On Friday 24th April 2015 our NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence was launched by former Prime Minister the Hon Julia Gillard. It is devoted to studying how government policies shape how healthy we are, how long we live and how this differs depending on who we are. The Centre, which is funded for 5 years, will have a special focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. The Centre will research what factors influence how policies are devised and implemented in ways that do or do not incorporate health equity. It will also develop new methods of assessing the impact of policies on health and health equity. While launching the Centre the Hon Julia Gillard asked “Why isn’t more of what we do focused on prevention?” She went on to note that “Whilst inputs are often easily measured – how many dollars did we invest, how many hospital beds did we fund – often our outcomes aren’t so easily measured – do people have the help they need, did we prevent someone from needing help in the first place, will our treatments help ensure they won’t be back in the emergency room tomorrow?” The CRE will be asking such questions and also investigating how policies in sectors such as trade, urban planning and primary health care can be devised to stop people getting sick in the first place. The CRE will be co-directed by Prof Fran Baum (Southgate Institute) and Prof Sharon Friel (RegNet, ANU). The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and Well-being’s Prof Dennis McDermott and Dr Tamara Mackean are also co-investigators along with A/Prof Anna Ziersch and Dr Lareen Newman from Southgate Institute. Other CIs are Professor Adrian Kay & A/Professor Lyndall Strazdins from Australian National University, Dr Patrick Harris from University of Sydney and Professor Ronald Labonte from University of Ottawa, Canada. Professor Labonte was in Adelaide for the launch. The CRE will run until 28th February 2020.
The launch is available for viewing here http://mtu.flinders.edu.au/events/CRELaunch_24April2015.cfm.