journalism
Social media and healthcare
The Conversation
Media Doctor Australia
News about Croakey
Public health and population health
Air pollution
Artificial intelligence
Australian Centre for Disease Control
Government 2.0
Gun control
Health communications
Health impact assessment
Health in All Policies
Health inequalities
Health literacy
Human rights
Illicit drugs
Injuries
Legal issues
Marriage equality
Nanny state
National Preventive Health Agency
Obesity
Occupational health
Physical activity
Prevention
Public health
Road safety
Sport
Transport
Vaccination
VicHealth
Violence
Web 2.0
Weight loss products
#PreventiveHealthStrategy
#UnmetNeedsinPublicHealth
Research matters
Cochrane Collaboration
Evidence-based issues
Health and medical education
Health and medical research
NHMRC
#MRFFtransparency
The Croakey Archives
#cripcroakey
#HealthEquity16
#HealthMatters
#IHMayDay (all years)
#IHMayDay 2014
#IHMayDay15
#IHMayday16
#IHMayDay17
#IHMayDay18
#LoveRural 2014
Croakey Conference News Service 2013 – 2023
2023 Conferences
#GreenHealthForum23
#hpsymposium2023
#NMS23
#HEAL2023
#ASMIRT2023
#NSPC23
Our Democracy Forum
#AskMSF
#Lowitja2023
2022 Conferences
#16nrhc
#GreenHealthForum22
#Heal2022
#ICEM22
#NAISA22
#NNF2022
#RANZCP2022
#RethinkAddiction
#RTP22
GiantSteps22
Equally Well 2022 Symposium
Choosing Wisely National Meeting 2022
2021 conferences
#21OPCC
#BackToTheFire
#FoodGovernance2021
#GiantSteps21
#GreenHealthForum21
#HealthClimateSolutions21
#HearMe21
#IndigenousClimateJustice21
#NNF2021
#RANZCP2021
#ShiftingGearsSummit
#ValueBasedCare
#WCepi2021
#YHFSummit
2020 conferences
#2020ResearchExcellence
#Govern4Health
#HealthReImagined
#SAHeapsUnfair
2019 Conferences
#ACEM19
#CPHCE19
#EquallyWellAust
#GiantSteps19
#HealthAdvocacyWIM
#KTthatWorks
#LowitjaConf2019
#MHAgeing
#NNF2019
#OKtoAsk2019
#RANZCOG19
#RANZCP2019
#ruralhealthconf
#VMIAC2019
#WHOcollabAHPRA
2018 conferences
#6rrhss
#ACEM18
#AHPA2018
#ATSISPC18
#CPHCE
#MHED18
#NDISMentalHealth
#Nurseforce
#OKToAsk2018
#RANZCOG18
#ResearchIntoPolicy
#VHAawards
#VMIACAwards18
#WISPC18
2017 conferences
#17APCC
#ACEM17
#AIDAconf2017
#BTH20
#CATSINaM17
#ClimateHealthStrategy
#IAHAConf17
#IDS17
#LBQWHC17
#LivingOurWay
#OKtoAskAu
#OTCC2017
#ResearchTranslation17
#TheMHS2017
#VMIACConf17
#WCPH2017
Australian Palliative Care Conference
2016 conferences
#AHHAsim16
#AHMRC16
#ANROWS2016
#ATSISPEP
#AusCanIndigenousWellness
#cphce2016
#CPHCEforum16
#CRANAplus2016
#IAMRA2016
#LowitjaConf2016
#PreventObesity16
#TowardsRecovery
#VMIAC16
#WearablesCEH
#WICC2016
2015 conferences
#CPHCEforum
#CRANAplus15
#HSR15
#NRHC15
#OTCC15
Population Health Congress 2015
2014 conferences
#IPCHIV14
AIDA Conference 2014
Congress Lowitja 2014
CRANAplus conference 2014
Cultural Solutions - Healing Foundation forum 2014
Lowitja Institute Continuous Quality Improvement conference 2014
National Suicide Prevention Conference 2014
Racism and children/youth health symposium 2014
Rural & Remote Health Scientific Symposium 2014
2013 conferences
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation Forum 2013
Australian Health Promotion Association Conference 2013
Closing the Credibility Gap 2013
CRANAplus Conference 2013
FASD Conference 2013
Health Workforce Australia 2013
International Health Literacy Network Conference 2013
NACCHO Summit 2013
National Rural Health Conference 2013
Oceania EcoHealth Symposium 2013
PHAA conference 2013
Croakey Professional Services archive
#CommunityControl
#CommunityControl Twitter Festival
#COVIDthinktank21
Lowitja Indigenous knowledge translation series
Croakey projects archive
#PHAAThinkTank 2022
Summer reading 2022-2023
#CommunityMatters
#CroakeyFundingDrive 2022
#CroakeyLIVE #Budget2021Health
#CroakeyLIVE #USvotesHealth
#CroakeyLIVE Federal election 2022
#CroakeyYOUTH
#HousingJusticeAus
#IndigenousHealthSummit
#IndigenousNCDs
#JustClimate
#JustJustice
#LookingLocal
#OutOfPocket
#OutOfTheBox
#RuralHealthJustice
#TalkingTeeth
@WePublicHealth2022
@WePublicHealth2021
@WePublicHealth2020
AroundTheTraps
Croakey register of influence
Croakey Register of Influencers in Public Health
Croakey Register of Unreleased Documents
Gavin Mooney
Inside Story
Journal Watch
Naked Doctor
Poems of Public Health
Summer reading 2021-2022
Summer reading 2020-2021
Summer Reading 2019-2020
Summer Reading 2017-2018
Summer Reading 2016-2017
The Koori Woman
TOO MUCH of a Good Thing
Wonky Health
CroakeyGO archive 2017 – 2018
CroakeyGo 2018
#CroakeyGO #QuantumWords 2018
#CroakeyGO #VicVotes 2018
#CroakeyGO Albury 2018
#CroakeyGO Callan Park 2018
#CroakeyGO Carnarvon 2018
#CroakeyGO Marrickville 2018
#CroakeyGO Palm Island 2018
CroakeyGo 2017
#CroakeyGO Adelaide 2017
#CroakeyGO Melbourne 2017
#CroakeyGO Newcastle 2017
#CroakeyGO Sydney 2017
Elections and Budgets 2013 – 2021
Budget2020Health
Federal Budget 2020-21
Federal Budget 2019-20
#AusVotesHealth Twitter Festival 2019
#Health4NSW
Federal Election 2019
NSW Election 2019
Federal Budget 2018-19
Federal Budget 2017/18
NZ Election 2017
Federal Budget 2016-17
Federal Election 2016
#HealthElection16
NT Election 2016
Federal Budget 2015-16
Qld Election 2015
NSW Election 2015
Federal Budget 2014-15
Victorian Election 2014
Federal Budget 2013-14
Federal Election 2013
Federal Budget 2012-2013
Federal Budget 2011
Federal Budget 2010
Federal Election 2010
Federal Budget 2009-2010

