@WePublicHealth : The 2013/2014 archives

This page archives a selection of tweets from those who guest-tweeted for the account during 2013-2014.

For more information about @WePublicHealth, see here.


Documenting @WePublicHealth participants


22 Dec-5 Jan

Melissa Sweet aka @croakeyblog tweeted quoteable quotes and memorable articles from the past year at Croakey, as well as doing some blatant flogging of Croakey merchandise. As in: buy your Croakey T-shirts, hoodies, phone cases, stickers, cards etc HERE. And big thanks to Summer May Finlay who guested on Dec 24.

15 Dec

Sean Parnell – @seanparnell – has been a journalist for 20 years, esp. politics & health, currently Health Editor, FOI Editor at The Australian. Author, lecturer.


8 Dec

Walter Kmet – @WentWestCEO – was in the chair for one of the year’s big stories for primary health care: the Federal Government’s announcement of “Plan B” for Medicare – cuts of $3.5 billion to general practice. Walter is CEO of WentWest, which is the Western Sydney Medicare Local and provider of Regional General Practice Education & Training in the greater western Sydney area. Read more about his work here.


1 Dec

Anne Messenger – 
@annegmmm – is the editor of an online-only, peer-reviewed quarterly journal called Public Health Research & Practice, which was recently launched by the Sax Institute. Anne has been a health and science writer, editor and communicator for more than 20 years, and is Publications Manager for the Sax Institute. She has edited Medical Observer and the Australian Medical Association’s national publication, Australian Medicine, and was Communications Manager for the Australian General Practice Training Program. Ms Messenger has a BA from the Australian National University, majoring in English and Philosophy. Follow the journal at: @phrpjournal



24 Nov

Jonine Jancey – @joninejancey – is the Editor and avid supporter of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia. She is passionate about health promotion research that informs policy and practice and is committed to supporting health promotion, to improve the health of populations. Jonine has been involved in health promotion research for over 20 years mainly in the area of physical activity and nutrition and she wants the world to know what great work Australians do in the disease prevention/health enhancement space. During her week at @WePublicHealth she chatted with researchers/practitioner who published in the latest edition of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia.  The focus was on ‘food’.


17 Nov

Carl Heslop – @CarlosDenWA – is a bloke. A young bloke. In rural WA. Who does some stuff. Mainly with people. He has survived working as a Registered Nurse in Darwin, managed to navigate culture shock as a trailing-spouse/stay-at-home-dad in Central Java, loves the Twitter and cooks a pretty mean rabbit stew. He is an odd-jobs man and likes to help people get things done – working with the Australian Drug Foundation on the Good Sport’s Program; Curtin University on a rural men’s cancer survivorship study; with young people as part of the P.A.R.T.Y. program through Royal Perth Hospital and occasionally still pulls on the scrubs. Amongst all of this he is an early stages PhD student with the School of Public Health, Curtin University and the Chairman of the small but plucky Men’s Resource Centre.  

Carl is interested in most things, most people and Public Health. During his play with WePublicHealth he will be looking at the 2nd National Sexual and Reproductive Health Conference, the Good Sports Program National Awards, the life of a rural PhD Student and anything else that comes his way during the week.


10 Nov

Professor Fran Baum, director of the Southgate Institute at Flinders University, investigated the health implications of the G20 meeting, and also speaking at and tweeting from the Brisbane Global Cafe. @baumfran


3 Nov

James Nichols, head of communications for MSF Australia, shared news and resources about the global Ebola crisis. @JamesNichols73


27 Oct

This week @cultureislife is profiling a crowdfunding campaign to bring two Indigenous Elders to Sydney for the week of November 17 to spread a message of healing and cultural integrity.

Aboriginal Elders have spoken out about the tragic loss of life in their communities – young people driven to self-harm and suicide in alarming numbers.

It’s a massive problem that’s grown steadily worse over the past 20 years. Compounded by government programs that do nothing to solve the root of the problem: a deep sense of confusion and sorrow among young people at the loss of culture and identity coupled with the feeling that they are not valued, or wanted.

Now, the Elders are saying, enough is enough. And they are calling on all Australians to help with the healing. That healing starts with grassroots programs led by Elders and Community leaders that take young people back to the land and to their culture, 

If the campaign raises $5100, it can bring Elders Lorna Hudson OAM (Elders’ Report) from the Kimberley and Senior Walpiri man from the Western Desert NT Uncle Rex Daniel Granites Japanangka to Sydney for 4 days, as well as Community leader  David Cole (Elders’ Report) from the Central Desert NT (Balanu Foundation).

Support the campaign here.


20 Oct

Dr Maia Sauren (@sauramaia): Changing from biomedical engineering research to working in software taught Maia a lot of things, including the value of moving away from closed data models. These days, Maia works for ThoughtWorks as a software consultant, and moonlights as an ambassador for the Open Knowledge Foundation, a not for profit organisation dedicated to promoting open data and content.

Maia’s PhD exploring safety standards of radiofrequency of mobile phones was interspersed with coordinating the Australian Centre for Radiofrequency Bioeffects Research, writing scripts for science education videos, and getting really quite good at baking. 

Among other things, Maia is the organiser of HealthHack, a weekend datahack for medical research problems, happening this year in Melbourne and Sydney, Oct 24-26.



13 Oct

Warren Jennings (@warrenjennings) is part of a group of doctors, professors, health professionals and health consumer advocates behind the NAP – No Advertising Please campaign.  By sharing the evidence of the effects and harms of seeing drug reps, the campaign hopes to encourage prescribers to reclaim their lunch breaks and pledge to avoid seeing pharmaceutical representatives for at least a year. The campaign’s motto is: “Prescribers need evidence, not marketing.” Read more about it at Croakey.

