President's pen201042624939 by lindash


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									  in                             touch   newsletter of the Public Health Association of Australia Inc.

                                                                                                                                                        Vol 17 No 5 July 2000

President’s pen
         PHAA has received formal                     Thatcher query "Are they one of us?"). In
           notification that the
           Department of Health and
                                                      reality it is Government using "our" (ie
                                                      taxpayers’ monies) to ensure that
                                                                                                                  Stop Press
           Aged Care is withdrawing the               national debate is broad and inclusive.
          grant funding that the                      More evidence continues to emerge that                      New Executive
       Commonwealth Government has                    effective civil society is crucial for
provided to PHAA since 1987. This means               functioning democracy. Yet we have a                        Director appointed
that we join the ranks of many other                  Government who will brook no debate
                                                                                                                  Pieta Laut has accepted the
non-government organisations that have                and withdraws funding from public
                                                                                                                  position as Executive Director of
been de-funded by the Howard Liberal-                 interest groups who challenge their
                                                                                                                  the Public Health Association of
National Government including the                     policies. Unlike political parties who are
                                                                                                                  Australia and will commence work
Women’s Electoral Lobby and the                       prepared to accept funding from anti-
                                                                                                                  at PHAA on Monday 14th August.
Australian Youth Policy & Action                      public health interests such as tobacco
                                                                                                                  Pieta comes from the Department
Coalition.                                            companies, NGOs will not attract or want
                                                                                                                  of Health and Aged Care and has a
                                                      private sector funding because so often
For the Association this means a drop by                                                                          background in environmental and
                                                      the public interest is threatened directly
almost a third of our income. Clearly we                                                                          urban planning, and health issues.
                                                      by the activities of the private sector. Let’s
will have to make some changes. Our
                                                      take the Friends of Medicare campaign
Treasurer, Peter Sainsbury, recently spent
                                                      as an example. There are so many vested
a day with Secretariat staff working on
cost-saving and revenue-generating
proposals. These will be discussed with
                                                      interests involved in this debate: the
                                                      AMA, private health insurance                          in              this issue
                                                      companies, and the huge finance
Executive and Council members prior to                                                                      President’s pen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
                                                      companies keen to manage their
decisions being made. What is important               reserves, and multi-national companies                A very special interest – news from . . . . . . . . . . . .2
is that we can continue with a                        that own and manage private hospitals.                PHAA’s special interest groups
functioning and effective national                                                                          Food & Nutrition
                                                      These players have significant financial
secretariat. That this is the case is a               interests at stake – a shift away from                Executive nominations & elections . . . . . . . . . . . .2
tribute to the forethought of previous                Medicare equals more income and more                  Joint action on GM foods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
PHAA Executives and Executive Directors               profits. The voices in favour of Medicare             Epidemiology’s deep end – . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
who ensured that the Association owns                 are extremely weak by comparison. Even                Legionnaires’ disease at the
real estate, has a fee structure to support           the ALP has announced that, although it               Melbourne Aquarium
independence and a series of activities               recognises it is bad policy, it will not              Branch news – Tasmania’s Smoke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
that raise money. Most recently Lynne                 repeal the 30% rebate or lifetime health              Free Cards popular
Flemming as Executive Director foresaw                cover if elected (so please all PHAA                  Polio Free 2000 – now it’s time to act . . . . . . . .7
this possibility and ensured that the                 members lobby your local ALP member
                                                                                                            Elected office bearers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Executive had done plenty of thinking                 or candidate about this). Of course the
and planning.                                                                                               John Howard says sorry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
                                                      withdrawal of our funding gives us less
                                                      money to defend Medicare but it does                  New look intouch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
What saddens me is that the withdrawal
of our grant and that of so many other                gives us a freedom to speak out more                  People’s Health Assembly 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
NGOs by the Howard Government                         stridently in favour universal public                 For readers with an interest in                                                      ...................          11
signals an intolerance of difference from             health insurance.                                     public health nutrition
that Government. They see grants to                   So the times ahead will not be easy for               Food composition tables produced . . . . . . . . . . . .11
NGOs in terms of "us" paying "them" to                PHAA. But at least we know we are an                  by ANZFA
criticise "us" (with echos of the famous              Association whose opinion continued page 2            What’s on . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

The Public Health Association of Australia is the major organisation for public health practitioners in Australia with more than 40
health related disciplines represented in its membership. The Association makes a major contribution to health policy in Australia
and has branches in every state and territory. Any person who supports the objectives of the Association is invited to join.
continued from page 1                       from the group will be circulated with        thanks to Joseph O’Reilly who has been
                                            the next intouch and meetings will be         our Interim Executive Director. He took
can’t be bought. What we need now are       held in each state before November to         over this position at extremely short
innovative ideas for income raising and     discuss the proposal. We hope that a          notice. He has now left to travel overseas
I’d urge you to email any ideas you have    proposal for change to the constitution       to continue with his human rights work.
to our Treasurer Peter Sainsbury.           and governance of the Association will        He will be visiting Africa and New York
                                            be brought to the AGM to be held in           and then working in Haiti for a year. I
Over the coming months the Executive
                                            Canberra in November. The Consultant’s        hope he will send us despatches from
and Council will be working to develop a
                                            report that was commissioned earlier in       there. In his months at PHAA he has done
new constitution for the Association. In
                                            the year is useful background to this         a fine job of co-ordinating the work of
doing this they will be advised by the
                                            review and is to be found in the              the Association and I would like to thank
Governance Review established at the
                                            members only section of our Web Page
last Council meeting. This review team                                                    him sincerely on behalf of the
                                            together with the results of a planning
consisting of Tony Adams, Judith Dwyer,                                                   Association and to wish him all the best
                                            day the Executive held in April this year.
Stephen Duckett, D’Arcy Holman and                                                        for the challenges he will certainly face in
myself met on 12 July. A draft proposal     Finally, I would like to offer considerable   his next endeavour.

