@WePublicHealth aims to test the use of a rotated curated Twitter account as a new model for citizen journalism with a public health focus.

Every week, a different person – including community members and public health professionals – will be asked to tweet-report and investigate public health matters.

Their focus might be local – for example, documenting the cost of fresh foods in remote communities via tweet-photos – national or global (for example, reporting from international conferences and events).

They might use the account to share a photographic or film-based investigation, or to share links to related resources and research, for example. Or they might convene Twitter chats or interviews around particular topics, events or hashtags.

One of the goals is to encourage creative use of Twitter for public interest discussions and investigations.

If you are interested in a stint on @WePublicHealth, please get in touch with a note about what you’d like to cover. The account is not available to those working for Coca-Cola et al.

@WePublicHealth is inspired by the work of Luke Pearson with @IndigenousX (as previously profiled at Croakey, here and here), and Sarah Stokely who curates @WeMelbourne  and @WeTasmania.

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24 Aug

Dr Yvonne Luxford – @_Y_S_LA professional with 20 years’ experience working in the health sector, Yvonne interacts and collaborates with all levels of government, health professionals, service providers and advocacy bodies to achieve high quality, accessible and culturally appropriate health care.   Recently finishing as CEO of Palliative Care Australia, Yvonne is a passionate advocate for palliative care on the international stage, through her ongoing involvement with the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care, the Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network and the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance. She has been especially proud to host the Australian edition of ehospice – broadening the communication reach of news and views about hospice and palliative care. She also has a wealth of experience in public health, with particular interests in Indigenous health, chronic disease prevention, and equity of access to healthcare. She has been Vice President of the Public Health Association of Australia and is currently the Co-Convenor of PHAA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Special Interest Group, and deeply values her long involvement in the Close the Gap Steering Committee. Yvonne’s previous positions include Manager of Policy and Advocacy for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Senior Executive Officer of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, and several years as a university lecturer in various health related subjects. She has qualifications in philosophy and higher education, and her doctoral thesis explored a mixture of policy and medical issues with a focus on child oral health.

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17 Aug

Award-winning writer El Gibbs is in the chair, talking about #CripCroakey – a crowd-funding project that she is running in collaboration with Croakey, with the aim of writing a series of articles about disability and health. Read more here, and support the campaign here.

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8 Aug

Luke Pearson, founder of the successful independent media innovation, @IndigenousX, is in the chair tweeting down the deadline for his crowdfunding campaign at Start Some Good and also talking about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ health and wellbeing. His crowdfunding blurb says:

“In those 3 years we’ve had over 180 Indigenous hosts online, contributed to countless campaigns, promoted countless events, built indigenousx.com.au, spread overseas with @IndigenousXca (Canada), inspired the creation of multiple other rotating accounts, raised over $150,000 for other campaigns via StartSomeGood, developed a partnership with the Guardian to showcase our hosts, developed a partnership with AIATSIS to get you mob 10% off all of thier products (type IndigenousX in as your discount code on their online shop), got Google to take ‘Aboriginal jokes’ out of their suggested search options, been mentioned in Hansard, and countless other cool things, and that’s all just in our spare time… let’s see what happens when we are doing this stuff full time!

We need more strong Indigenous media voices and we need to make sure those voices reach far and wide, and with your support that’s what we aim to achieve!”

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3- 7 Aug

Dameyon Bonson is a Broome-based Mangarayi and Torres Strait Islander man and is the founder of Black Rainbow Living Well and a Social Venturist. He has presented nationally and internationally on Indigenous Suicide Prevention and recently returned from Montreal and the 28th World Congress on Suicide Prevention. He was recently awarded a Movemeber and beyondblue research grant to develop an APP to reduce stigma in mental health for FIFO men called @Y_Fronts. He is also a social commentator on ethical practices in Indigenous Suicide Prevention and Indigenous Politics on Twitter and can be followed  @DameyonBonson.  Dameyon also provides independent advice on Indigenous LGBTI suicide prevention and organisational support to combat exclusion and strengthen inclusion for both the Indigenous and LGBTI people within workplace environments. He is a Director on the WA AIDS council and member of the National Advisory Committee for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project. You can also follow Black Rainbow on Facebook and Twitter: @BlkRnBow

Amongst other things, Dameyon will be tweeting about the @IndigenousX crowdfunding campaign.