Warren is a GP working in Indigenous health in Brisbane, and is a Lecturer at University of Queensland School of Medicine. He studies Public Health and lectures on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and General Practice (to medical students), and Evidence Based Medicine (to GP registrars). He is a strong advocate for ‘prescribing on evidence, not marketing’, and is a much happier, better rested and better informed GP since stopping seeing drug reps. He encourages other GP’s to reclaim their lunch breaks too!

6 Oct

Lilli Morgan is Global Coordinator and Campaign Manager for NCDFREE, a social movement she’s been helping shape since its launch in 2013. Currently completing her Masters in Public Health at the University of Melbourne, her focus is on Global Health, with a background in International Studies. Having travelled and volunteered extensively throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, Lilli is passionate about health, sustainability, sport, design, photography, gardening and food.

After finishing her undergraduate studies, Lilli worked in marketing and international eco-tourism before making the switch to public health. It was with this combination that she realised the scale and urgency of the global NCD challenge – particularly in low and middle-income countries.

This month Lilli and her team at NCDFREE are launching a new campaign called #TheFace of NCDs. She believes in social change through personal stories and clever design – check out more at www.thefaceofncds.org.  Follow @Lillimorg.


29 Sept

Dr Alicia Veasey and Natahlia Buitendyk will be tweeting from the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association conference this week (check #AIDA2014)

Alicia Veasey is a proud Torres Strait Islander woman and doctor. She works in obstetrics and gynaecology at Hervey Bay Hospital,  is a Director of the Australian Indigenous Doctors’ Association Board and is studying towards a Masters of Public Health and Masters of Health Management.

Alicia completed a Bachelor of Nursing prior to continuing her health studies further with medicine, from which she graduated in 2011. Whilst in medical school, she was a founder of DreamTrack, a long-term mentor program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.

Alicia looks forward to a long career serving her people, whilst combining her passion for women’s health and empowerment with program and community development. Follow her: @DrAliciaV

​Natahlia Buitendyk is a second year medical student who identifies with her cultures being from both Indonesia and Mirryal-Budawang Aboriginal. She graduated from public health and exercise science at QUT in 2012 and is passionate about improving Indigenous health.

Natahlia has worked internationally in India, New Zealand and Vanuatu in the public health sector, and is a member of the Fluid Watchers international research group. Her voluntary experiences include mentoring future Indigenous leaders, running health check stalls at festivals and teaching yoga.

She is currently the UQ Student Representative for AIDA and a regular tweeter. Follow her @natahliajoy.


22 Sept

Mona Nasser: @monalisa1n
Mona is the Clinical Lecturer of Evidence Based Dentistry at Peninsula Dental School, Plymouth University. She is the co-founder and leader of the Cochrane Agenda and Priority Setting Methods Group and currently also one of the trustees of the Cochrane Collaboration. The Cochrane Collaboration (www.cochrane.org) is an international organisation focusing on conducting systematic reviews to inform decisions in health care.

Mona works on systematic reviews in health care, methodological projects to inform decisions to set priorities for research and is keen to work with clinicians, members of public and policy makers to identify what are the priorities in research and work on translating them into a research project. During her week curating for @wepublichealth she will tell about different projects that started with a question from a stakeholder and lead to a new research project. One of these project is a collaborative project with the Institute for Sustainability Solutions Research (ISSR). There will be a one hour twitter chat on this topic during the week.

Date: Monday 22 Sep 2014
Time: 12:00 midday BST for one hour (This will be 21:00 in Sydney, Australia)

Curators: Mona Nasser (usually tweets from @monalisa1n but will be curating from @wepublichealth during the week 22-29 Sep 2014) & Janet Richardson(@SSHRPlymUni), Jane Grose (@jane_grose). All of us are members of the Institute of Sustainability Solution Research (@ISSRPlymUni) Management Team. Mona is also a clinical lecturer in the Dental School of Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry @pupsmd.

Topic: Who should be responsible to ensure sustainability in delivering dental treatments?

We recently did a survey in a public event on the perception of the public on sustainability in dental practice. The vast majority of respondents thought that sustainable dentistry was important although less important than finding a good dentist! Some people told us that they think that policy makers should deal with this issue. Others mentioned that they don’t have access to information whether their dentist is sustainable or not. We also talked with dental staff.  We noticed that similar to other health professionals, the fear that they might not be thoroughly following the control of infection guidelines results in practices that are unsustainable.


15 Sept

Rebecca Zosel (@rebeccazosel ) and Gina Casey (@GinaKCasey) will be covering the Public Health Association of Australia’s 43rd Annual Conference in Perth this week: The future of public health: big challenges, big opportunities. 

Gina Casey’s Twitter bio says: “aka Auntie Gina. President ACT Social Justice Hub. Passionate. National Returning Officer Aus Democrats. Human rights advocate. Proud to be Koori & Aus”.

Rebecca Zosel has worked in public health for 15 years within Australia, the United Kingdom and more recently the Kingdom of Tonga. Rebecca spent her early career working as a health promotion practitioner in NGOs focusing on cancer prevention. She now runs a consultancy and is thrilled to have the opportunity to work across diverse areas including workplace health, diabetes prevention, blindness prevention, health equity, mental wellbeing and fertility. Her current clients include VicHealth (@VicHealth), the Centre of Excellence in Intervention and Prevention Science (@CEIPS_AU), and the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (@VARTAVic).

Rebecca recently completed her Master of Public Health at Deakin University and will be presenting her research findings “Health promotion in Australia: current trends and future directions” at the PHAA conference. Rebecca lives in Melbourne and has two children, Oscar (4) and Liliana (2). A new but avid Twitter fan.