A very special                              Fax: (08) 9193 1378 or
                                            email: robyn.bowcock@health.
                                                                                          contact Trish Carter on
interest – news                             Other members are sharing
                                            responsibilities until the AGM, when a
                                                                                          Ph: (08) 8226 6329

from PHAA's                                 new convenor will be elected. FANSIG
                                                                                          c) planning for a workshop in
                                                                                          conjunction with the 2000 conference.
special interest                            aims to have a representative from each
                                            state on its committee and is pleased to      Patricia Carter for FANSIG
groups                                      welcome Louise Broomhead as the ACT
                                            representative, replacing Michelle Fraser
                                            who has recently had a baby.
Food and Nutrition
Julie Woods has recently resigned as
                                            Recent and planned FANSIG activities            Journal Editor –
FANSIG convenor and from her position
working with the Food Legislation and       a) a workshop on the public health
                                                                                            expressions of
Regulation Advisory Group. The FANSIG
executive would like to acknowledge the
                                            nutrition infrastructure and workforce
                                            which was held in conjunction with the
                                                                                            interest sought
important contribution Julie has made       Dietitians Association national                 The appointment of Associate
over recent years to the SIG and to PHAA.   conference in Canberra in May                   Professor John Lowe to the
Robyn Bowcock has taken on the role of      b) reviewing PHAA's food and health             University of Iowa has resulted in
FANSIG contact person and can be            policy. Members' suggestions on the             his resignation as editor of the
reached at the Kimberley Public Health      policy's scope and content are invited -        Australian and New Zealand Journal
Unit on Ph: (08) 9191 1144;                                                                 of Public Health.

                                                                                            The Journal, which is published six

Executive nominations & elections                                                           times per year, requires an Editor.

                                                                                            Appointed by the Public Health
The following nominations were received     will be declared elected at the                 Association of Australia’s Council,
by the Returning Officer for the election   Association’s AGM.                              the Editor will be responsible for
of PHAA Executive Office Bearers.                                                           maintaining and growing the
                                            Where two or more candidates have
                                                                                            Journal as an essential medium for
President – Dr Peter Sainsbury              nominated an election will occur.
                                                                                            the communication of public health
Vice President Policy – Helen Keleher,      Candidate statements for all nominees           research and policy.
Magie Nial                                  and ballot papers for contested positions
                                                                                            Expressions of Interest which
Vice President Development – Marilyn        will be distributed to members of the
                                                                                            address the selection criteria are
Hatton, Terry Slevin                        Association in the September edition of
                                                                                            therefore sought.
Secretary – Romaine Rutnam
                                                                                            An information pack can be
                                            In respect to a position with no nominee
Treasurer – Vacant                                                                          obtained by contacting the PHAA
                                            that position will be filled at the
Where only one candidate has                                                                Secretariat on 02 6285 2373.
                                            Association’s Annual General Meeting in
nominated for a position that candidate     a manner determined by the meeting.

Joint action on GM foods
Media release sent out on July 6 by the AMA, ACA and the PHAA

Australia’s peak medical                                     known allergen or toxin
(AMA), public health                                         was used in the
                                                                                            Australian Research Centre in Sex,
(PHAA) and consumer                                          production of the food.
                                                                                            Health & Society
(ACA) bodies joined                                          This is not discussed in
forces to write jointly to                                   PM’s proposal for a 1%
the Prime Minister and                                       threshold and we believe
                                                                                            SHORT COURSE 2000
Premiers about their                                         such warnings must
concerns on the proposals for the              form an explicit part of the GM Foods
                                                                                            RESEARCH DESIGN
labelling of Genetically Modified              Labelling regime."                           IN QUALITATIVE

"We strongly urge that Governments
                                                 "The Prime Minister’s proposal is not
                                                 the kind of labelling which consumers
                                                                                            SOCIAL INQUIRY
reconsider the proposal on labelling             will find transparent or helpful" said     Dates:   25 – 29 September 2000
which we believe is currently not a              Louise Sylvan, Chief Executive of the      Venue: La Trobe University
satisfactory response to                                         Australian Consumers’             1st floor, 215 Franklin St
the overwhelming                                                 Association "and it will          Melbourne Vic 3000
demand of consumers                                              not serve to enable
for comprehensive,
                                        ACA                      them to exercise           This five-day short course focuses on
                              Australian Consumers’ Association  informed choice in the     the principles and practices of designing
transparent and truthful
                                                                 marketplace. We            social and behavioural research,
labelling" said Dr. Karen
                                                                 estimate that the great    particularly using qualitative
Phelps, Federal President
of the Australian Medical                                       majority of processed
Association. "Any loopholes - such as            foods will not be labelled under this      Areas covered include: research question
those exemptions proposed by the                 proposal. "                                clarification, research design processes,
Prime Minister for highly refined                                                           qualitative and quantitative
                                               "Nor will consumers be able to make
ingredients and for all genetically                                                         methodologies, research project
                                               GM choices when they are dining out
modified ingredients under a                                                                planning and management and
                                               or buying takeaway foods since foods
concentration of 1% in the final food -                                                     dissemination of research findings.
                                               prepared at the point of sale are also
could provide companies                                     proposed to be exempt           The course involves presentations by
with opportunities to                                       from labelling                  staff of the Centre and workshops
misinform the public                                        requirements."                  where participants design projects
about their product."                                                                       suitable for their organisational settings
                                                             "It is our considered view
"Consumers in a free                                                                        and needs.
                                                             that the proposals the
market have the right to                                     Prime Minister has put         Teaching will be at a postgraduate level,
choose whether or not                                       are much weaker than            and participants are expected to have a
to consume GM foods or foods derived           those originally envisaged by the            degree in a related field or significant
from GM sources and to protect their           Health Ministers. We would welcome           relevant work experience.
health through such choices" said the          a reinvigoration of the labelling            Registration fee: AUD$1320.00*
President of the Public Health                 proposals to ensure that consumers           including all course materials, lunch and
Association of Australia, Dr. Fran             are given clear choices and are not          morning and afternoon tea.
Baum. "Labelling has been very                 misled" said the peak associations.          Registration will be limited to 30 people.
effective in assisting consumers to
                                               The AMA, ACA and PHAA strongly               *Fee inclusive of GST.
make healthier food choices. And
                                               advocate for full labelling and a            For further information contact:
many consumers will require
                                               precautionary approach at this stage
comprehensive GM labelling to                                                               Tel: +61 3 9285 5382
                                               to GM crops.
protect their health. For example, any
GM food product which contains a               For further information visit the            Fax: +61 3 9285 5220
known allergen or toxin, in any form,          following websites:                          Email:
must include labelling which
                                               AMA –
distinguishes the product as
genetically modified and also provides         ACA –
a clear warning statement that a
                                               PHAA –

