Presented by the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants
of Health Equity
On Monday 16 September 2019, the CRE held its final policy symposium at the Hilton Adelaide.
At this public event the CRE research team presented key findings from the 5 year program of research.
The day was opened by the Hon. Dr Richard Harvey MP, Member for Newland, on behalf of the SA Minister for Health and Wellbeing, and was attended by the Hon. Chris Picton MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing. The opening was followed by an overview of the CRE program and policy engagement provided by Professor Fran Baum.
The next three sessions provided an opportunity for researchers to present the research findings from the CRE work packages. The first session focused on infrastructure for health and equity, and included presentations on the National Broadband Network and urban planning in Greater Sydney.
The second session had a focus on globalisation: trade and work, with presentations on trade and health and lessons on agenda setting and evaluation; work in a de-industrialised world, with a case study of the health equity influence of the closure of GMH on the Playford community; the implications for health of informal work; and agenda setting for paid parental leave in Australia.
The next session focused on effective policy to close the gap, with lessons from the NT Emergency Response and the Closing the Gap policy. Using these case studies, these sessions presented the CRE research findings on the opportunities and challenges in policy agenda setting, formulation, implementation and evaluation. They were followed by a presentation by Professor Sharon Friel, ANU on the main lessons from the CRE policy case studies.
The day was well attended by people from the public sector, non-government organisations and academia. There was a real buzz of interest and excitement and participants were clearly very engaged in the presentations and discussions. It concluded with an Advocacy Ideas Panel on Civil Society: A Force For Health and Equitable Societies, which was chaired by Adjunct Professor Peter Sainsbury, and comprised Professor Fran Baum, Ross Womersley from SACOSS, Dr Belinda Townsend from ANU, and Dr Tessa Boyd-Caine from Health Justice Australia and the Social Determinants of Health Alliance.
We were lucky to have Melissa Sweet, Managing Editor of Croakey Health Media providing social media services for the symposium, including recording a number of short vlogs. As a result of her support and activity the symposium trended highly on Twitter throughout the day (#CREHealthEquity).
The CRE research team was deeply saddened by the sudden death of Professor David Sanders, University of the Western Cape on 30 August, just two weeks before he was due to join us for the CRE symposium as our Critical Friend. David was an Associate Investigator for the CRE and has had a long history of collaboration with the Southgate Institute on many research projects. He is an enormous loss to public health and to social movements across the world, including the People’s Health Movement for which he was also coming to Adelaide this week. We paid tribute to David at the symposium as a good friend and mentor to staff at the Southgate Institute over many years and a global leader in public health. He will be greatly missed.