• Follow the conference tweets at #PHAA2014


8 Sept

It was timely to have experienced medical journalist Michael Woodhead as guest tweeter during the week marking the first anniversary of the Abbott Government.  Michael is Clinical News Editor at Australian Doctor, the weekly magazine and online platform for GPs. He tweets regularly about health-related news in Australia and from conferences and events that he attends as a journalist, such as the recent World Congress of Cardiology in Melbourne. 

He has also written for other health and medical outlets such as Specialist Updates and 6minutes, where he used e-newsletters, blogs, online video and Skype to convey health stories to a wider audience. Michael has a special interest in primary care and also in pharmaceuticals. He studied pharmacology at Liverpool University in the UK and worked in the pharmaceutical industry before becoming a medical journalist in London.

After working as a health reporter in the UK, New Zealand and China, Michael moved to Australia in 1997, where the rest of his extended family had settled in the 1960s as Ten Pound Poms.  A fluent Mandarin speaker, he also has an interest in healthcare in China, and publishes a blog, China Medical News, that covers developments in medicine and health in mainland China. Michael lives in Sydney, where he can frequently be seen cycling around on his ‘Brompton’ folding bike. He tweets as @mpwoodhead


1 Sept

Jenni Judd (@JuddJenni) will be covering 
Equity @ the Centre: Action on Social Determinants of Health, the 22nd National Australian Health Promotion Association Conference & 18th Chronic Diseases Network Conference. The Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA), the Northern Territory Chronic Diseases Network (CDN) and the Northern Territory Medicare Local (NTML) are partnering to jointly deliver the 22nd AHPA National Conference and the 18th Annual CDN Conference in Alice Springs between 4-5th September 2014.

Jenni has been a health promotion practitioner, policy officer, and manager for over 30 years.  In the past 8 years she has contributed to health promotion research, post graduate health promotion training and research capacity building.  She was on the AHPA Health Promotion Board  for over 10 years; was Vice President of AHPA from 2006-2009 and  Convened and Chaired the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Committee from 2008-2013 and continues as a member.  She is also active on the Research Evaluation and Translation Committee and a member of the Editorial Board of Health Promotion Journal of Australia.  She has a strong commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and social justice.


25 Aug

Michael Greco is one of the founding Directors and the Chief Executive of Patient Opinion Australia, which is a not-for-profit charitable organisation.  Patient Opinion is a unique social media platform that enables citizens to tell their healthcare story (good or bad) in a safe, anonymous and effective way, and in doing so, encourages those health services that they rely on to become more open, transparent and patient-centred.  It is based on the highly successful UK model which is used across the NHS.

In Australia, Michael is a Director on a number of Boards, including CheckUP Australia (formerly General Practice Queensland) and Health Leaders Australia.  He holds honorary professor and senior research fellow posts at the School of Medicine, Griffith University and the School of Medicine, University of Exeter (UK). In the UK, Professor Greco was Patient Experience Director for the National Primary Care Development Team, and he had a similar role with the NHS National Clinical Governance Support Team.  His academic background is focused on healthcare, evaluation and clinical pastoral education, and includes a PhD in medical education and a Bachelor of Theology. He tweets as @CEO_POAustralia.

18 Aug

Priyanka Rai – @priyankarai113 – and Carter Moore – @Fiatnox – are part of the policy team at the Consumers Health Forum of Australia. CHF is the national peak body representing Australia’s healthcare consumers. They covered the  CHF National Workshop, ‘Health in a time of change’, from Melbourne on 18-19 August. The #CHF14 workshop heard from a number of health experts, consumer advocates and health communicators including Stephen Duckett, Melissa Sweet, Stephen Leeder, Justin Coleman and Andrew Elshaug.  Priyanka and Carter also tweeted about CHF’s principles of consumer-centred healthcare: Co-ordinated and Comprehensive Care, Appropriate Care, Trust and Respect, Informed Decision Making, Whole of Person Care and Accessible and Affordable Care. As well, they tweeted from a National Press Club event on the social determinants of health.



11 Aug

Professor Kerry Arabena and Jonathan “Yotti” Kingsley tweeted from a conference in Canada, EcoHealth 2014. Ecohealth is a field that strives for “sustainable health of people, wildlife and ecosystems by promoting discovery, understanding and transdisciplinarity”.  The conference theme: Connections for health, ecosystems and society.

Kerry Arabena is 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.  Jonathan ‘Yotti’ Kingsley has worked in Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, government bodies, academic institutes and NGO’s across Australia in public health and community development. Jonathan sees our environment as central to health and as having the capacity to bridge health inequalities (the basis of his Masters, PhD and previous Visiting Scholar position at Cambridge University). Jonathan views himself as not only an academic but also a activist.

 Click here for the call to action.


4 Aug

Kerrie Noonan @Keznoo

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. She conducted two tweet-chats during her week at @WePublicHealth – about #dyingtoknowday and about the use of social media to tackle taboos.


28 July

Paul Glasziou  @PaulGlasziou

Paul is Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine at Bond University  and a part-time General Practitioner.  He was the Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in Oxford from 2003-2010. His key interests include identifying and removing the barriers to using high quality research in everyday clinical practice. He is the author of seven books related to evidence based practice: Systematic Reviews in Health Care, Decision Making in Health Care and Medicine: integrating evidence and values, An Evidence-Based Medicine Workbook, Clinical Thinking: Evidence, Communication and Decision-making, Evidence-Based Medicine: How to Practice and Teach EBM, and Evidence-Based Medical Monitoring: Principles and Practice.  He is the recipient of an NHRMC Australia Fellowship which he commenced at Bond University in July, 2010.


21 July

Daniel Reeders @onekind

This year marks the beginning of my second decade in public health work. I have an unusual background for public health: I studied Law and Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. I hated ‘thinking like a lawyer’ and took a year of absence to work for the Victorian AIDS Council, where I got a thorough apprenticeship in health promotion and adult education principles from my colleagues.