Epidemiology’s deep end
Legionnaires’ disease at the Melbourne Aquarium
In March every year for the past                                                                 which might be linked to the
decade, a new cohort of scholars                                                                 Aquarium was released by the
have begun Masters’ degrees in                                                                   media. A core outbreak team
Applied Epidemiology (MAE) at                                                                    was formed, with many more
the National Centre for                                                                          staff assisting over the next
Epidemiology and Population                                                                      few weeks, mainly taking calls
Health (NCEPH), Australian                                                                       on the hotline (about 7000
National University. The MAE                                                                     calls in total!). On Friday
scholars are supervised jointly                                                                  evening it was evident that
by supervisors at field locations                                                                numbers of infected people
around Australia and staff at                                                                    could be large, and we
NCEPH. The work of these                                                                         requested the support of
students contributes to the                                                                      another MAE student. Janet Li
disease control efforts of the                                                                 arrived from Canberra on
                                            notified in the last 24 hours had all
Communicable Disease Network. This                                                      Saturday afternoon, and stayed for two
                                            visited the Aquarium during the 10 days
program of epidemiology and public                                                      busy weeks in Melbourne, leaving only
                                            before onset of their illness. The
health in action has substantial support                                                when further work could be done from
                                            possibility of a link necessitated an
from the Commonwealth Department                                                        Canberra.
                                            inspection, to sample and disinfect all
of Health and Aged Care.
                                            possible sources of Legionella. Common      As "the new MAE" I was included in the
After an intensive four-week orientation    sources are air-conditioning cooling        outbreak team, taking on the role of
period at NCEPH, the scholars depart for    towers, but in this case an inspection of   data manager, a great opportunity. Over
their field assignments. This year, two     all aquarium tanks and displays for         the course of the outbreak virtually all
new MAE students were thrown in at          possible aerosols would be necessary.       information passed through my hands
the deep end – at the Melbourne             We walked the short distance from our       sooner or later. I provided the latest
Aquarium outbreak. Their reports follow.    office to the Aquarium, arriving late       figures for release to the media.
Charles Guest                                                                           The cooling towers were found to
                                            Largely in the role of observer, the        contain Legionella, and later tests
          Jane Greig writes:                responses of the Aquarium                   revealed that they had been disinfected
                                            management interested me. While             on the day of the site visit. It was
           I applied for the MAE to
                                            surprised at the news and initially         expected that no cases would surface
           experience "shoe leather
                                            unaware of the possible magnitude of        much more than 10 days after
          epidemiology". I did not
                                            the problem (I think perhaps we all         disinfection of the source, allowing a
        expect to be involved in
                                            were!), the Aquarium staff were very        few days for presentation after
    Australia’s largest detected outbreak
                                            cooperative. Whilst at the Aquarium, the    symptoms start. The fact that the link
of Legionnaires’ disease less than three
                                            outbreak team leader Graham Tallis          was so quickly established (within 24
weeks after my arrival in Melbourne!
                                            telephoned us with information that         hours of the first notification) almost
On the morning of Thursday 27 April         another case had also visited the           certainly resulted in faster diagnosis for
2000 I sat in the office of my field        Aquarium - now four cases had visited in    many, quite possibly saving lives (sadly
supervisor, Dr John Carnie (head of the     a two-day period in the school holidays,    two visitors to the Aquarium died). The
Communicable Diseases Section (CDS)         and all were very ill.
                                                                                        relatively recent use of the urinary
of the Victorian Department of Human
                                            Before we left the Aquarium an urgent       Legionella antigen test probably resulted
Services), discussing what projects I
                                            meeting between Public Health Division      in far more cases being diagnosed than
might undertake to meet the
                                            and Aquarium management had been            would have occurred in the past.
requirements of my MAE degree and
                                            arranged, as had immediate                  Certainly a vast number of tests were
make a useful contribution to the
                                            precautionary treatment of the cooling      performed, more than 7000 in total,
section. He asked me to join a site visit
                                            towers. A press conference was called       with more on one day than in the entire
to the Melbourne Aquarium with some
                                            for mid-afternoon, and a hotline set up     of last year. We in CDS were tired and
of the Environmental Health staff.
                                            for calls from the public that would        working long draining days, and the
That morning it had been determined         inevitably flood in after the information   same was true of the staff at Victorian
that three cases of Legionnaires’ disease   about the possibility of an outbreak        Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory.

