Bernie Goldie

Yeatman takes on leading public health advocacy role

As newly-elected President of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) Associate Professor Heather Yeatman from the School of Health Sciences will be taking on one of the leading public health advocacy roles in the country.

The PHAA said Professor Yeatman’s election was a credit to her significant public health contributions and strong recognition of the high professional regard in which she is held.

The PHAA is dedicated to the promotion of public health and is a forum for professional and academic networks. It is involved in advocacy for public health policy, capacity building, development, research and training.

The association has more than 1,800 members across 40 public health related occupations. It provides national leadership and advocacy across an array of key public health issues, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, alcohol, child health, immunisation, injury prevention, food and nutrition, justice health, women’s health, ecology and environment, international health, mental health, oral health and primary health care.

Professor Yeatman said she viewed the presidency of the PHAA as “a privilege, a challenge and an opportunity.”

“There are many major public health issues that challenge us including the inequitable and poor health status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, environment and climate change impacts on health, chronic illnesses and occupational health risks.

“Continued efforts are required to progress the policy changes that will result in a more equitable, health promoting nation where people can live in a sustaining environment,” Professor Yeatman said.

In the public health nutrition area, there are already major government initiatives under way such as development of a National Food Plan and a national Nutrition Policy.

One of Dr Yeatman’s goals as President of the PHAA will be to work with other national professional associations to strengthen the public health focus of these policies.

The PHAA is also liaising with the World Federation of Public Health and like associations in the Asia Pacific region on research and program strategies.

The University of Wollongong has a strong history of offering quality public health programs and contributing to public health research and workforce developments.

Professor Yeatman’s PHAA Presidency will provide further support to the University’s national and international public health profile.

  • Newly-elected President of the Public Health Association of Australia, Associate Professor Heather Yeatman