Since then I’ve specialised in social marketing and community-based research, working as Campaign Coordinator for Living Positive Victoria, Senior Project Worker at the Multicultural Health and Support Service at the Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health, and more recently as Screening Program Advisor at Cancer Council Victoria.

Currently I work as a Research Officer with the What Works & Why project at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society. My practice has multiple strands to it — health promotion, public health, community health, social marketing, community-based research and policy analysis — that smoothly interweave or tangle up in knots depending on the issue and how much coffee I’ve had.

Daniel tweeted from AIDS 2014, the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia, and also conducted an inspired Twitter discussion – #stigmachat (some random extracts below).


Click here for the clip below.


14 July

@LukevanderBeeke: A multi-disciplinarian with extensive Australian and international experience, Luke is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Marketing for Change, a social enterprise that works collaboratively to influence behaviours, improve lives and deliver positive social change.  He’s also a former Director of the National Social Marketing Centre (UK) and an Associate at Ogilvy PR Australia.  Luke has worked on public health related social marketing and behaviour change programs for numerous organisations including the World Health Organisation, Department for International Development (UK) and the Department of Health England.  Luke was a member of the International Collaboration on Social Determinants of Health, a joint initiative of the UK government and the WHO to inform the Marmot Review of Health Inequalities in England.  He sits on the Board of the Australian Social Marketing Association and is an active member of the Social Determinants of Health Alliance in Australia. Luke has considerable experience applying behaviour change methods to public health challenges and holds a post-graduate diploma in health science.  This week he is attending the 2014 International Social Marketing Conference (Melbourne), and will also deliver a short presentation and will be a member of a plenary debate entitled “Key Issues in Social Marketing.”

7 July

It’s NAIDOC Week, and in the chair is Jody Currie from the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health, which unites, integrates and leads community controlled health services in South East Queensland. The Institute was established in 2009 by four independent Community Controlled Health Services to provide for the needs of Australia’s second largest Indigenous population. Since then, the Institute’s regional network has expanded to 14 multidisciplinary primary health clinics. Follow @jody_currie and @IUIH_


30 June

Dr Emma Croager is Education & Research Services Manager at Cancer Council Western Australia. She leads a state-wide network of Health Promotion Officers responsible for cancer education and health promotion initiatives in regional Western Australia, and a metro-based team of project officers and administration staff responsible for the publication and dissemination of cancer information. She co-ordinates Cancer Council WA’s Aboriginal cancer education program, manages Cancer Council WA’s Research Funding Program and is a member of a number of local and national committees including the PHAA (WA Branch), and Cancer Council Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Working Group.  She worked for a number of years in cancer research before moving to the UK and working at Nature Reviews Cancer and Cancer Research UK.  Since returning to Perth in 2006, she has worked in chronic disease prevention and public health.  She is also a runner and a scuba diver and tweets from @emmacroager 


23 June

For over 25 years Colin Cowell has used his national and international marketing/communication experience to make a significant contribution to improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians. In 1993 at Congress Alice Springs, he facilitated, wrote and produced the first Aboriginal Radio comedy series in Australia on the subject of AIDS/sexually transmitted diseases. In 2004 he developed www.cuzcongress.com <http://www.cuzcongress.com/>  an Aboriginal children’s help line for social problems in Central Australia (drugs, alcohol, petrol sniffing, violence) sexually transmitted diseases.

He moved to Canberra in 2005 and has since consulted and worked for the Federal Department of Health (Including the Roll out Opal /reduction of petrol sniffing campaign), FAHCSIA Indigenous communications (including The Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children) and managing the Attorney-General’s Indigenous Family Violence network. Since 2008, he has also project managed and facilitated three major gatherings of over 700 Aboriginal males in the Northern Territory (Alice Springs and Katherine) who are engaged and committed to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal males, their families and their communities.

In 2012, he moved to NACCHO, the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation as National Media and Communications Advisor, where he was responsible for creating and implementing a “state of the art” communication strategy that included a new website www.naccho.org.au <http://www.naccho.org.au>, a daily Aboriginal Health  News Alert www.nacchocommunique.com <http://www.nacchocommunique.com>, Australia’s first Aboriginal Health Newspaper (see latest edition in the Koori Mail)  and a Twitter account @NACCHOAustralia with 8,500 followers that now leads the way in the promotion of Aboriginal health, media and political issues. He tweets as @ColinCowell.

Colin tweeted news from the NACCHO Summit and his week culminated with an interview for an ABC Radio National segment on Twitterati.


16 June

Dr Frank Beard is a Staff Specialist Public Health Physician at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, based at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, NSW.  He works in immunisation and vaccine preventable disease policy, surveillance and research, but also has an interest in public health more broadly. Before training in public health medicine he worked as a GP for 15 years. Frank will be tweeting from the Public Health Association Australia 14th National Immunisation Conference in Melbourne – follow #PHAA2014. He usually tweets as @DrFrankBeard


9 June

Dr Kimberley Ivory is Senior Lecturer, Population Medicine at the Sydney School of Public Health (@SydneySPH). Previously she has been Senior Medical Officer at Family Planning Victoria, a rural GP, a freelance journalist and a community arts activist. All these roles have fuelled her passion for helping health practitioners understand the importance of the social determinants of health and really hearing the person’s story in improving health outcomes, especially for minority and marginalised populations. She is undertaking a PhD with the Centre for Values, Ethics and Law in Medicine (@VELiM_USyd) at the University of Sydney looking for creative ways to understand and improve how GPs manage personally challenging consultations. Below are some of her tweet-reports from a public health intensive in NZ. Her Twitter handle is @kaydeeye