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27 July

Michael Thorn (@MichaelTThorn) is Chief Executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, or FARE (@FAREAustralia), and has been responsible for leading FARE’s efforts to stop alcohol-related harm in Australia since January 2011.

FARE is an independent, not-for-profit organisation which works with communities, governments, health professionals and emergency services across the country to stop alcohol harms by supporting world-leading research, raising public awareness and advocating for changes to alcohol policy.

The Foundation has a strong focus on evidence-based preventive health policies, and recently partnered with the Public Health Association of Australia to launch a new campaign Prevention 1st (@Prevention1stAU), calling on all Australian governments and political parties to commit to a strong preventive health agenda to tackle the nation’s greatest health challenge: chronic disease.

FARE pioneered recent research on the alcohol’s harm to others, which revealed its impact on children and families (#HTO2015). In light of these findings, FARE developed a National framework for action to prevent alcohol-related family violence, partnering with 2015 Australian of the Year Rosie Batty to propose policies and programs for governments that would reduce and prevent family violence (#PreventAlcFV).

As a member of the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory Alcohol Policy Alliance (#NAAPA), FARE played an integral role in campaigning for action on alcohol ahead of the 2015 NSW State Election in March. These efforts resulted in four significant wins: funding for a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Clinic, a review of the Community Impact Statement scheme that guides liquor licensing approvals, continuation of the ban on political donations from the alcohol industry, and moving the Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing from the Department of Trade and Investment to the Department of Justice.

Michael previously worked for the federal government as a senior official in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He was a project director in the department’s strategy and delivery division. Michael has a strong strategic policy background, with extensive experience in strategic social policy development and implementation, most recently in Canberra and previously as a policy director of the Western Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet from 2001 until 2008. He has also worked as a policy and management consultant in the fields of housing, Indigenous affairs, regional economic development and employment, and early in his career was a policy adviser and chief of staff to WA Government Ministers.

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20 July

Information Communication Technology and Communication Disability: Harnessing the Affordances of Online Communication

Bronwyn Hemsley @bronwynhemsley is an Associate Professor in Speech Pathology and a Certified Practicing Speech Pathologist at The University of Newcastle, Australia. She has a special interest in people who need or use augmentative and alternative communication aids and technologies, and who cannot rely on natural speech to communicate.

Currently,  she is investigating the use of Social Media, particularly Twitter, as a means for people with severe communication disabilities to get their message across and access evidence-based information and support. With colleagues across the disciplines she is also examining the use of Australia’s Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record by children with disabilities in the transition from child to adult health services, and safety in hospital for people with communication difficulties associated with stroke, cerebral palsy, or autism.

Bronwyn co-administers an online forum @WeSpeechies for speech language pathologists and other professionals interested in communication and swallowing disorders. During her week curating @WePublicHealth she hopes to engage with the public and across health disciplines on: views and experiences of personally controlled e-health records, using online forums to engage people who have communication difficulties, and using Twitter to disseminate and translate research findings to policy and practice in the fields of disability and health.

See here for details of a Twitter chat that she convened.

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13 July

Dr George Crisp – @DrGCrisp – is a Perth GP, WA chair and a National Committee member of Doctors for the Environment Australia. He has a longstanding interest in how our health is impacted by environmental degradation, sustainability in the health service and is involved in advocacy relating to community and environmental health matters.

