On May 14 and 15 PHAIWA delivered an advocacy workshop at the Dieticians Association of Australia 32nd National Conference in Perth. Aimed at practitioners new to advocacy, the workshop provided an introduction to advocacy and the skills needed to be an effective public health advocate. Practical examples of advocacy in action were be highlighted to explore advocacy concepts. Group activities helped participants develop their own advocacy campaign through defining their advocacy issue, recognising their opposition and possible collaborating partners, and planning advocacy strategies that could be utilised to get their message across.
Evaluation feedback was exceptionally positive, with many participants expressing renewed enthusiasm to advocate for nutrition and dietetics issues.
Fantastic group of health professionals at the DAA Conference Advocacy Workshop
*** ONLINE PAYMENT HERE ***
Dr. Kim Raine, current Professor in the Centre for Health Promotion Studies, School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, was hosted by PHAIWA as a Curtin Visiting Fellow during March and April 2015.
She is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and was trained as a registered dietitian. Dr. Raine’s research program, POWER (Promoting Optimal Weights through Ecological Research), explores the social determinants of the obesity epidemic, and policy and community‐based population interventions to promote healthy weights and prevent chronic diseases. From 2008‐2013 she held an Applied Public Health Chair funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSF).
She has published over 130 peer reviewed articles, and has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences. During her time with PHAIWA, Professor Raine delivered two guest lectures to packed audiences. These lectures were titled:
- ‘What is the Appetite for Policy Change for Obesity Prevention? A Survey of Canadian Decision-Makers’
- ‘Developing a Report Card on Children's Food Environments and Nutrition: A Tool for Advocacy’
You can view Professor Raine’s presentations in the attachments below.
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.
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.
Workshop participants discussing key messages for their public health advocacy issue