2 June

Samantha Thomas is Associate Professor of Public Health at the School of Health and Society, University of Wollongong. Her research focus is on the impact of dangerous consumption industries on the health of communities. In particular she has specialised in examining the range of tactics that are used by the food industry and the gambling industry to promote their products and how these tactics are used to challenge and prevent comprehensive regulatory reform. She has provided invited testimony to Australian Parliamentary Inquiries into gambling reform. Samantha believes that evidence based advocacy is vital in reforming the harmful practices of industries.  Her Twitter handle is @doc_samantha 

During the week she tweeted her top ten public health resources:


26 May

Marita Hefler is a researcher at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, Northern Territory. Her current research focus is tobacco control, particularly reducing smoking rates among Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. She is interested in how social media can be used in innovative ways to inspire community movements to promote and improve health, as promote citizen engagement in politics and policy making, particularly for people who experience social marginalisation and exclusion. With heated debate continuing about the federal budget, Marita will be exploring the implications for Aboriginal health, along with tweets about World No Tobacco Day, which is happening on 31 May, and a smattering of other public health topics that catch her eye. Marita’s twitter handle is @m_hef. 

19 May, 2014

Dameyon Bonson is a First Nation Australian of both Indigenous and Caucasian descent. Born and bred in Darwin, he now lives where he always wanted to holiday, Broome, WA. He describes himself as a Social Warrior rather than a Social Worker. Dameyon has presented internationally and nationally on Indigenous men’s engagement. He also convenes Black Rainbow Australia as a vehicle to work towards improving the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, particularly within the LGBQTI, Sistergirl and Brotherboy community. He has recently become a contributing author to The Good Men Project – “A Gay, Aboriginal, Introverted Male (And Not At All What You’d Expect That Means”. Dameyon, who was one of the moderators for the recent #IHMayDay Twitter-fest on Indigenous health, http://blogs.crikey.com.au/croakey/?cat=46690and tweets as @db_1974 and blogs here.

Below are some tweets from Dameyon on the role of Black Rainbow Australia @BlkRnBow.


12 May, 2014

In the week of the Federal Budget, it was timely to have an experienced health policy analyst, Dr Stephen Duckett from the Grattan Institute, in the chair.  He has held top operational and policy leadership positions in health care in Australia and Canada, including as Secretary of what is now the Commonwealth Department of Health. He has a reputation for creativity, evidence-based innovation and reform in areas ranging from the introduction of activity-based funding for hospitals to new systems of accountability for the safety of hospital care. An economist, he is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. He tweets as @stephenjduckett. 


5 May, 2014

In the week after the National Commission of Audit and the week before the Federal Budget, it is timely to have Andrew McAuliffe, Director of Policy at the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association in the chair. He has 25 years experience as a clinician, service manager, bureaucrat and advocate. The AHHA is the “voice of public health care” and tweets as @AusHealthcare.



28 April, 2014

Jason Trethowan is CEO of Barwon Medicare Local in Geelong, Victoria, and Deputy Chair of the G21 Region Alliance Board. His tweeting is timely given uncertainty about how Medicare Locals will fare in the forthcoming Federal Budget. This link compiles all Croakey coverage about Medicare Locals. Jason tweets as @BarwonML. At the end of his week in the chair, he wrote:

“In a week dominated by federal budget speculation and the analysis of the 86 recommendations from the Commission of Audit, the WePublicHealth handle still had plenty of other areas to promote.

I was pleased to be able to provide some insight into local Geelong based organisations such as @leasurenetworks @healthygeelong and @activeinparks.

These and many others share the view that promoting physical activity, access to healthy food and community connections are key ingredients for a healthier future. I attempted a#WPHchat on health and wellbeing. Some good engagement but I think can be better next time. We need more conversation on what matters in public health.

The Geelong region has also been challenged in recent times by the announcement of a series of job losses with the exiting of Ford, Alcoa and Qantas maintenance to name a few. With this comes the opportunity for our region to be proactive in political engagement so we can bring new employment to the region. Jobs are a major determinant for our communities’ future health and wellbeing.

In the last week the Prime Minister was here to launch the Location for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). I was able to meet with senator Mitch Fifield who is the minister responsible for the NDIS. The need for closer disability provider and NDIA relationships was highlighted. The Premier was also in the region to announce a number of school infrastructure projects. This was a huge welcome for the schools funded.

Whether it was timely or not, coinciding with the big job of taking responsibility for @WePublicHealth was the opportunity for me to promote the role of Medicare Locals. There is much budget speculation about the future of the 61 organisation network so I unashamedly promoted our work.

Of course many of the @WePublicHealth followers got behind the #IHMayDay – Indigenous Health MayDay. Well done to all as this was trending big time in the Twittersphere and promoted some outstanding messages. This should be a regular one!”


21 April, 2014


Professor Tarun Weeramanthri is Executive Director, Public Health and Clinical Services Division, WA Health. He has served as Chief Health Officer in two jurisdictions (Northern Territory 2004-2007, and Western Australia 2008-present). He has a PhD in social medicine, and is a Fellow of Leadership WA. He has a strong commitment to the public sector, innovation and partnerships to improve the health of the whole population, both in terms of life expectancy and quality of life. His mantra is ‘put the public back in public health’, and he sees new technology and social media as vital tools in that effort. He tweets as @tarunw. He kindly summarised his week of tweeting as per below:


14 April, 2014

Expect to hear plenty about health inequalities this week with oral health academic Professor Marc Tennant in the chair. His Twitter bio says: “Make marginalisation history!”. He is the Director (and founder) of the International Research Collaborative – Oral Health and Equity (IRC) and the Centre for Rural and Remote Oral Health at The University of Western Australia in Perth, Western Australia, and is driven by a passion for equity and justice. Follow him at @MarcTennant and find out more at his website.


7 April, 2014

Rural GP Dr Ewen McPhee did nearly 400 tweets when reporting from the International Forum on Quality & Safety in Healthcare Paris 2014, some of which are Storified here. You can also check @QualityForum and #Quality2014 for updates.

