Handbury Lecture - Health Policy expert to speak

CLiaison's picture May 16, 2018


Director of the Australian Health Policy Collaboration, Professor Rosemary Calder, to speak at the 19th Annual Handbury Lecture 

Guest Speaker at this year’s 19th Annual Handbury Lecture on May 22, is head of the Australian Health Policy Collaboration (AHPC), Professor Rosemary Calder AM.

The Collaboration is a ‘think tank’, established in 2014 by Victoria University, which focuses on improving health outcomes in Australia, with an emphasis on chronic disease and the impacts of socio-economic disadvantage on health.

Professor Calder says the AHPC works to translate research and evidence to inform and influence health and other policies, to enable Australians to have optimal health outcomes, regardless of socio economic disadvantage.

“In coming to the role and establishing the ‘think tank’ we recognised that there was already a vast amount of evidence on chronic disease. We know what causes most of the chronic diseases of the 20th and 21st Centuries and what to do about them, what’s missing is actually ‘doing’ - putting this evidence into policy and practice”.

“I set out to talk to leaders in Australia about where we could make a difference and found there wasn’t a need for more evidence, what was required was an ‘effective translation’ of the evidence into policy information and influence,” Professor Calder said.

The Collaboration has brought together experts from across the country to help chart a pathway for improving Australia’s health. A large network of advisors have contributed to a range of publications and initiatives, including the ‘Australia’s Health Tracker’ report card and Getting Australia’s Health on Track, which outlined ten priority policy actions for a healthier Australia by 2025.

At Tuesday’s Handbury address, Professor Calder will also discuss the next phase of the AHPC’s work.

“We were set up not just to synthesise evidence into information and influence, but also to demonstrate what works. We have a research collaboration with the City of Brimbank in West Melbourne, where there are high levels of chronic disease and remarkably high levels of diabetes, as well as psycho social issues. A very significant proportion of school children also start school with vulnerabilities in learning and development and health. We are working with the Council and community leaders to address these issues over time”.

“Through this work we aim to draw out some important policy lessons. There is often an assumption that a ‘one size fits all’ approach is best and we then add on compensatory packages when that isn’t effective”.

“We are aiming to show that policy can be tailored to fit, rather than retrofitted to pick up those who it has failed,” Professor Calder said.

Members of the public are invited to attend the Handbury Lecture on Tuesday May 22 at 7.30pm in the WDHS Learning and Development Centre Auditorium at Hamilton Base Hospital. Seats are limited, so please RSVP by Monday May 21, to Claire Hawker (03) 5551 8215.