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Sharing the news from Health Promotion Symposium 2023

The Croakey Conference News Service recently covered the Health Promotion Symposium 2023, the first in-person event led by the Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA) since before the pandemic. It was held in the regional Victorian city of Geelong on the traditional lands of the Wadawurrung peoples.

Journalist Marie McInerney wrote these two articles:

An AHPA team also guest tweeted for Croakey’s rotated X/Twitter account, @WePublicHealth, from the symposium, and a summary follows below.


By AHPA tweeters

Opening remarks from Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney, @gedkearney, reminding us of the importance of the fence at the top of the cliff.

Minister states the Albanese Government’s commitment to health promotion, primary care reform, National Preventative Health Strategy and establishment of an Australian Centre for Disease Control.

Minister says AHPA ‘remains a valued and valuable partner to the Government’.

Gemma Crawford reminds delegates of AHPA’s commitment to constitutional recognition for First Nations Australians and the invitation given to Australians through the Uluru Statement.

National President of AHPA, Melinda Edmunds, reminds delegates to think of their ‘why’ for being involved in health promotion: “Health Promotion is not about the individual, it’s about the collective.”

Edmunds discusses the breadth and depth of the health promotion workforce and the links to the International Union for #Health Promotion and Education @IUHPE registration system.

Health promotion matters now more than ever. We have a real opportunity to influence change through the Australian CDC, National Preventative Health Strategy and more.

Gemma Crawford introduces the Eberhard Wenzel Oration. 14 Orations have been held in the last 21 years remembering the work of Dr Eberhard Wenzel and his commitment to health promotion practice.

Chief Esau Kekeubata from Soloman Islands and Associate Professor David MacLaren of James Cook University are this year’s Eberhard Wenzel Orators, and receive a standing ovation: “It is no coincidence that peace if the first fundamental condition for health in the Ottawa Charter”.

Sovereign rights

Emma Rawson Te-Patu introduces the concepts of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Article 3 gives Māori people sovereign rights enshrined in a treaty. Despite this Māori still face significant health inequity and poorer health outcomes.

Emma Rawson Te-Patu reminds us, as the President-Elect of the World Federation of Public Health Associations, @WFPHA_FMASP – I am a Health Promoter.

Environments, including workplace environments are threatening and can harm people’s health. We need environments that hold Indigenous people within them.

Rawson Te-Patu reminds us of the importance of self-determination and connection to place. Māori in NZ are moving back to country, back to papakainga and shared living. But with this bringing new innovative digital ways. Along with it bringing financial sovereignty.

Rawson Te-Patu says that if we want to change the way we do things, we need to change the way we do things – the way we work and learn. This isn’t necessarily about going and getting a qualification – it might be about going into community and listening.

Wairuatanga (what you believe) informs Kawanatanga (governance) which leads to Tino Rangatiratanga (sovereignty) and results in Oritetanga (equity) The Te Tiriti Framework Virtuous Circle.

Planetary health

In discussing the current state of the environment, Fiona Armstrong @farm_strong says if it seems bleak, it is. But there are good initiatives happening. Among many, Fraser Health Service in Canada with new planetary health initiative.

Commercial determinants

Our first Plenary of Day 2: People, profits and health. A presentation and panel discussion on the commercial actors in health and wellbeing – led by Dr Sandro Demaio @SandroDemaio, CEO of @VicHealth.Ninety percent of Australians will die from (largely preventable) non communicable chronic disease.

Demaio reminds us that we are seeing the same tactics in vaping now that we saw in tobacco in the 1980s. The products might change – but the way people are targeted by commercial actors does not.

We need to realise that we are all part of the system. But we also need to understand where in that system we can influence and interact to impact the commercial determinants of health.

The same politicians we have now, are not the same ones who brought in plain packaging and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control only a few years ago. Industry are making the most of this.

Values based messaging offers a way to talk with people so they understand the issue and what the solutions might be.

We have opportunities too. The commitment to a Wellbeing Budget by @JEChalmers shows commitment as does the Australian CDC establishment.

Panelist Felicity Jacob, CEO of Common Ground Project on the c ommercial determinants of health – ‘The wolf that wins is the one that you feed’ – We are feeding industry.

Engaging with industry isn’t black and white.

@vichealth vhas a policy to support and assessment sponsorship and procurement. A risk management approach is taken to support decision making on the commercial determinants of health.

Power is a key barrier to addressing  commercial determinants of health. Felicity Jacob – “Small producers as part of food systems have everything stacked against them.”

Khalid Muse – Important practitioners look at their own power and privilege – are the communities we work with at the table & in leadership roles where they have a voice – rather than us using theirs?

When community voices are given the resources and equipped to create change  this can have some of the greatest impact. Reminder that you can’t mobilise community quickly.

Acknowledgements, and 2024


See articles compiled from @WePublicHealth guest tweeters this year

 

 

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