Don’t attack the humanities; they’re important for health too

Melissa Sweet writes:

Experts in the health sector have urged the Federal Government to abandon plans to increase charges for university students undertaking humanities courses, arguing that these studies make a vital contribution to health.

They also sounded the alarm about the impact of the changes upon the mental health and wellbeing of young people, especially those whose final years at high school have been hit by the pandemic.

Emergency physician Dr Clare Skinner says the social sciences have an obvious role in healthcare practice and policy – “these disciplines have given us definitions of ‘health’ and ‘healthcare’, and tools for evaluating the underlying causes of health conditions and the impacts of interventions”.

Dr Tess Ryan, an Aboriginal woman of Biripai country in NSW and President of the Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association, highlighted the importance of humanities subjects in contributing to culturally appropriate and equitable healthcare, and raised concerns about the impact of the funding changes upon Indigenous Studies.  

Associate Professor Megan Williams, a Wiradjuri justice and health scholar, and a contributing editor and a director of Croakey Health Media, said the humanities are vital for community engagement, which is central to government policies including health, education, housing and even economics.

She said: “Humanities offer education on human rights and critical thinking. These are barely covered in health curriculum. They are essential to learn about for planning resource allocation, program design and delivery and evaluation.  Health curriculum barely covers program evaluation.”

Professor Fran Baum, Director of the Southgate Institute of Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University, said the humanities were vital for the work of public health, including for understanding the social, political and commercial determinants of health, and theories of political and social systems.

The law – another area where students are facing price hikes – was also vital for health, as the basis for understanding human rights and health and environmental legislation, Baum said.

Focus on jobs

Education Minister Dan Tehan last week announced a huge hike in student fees for humanities courses, citing projections that most new jobs over the new four years will be healthcare, science and technology, education and construction.

On that basis, students in nursing, the sciences and many other areas will pay less in fees, while the student contribution for law and commerce courses will increase by 28 percent, and by 113 percent for courses in the humanities, he said.

“We are putting more funding into the system in a way that encourages people to study in areas of expected employment growth,” Teehan told the National Press Club on 19 June.

The Academy of Social Sciences says the changes are short-sighted and problematic, while a joint letter to the Minister signed by more than 20 associations representing the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) said the move was “directly against the best advice and evidence that the skills provided by HASS study are increasingly important, in fact, essential to our future economy and society”.

