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Advocacy Workshop - Northam

PHAIWA travelled to Northam on Monday 9 March to deliver a workshop to public health professionals working in the Wheatbelt. Organised by the Wheatbelt Public Health Unit, a total of 30 participants attended from a range of organisations: WA Country Health Service (Wheatbelt); Shire of Northam; Shire of Toodyay; Avon Youth, Community and Family Services; Cancer Council WA; Department of Sport and Recreation; Holyoake; and the Wheatbelt Development Commission. It was fantastic to have such a range of organisations represented at the workshop and all attendees commented that it was a great way to network and build partnerships with like-minded organisations.

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Participants start the workshop by selecting a photo representing 'advocacy'

The workshop provided an introduction to advocacy, the importance of key messages, tips for building coalitions and partnerships, and outlined common advocacy strategies. PHAIWA were very fortunate to be joined at the workshop by Dr Kim Raine, Visiting Curtin Fellow & Professor at the Centre for Health Promotion Studies, School of Public Health, University of Alberta. Dr Raine presented about the Canadian experience of childhood obesity, discussing the influence of the food environment and how public health advocacy can work to counteract the marketing of junk food by multi-national companies.

During the afternoon, Dr Mel Stoneham delivered an informative session about how public health professionals can work with local government to achieve public health objectives. Dr Stoneham commented on how the legislated requirement for all local governments to develop a Public Health and Wellbeing Plan demonstrates the potential synergies between public health and local government. This session was highly evaluated by all participants, with one individual commenting that, “the sessions on local government highlighted some of the areas that need further priority when dealing with individual local governments”. The overall evaluations of the workshop demonstrated that participants developed a deeper knowledge and understanding about advocacy and now feel confident that they are equipped to engage as public health advocates in the Wheatbelt community.

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Workshop participants discussing key messages for their public health advocacy issue

 

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Sexual Health Advocacy Workshop

On the 19th of February, PHAIWA facilitated a workshop with 20 sexual health professionals from across WA. The workshop was organised by the Department of Health's Sexual Health and Bloodborne Virus Program, as an opportunity for sexual health professionals, from both metropolitan and
regional areas, to discuss the role of advocacy and how they may integrate the topic into their existing work.  This workshop also provided attendees the opportunity to network and build partnerships with other sexual health organisations with similar objectives.

A visit from Nadia Mitsopoulos, producer at 720 ABC Perth, provided participants with a valuable insight into how they may best work with the media to get positive exposure of their public health message, as well as how to use the media a complementary strategy for their advocacy efforts. This session was positively received by participants, with numerous individuals commenting in their evaluation that the opportunity to hear from Nadia was a highlight of the workshop.

Overall, the workshop provided participants plenty of opportunity to discuss issues that concerned their work in the sexual health field, develop key advocacy messages for sexual health, and consider how various advocacy strategies could be implemented to promote and enhance sexual health advocacy outcomes.

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Workshop participants scan the media for examples of advocacy

 

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Community Advocacy & Media Workshop with AHPA

PHAIWA delivered a 'Community Advocacy & Media Workshop' for the WA Branch of the Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA) on Friday 28 November. The day was jam-packed full of information to assist AHPA members to become public health advocates and enabled participants to actively participate in AHPA WA's latest health promotion workforce campaign to protect health promotion and prevention in Western Australia.

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Participants listening to PHAIWA Deputy-Director Dr Mel Stoneham        The workshop was filled with opportunities for group work

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AHPA showcase a perfect example of healthy workplace catering!

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Advocacy Workshop: WA Health Graduate Program

PHAIWA held a workshop with current members of the Department of Health Graduate Program on November 25, 2014. This workshop provided attendees with an insight into the work of PHAIWA, an introduction to public health advocacy, and an outline of strategies which may be used in advocacy campaigns. PHAIWA's Director, Mike Daube, delivered a very useful presentation about how to advocate from within government, drawing on his countless examples of real-life public health advocacy from his previous work as Director-General, anti-tobacco campaigner, and current role as an advocate for a range of public health issues. PHAIWA's Dr Jelena Maticevic provided a snapshot of the use of online social media tools for advocacy, specifically focusing on use of Twitter by public health advocates.

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PHAIWA Director Prof. Mike Daube speaks to the Graduate Program

The afternoon involved a "hand-on" activity for attendees, with them working in groups to draft an advocacy plan for the topical issue of commercial UV radiations machines (sunbeds). There was positive feedback from all attendees, with many commenting that the workshop had provided them with many interesting insights about how they may engage in their roles within government to better achieve positive changes to health.

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Participants developing their advocacy plans