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.