Australia in 2030: What is our path to health for all? Launch of MJA Supplement

VicHealth and the Medical Journal of Australia joined forces to publish a supplement which speculates on how Australia can become a healthy, fair and sustainable society by 2030. Many people authored the none articles in the supplement and some were from South Australia.

On the 13th May Flinders University and Wellbeing SA hosted a lunchtime launch of the supplement. Lyn Dean, CEO of Wellbeing SA chaired the event and welcomed everyone to the launch.

Globally renowned health promoter and CEO of VicHealth Dr. Sandro Demaio spoke about why VicHealth felt it was so important to produce a vision for our future in the post-COVID world. He spoke of the inequities laid bare by the pandemic and how we have a chance to create a fairer, healthier and more equal world but recognizing the power of the social and commercial determinants of health.

Carmel Williams, Director, Centre for Health in All Policies spoke about the importance of urban planning to creating healthy environments. She described the history of collaboration between the health and urban planning sectors which has produced some important wins but also leaves important work to be done. She highlighted the need to protect trees and the canopy they produce which is so important to our mental health and reducing carbon in the atmosphere.

Prof. Fran Baum spoke about the important governance changes that would be required to enable effective action on the social and commercial determinants. Most vitally she highlighted the need for Australians to embrace the Uluru Statement from the Heart which she said could provide the basis for an honest relationship between our First Nations people and other Australians. She also spoke of the need for a revitalized public sector and processes to deal with conflicts of interest in public life.

The session ended with a lively panel discussion with panelists Ross Womersley (CEO, SACOSS), Monika Stasiak (Department of Environment), Daniel Bennett (President, State President of Australian Institute of Landscape Architects South Australian chapter and national Chair of AILA’s Advocacy Committee) and Tahna Pettman (expert in public health research transfer and mobilization). They spoke of the need for attention to the least well-off Australians, the need to strengthen the public sector, how urban planning could be improved to promote health and wellbeing and the importance of giving much more respect and protection to nature.

The recording of the launch can be viewed here.

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