The letter says:

Studying Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences equips students with highly valuable skills in critical thinking, creative problem solving, effective communication, advanced analysis and interpretation, and the ability to construct reasoned arguments and to question assumptions. These skills are important now more than ever as the world faces an uncertain future. The Arts and Humanities are the foundation of building a fair and prosperous society.

These changes you have announced will not help prepare the next generation for the future of work but will risk making the study of our history, society, culture and place in the world out of reach of all but the most wealthy students, at a time when this knowledge is more important than ever. Training in the Arts and Humanities must be accessible for all students, where equity, diversity and a plurality of voices are vital.

As academics who research, teach, and were trained in society and culture, humanities, and communications, we have seen first-hand the value of studying these fields to our students, and in turn to Australian and wider society. We note how many of our leaders across all sectors have HASS educations, including yourself and many of your parliamentary colleagues.

We condemn these fee increases and all that they represent. They are unfair and the greater burden you are placing on the next generation will only exacerbate widespread job insecurity for them…

We call on you to provide equitable access to higher education for all young people, no matter what they want to study, not least of all because the demand for HASS skills from employers has dramatically risen in the past decade. To not do so would be an unconscionable attack on Australia’s future.”

Meanwhile, a Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia statement says the decision to more than double the cost of journalism degrees “strikes at the heart of democracy in this country”, and is “reckless and short-sighted” when the industry is already under significant pressure.

The statement says:

This decision also effectively prices out some people from studying journalism at a time when there is a clear need to  have better representation in news of the full cross section of Australians.

JERAA calls on the Minister to draw on the critical thinking skills acquired during his own undergraduate humanities studies and consider the consequences of this decision.”

Professor Ian Jacobs, President and Vice-Chancellor at UNSW, says he is worried these fee increases will deter talented students who would otherwise study these subjects, particularly those from more challenging socio-economic backgrounds. 

He says:

Amid other concerns, I lament the stress that the prospect of extra fees will place on the already burdened shoulders of Year 12 students, whose efforts in tackling the Higher School Certificate have been derailed in so many ways because of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Many students in Years 11 and 12 have selected HSC subjects with a prospective degree in mind; courses whose prices may now be inflated. This same dilemma is true for Year 12 students who have made their preference choices – only to now be thrust into a different educational environment.”

This is the first in a series of compilation posts of health sector responses. Below are comments from Dr Tess Ryan, Dr Clare Skinner, Associate Professor Megan Williams, Professor Fran Baum, Amy Coopes, and Dr Toby Freeman. More responses will be published in coming days.


Undermining health and wellbeing

Dr Tess Ryan, President – Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies Association

Q: What is your view on the increased charges for humanities subjects?

It is absurd that the government would announce this during a time where students feel so uncertain about their future.  For those younger students attempting to finish in year 12 and move towards a university degree, they must feel incredibly nervous about future prospects. For students already attending at undergraduate level, this announcement acts as a signalling that their current course subjects may soon be largely redundant.  This will also have major impact on the University sector and Australian society as a whole over the coming years. It is disastrous. I know of many academics who have been left angry and saddened by this announcement and wondering if they will be able to continue their academic roles in the coming years if this policy goes through. 

Q: What role do the humanities play re the community’s health, healthcare, health research, practice, and policy?

The humanities subjects play a major role in this space, including that of culturally appropriate health care, equity and social justice which applies to most allied health and community settings. Not only that, but the health research currently being undertaken would suffer greatly in areas of emotional health and well-being and other holistic understandings of patients as complete people with lifestyle issues which factor into their health. Healthcare professionals without any education on historical factors which may have enabled a barrier to those accessing appropriate care is just one example of how this policy could have negative impacts. This also seems contradictory to so much research that has been done on not just an individual’s health condition, but other underlying factors which may encourage better management or impeded management of that condition. And as we know, health is not a one size fits all approach, and neither is across the board government policies relating to health delivery. It is hard to imagine what kinds of research will be undertaken in the future, or what policies could come of this, should this announcement be implemented.

Q: What will be the implications for Indigenous Studies and related courses at your institution or more generally?

I fear that Indigenous subjects will suffer greatly during this time we face as a pivotal moment in global history. Discussions relating to Black, First Nations, minority and ethnic peoples and how their histories have been ignored, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement and limited access to health care environments based on racism and discrimination and the justice system are all at the forefront in discussions I have had with students and researchers. Future students need grounding in the humanities space to fully form the language around what is happening right now, and not only for past events. These degrees won’t be available to students who are marginalised due to the high costs, and forcing them into choosing a different degree will only guarantee a lack of student attainment, which essentially goes against what the Federal Government says this policy would be for in the first place. What will happen to subjects that has strong connections to Race, Identity, Sociology, or the true history of Indigenous and First Peoples? And at a time when we need to see more Critical Race conversations occur, including the building and strengthening of such in the Australian academy, we could be facing a future where opportunities for such discussion are completely removed.