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6 July

It’s NAIDOC Week, a time to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,  and the theme – We all Stand on Sacred Ground: Learn, Respect and Celebrate – highlights Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ strong spiritual and cultural connection to land and sea. Tweeting is Professor Kerry Arabena@ArabenaKerry – Chair for Indigenous Health and Professor and Director, Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit, and formerly the Professor and Director of Indigenous Health Research in the School for Indigenous Health, Monash University. A descendant of the Meriam people of the Torres Strait, and a former social worker with a doctorate in human ecology, Professor Arabena has an extensive background in public health, administration, community development and research working in senior roles in indigenous policy and sexual health. Her work has been in areas such as gender issues, social justice, human rights, access and equity, service provision, harm minimisation, and citizenship rights and responsibilities. She was a founding Co-Chair of the new national Indigenous peak body, the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, a collective voice to lobby governments on Indigenous issues. Don’t miss her Croakey LongRead about love.

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29 June

Melanie Pescud@mel_pescud – is a Research Fellow at ANU working on “A systems approach to healthy and equitable eating” with Professor Sharon Friel and Ellie Malbon. She has worked in the areas of child obesity prevention, health promotion, seniors’ mental health, alcohol warning statement labelling, alcohol use in teenagers, nutrition literacy, Indigenous health behaviour, workplace health promotion and evaluation, health policy development, and qualitative research methodologies.

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22 June

Rebecca Vassarotti – @RebeccaVassarot – is an independent consultant and community advocate.  Currently she is a community member of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal working in the areas of energy and water, and guardianship.  In addition, She is on the Boards of the ACT Racing and Gambling Commission and Community Housing Canberra.  Previously, Rebecca has held roles including the General Manager of Policy and Programs at Alzheimers Australia, Deputy CEO of Australian Council of Social Service and a/CEO and Policy Director of Consumers Health Forum.  From 2003-2013 she was the Executive Director of YWCA of Canberra and from 2013 until 2014 she was on the boards of the ACT and Australian Councils of Social Service. This week, Rebecca will cover the ACOSS national conference (amongst other things), with a particular focus on the relationship between health and inequality.

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15 June

Dameyon Bonson is a Broome-based Mangarayi/Maubiag Island man and Founder of Black Rainbow Living Well, an organisation for Indigenous LGBQTI Suicide Prevention. He was in Montreal this week for the 28th World Congress of the International Association for Suicide Prevention New Discoveries and Technologies in Suicide Prevention. http://iasp2015.com

He is facilitating what is believed to be a world first: a workshop to identify the social determinants of health affecting Indigenous LGBT people. The workshop is entitled Intersecting Indigenous Rainbows – International LGBT First Nations and Two-Spirited People in Suicide Prevention   https://www.conftool.pro/iasp2015/index.php?page=browseSessions&form_session=48

Dameyon’s work in suicide prevention also includes advocating for ethical research practices that benefit Indigenous people. He also provides independent advice on Indigenous LGBTI suicide prevention and combating exclusion and strengthening inclusion for both the Indigenous and LGBTI people within organisation structures. Dameyon is also interested in digital interventions in mental health and hopes to share some exciting news during his week @WePublicHealth. He has written for Croakey, Crikey, Good Men Project, The Stringer and the Star Observer.

You can follow him on Twitter @DameyonBonson.  You can also follow Black Rainbow on Facebook and Twitter: @BlkRnBow.

His coverage of the conference was superb, and only a fraction of his tweets are captured below. Note the conference analytics!!

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8 June

This week, Melissa Sweet, curator of this account, is saying thanks to many people who have been working with Croakey and related projects in recent times.

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1 June

This week @annaknicholson and @Pele_78 are sharing results from a national research project about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking, known as Talking About the Smokes.