He explains why he has volunteered a second time to guest tweet for @WePublicHealth:

“I volunteered for @WePublicHealth as a way of contributing to public debate around health topics. I note that General practice and Primary care is often not represented at National Debates and in public forum in a way that should reflect its importance to the health of Australians. Equally there is so much that is happening in General practice and in particular Rural Medicine around addressing inequities and access block to health.

The upcoming international conference on Quality and Safety in Health is, I hope, an opportunity for us to focus on the importance of delivering quality outcomes for our patients, their families and communities.

Having been immersed in the politics of Medicare Locals, Federal and State funding silos and the disparities between primary and secondary care I hope to learn how other countries have broken down the barriers and improved the focus on patients. As GPs we are often well connected to our local communities, our local government and non-government providers in ensuring health needs are identified and managed with the resources available to us.

I had the pleasure of hosting the Queensland Mental Health Commissioner Dr Lesley van Schoubroek last week in a listening tour of my rural community. It was a tremendous opportunity to hear from the many providers of Mental Health services about the challenges and opportunities that exist for improving access to mental health services.

What I heard was that General Practice remains critical to patient access to care, that GPs are often the first point of contact for the distressed and distraught. As such many of the challenges that I heard are about communication and how service providers can work better with GPs and through us other providers. I spoke with local Government recently about the importance that local leadership has in delivering on the social determinants of health that lay the foundation for a healthy community. These opportunities for the core of what GPs are about, that is being the advocate for not only our patients, but also leaders for our communities; something that sets us apart from specialist and hospital service providers.”


31 March, 2014

Dr Ann Larson is a demographer, which means she crunches numbers for a living.  She is also a consultant who likes bests the jobs that takes her to communities and health care facilities to learn what actually is actually happening. By necessity that makes her a qualitative researcher as well.

Her career has taken her full circle. As a young demographer she learned to estimate population change in developing countries and eventually found work in Bangladesh.  As a not so young demographer she got involved in evaluating and teaching about evaluation of health programs in Aboriginal Australia at the University of Queensland under the mentorship of Profs Cindy Shannon and Ian Riley.

She then disappeared near the Indian Ocean to start a university department of rural health in Geraldton, Western Australian, which she directed for 11 years.  There she researched and supported others to research health service innovations for rural and remote populations, health effects of racism and health determinants of migration flows out of rural areas to name a few broad categories.  She stepped aside four years ago and is now an independent consultant, evaluating regional development and global health programs.

Ann will be tweeting from the Indian state of Jharkhand. For @wepublichealth she will share her thoughts about what Australian public health reformers and practitioners can learn from this extraordinary country.  She apologises in advance for poor internet connectivity and time zone differences which will make real time conversations involving her difficult.

Ann usually tweets as @ann_gero and irregularly blogs about population, health and evaluation issues on her website www.socialdimensions.com.au


24 March, 2014

Summer May Finlay is a Yorta Yorta woman. She has a Bachelor of Social Science and a Masters of Public Health, and has worked at the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW and the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. She has previously tweeted for @IndigenousX and you can read more about her at The Guardian. She also blogs. Summer’s tweeting on the health impacts of racism were very timely, given public debate about proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.


17 March, 2014

Steve Pratt is the Nutrition and Physical Activity Manager at Cancer Council Western Australia. He is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Exercise Physiologist. Steve has been with Cancer Council for more than ten years and is involved in social marketing, public health programs and research on nutrition, physical activity, alcohol and body weight. Steve’s team at Cancer Council coordinate or are involved in a number of state-wide public health programs, including Crunch&Sip, FOODcents and LiveLighter. He also takes an interest in cancer screening, men’s health and Aboriginal health. Steve is looking to embark on a PhD this year examining the link between alcohol intake and body weight.

This week, Steve will be tweeting from the International Congress on Obesity in Kuala Lumpur, where he has two posters – one on FOODcents and one on LiveLighter – and is presenting the latest evaluation data from LiveLighter on behalf of implementation and research teams.

Steve normally tweets from @pratt_steve where he mixes the personal (running, ironman triathlon, 80s music, juvenile humour and a little politics) with the professional.


10 March, 2014

Dr Lareen Newman is a Senior Research Fellow at the Southgate Institute for Health Society & Equity @Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia, who researches in public health, specifically taking a critical perspective on the social determinants of health and equity. Her main interests are in how the digital divide impacts people’s ability to access resources which shape their wellbeing and livelihood (in other words, how people’s ICT use – or lack thereof – interacts with the social determinants of health and with equity of access). She started this work under the well-known Health In All Policies program of the South Australian government through the Digital Wellbeing Project (published by the WHO). She has since published a range of academic papers and reports for government on digital access among disadvantaged groups in general (see eg http://www.ci-journal.net/index.php/ciej/article/view/639 and specifically relating to health services – see here http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/AH11042.htm and here http://heapro.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2012/11/09/heapro.das062.short and for specific groups such as kids with disabilities http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cch.12048/full). She is increasingly moving into digital inclusion research to identify the processes which lead to digital inclusion/exclusion, most recently among the homeless and among higher education students, and therefore what policymakers and service providers can do to support those with lower resources for ICT use. Most recently she guest edited a journal special issue taking a critical perspective on e-health. She tweets as @LareenNewman and you can check out her GoogleScholar or Researchgate profiles, or read more about her at www.flinders.edu.au/people/lareen.newman <http://www.flinders.edu.au/people/lareen.newman>.

3 March, 2014

Dr Lynore Geia is a Bwgcolman woman, a Registered Nurse and Midwife, a researcher, and a mother. She was born on Palm Island, north Queensland, and her PhD explores the strengths of child rearing practices of Palm Island families – you can read it here:  http://researchonline.jcu.edu.au/25465/. She has kindly agreed to take on @WePublicHealth the same week that she starts a new job as a senior lecturer at James Cook University in Townsville.