Q: Does a humanities background make any difference to students’ aptitude or performance in the health sciences?

An understanding of humanities can make a vast difference within the health sciences, assisting in building a comprehension of philosophy, history and society. While some may make snide references to why studying some theory is important, it is the building of knowledge in how institutions work for and against particular groups of people in society that can impact largely in health sciences. The health system also requires a large degree of communication to the public, so such degrees as Media and communications play a vital role in how best health professionals get their health messages across. If you consider the vast amount of health communication currently in the news relating to COVID-19, hiking up the cost of these degrees would suggest that the government does not see this as vital. What would the impact have been without the communication of these messages?

Q: What is your advice to the Government on the recent announcements?

Considering that most of those who are in high level government roles either obtained a degree before fees were introduced, or they themselves have Humanities degrees, this seems outrageous that they make this decision as a way to ensure students are ‘job-ready for future workplaces. I’d also suggest that punishing the Humanities portion of the University sector does nothing for student enrolments as a whole. A better way to prepare a future workforce is to prepare students for a better society which has a greater degree of ideological frameworks and how one must navigate through individualism in society. The government would be wise to consider far greater implications that economic benefit in the next year or electoral cycle, and genuinely ask themselves what kind of a future society they wish to see in Australia.

Q: Any other personal reflections to share on the role or the humanities in health education, or other comments you’d like to make?

For many First Nations students, this will effectively leave them unable to build their scholarship on understanding the Western system and how they must navigate through it. For many of us, we have seen everyday impacts of racism (both subtle and overt) which can impact on our daily lives. We see family sick and wonder why they don’t get the same levels of respect in their care when they visit a doctor, we see the amazing work done by Community Controlled Health services who work across numerous areas to assist community in managing their health. Often it is the Aunt who works in the Aboriginal Medical Centre who tells a younger person they need to go to Uni and get an education, so they can make something of themselves or help community when they return. Should this policy be implemented, it will have far reaching impacts on Indigenous peoples to build on that knowledge and assist community further.


“Short-sighted and mean spirited”

Dr Clare Skinner, emergency medicine physician, NSW

Q: What is your view on the increased charges for humanities subjects?

I believe that increasing fees for humanities subjects at university is short-sighted and mean-spirited. It demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of universities in society and is deeply insulting to many humanities graduates and academics who have gone on to make major contributions in fields which range far from the subjects they studied at university.

Q: What role do the humanities play re the community’s health, healthcare, health research, practice, and policy?

The humanities are all about exploring and understanding what it means to be human. The role of the social sciences in health care practice and policy are obvious – these disciplines have given us definitions of ‘health’ and ‘health care’, and tools for evaluating the underlying causes of health conditions and the impacts of interventions. It is difficult to lump ‘the humanities’ together, but each discipline contributes to human health by allowing us to get up close to the human condition.

Q: Does a humanities background make any difference to students’ aptitude or performance in the health sciences?

In my experience, students from humanities backgrounds thrived in graduate medical programs and in their subsequent careers. With analytical skills, critical thinking, and excellent written and spoken communication skills, many of my medical colleagues with a humanities degree are in leadership positions in health care and health policy. From my own perspective, my undergraduate degree in History, English and Philosophy has been relevant and useful throughout my medical specialist training and career in Emergency Medicine and clinical leadership. I draw upon the skills and experience acquired through BA(Hons) as much as my MBBS – and at strategic level, probably more. I consider my humanities degree my secret weapon in medical management.

Q: What is your advice to the Government on the recent announcements?

I ask the government to reconsider this unfair and poorly thought through decision. We need to keep the humanities strong, because understanding how human beings work is fundamental to health and every other human endeavour.

Q: Any other personal reflections to share on the role or the humanities in health education, or other comments you’d like to make?

Broad-based degrees are an entry portal to university for a diverse range of school graduates. They teach fundamental life skills and often become a pathway to further education, including vocational degrees. For me, a graduate from the local, comprehensive, government high school, medicine seemed out of reach, but a BA was the entry ticket to the world of higher education. We need to keep broad-based degrees accessible and affordable, to ensure diversity in the professions, and in public service and policy roles. 


The humanities are vital

Associate Professor Megan Williams, Wiradjuri justice and health researcher, contributing editor and director, Croakey Health Media

Q: What is your view on the increased charges for humanities subjects?

 This seems a biased decision with no evidence shown. It is not based on any clear projections, calculations, long-range forecasting. Therefore, the decision is ill-formed, ideological and ignores one basic point about several PMs themselves having humanities education.

Q: What role do the humanities play re the community’s health, healthcare, health research, practice, and policy?

Humanities are vital for community engagement, which is central to government policies including health, education, housing and even economics. This is b