Talking About the Smokes (TATS) is a large national research project to better understand the pathways to smoking and quitting for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to evaluate what works in assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to quit smoking. The project is a collaboration between research institutions and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHSs) and their state and national representative bodies. It is modelled on the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Project Policy Evaluation Project with adaptation to suit the context of smoking cessation and tobacco control for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia. It is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

Anna Nicholson (@annaknicholson) is a PhD student with TATS, and is tweeting project results on behalf of the team. Anna grew up in Ballarat, Victoria, but migrated north 7 years ago to thaw in the tropical Top End. Originally a Physiotherapist with a keen interest in chronic disease management, Anna has spent the last 5 years at Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, working on the TATS Project.

Pele Bennet (@Pele_78) is a proud Waggadaggam Woman of the Torres Strait Islands. She was born and raised in Brisbane and is a proud member of the Indigenous community of Brisbane. Pele is also a Director on the board of Queensland’s oldest community-controlled health organisation (ATSICHS), and Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee (AHPA) and director on the Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA). Pele has been an Indigenous Health Worker and has worked in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Prevention for Queensland Health for many years, including as a member of the Talking About the Smokes Project Reference Group. Pele will guide discussion of what these results mean for those working to reduce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander smoking.

You can find references for this week’s tweets at:  https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2015/202/10


 

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29 May – #IHMayDay15 – sees Pele Bennet, who was the launch tweeter for @WePublicHealth in August 2013, back in the chair. 

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25-28 May

Alison Fairleigh – @AlisonFairleigh – did a superb job covering the National Rural Health Conference in Darwin (also check the stories from Jennifer Doggett for the Croakey Conference Reporting service). Alison is a prominent #ruralhealth Twitterati and describes herself as: “Passionate. Extroverted. Advocating for rural mental health & farming communities. Former Qld Rural Woman of the Year. Australia Day Ambassador.” Follow the #ruralhealthconf and #NRHC15 streams too.

You can see many of her tweets in the Croakey reports. Here is just a brief selection:

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18 May

Dr Helen Schultz – “Shrink, coach and mentor of doctors in training. Public speaker. Author of ‘How Shrinks Think’. Medical education specialist” – is at the helm this week. Amongst other things, @drHelenschultz will be talking about the #MedicineSocial conference that she recently convened in Melbourne. More detail about it is here. 


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11 May 2015

Kerrie Noonan @Keznoo covered the 4th International Public Health and Palliative Care Conference, Community Resilience in Practice, in Bristol.

Kerrie Noonan has been working a clinical psychologist in the area of grief, loss and palliative care since 1995 and is she is the cofounder of The GroundSwell Project and Dying To Know Day (August 8th) an organisation that exits to create social change and build death literacy in the community. Kerrie is currently completing her PhD in death studies at the University of Western Sydney.

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4 May 2015

Penelope Smith – @LopeyPen – is a Public Health Academic at Australian Catholic University (St Patrick’s Campus) – @ACUmedia – and is a member of the event management team assisting Creating Futures Convener Ernest Hunter and the Steering Committee for the sixth Creating Futures Conference – @CF15_Cairns. This week Penelope is tweeting on behalf of the conference.

Penelope was previously the Stakeholder Management Officer at the Lowitja Institute (National Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research) – @LowitjaInstitut – and the Link Coordinator for its predecessor Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health. She was also a Public Health Academic at La Trobe University (Melbourne Campus) – @Latrobe.

She is passionate about all things public health, social justice, community engagement and imparting this passion to her students. Sadly sometimes this passion results in typos so be forgiving this week!

Creating Futures 2015: Practice, Evidence and Creativity in Tropical and Remote Settings, Cairns, 11-14 May 2015.

Creating Futures 2015 is the sixth in a series in which the populations of interest are Indigenous peoples from Australia, New Zealand and beyond, the residents of Australia’s neighbouring island nations, and people living with and recovering from mental and/or physical illness or disability in remote and tropical areas.

