Our Vision

To be a self-funded, highly resourced, innovative,  nationally recognised leader in public health advocacy.

Our Mission

To influence policy by promoting, supporting and implementing public health advocacy on local, state, national and international levels.

Our Approach

We are determined and passionate to reach our goals. We do not give up! We act with a high level of integrity, take pride in what we do and trust our team and the process. Collaboration, open communication and responsibility is what we value in our work at PHAIWA.We strive to let innovation and inspiration drive our work.

PHAIWA was established in April 2008 by Professor Mike Daube as an independent public health voice based within Curtin University, with a range of funding partners.

The Institute aims to raise the public profile and understanding of public health, develop local networks and function as an umbrella organisation capable of influencing public health policy and political agendas.

PHAIWA focuses on a number of areas of public health advocacy ranging from providing general advocacy advice and strategies for public health, implementing unique advocacy related research and innovative projects, building capacity within the public health workforce to allow more effective advocacy lobbying and communicating through our partners and the media.

Our “Strategic Plan 2018 – 2022” is now available for download!

The Institute provides a diverse range of services, develops consensus based targets, conducts advocacy research and projects, builds capacity and mentors emerging leaders to be the advocates of tomorrow.

– Director Dr. Christina Pollard

Priority Areas

PHAIWA will take its priorities from the priority areas identified by Healthway and our partner organisations. Priority issues have been identified based on the impact of the issue and the potential for prevention both long-term and on an ad hoc basis.

PHAIWA will initially focus primarily, albeit not exclusively, on obesity and alcohol. It will not seek to duplicate the work of organisations currently active, but will instead identify areas where advocacy and training are required and support organisations to strengthen the work currently being done.

PHAIWA will place special emphasis on Aboriginal health and supporting Aboriginal public health advocates, whether as a specific issue or in the context of its broader activities.

As PHAIWA evolves, a series of advocacy targets and action plans will be developed.

Our advocacy target areas include:

Aboriginal Health

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have significantly poorer health and lower life expectancy than other Australians.


Alcohol is a major public health issue. Harmful alcohol consumption contributes to a concerning range of immediate and longer-term harms, both as a result of a person’s own drinking and the drinking of others.


In Australia, one-quarter of children and adolescents are overweight or obese and nearly two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese, with the proportion of obese adults continuing to rise.

Child Health

Childhood is a period of rapid development and is formative for health and well-being and health behaviours throughout the life course (License 2004; Graham & Power 2004).

Environment and health

The environment influences human health in many ways — through exposures to physical, chemical and biological risk factors, and through related changes in behaviour in response to those factors.


Australia has the highest expenditure per capita on gambling, with 70% of Australians reporting participating in some form of gambling annually.

Industry strategies and tactics

If you are working in public health advocacy it is important to understand who your opponents are and what tactics they are using to gridlock advancement in public health.

Local Government

PHAIWA recognises that local governments are the closest form of government to communities and provide vital and multi-functional organisations within local communities.

Public Health Expenditure And Government Priorities

We try to identify priority areas where investments and commitments can be made to ensure the health and well-being of all Australians.

Our Team

Dr Christina Pollard

Monday - Friday

Sunni Wilson

Senior Coordinator
Monday - Thursday

Jo Malcolm

Senior Research Officer
Monday - Friday

Dr Melissa Stoneham

Lead - #endingtrachoma project

Nikki George

Administrator/Project Officer
Monday - Thursday

Melinda Edmunds

Senior Coordinator

Ros Natalotto

Project Coordinator
Monday - Friday

Scott MacKenzie

Research Officer

Julia Stafford

Research Fellow
Currently on Long Service Leave

Emeritus Professor Mike Daube

PHAIWA Founding Director