I was glad there had been a long            particular characteristics. The outbreak    a cooling tower works, but I had to
weekend before this started, as I did not   team was also very busy with data entry     understand quickly, so that our
get another day off for quite some time!    and information retrieval for media         questionnaire would make sense.
                                            release. Most staff worked from nine to     Besides, the environmental sampling
Things have quietened down now, with
                                            ten hours per day, for at least ten         was crucial supporting evidence for the
the only "new" cases a result of
                                            consecutive days in the acute phase of      epidemiological investigation.
serological diagnosis. I am heavily
                                            this outbreak.
involved in a case-control study, to                                                    Thirdly, there seems to be a need for
determine how the outbreak happened.        Apart from the field experience that I      guidelines for national outbreaks. In
                                            had from this outbreak, it also made me     this outbreak, there were a number of
        Janet Li adds:                      think deeply about several issues. First,   interstate and international cases, yet
           On the night of 28 May, I got    the authority of a health department to     access to this information took time.
            an urgent call from the MAE     access patients’ hospital information       There is currently no guarantee of
           director. It was an emergency    during an outbreak situation. In some       participation from other state health
          request for me to go to           situations, hospital staff were reluctant   authorities. Moreover, different state
       Victoria to join the outbreak        to release patient information over the     health authorities have different
investigation. After I hung up the          telephone. The ward staff had to consult    database systems; the merging of
phone, I started packing my luggage —       senior floor supervisors and sometimes      databases further compounds the
with lots of epidemiology books — then      in-charge physicians before they could      management of an investigation. A
I told myself to have a good sleep. The     release the information. As a                                national outbreak is
next morning, I got an early flight to      result, the information                                        uncommon in
join the investigation team in Victoria.    update of patients’ progress                                   Australia, yet
                                            and health status was                                          management
What I saw in the unit of infectious
                                            delayed. This delay added to                                   guidelines could save
disease control in Victoria was straight
                                            the work of the investigation                                  time and resources
from the field epidemiology textbook.
                                            team. How can we better                                        during investigation of
In the Hotline room, there were about
                                            both protect the                                              a major epidemic.
10 volunteers receiving non-stop calls
                                            confidentiality of patient information,
asking for information related to the                                                   The last lesson for me is to make a
                                            yet obtain rapid access to it as needed
outbreak. Any suspected cases from the                                                  checklist for the next investigation trip,
                                            during an outbreak?
hotline were passed to the core                                                         and to always check the weather of the
outbreak team. The experienced public       Secondly, the input of the                  destination before packing. Avoid being
health nurses then followed up the          environmental health team is critical to    in the right place with the wrong
suspected cases and started phone           the epidemiological investigation.          clothes!
interviews right away to establish any      Before this outbreak, I had no idea how

Branch news
Tasmania’s Smoke Free Cards popular: 30,000 distributed
An initiative which actively encourages                                                 Already 20,000 of the cards have been
patrons of restaurants, hotels and bars                                                 distributed through pharmacies since
to compliment or criticise management                                                   their release in July last year, and a
for their efforts in providing a smoke-                                                 third print run of 10,000 cards has just
free environment has proved to be                                                       been delivered to pharmacies.
popular in Tasmania.                                                                    The further supplies of the cards will be
This joint project of the Tasmanian                                                     available free from pharmacies and
branches of the Public Health                                                           other outlets throughout the State
Association of Australia (PHAA) and the                                                 during Quit Week, which is being held
                                                                                        from 29 May until the 2 June.
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia         To compliment management for
(PSA) has resulted in a specially-          providing a smoke-free environment,         "We have been very pleased with the
produced Smoke Free Card being              the Smoke Free cards have a ‘Thank          response from the public", says Mr
available from 150 pharmacies               you’ box which patrons can tick on the      Kevin Morgan of the Tasmanian Branch
throughout the State. The cards are         card they leave. They also have a ‘What     of the Pharmaceutical Society. "It
supported by Pharmacia & Upjohn,            a Pity’ box to tick if their lunch or       demonstrates that many Tasmanians
manufacturers of Nicorette.                 dinner was spoilt by cigarette smoke.       share our concerns that    continued page 6

                                                                                        continued from page 5

                                                                                        environmental tobacco smoke causes
                                                                                        health problems. They want to do
        FLINDERS                                                                        something about it".
       AUSTRALIA                                                                        "The cards are a very tangible way that
                                                                                        patrons can express their views", he
    Healthy Cities and Communities Short Course                                         said. "30,000 quiet voices amount to
                          Flinders University, Adelaide                                 quite a roar".

                                                                                        PHAA State President Mr Dave Abbott
                    Monday August 28 to Friday September 1, 2000
                                                                                        said the Smoke Free Cards were
    This course is run through the Department of Public Health at Flinders
    University, Adelaide in conjunction with the Noarlunga Healthy Cities Project       necessary because Tasmania had fallen
    and the SA Community Health Research Unit. Professor Fran Baum leads the            behind other States and Territories in
    teaching staff. Topics covered include:                                             regulating smoking in public places.
     • Healthy Settings       • Local Government and • Managing Change
       Approach to Health       Health Promotion        • Site Visit to Noarlunga       "Already comprehensive restrictions on
       Promotion              • Planning and Needs        Healthy Cities                smoking in public places have been
     • Community                Assessment for Health • Evaluation Health               introduced in the Australian Capital
       Participation            Promotion                 Services and Health           Territory, Western Australia and South
     • Collaboration Across • Project Implementation      Promotion
       Sectors                                                                          Australia, and the governments of
    For further information please contact:                                             Victoria and New South Wales have
    Helen Scherer                               Venue:    Kelly Morris Room             committed themselves to doing the
    Department of Public Health                           Flinders University Campus    same", he said.
    GPO Box 2100                                          ADELAIDE
    Flinders University                                                                 The initial fears that the introduction
    BEDFORD PARK SA 5042                        Cost:     $825 GST inclusive
                                                                                        of smoking restrictions would lead to a
    Phone: (08) 8204 4698 Fax: (08) 8204 5693 International: +61 8                      loss of custom appear to have been
    Web Address:                unfounded. Introduction of smoke-free
    To confirm a place, please mail, fax or email with a $50 deposit to Helen           by-laws (ordinances) regulating bars
    Scherer at the above address by 18th August 2000.                                   and restaurants in United States has
                                                                                        not led to a loss of revenue.