As with previous Creating Futures conferences there will be a focus on evidence and innovation in identifying and addressing the social determinants of mental and physical health and wellbeing. Special areas of interest will include:

  • Creativity;
  • Addressing social and behavioural determinants of chronic disease;
  • Impediments to progress in chronic disease management: policy and practice in substance misuse;
  • Sustaining our strength, resilience and imagination. …. Empowerment starts with Me;
  • Detained populations (forensic and other);
  • West Papua – forgotten refugees … and more.

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27 April 2015

Dr Erica Crome@EricaCrome – is an Early Career Researcher and Psychologist in the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use (@CREComorbidity) and is based in the Centre of Emotional Health at Macquarie University (@MacquarieUniCEH). Experience in research, clinical and corporate settings has made her passionate about enhancing the quality and accessibility of mental health research to improve the lives of the millions Australians with lived experience of a mental disorder.

She aims to start conversations about engaging more consumers in research, increasing the accessibility of research for practitioners and consumers, breaking down research silos and supporting the next generation of health and medical researchers.

Watch this space for an exciting week of live updates from mental health events, twitter interviews and a mash-up of psychology, health economics, policy and ethics.

Monday 27th: Mental Health Services and Treatment in Australia – including reactions to the National Mental Health Commission Report

Live tweets from “Silence no more: The mental and physical health consequences of child sexual abuse, and what can be done about it” http://www.ccd.edu.au/events/conferences/2015/silencenomore/index.php

Tuesday 28th: Implementation Science – what determines how innovations travel from research to clinical settings.

Wednesday 29th: Resources for practitioners and consumers – where to access high-quality information and treatment (at the lowest cost)

Thursday 30th: How do we engage more consumers in research and service planning – and why this is important

Friday 1st: Supporting the next generation of mental health researchers – Early Career Researchers and Women in Health and Medical Research

This includes Twitter interview with Prof Maree Teesson – Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use at 1 pm. As a winner of the 2014 Sydney Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers, named in The Australian Financial Review and Westpac’s 2014 100 Women of Influence Awards and a Fellow to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science, this is an interview not to miss!

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20 April 2015

A tag-team of social determinants of health experts were at the helm on behalf of the new Centre for Research Excellence on Health Equity, which is being officially launched this week – Follow @crehealthequity.

Monday:
Fran Baum (@baumfran) is Professor of Public Health and Director of the Southgate Institute of Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University. Professor Baum is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. In 2008 she was awarded an Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship focusing on development of effective government and community responses to social determinants of health inequity and social exclusion. She holds several other national competitive grants and is widely published on aspects of health inequity and the social determinants of health including Aboriginal people’s health, primary health care, health promotion, Healthy Cities, and social capital.

Tuesday
Sharon Friel (@SharonFrieloz) is Professor of Health Equity and Director of the Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet), Australian National University. She is also Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy ANU. Between 2005 and 2008 she was the Head of the Scientific Secretariat (University College London) of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health. She is the Co-Director of the CRE in Health Equity (@CREhealthequity). She publishes widely in the social determinants of health equity, including in trade and investment, urbanisation, food systems, and climate change; and the analysis of governance, policy and regulatory processes and their effectiveness at addressing health inequities.

Wednesday
Gemma Carey – @gemcarey – is a Research Fellow with the Regulatory Network at the Australian National University. She holds a PhD in social policy and population health from the University of Melbourne. Her research sits at the critical interface between public health, public administration and social policy. In particular, Dr Carey has investigated processes of ‘joining up’ within within government and between government and non-government organisations. She tweeted for @WePublicHealth last week (see more bio details in the entry below).

Thursday
Matt Fisher is a Research Fellow with the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity. He is currently working as Project Manager on a 3-year ARC Discovery research project on Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity in Australian Health Policy. Matt completed a PhD in philosophy at the University of Adelaide in 2009. His research interests are focused on the social determinants of mental health and their implications for public policy and political ethics. Matt also has extensive experience with social housing policy and non-government, not-for-profit housing providers. He has a strong commitment to values of environmental sustainability and is particularly interested in issues of urban design, in relation to both public health and sustainability outcomes.