The contributions she brings to research emanates from her cultural life experience of being a fourth generation Palm Islander. Most of Lynore’s childhood was during the Queensland Government assimilationist period living under the Aboriginal Protection Act. Lynore heard many stories of Murris including her own mother, who as children were transported to Palm Island and her father and others like him who was born and raised under the punitive policies of the time on Palm Island. From a cultural perspective, Lynore brings authority, credibility and cultural sensibility to bear in the emerging field of Indigenist Research. She tweets as @LynoreGeia.


24 February, 2014

In the lead up to Change Day on 6 March, Mary Freer @FreerMary) returned to the WPH chair to share some of the pledges that people across the country have made towards improving the health and wellbeing of others.

According to the campaign’s website, the event arose out of the NHS Change Day 2013 in the UK, which started with a conversation on Twitter between a group of young improvement leaders in the summer of 2012.

They began exchanging ideas about how they could improve their health service. Before long this developed into a shared vision about bringing together staff across the NHS and its supporters to produce positive change and improvement. This led to the very first “NHS Change Day” on 13th March 2013.

Its shared purpose was to organise a grassroots movement of people to take a specific action to improve the outcomes and experience of care for patients on a sustainable basis. The initial goal was to mobilise 65,000 people – 1,000 for each year since the NHS was established. In fact, it generated 189,000 online pledges of action and subsequent actions for change.

While the UK event has been a success, it will be interesting to see whether Australians respond similarly, and also to have some analysis about who is pledging and what pledges they are making.

Croakey’s own pledge (Melissa Sweet) was a personal commitment to speak up when I see, hear or witness racism, in response to this powerful article by @TheKooriWoman about her experience of racism within a Sydney pharmacy.

If you’d like to make a pledge, click here..


17 February, 2014

Fiona Lander is a medical doctor and lawyer currently based in Melbourne, working at Austin Health and Corrs Chambers Westgarth. Fiona is currently on secondment with the Advocacy-Health Alliance Network at Justice Connect, assisting with the establishment of partnerships between healthcare and legal services. She previously worked for 2 years with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Health in Mumbai, India, and with the health law and human rights team at WHO, Geneva. Fiona also conducts research and provides public health and human rights consulting services to NGOs and international organisations, and lectures at the Copenhagen School of Global Health. She tweets as @fionalander. Her tweets for @WePublicHealth, which provided an informative overview of how legal issues effect health, are summarised here. 

10 February, 2014

Carol Bennett took on WPH when she had only just started her new job as CEO of the Hunter Medicare Local in NSW, after leading the Consumers Health Forum for five years. We heard her thoughts on primary healthcare reform and where it should be heading, as well as about some of the initiatives that the Hunter Medicare Local is pursuing. More here. She tweets as @CarolJBennett.


3 February, 2014

Siv Parker is an award-winning writer and blogger. She writes: I was the NT Ministerial Officer for the Australian Government Department of Health and Aging the day the PM convened a press conference to announce the NT Emergency Response to Child Abuse in Indigenous Communities, aka ‘the Intervention’. I worked on the Child Health Check Initiative, alongside the medic teams, the defence personnel and the NT police and went into more communities and outstations than I can count, all over the Northern Territory. I then jumped the fence and worked in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector – and among other things oversaw the installation of hearing booth and dental clinics; accreditation for Aboriginal health services; and, coordinated community workshops (child safety; community engagement; mandatory reporting). My primary focus this week is topical in the lead up to the tabling in Parliament of the annual Closing the Gap Report Card: Closing the gap & health advocacy. I will frame my @WePublicHealth presence around a full week’s work – ie Monday to Friday ~9-5, with anecdotes from three different perspectives: Day in the life of a health bureaucrat; an Indigenous health advocate; and an Indigenous patient. I write fulltime. My genre is social realism. I am self employed & not affiliated with any person, organisation, network or body with the only exception being I stand as a member of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. I blog here : OnDusk. My first book will be published this year. It is a fictionalised account of the experiences that lead me to becoming a writer and part of the emerging Indigenous social media presence. My second book will take a little longer – my second goal is the hard copy publication of my manuscript, awarded the David Unaipon Award 2012, under the umbrella of the inaugural Queensland Literary Awards.

27 January, 2014

Paul McNamara is currently working as a clinical nurse consultant in Australia’s tropical north. His roles have included school-based youth health, perinatal mental health, consultation liaison psychiatry, undergraduate education and clinical supervision. Paul has built a professional social media portfolio “branded” meta4RN, established with the goal of articulating and sharing some aspects of contemporary nursing practice. More info here and/or by following @meta4RN on Twitter. See this Storify for a record of his tweeting around perinatal mental health and more.


20 January, 2014

Dr Lesley Russell (@LRussellWolpe), a Senior Advisor at the Sax Institute and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute at the Australian National University, shared masses of interesting and useful links with a particular focus on health care reform in Australia and the US, mental health, Indigenous health, addressing health disparities and health budget issues.

Dr Russell returned to Australia in October 2012 after three years in Washington DC where she worked on a range of issues around the enactment and implementation of health care reform, initially as a Visiting Fellow at the Center for American Progress and later as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Surgeon General in the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr Russell has substantial experience working in health policy in the United States and Australia, both in and out of government.


13 January, 2014

Ross Green and Eliza Metcalfe have backgrounds in allied health and media respectively. Currently they work in Knowledge Translation at the Centre for Community Child Health in Melbourne. Inspired by the opportunities and knowledge that have come through their work, they discovered a passion for health communication. Outside of their day jobs, Ross and Eliza use Twitter and their blog, healthycommunicators.wordpress.com, to highlight examples of great health communication and to generate discussion about what health communication is and how it can be done better. They tweet as @_HealthyComms. They provided a wealth of useful resources and links, as summarised here at Croakey.