                                                                                        "In Tasmania, 20 per cent of people
     Qualitative Methods Public Health Research                                         surveyed say they would eat out more
                    Short Course                                                        if eating places were smoke-free", Mr
    Department of Public Health, Flinders University, Adelaide                          Abbott said. "Smokers also support
                        Monday 16 to Friday 20 October 2000                             controls on smoking in restaurants and
                                                                                        bars. In a recent Tasmanian survey, 96.5
     This course provides:          The course includes:                                per cent of smokers interviewed said
     • a broad overview of          • Theoretical aspects of qualitative research
       qualitative research                                                             they supported smoke-free dining
                                    • Concepts of reliability and validity in
       methods and                     qualitative research                             rooms".
     • equips you with basic        • Methods of sampling
       skills in the application                                                        For further comment, please contact:
       of these methods in          • Conducting action research
                                                                                        Kevin Morgan Ph (03) 6223 5203
       public health research       • Data Analysis
       and evaluation               • Report writing for qualitative research           Leigh Blizzard Ph (03) 6226 7719

    The Course Facilitator is Dr. John Coveney and Lecturer is Dr Christine
    Putland both from the Department of Public Health, Flinders University.             Background
              Cost:       $825 Includes course materials, morning/afternoon tea         The dangers associated with
             Venue:       Kelly Morris Room, Flinders University ADELAIDE               environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) are
            Contact:      Helen Scherer, Department of Public Health GPO Box 2100       well documented. There is no "safe"
                          Flinders University, Bedford Park SA 5042                     level of exposure, and that the data
                          Phone 08 8204 4698, Fax 08 8204 5693
                          E-mail:                         suggest a sizeable effect from even
                                                                                        low-level exposure.
    This course is also the equivalent of 6 units of post-graduate credit at Flinders
    University. Participants who require credit toward a post-graduate award must       A summary is available at
    attend the 5 days of the course and also satisfactorily complete the specified      http://www.smoke-
    assessment. Participants who wish to secure credit at a University other than
    Flinders must do so through the University concerned.                     

  Elected Office Bearers                                      NSW          Stephanie Short – ph (02) 9385 2592
                                                                                                                          Child Health      Peter Baghurst – ph (08) 8339 4192
                                                                                                                          Environmental     Anne Neller – ph (07) 5430 2839
  National executive                                          NT           Rowena Ivers – ph (08) 8922 8196
                                                                                                                          Health            email:
  President                                                                email:
                                                                                                                          Food & Nutrition Vacant
  Fran Baum – email:                QLD          John O’Brien – ph (07) 3239 0976
                                                                                                                          Health Promotion Vacant
                                                                           email: john_o’
  Jane Freemantle – email:                                                                          Health of People Seeta Durvasula – ph (02) 9807 7062
                                                              SA           Judy Carman – ph (08) 8374 0970                with Disabilities email:
  Peter Sainsbury – email:                email:        Injury Prevention Fran McFadzen – ph (07) 4920 6980
  Editor, ANZJPH                                              TAS          Dave Abbott – ph (03) 6233 8564                                  email:

  John Lowe – email:                              email:             International     Vacant
  SIG Convenors’ representative                               VIC          Anthony Smith – ph (03) 9285 5304
                                                                                                                          Mental Health     Janis Shaw – ph (02) 6244 1120
  Fran McFadzen – email:                   email:                              email:
  Branch Presidents’ representative                           VIC          Linda Beilharz – ph (03) 5446 7744             Oral Health       Leonie Short – ph (07) 3864 3810
  Anthony Smith – email:                                                                                       email:
                                                              Bendigo      email:
  Policy Convenor
                                                              WA           Terry Slevin – ph (08) 9381 4515               Political Economy George Preston – ph (02) 6242 1996
  Helen Keleher – email:                                                                 of Health         email:
                                                                                                                          Rural Health      Alison Miles – ph (02) 6257 7356
  Branch presidents                                           SIG convenors                                                                 email:
  ACT       Charles Guest – ph (02) 6249 3503                 Aboriginal Tania McInnes – ph (08) 8932 6756                Women’s Health Angela Taft – ph (03) 9819 5350
            email:             Health     email:                                  email:

Polio Free 2000 – Now it’s time to act
Australia and the rest of the World                           Aged Care, the Australian Paediatric                         (inactivated polio vaccine-IPV) 18 month-
Health Organization’s Western Pacific                         Surveillance Unit (APSU) and the                             old boy. The strain of poliovirus type 1
Region (WPRO) are moving rapidly                              Victorian Infectious Disease Reference                       isolated from the boy was identical to
towards the certification of polio                            Laboratory (VIDRL), has been in place                        that used for manufacturing of IPV in the
eradication by the end of this year. With                     since 1995. More than 85% of Australian                      facility where his father worked.
the commitment of countries in the                            children are immunised against
                                                                                                                           Three years have passed since the last
region and technical support from WPRO                        poliovirus. In addition, we already have a
                                                                                                                           reported case of wild poliovirus in the
certification for polio free status is now                    contingency plan in place should we
                                                                                                                           WHO Western Pacific Region (WPRO). The
achievable.                                                   have to deal with imported wild
                                                                                                                           only known source of the wild poliovirus
The certification of polio eradication not                                                                                 now is within the region’s laboratories.
only requires the absence of circulating                      Laboratory containment of wild                               These laboratories may store poliovirus
wild poliovirus in the presence of high                       poliovirus is a measure to prevent the                       infectious or potentially infectious
quality acute flaccid paralysis                               reintroduction of wild virus from the                        materials. Each country in the region has
surveillance, but also requires measures                      laboratory into the community. At the                        been asked to implement the laboratory
to prevent the reintroduction of the wild                                                                                  containment of wild poliovirus and
virus into the community. These include                                                                                    submit the national inventory to WPRO
evidence of high polio vaccine coverage,                                                                                   to form part of the regional and global
the contingency plan to address                                                                                            inventory.
imported wild poliovirus and, most
                                                                                                                           Australia has made a significant progress
importantly, the implementation of
                                                                                                                           in the containment of poliovirus. Early
laboratory containment wild poliovirus.
                                                                    From left: Mrs Margery Kennett, Ms Nittita Prasopa-
                                                                                                                           this year, the Poliovirus Containment
Laboratory containment is a pre-requisite                           Plaizier and Dr Heath Kelly                            Project at VIDRL has been established to
for the certification of polio eradication.                                                                                coordinate the implementation of
                                                              time when natural circulation of wild
In Australia this is the only task that                                                                                    laboratory containment. The Project is
                                                              poliovirus has stopped, laboratory
remains to be done to meet the WHO                                                                                         funded by the Commonwealth
                                                              sources of poliovirus will still pose a
requirement. We have sufficient evidence                                                                                   Department of Health and Aged Care
                                                              formidable threat, unless the virus is
to prove the absence of circulating wild                                                                                   (DHAC) and reports to the National
                                                              properly destroyed or contained. An
poliovirus. We have not seen a polio case                                                                                  Advisory Committee on Poliovirus
                                                              article by Mulders et al (1997)
caused by wild poliovirus since 1974. An                                                                                   Containment (NAC). The NAC’s role is to
                                                              demonstrates that the need for
active surveillance system for acute                                                                                       facilitate and oversee the project as well
                                                              containment is more than just a
flaccid paralysis (AFP), a partnership of                                                                                  as to liaise with the National Polio
                                                              "theoretical risk". This article reports that
the National Centre for Disease Control                                                                                    Certification Committee. Representatives
                                                              a strain of wild poliovirus type 1 was
(NCDC) at Department of Health and                                                                                         for each state have
                                                              isolated from a fully immunised                                                                    continued page 8