Friday
Phillip Baker (@PhilBakerNZ) is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Regulatory Institutions Network, Australian National University and has a PhD from the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health. His research interests span public policy, political science and global health with emphasis on the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), trade liberalization and population nutrition, regulations shaping infant and young child feeding, and agenda-setting in public health (how and why are health issues politically prioritised or neglected). He has lectured previously at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, on globalization and health and worked as an intern at the World Health Organization on global nutrition policy.

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13 April 2015

Dr Gemma Carey – @gemcarey – is a Research Fellow with the Regulatory Network at the Australian National University. She holds a PhD in social policy and population health from the University of Melbourne. Her research sits at the critical interface between public health, public administration and social policy. In particular, Dr Carey has investigated processes of ‘joining up’ within within government and between government and non-government organisations.

Dr Carey has published a widely on different aspects of public administration and public health. She has a monograph on joined-up government and public administration with Melbourne University Press due for release in 2015 – ‘Grassroots to Government: Joining-up in Australia’, and is Chief Editor and contributor to the upcoming book ‘Designing and Implementing Public Policy: Cross-sectoral Debates’, to be published by Routledge in 2015.

In addition to her academic research, she runs a policy forum – the Power to Persuade (PTP) (an annual symposium and blog). PTP is aimed at improving the relationships between policymakers, academics and the community sector. Running since 2011, PTP is sponsored by the Victorian Government and a range of NGOs and peak bodies (www.powertopersuade.org.au).

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7 April 2015

Croakey moderator and journalist Marie McInerney  covered a Prisons Health conference this week in Geraldton, WA, as a precursor to Croakey’s launch of the #JustJustice crowd-funding campaign.

Marie has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 30 years, including for Reuters and Australian Associated Press. She was founding editor of Insight, a specialist social issues magazine published in Melbourne by the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) and is a moderator and contributor to Croakey. She has also worked as a lecturer and tutor in journalism and writing at the University of South Australia and RMIT. She tweets at @mariemcinerney.
Read her report of the conference here. 

 

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30 March 2015

Catriona Bonfiglioli@CatBonfiglioli– is a media and journalism academic at UTS and a PHAA member tweeting on behalf of the NSW branch of the PHAA.

She is Senior Lecturer, Media Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Catriona is an award-winning professional journalist with 15 years’ experience as a reporter, sub-editor and specialist medical journalist. Catriona joined PHAA in 2000 and serves on the NSW branch executive.

Catriona has been researching the role of media in public health and medicine since 1999. Her doctoral research examined media discourse about genetic technologies including cloning, GM food, and the Human Genome Project. Her postdoctoral research has focused on the role of media in overweight, obesity, physical activity and inactivity.

Catriona is lead chief investigator of the ARC Discovery Project 1096251: Bonfiglioli, Chapman, & Smith. ‘Changing the media diet – Investigating the power of the news media to prevent obesity’.  Catriona is the author of Reporting Obesity: A Resource for Journalists, a resource for journalists published by the NSW Centre for Overweight and Obesity: http://sydney.edu.au/medicine/public-health/coo/publications/reporto.php

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23 March 2015

Gemma Jacklyn – @GemmaJacklyn – is a doctoral student, tutor and lecturer in epidemiology at the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney and holds an NHMRC postgraduate scholarship. She’s interested in better understanding the benefits and harms associated with breast cancer screening. Her main focus is overdiagnosis and overtreatment. She supports informed choice about breast cancer screening and has co-authored a paper about this in The Lancet.

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16 March 2015

Chad Foulkes, Healthy Together Geelong Coordinator for the City of Greater Geelong – @TorquayChad – tweeted about the social determinants of health, and the roles of land use planning, infrastructure & activation as areas where local government can work for public health.