5 January, 2014

Dr Brendon Neuen is a junior doctor at Cairns Hospital. His main interest is in chronic diseases, particularly kidney disease, and public health strategies to address their shared risk factors. Much of his day-to-day clinical work involves rural, Indigenous and tropical medicine. His research focuses on improving access to the circulation for dialysis treatment of kidney failure, which received national recognition from the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology in 2013. He tweets as @brendonln, and you can read more about him here.




16 December, 2013

Dr Ginny Barbour is Medicine Editorial Director, PLOS. She was until recently also PLOS Medicine’s Chief Editor and has been closely involved in running the journal for the almost 10 years it has existed. As Medicine Editorial Director for PLOS, she oversees three medical journals — PLOS Medicine, PLOS Pathogens and PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. She was one of the three editors that started PLOS Medicine and was its first Chief Editor. She originally trained as a physician, specializing in Haematology, and then as a scientist, before becoming an editor. She is also Consulting Editor to PLOS Currents Disasters and Chair of COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics). She is now based in Brisbane, and tweets as @GinnyBarbour.

Ginny highlighted many useful resources including:

• A statement from the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association: Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing

• Seventy-Five Trials and Eleven Systematic Reviews a Day: How Will We Ever Keep Up?

• A really nice piece on @creativecommons licenses & their power fr0m @ConversationEDU: An explainer.

• This @PLOSMedicine editorial, Poor Health in Rich Countries: A Role for Open Access Journals, has a gripping intro on inequality in rich counties.

Ginny has recently moved to Australia from the UK and commented: “One area I’m struck by here is the huge differential in gambling in diff communities in Australia – and how that drives inequality”.

9 December, 2013

Dr Cameron Webb, a Medical Entomologist with the University of Sydney, Pathology West – ICPMR Westmead, Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity (MBI) and Centre for Infectious Diseases & Microbiology Public Health, shared masses of informative and useful information about mosquitoes and related health concerns, and wetlands rehabilitation. He tweets as @Mozziebites and you can read more about him here.



2 December, 2013

Dr Kate Conigrave, an addiction medicine specialist and public health physician from the University of Sydney, tweeted about alcohol-related harm, treatment and policy – timely given the Federal Government’s recent decision to de-fund the Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia. She tweets as @KConigrave. (Read this compilation post at Croakey – which shares many useful links and resources).


25 November, 2013

Kristine Olaris is the CEO of Women’s Health East and discussed the prevention of violence against women, using the hashtags #PVAW #16Days. Kristine tweets as @kristineolaris.


18 November, 2013

Adelaide-based consultant Mary Freer provided tweet-reporting from a Health Workforce Australia conference, and told us about the @ChangeDayAus campaign that aims to improve patient outcomes. She tweets as @FreerMary.  She also talked about racism as a health issue, and offered these tips for other @WePublicHealth tweeters:


11 November, 2013

Tasmanian Aaron Schultz put the spotlight on alcohol and junk food marketing in sport. You can read more about him in this Croakey post. He tweets as @gamechanger1234


4 November, 2013

Dr Aaron Hollins, a public health registrar with the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (@AaronHollins), provided intensive coverage from a QAIHC workshop on clinical excellence, as well as engaging in some public health advocacy around local council elections, and providing some insights into the impact upon contemporary health and wellbeing of some traumatic history in the Mareeba area.


28 October, 2013

Dr Ewen McPhee, a GP in rural Queensland (@Fly_Texan_) reported from Cairns and the World Summit on Rural Generalist Medicine and the Rural Medicine Australia 2013 conferenceorganised by the Rural Doctors Association of Australia and Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (You can read more about him in this Inside Story article). The tweets below capture some of the themes of those events.


21 October, 2013

Dr Tim Senior, a GP who works in an Aboriginal community controlled health organisation, discussed working in Indigenous health, and a wide range of general practice matters, amongst other things. You can read some of the highlights in this Croakey post.

His energetic tweeting and engagement with followers boosted the account’s numbers considerably, including attracting some high profile followers, as noted below.


14 October, 2013

Dr Alessandro Demaio, an Australian doctor with qualifications in public health and a passion for global health, particularly tackling chronic diseases, is in the chair. You can read more about his work here.


7 October, 2013

James Stevens-Cutler, Project Officer with the Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA at Curtin University, discussed various public health initiatives, including Project Robin Hood, a participatory budgeting program from the City of Melville, Walk Over October, and Immunisation Alliance WA.


30 September, 2013

Rebecca Tooher, a public health researcher at the University of Adelaide, investigated what public health and health services might learn about innovation from the arts. Read more here at her blog.   @RebeccaTooher



23 September, 2013

Kathleen Wild, a final-year medical student and publicity officer for Doctors for the Environment (@DocsEnvAus) covered this seminar in Brisbane on health and the environment, and also engaged in discussions with a Centre for Air Quality (@CAR_CRE) symposium in Newcastle.


16 September, 2013

Journalist @MarieMcInerney covered the 42nd annual conference of the Public Health Association of Australia for the Croakey Conference Reporting Service, and also tweeted for @WePublicHealth.


9 September, 2013

Tweeting for @AusHSI are Emily Bailey and Megan Campbell. Megan is the manager of AusHSI, the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation, based in Queensland (funded by QUT, QLD Health and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital). Megan is passionate about the development of health services research and research translation in Australia. Emily is the manager of the Centre of Research Excellence in Reducing Healthcare Associated Infections and also works with Megan at AusHSI. Emily has a background in paediatric nursing and respiratory clinical research, and has since developed a strong interest in project and program management within health research.


2 Sept 2013


26 August 2013


19 August 2013. The launch @WePublicHealth tweeter


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