                                           continued from page 7                         identified. The national search still
FOUNDATION FOR                                                                           continues.
                                           also been identified and the
HIGH BLOOD                                 appointments are being formalised.            The national laboratory survey will be
PRESSURE RESEARCH                                                                        used to identify laboratories and
                                           The Project held a workshop on March 24
                                                                                         organisations which should be included
2001 POSTDOCTORAL                          to assist the development of the national
RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP                                                                      the National Plan. The survey is now well
                                           plan of action for containment. The
                                           workshop was attended by prominent            underway. Achieving 100% response rate
The Foundation for High Blood
                                           scientists from most states. According to     from laboratories and organisations is
Pressure Research was established
following the 15th scientific meeting of   a WHO Technical Officer responsible for       the ultimate goal if the poliovirus
the International Society of               containment, the workshop minutes             containment is to succeed. Complacency
Hypertension in Melbourne in 1994, to                                                    and low awareness among laboratories
                                           were circulated among participants at
support research into hypertension and
                                           the global planning meeting for               are among the hardest obstacles to
associated cardiovascular diseases.
                                           implementation of containment held in         overcome.
The Foundation Fellowship
                                           Atlanta in early April. The Australian        The Australian model for containment
The Foundation is offering a three-year
                                           model for containment was reported to         has already been seen on a global scene.
postdoctoral fellowship for a research
project at an Australian institution.      provide many good ideas for the
                                                                                         Our approach to containment will be
Applications from biomedical, clinical     preparation of the global plan. The US
                                                                                         used as a model by other countries. We
and public health researchers are          task force on polio containment also
invited.                                                                                 now have the opportunity to
                                           endorses our idea of state representatives
                                                                                         demonstrate that all Australian
Applications are open to Australian        and will duplicate the approach in its
                                                                                         laboratories have been properly identified
citizens or permanent residents.           containment plan.
                                                                                         and all have implemented the WHO
It is expected that the successful         The Australian National Plan for              containment procedures.
applicant will have had at least five
years' postdoctoral experience. The        Poliovirus Containment consists of two
                                                                                         To-date we have the national plan for
fellowship provides a salary and modest    main tasks that must be completed: a
                                                                                         poliovirus containment in place. We have
project maintenance costs.                 national list of laboratories and
                                                                                         the commitment of the government and
Application Procedures                     organisations that may store poliovirus
                                                                                         the National Advisory Committee. Much
For further information (including         infectious or potentially infectious
                                                                                         of the ground work has been done. It is
application procedures), please contact:   materials and the national inventory of
                                           these materials.                              now depends on the laboratories and the
Professor Warwick Anderson                                                               organisations to demonstrate their
Honorary Secretary
                                           A national list which includes all            contribution towards Australia’s polio
Foundation for High Blood Pressure
Research                                   identified diagnostic, biological,            free status. Now it’s time to act. Let’s
Department of Physiology                   environmental, research and reference
PO Box 13F, Monash University                                                            make it happen.
                                           laboratories as well as organisations such
Victoria 3800, Australia
                                           as universities and hospitals has been        Ms Nittita Prasopa-Plaizier
Phone: + 61 3 9905 2555
Fax:      + 61 3 9905 2566                 created. Many individuals and                 Mrs Margery Kennett
E-mail:            organisations have contributed to the         Dr Heath Kelly
                                           preparation of the list. To-date over 1,700   Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference
Applications close on Friday,
1 September 2000                           laboratories and organisations have been      Laboratory

John Howard says sorry—Apology made by John Howard
on Monday 4 July on national television
"Good evening. My name is John             intensely proud of what it has achieved       to Australia. We are one of the few
Howard and I'm speaking to you from        in the past 200 years.                        countries on earth with our own sky. We
Sydney, Australia, host city of the year                                                 are a fabric woven of many colours and
                                           We are a vibrant and resourceful people.
2000 Olympic Games.                        We share a freedom born in the                it is this that gives us our strength.

At this important time, and in an          abundance of nature, the richness of the      However, these achievements have come
atmosphere of international goodwill       earth, the bounty of the sea. We are the      at great cost. We have been here for 200
and national pride, we here in Australia   world's biggest island. We have the           years but before that, there was a people
                                           world's longest coastline. We have more
— all of us — would like to make a                                                       living here. For 40,000 years they lived
                                           animal species than any other country.
statement before all nations. Australia,                                                 in a perfect balance with the land. There
like many countries in the new world, is   Two-thirds of the world's birds are native    were many Aboriginal nations, just as

                                              New look intouch
                                              Welcome to your new look intouch.
                                              When we ran out of our much loved pre-printed intouch shells we seized the
                                              opportunity to redesign the Association’s newsletter. We hope you like some of the
                                              changes. Please tell us what catches your eye and what doesn’t.
                                              Above all it’s your newsletter and we invite you to submit articles and material
                                              which you think other members of the Association might be interested in.

there were many Indian Nations in
North America and across Canada, as
there were many Maori tribes in New
Zealand and Incan and Mayan peoples
in South America. These indigenous
Australians lived in areas as different
from one another as Scotland is from
Ethiopia. They lived in an area the size
of Western Europe. They did not even
have a common language. Yet they had
their own laws, their own beliefs, their
own ways of understanding.