Chad has led Healthy Together Geelong based at the City of Greater Geelong which is taking a systems approach to address obesity. Previously he worked in the WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention and CO-OPS (the collaboration for community-based obesity prevention initiatives) at Deakin University where he designed and delivered professional development nationally. He has led teams in local government on community planning, development, health, engagement and governance. He has won two IAP2 awards and served on the IAP2 worldwide judging panel and chaired the Australasian IAP2 judging panel. He is a member of the Academic Board for the Masters of International and Community Development at Deakin. Additionally he runs a consultancy.

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9 March 2015

This week, Mary Freer – @FreerMary – is tweeting for Change Day, a people led, accessible and energetic social movement for better health outcomes, which is marked on 11 March.

Change Day invites you to be change-makers in health, aged care and community services right across Australia.

The Change Day movement says: “It’s easy to get caught up believing that change needs to start somewhere else. We can end up waiting for someone else to ‘fix’ things or waiting for someone to give us permission to be amazing, or even just to do what we know needs to be done.

“Don’t wait any longer! Wherever you are and whatever your role is in health and community care: you can make a difference. Together our potential is enormous.”

Mary has contributed to Australia’s healthcare system reform in a variety of executive and leadership roles over the last 20 years. She has worked with Health Workforce Australia, Healthdirect Australia, Premier and Cabinet in South Australia  and more recently as a consultant to health and community care services across Australia.

Mary is the Founder and CEO of Change Day Australia and works closely with Change Day leaders in many countries across the world to bring about global improvements to our health and social care systems.

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2 March 2015

This week was an extra special program – many thanks to Kristine Olaris, @kristineolaris, CEO of Women’s Health East in Melbourne, and her colleagues for organising a packed schedule of tweeting about women’s health.

 Correction: Women’s Health Loddon Mallee does have a Twitter account – follow @WomensHealthLM 

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23 Feb 2015

Public health lawyer, author and blogger Michele Simon –  @MicheleRSimon – has been investigating conflicts of interest and the Dietitians Association of Australia.  Read more here.

Simon, president of Eat Drink Politics, a corporate watchdog consulting firm in the US, has released an Australian edition of “And Now A Word From Our Sponsors” detailing close links between the food industry and DAA.

Below are some grabs from a tweet-chat conducted on Feb 23 with Simon about her report (apologies to those in the US whose plans to join the chat were spoiled by my mixing up the time difference).

I asked Simon what advice she had for journalists; whether we should routinely ask sources about their conflicts of interest.


Public health advocates Rosemary Stanton and Amanda Lee also commented:


Meanwhile, US public health nutritionist Marion Nestle also commented on the report at her blog, Food Politics.


Note: The DAA did not contribute to the tweet-chat but made this comment beforehand

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16 Feb 2015

Ann Arnold – @ann_arnold – a journalist with Background Briefing, Radio National’s investigative documentary program, is in the chair this week, following her recent program, Doctors in Distress (audio and transcript are available here). She began her career at the SMH, and has worked across numerous Radio National programs, including Late Night Live and Life Matters. She is an occasional print freelancer (The Monthly, The Drum).

Ann plans to tweet from 3-4pm each day from Monday to Friday, on the theme of stress. Stress for medicos, mostly, but will broaden to all workplaces and causes. She is keen to hear your stories, thoughts and research.

You can also read her article for Croakey.

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9 Feb 2015
Miriam Herzfeld – @MiriamHerzfeld1 – has worked in the community sector, for the University of Tasmania, and for both local and state governments in several states in Australia. Miriam currently works as a Public Health Consultant and is an Associate of the University of Tasmania. Miriam convenes Tasmania’s Social Determinants of Health Advocacy Network.

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2 Feb 2015
Renee Williams – @Ren_Williams – is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman who has been working in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs for the last 17 years, with a particular focus in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

She will be talking about the aftermath of the Queensland election and the implications for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and their communities, health and wellbeing. Renee will also discuss the Apunipima election charter, and wider public health issues, particularly from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective.

