Prevention Works is a series of conversations with some of our nation's top public health researchers. Join host Gretchen Miller as she brings together policy makers and researchers to discuss how the Prevention Centre is finding new ways of addressing Australia’s greatest health challenge: lifestyle-related chronic disease.
Ten years of preventive health - what have we learned?
45:00The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre discuss our first decade in chronic disease prevention research. Join host Gretchen Miller as she chats with co-directors Professor Lucie Rychetnik and Professor Andrew Wilson and policy advisor Adjunct Associate Professor Jo Mitchell about the evolution of the ideas driving the Prevention Centre, including systems thinking, co-design, integrating knowledge synthesis with policy dialogues, our collaboration for enhanced research impact, supporting early career researchers, and how strategic communication is a critical part of the process.
Why funding for public health research needs a more strategic approach
45:05This episode discusses why now is the right time for taking a more strategic approach to chronic disease research investment, based on Australia's most significant problems in health. Join host Gretchen Miller as she chats with guests: Professor Helena Teede AO, Director of the Monash Centre for Health Research Implementation. Helena discusses the need to address structural and systems problems for public health research and translation by reviewing funding streams and coordination between state and territory and national organisations. Dr Tara Boelsen-Robinson, a post-doctoral researcher in food retail. Tara describes the many challenges of achieving job security with a research focus which drove her to seek employment in health promotion instead. Visit the Prevention Centre's website to download the Submission on improving alignment and coordination between the Medical Research Future Fund and Medical Research Endowment Account.
A collaboration to prevent child injury in Walgett prevails through drought, fires, floods and food shortages
37:42This podcast discusses a community-led program to reduce childhood injury; a successful collaboration between the First Nations community at Walgett and researchers from the University of New South Wales. Join host Gretchen Miller as she chats with guests: Christine Corby AM, Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service (WAMS) Amy Townsend, Goonimoo Mobile Children's Services Nellie Pollard-Wharton, UNSW Sydney Rebecca Ivers AM, UNSW Sydney Melissa Nathan, Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service (WAMS). Visit the Prevention Centre's website to find out more about the Community-led solutions to prevent Aboriginal child injury project and the partner organisations involved in the research, including: Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service (WAMS) Child Injury Prevention Partnership (CHIPP) Dharriwaa Elders Group.
Why liveable cities are important for better health equity
19:16Dr Lucy Gunn discusses how the built environment can contribute to better health outcomes, and the importance of basing policies upon research evidence. A Senior Research Fellow at the Centre of Urban Research at RMIT University, Dr Lucy Gunn’s key interest is in understanding which urban environments are supportive of health and wellbeing outcomes. She is a lead co-investigator on a tool that allows people to understand the health impacts that come from replacing sedentary behaviour with more active behaviour. Dr Gunn defines liveable communities as having good access to shops, services, education, healthcare, cultural opportunities and employment by using public transport, walking and cycling. She also outlines other domains of liveability. Research shows that the built environment impacts the way people behave, which can contribute to better health and potentially reduce chronic disease. Because the built environment is difficult and expensive to build or to change, it is ideal if policies are based upon research evidence. This applies to both the new growth areas on the peripheries of cities as well as limiting growth by making use of existing infrastructure in the best possible way. The Importance of healthy liveable cities project brief explains the findings in simple English. Dr Gunn also discusses the importance of working within teams and across disciplines and skillsets to deliver better results.
Examining the evidence on the health risks of vaping with Professor Emily Banks
39:34Professor Emily Banks AM is a trailblazer in tobacco and e-cigarette research. Her world-leading review of the global evidence on the health effects of e-cigarettes has sparked national and international discussion. The use of e-cigarettes, or vaping, in Australia poses serious public health risks, especially among young people. In this episode, Professor Emily Banks discusses the Australian Government’s new e-cigarette product legislation reform alongside the bigger picture of vaping practices in Australia and her review of the global evidence, Health Impacts of Electronic Cigarettes. "The latest evidence is four out of five teenagers would say it’s easy to get hold of e-cigarettes or vapes and other people are saying, oh, well we should just educate kids about the dangers, but that’s like someone being in a flood and saying, oh, by the way, don’t get wet." Professor Emily Banks AM
How a wellbeing economy approach can promote health equality for future generations
56:15In this episode, Dr Katherine Trebeck takes listeners into a deep conversation asking why our economy is not serving enough people and takes a hard look at the way our economic system operates through a public health lens. Katherine is a political economist, founder of the Wellbeing Economic Alliance, and describes herself as a freelance advocate for a more humane economy. Katherine casts a net of ideas around the distribution, or maldistribution, of wealth, resources, and power and how this impacts individuals, communities, and the planet, with a profound impact on health inequalities. Despite these flaws, there are opportunities for connection across areas that have traditionally been siloed and a move toward a wellbeing approach, one designed to deliver what people and the planet need. For example, improved levels of exercise and mental health have connections with improved liveability and public transport, and these arenas have co-benefits for us as humans living in the environment, so co-benefits for the environment as well. With a fascination for understanding the root causes of complex issues, Katherine compels audiences to look upstream and stay curious and attentive to the connections. She recommends channeling your inner three-year-old, asking but why, but why, why, and why, until we can get to the root cause, venturing beyond symptom-by-symptom, problem-by-problem, and crisis-to-crisis solutions.