We destroyed this world. We often did
not mean to do it. Our forebears,
fighting to establish themselves in what
they saw as a harsh environment, were
creating a national economy. But the
Aboriginal world was decimated. A
pattern of disease and dispossession
was established. Alcohol was
introduced. Social and racial differences
were allowed to become fault lines.
Aboriginal families were broken up.
Sadly, Aboriginal health and education
are responsibilities we have still yet to
address successfully.

I speak for all Australians in expressing a
profound sorrow to the Aboriginal
people. I am sorry. We are sorry. Let the
world know and understand, that it is
with sorrow that we as a nation will
grow and seek a better, a fairer and a
wiser future. Thank you."

John Howard, the actor, spoke to the
nation on ABC TV's The Games — we
wish it had been another John Howard.
Congratulations to John Clarke who
moved much of the nation.

People’s Health Assembly 2000
                                              be made to regain the imperative that              follow-up Forum;
                                              health, and health for all, is one of the      • Post-Assembly Activities which
                                              most important goals for everyone to             involves continued advocacy and
                                              strive for and a process that everyone           follow-up meetings.
                                              must be a part of. Health and equitable
                                                                                             At this point of the PHA process, we wish
                                              development will be put forward as tip
                                                                                             to encourage you to get involved in the
                                              priorities in local, national and
                                                                                             PRE-ASSEMBLY ACTIVITIES. Pre-Assembly
                                              international policy-making.
                                                                                             activities are ways that people can
                                              The PHA project is a long-term process,        actively participate and input into a
                                              which is organised in a way that seeks to      people's agenda for health. So join us
                                              involve as many people as possible from        now in this challenge to put together a
                                              all corners of the world and from all          collective agenda for health and have our
                                              kinds of communities and backgrounds.          voices heard in a worldwide effort to
                                              The PHA process will have three over-          improve the current health situation as
                                              lapping and interlinked phases:                well as point the direction for strategic
                                                                                             and concrete action plans.
                                              • Pre-Assembly Activities which include
                                                analytical work,                             You can do this by organising meetings,
The People's Health Assembly is a broad,
                                                local/national/regional meetings and         producing stories and case studies and
new initiative that seeks to involve a
                                                the collection of stories and case-          contributing to the analytical work and
large number of people in formulating
                                                studies;                                     the formulation of the People's Charter
their own health agenda and setting
                                              • The Assembly Event which will be             for Health.
their own priorities. People's rich
experiences will be presented, discussed        held in Gonoshasthaya Kendra, Savar,         For more information contact Mary
and translated into clear, practical and        Bangladesh between 4-8 December              Murray: Telephone (02) 6231 7746 or
democratic policy guidelines. Efforts will      2000 immediately followed by a               email:

                                                      Standard Appointment
     Applications are sought from suitably qualified women           Salary: Senior Fellow (Level D)      $71,118 - $78,148 p.a.
     and men for appointment to two or more positions as                      Research Fellow (Level B) $48,858 - 57,645 p.a.
     Senior Fellow/ Fellow/ Research Fellow at the National
     Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health.                           Fellow (Level C)            $59,401 - $68,190 p.a.

     The National Centre for Epidemiology and Population             Enquiries: Professor R M Douglas, NCEPH, Telephone
     Health is a multidisciplinary research centre encompassing      (02) 6249-4578, Email
     epidemiology, biostatistics, health economics,                  Contact: Further particulars, including the selection
     sociology/anthropology and demography. The successful           criteria, must be obtained before applying from the Staffing
     applicants will be qualified epidemiologists, with              Officer, NCEPH, Telephone (61-2) 6249 0713, Email:
     experience and expertise in one or more of the following,
     field epidemiology, nutrition or food safety, environmental     Closing date: 11 August 2000          Ref.: NCEPH 12.7.1
     health, communicable disease or Indigenous health. In
                                                                     Information on how to apply may be obtained from the
     addition to their own research interests, the successful
                                                                     ANU Web page – or by
     candidates will be expected to contribute to one or more
                                                                     telephoning/emailing the contact. All applications should
     of the Centre’s postgraduate education programs.
                                                                     be addressed to the Staffing Recruitment Officer, Chancelry
     Appointment: Appointment will be to standard positions.         2A, The Australian National University, ACT 0200.

4th Australian Women's
Health Conference –                                                                          Opinion Survey
Politics, Action and                          D!SSENT magazine provides thoughtful

Renewal                                       and critical discussion of public affairs,     Food composition
                                              including social and economic policy,
Adelaide Convention Centre, South             education, science and the environment,        tables produced
                                              cultural matters, media and the arts.
Australia, 19–21 February 2001
The Australian Women's Health Network         D!SSENT is edited by Kenneth Davidson          by ANZFA
invites you to attend this exciting           and Lesley Vick. It is published three times
                                              a year on subscription ($22) and on sale       The Australia New Zealand Food
conference. The conference will aim to
                                              nationally through newsagents (distributed     Authority’s Food Composition
continue the development of action for
                                              by Gordon and Gotch) and major                 Program has, over the last two
women's health in Australia and to            bookshops (cover price $7.70).                 decades, commissioned a series of
refresh and reactivate the National
                                              The Autumn/Winter issue is on sale             food analytical programs to
Women's Health Policy. We will focus on       currently and includes articles on how to
and respond to the politics of women's                                                       determine the nutrient composition
                                              deal with the banks, gambling, economic
health work and be informed about the         reforms, the public service, heritage          of a wide range of Australian foods.
status of women's health both nationally      protection, public transport, science          The results from these programs
and internationally. We will ask how we       funding, and industrial relations.             have been published in a number of
can strengthen the relationship between             Contact D!SSENT at                       formats, including the books
research, knowledge and practice and                PO Box 26                                Nutritional Values of Australian Foods
how we can support creative responses               Deakin west
                                                    ACT 2600                                 and Food for Health: A Guide to Good
to women's health in practice. The                  Tel/fax 02 6260 4213                     Nutrition. These are used by
conference will emphasise an inclusive              email:                dietitians, doctors and other health
and participatory approach.
                                                                                             workers, researchers, educators and