Renee has a certificate in Diplomacy Training at UNSW, Cert IV in Indigenous Leadership at AILC, Assoc Degree in Business Administration (ACU) and Master of Public Health (Deakin Uni).  Renee has vast experience and knowledge from the roles that she has undertaken in local, regional, state, national and organisations, including the Victorian Aboriginal Health Services, the Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care, and Oxfam Australia.

Just over 12 months ago Renee returned to Cairns from living in Canberra and working at the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, where she was the National Policy Manager. Currently she is the Senior Project Officer with Apunipima Cape York Health Council where her role is about politics, strategy and policy platforming with a particular focus on health reform for Cape York Communities.

Through her experience over the years, Renee understands the importance of self-determination of her people to create change for themselves and their communities.

During the week, Renee conducted a “Twitter-view” with Dameyon Bonson about his crowdfunding campaign for the Black Rainbow Living Well Foundation, and you can read the Storify here (some extracts below).


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26 Jan 2015

The Queensland election was the focus this week of Dr Mark Bahnisch – @MarkBahnisch – a sociologist who teaches at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. He has worked in health policy and health systems research at The University of Queensland and is also currently working on a narrative of the Queensland Doctors Dispute for ASMOF. Additionally, he is a long time observer of Queensland and Australian politics, and his book, Everything You Need To Know About Queensland But Were Afraid to Ask, is forthcoming with New South Publishing in May.

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19 Jan 2015
Mark Metherell – @metherellmark – is communications director of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia.  The views he expresses @WePublicHealth are his own and not necessarily those of CHF.   Mark joined CHF two years ago and previously wrote on health issues for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

For @WePublicHealth, Mark proposes to give the consumers’ perspective on the continuing debate over the co-payment and the future of Medicare.

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12 Jan 2015
John Mendoza@johno0910 – is a Director of ConNetica, a boutique consulting practice. He has been involved in over 100 mental health and wellbeing projects in every Australian jurisdiction since establishing ConNetica in early 2007.  These have involved working with and evaluating programs targeting people with mild to severe and complex mental ill health, long-term unemployed men and families, service development and workforce development.

He has published extensively in both grey and peer reviewed literature on mental health and mental health reform and been a keynote speaker at over 50 conferences. He is the co-author of a number of major reports on mental health reform in the past decade most notably – Not for Service: Experiences of Despair and Injustice in Mental Health Care in Australia (in 2005) and Obsessive Hope Disorder: Reflections on Thirty Years of Mental Health Reform in Australia and Visions for the Future (in 2013).

Prior to his role at ConNetica, John has held several executive positions including Chief Executive Officer of the Mental Health Council of Australia (MHCA), and Chief Executive of the Australian Sports Drug Agency. He was appointed in 2008 as the Inaugural Chair, National Advisory Council on Mental Health, to the Federal Health Minister, The Hon Nicola Roxon MP. He is presently:

  • Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health, Education and Science at the University of the Sunshine Coast; and
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Mental Health Policy Unit, Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney.
  • Chair, headspace Maroochydore
  • Member of the Foundation Board of the Queensland Mind and Neuroscience Institute, chaired by Angus Houston AC.

In 2002, John was awarded the Queensland University of Technology, Vice-Chancellor’s Outstanding Alumni Award for Innovation and Excellence and the Faculty of Health’s 2002 Outstanding Alumni Award. In 2010, he was awarded a Life Award for lifetime achievement in suicide prevention. He has a Bachelor of Education and Grad Dip in Health Promotion.




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5 Jan 2015
Marie McInerney has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 30 years, including for Reuters and Australian Associated Press. She was founding editor of Insight, a specialist social issues magazine published in Melbourne by the Victorian Council of Social Services (VCOSS) and is a moderator and contributor to Croakey. She has also worked as a lecturer and tutor in journalism and writing at the University of South Australia and RMIT. She tweets at @mariemcinerney.