Pursuing health equity with Professor Sir Michael Marmot
24:58How do you define and measure health equity and equality? Renowned epidemiologist Sir Michael Marmot, Professor of Epidemiology at University College London, discusses the inequities created by the COVID-19 response in the UK. Professor Sir Michael Marmot CH discusses his recent publication, Build Back Fairer: The COVID-19 Marmot Review, explains the co-benefits of healthcare, and lists ways that we can bring about change to improve health outcomes. Sir Marmot's visit to Australia was hosted by Professor Helen Skouteris, Head of the Health and Social Care Unit, Monash University. Professor Skouteris is also Director of the Centre of Research Excellence in Health in Preconception and Pregnancy (CRE HiPP), one of the CREs that contributes to the Collaboration for Enhanced Research Impact.
What is the role of law in the prevention of chronic disease?
43:51Join Dr Jenny Kaldor, lawyer, researcher, and policy analyst, and Maddie Heenan, Research Officer and PhD candidate, as they delve into how law, policy, and regulation affect public health, and what methods can help us better understand these relationships. Jenny took a brief advisory role in the development of the Prevention Centre's knowledge synthesis on public health law, regulation, and policy for prevention. This synthesis draws lessons from across nine years of projects. Maddie coordinated the knowledge synthesis, and has worked in advocacy for the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education and is currently working as a Research Officer with the Prevention Centre while undertaking a PhD with The George Institute for Global Health.
Leveraging advocacy for action on tobacco and obesity issues
41:18In this episode, we discuss with guest Jane Martin, Executive Manager of the Obesity Policy Coalition (OPC) and Alcohol and Obesity Policy at Cancer Council Victoria, the tipping points on tobacco and obesity in Australia and how we can leverage advocacy for action. Jane has worked in tobacco control for 20 years, commencing with Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Australia, as well as the role of Policy Manager with Quit Victoria. Jane has extensive experience in public health advocacy and policy development, and in building the evidence to supporting legislative and policy reforms. In 2011 she was awarded a Jack Brockhoff Churchill Fellowship and undertook the Williamson Community Leadership program in 2013. She has published papers on tobacco and obesity policy reform issues and has presented at national and international public health conferences. Jane has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) majoring in Public Policy, a Masters in Public Health, and an Honorary Doctorate (Deakin University).
Collaborating for healthier food retail
45:50An unhealthy diet is Australia’s key modifiable risk factor, resulting in more than 500,000 years of life lost to death and disability each year so it’s important that healthcare service providers provide a good role model. Together, Professor Anna Peeters and Dr Miranda Blake, and colleagues, have produced large quantities of evidence that show it is possible to change the way food is sold to make it more healthy, and without disadvantage to the retailers - in fact, it can benefit them. In research conducted through Alfred Health, Professor Peeters and Dr Blake, modelled a change that saw the promotion of healthy drinks over sugary drinks in hospital onsite cafes and food services, and this has led the way for other mandated, but not legislated changes in health-services retail. Alfred Deakin Professor Anna Peeters is Director of Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation; and also Director of the Centre of Research Excellence in Food Retail Environments for Health, known as REFRESH, a collaboration of eight universities and organisations, and a member of the Collaboration for Enhanced Research Impact (CERI). Dr Miranda Blake is a dietician and Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Global Centre for Preventive Health and Nutrition (GLOBE), a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention. Miranda leads a program of research within RE-FRESH - bringing together health services policy makers together to improve food in health facilities - and has just won the Dietitians Australia Young Achievers Award.