Contact Festival City Conventions           PHAA welcomes                                    anyone in the community concerned
                                                                                             about their food intake.
PO Box 949 Kent Town SA 5071
                                            its new members                                  ANZFA is now looking to revise these
                                            New South Wales                                  two publications and to release new
                                            Ms Julie Edwards, NSW                            editions. We are conducting a survey
"For readers with an                        Ms Pippa Burns, NSW
                                            Mr Nicholas Prince, NSW
                                                                                             to obtain your opinion on how we
                                                                                             might make these publications more
interest in public                          Ms Joan Burns, NSW                               useful, practical and tailored to your
                                            Colgate-Palmolive, NSW
health nutrition"                           Miss Lisa Allchin, NSW
                                                                                             specific requirements. The survey
                                                                                             also seeks your general comments
                                            Mrs Elizabeth Ford-Conroy, NSW
FOODChain, the quarterly official                                                            regarding some of our other
                                            Ms Camille Raynes–Greenow, NSW
newsletter of SIGNAL, the                   Ms Marta Munoz, NSW                              products including the nutrient
Commonwealth Department of Health                                                            composition databases NUTTAB95,
& Aged Care's Strategic Inter-                                                               the Supplement to NUTTAB95, and
                                            Ms Genevieve Nolan, Breastscreen VIC
Governmental Nutrition Alliance, is                                                          AUSNUT.
                                            Ms Fran O’Toole, VIC
now available for viewing and               Dr Kathleen Hayes, VIC                           You are invited to view the Survey
downloading via Adobe Acrobat on            Mrs Margaret Gear, VIC                           Form on the ANZFA website       Miss Fiona Dickson, vic
                                                                                    and, to complete
/fdchain.htm.                               Ms Sharyn Turney, VIC
                                                                                             it online at the website, or to
                                            Dr Jenny Proimos, VIC
The newsletter's primary focus is                                                            download and return it to ANZFA by
                                            Dr Glenda Lawrence, VIC
reporting and analysis on current           Mrs Lucy Cosentino, VIC                          mail, fax or email by 1 September
public health nutrition activities within   Ms Stephanie Paustie, VIC                        2000 to:
Australia. The June edition will be of      Miss Katrina Doljanin, VIC
interest to those thinking about                                                             Ms Janine Lewis
pursuing public health training in the                                                       ANZFA
                                            Ms Brigid Lynch, QLD
area of nutrition as it carries an                                                           PO Box 7186
                                            South Australia                                  Canberra MC ACT 2610
overview of the training available in
                                            Dr Janice Duffy, SA                              Fax: (02) 6271 2278
this area in Australia universities.
                                            Northern Territory                               Email:
An email alert exists for the newsletter.   Dr David Peacock, NT
For further information contact sub-        Ms Jenne Roberts, NT                             Thank you! Your contribution is
editor Gill Read on ph/fax 03 9568                                                           appreciated
4229, email        Dr Colin Butler, TAS

What’s on                                                                                      Advertising in
24–27 September 2000                            University of Melbourne’s Key Centre for
                                                Women’s Health (WHO Collaborating
Stroke Forum 2000: Rural and Remote
Issues at the University of Queensland,
Toowoomba. Areas of focus include
                                                Centre). Focus on new approaches to
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27th National Conference                        26–29 November 2000                                Full page
Hotel Sofitel Reef Casino Cairns
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and                                             Health Futures, National Convention                Non-members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $760
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21–23 October 2000                                                                                 camera-ready copy preferred but
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Post Conference Singapore Workshops                                                                PHAA staff can prepare your
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Theme "Asian and Pacific Partnerships …         4th Summer School. Introduction to
alliances for action in the 21st Century –      International Health & Development for             Conference listing
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registrations for Singapore Workshops
                                                SPHERe courses in health eonomics. Grad            Non-members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $500
close 31 July 2000.
                                                Dip on the web: next closing date 30
29 October–1 November 2000                      June for August start. Short Courses: 1-           *after booking, send to PHAA,
                                                dayer 11 August; various two-four dayers
Health Inequalities – Reflecting Back,                                                             attention:
                                                November. Tailor-made courses on
Stepping Forward 12th National Health           request. Contact Maggie at SPHERe:                 Jacinta Trentini
Promotion Conference, Hotel Sofitel,            02 9351 7419 or                                    20 Napier Close Deakin
Melbourne. Further information visit                       ACT 2605
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fax 61 3 9682 0288 or Email us at               National Short Courses in Environmental            Costs for larger/thicker inserts                              Health, Adelaide
                                                                                                   are available on request. Copy
                                                Course 1 'Risk Communication in Practice'
18 November 2000                                                                                   deadline is for the 28th of the
                                                27–29 Nov; Course 2 'Principles of Risk
Eighth National Symposium of Hepatitis B                                                           month for publication on 15th of
                                                Assessment & Management' 30 Nov–6
and C, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne         Dec; Course 3 'Risk Assessment &                   the following month. If further
Contact: (03) 9288 3580                         Management for Water' 6–8 Dec; Course              information is required please
E-mail:                      3A 'Politics, ethics, economics & law in           contact PHAA via email:
                                                relation to Environmental Health' 6–8
20 November–1 December 2000                     Dec 2000. Further details contact        
Short Course in Tobacco Control & Gender or                    or phone 02 6285 2372
–for policy makers, health promotion  
planners and researchers, at the                EnvHealth/EH_Home.html

Editor: Executive Director Design: Design Direction                             How to join PHAA
Articles appearing in intouch do not necessarily reflect the views of the       Membership enquiries to:
PHAA but are intended to inform and stimulate thought, discussion and
                                                                                Membership Coordinator, PHAA
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