Prevention and Health Promotion Network

Increased and focused prevention and health promotion activities will be critical to Victoria’s social and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as achieving the government’s vision for ‘A Victoria free of the avoidable burden of disease and injury so that all Victorians can enjoy the highest attainable standards of health, wellbeing and participation at every age’.

That’s why in 2021 the VHA launched a state-wide Prevention and Health Promotion Network which aims to bring together members with an interest in prevention and health promotion to build a unified, cohesive and professional support system.

Prevention and health promotion professionals come from diverse organisations, dispersed locations, and varied settings. The network will provide a platform to highlight best practice, share information between members and with key stakeholders, encourage collaboration and facilitate a more integrated approach to health promotion in Victoria.

Through the network, the VHA will ensure members are up to date with government policy directions and support them with implementation. The network will also help to inform shared positions on how prevention can be embedded throughout the health system and provide advice and expertise to guide the VHA’s broader policy and advocacy activities.

If you’re interested in presenting at a future Prevention and Health Promotion Network event or you have questions about the network, please email Joanna Hatcher (Policy and Advocacy Advisor) at

In addition, the VHA continues to work constructively with the Department of Health’s Prevention and Population Health branch to ensure that the Community Health – Health Promotion Guidelines, currently in development, align with the core functions and strengths of the community health service health promotion program providers, and the needs of the communities they work with.  


Past meetings

Our final meeting for 2022 was held on 7 December and featured a keynote presentation and Q&A session with Dr Fiona Willer. Fiona explored the science and practice of weight-inclusive health promotion, and why it is so important from both a human rights perspective and to avoid the harm that weight stigma can cause.

In addition, participants had the opportunity to network and workshop their learnings and ask questions in intimate breakout rooms that will be led by subject matter experts.


On 31 August 2022 our meeting featured a keynote presentation from Anita Thomas, Program Manager of HealthAbility’s innovative, sector-leading ‘Baby Makes 3’ program, as well as a prevention and health promotion policy update. Attendees also engaged breakout room discussions exploring the importance of embedding gender impact analysis in health promotion across healthy eating, physical activity, and other priority areas.

Following this meeting, we developed a list of resources, tools and information to support the consideration of gender in the design and delivery of services, programs, and policies spanning prevention, health promotion, primary, and acute health services. 

Click here to access the resource.


On 1 June 2022, around 80 members and prevention partners joined us for a keynote presentation from Sonia Nuttman and Rebecca Patrick of Deakin University’s School of Health and Social Development. The presentation explored the intersections between human health and environmental change, sustainable healthcare, and healthy and sustainable food systems. A recording of Sonia and Rebecca’s presentation is available here and a list of related resources is available below.

Following is a list of useful links related to this meeting:

Deakin University is planning a health and environmental change stakeholder forum in October 2022 (contact for details). If you are looking to upskill, try the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA)’s new micro-credential called Human and Planetary Health (for more information, email


The Wednesday 9 March 2022 meeting featured an update from Natalie Russell who works in the Department of Health’s Prevention and Health Promotion team; presentations from Vision Initiative Program Manager, Che Stockley, and Lucy Marks from Mansfield District Hospital; and themed breakout room discussions, focusing on health eating, smoking cessation, careers, policy, engagement techniques, measuring impact, and more. 


The network was launched at an online event on Wednesday 24 November 2021, featuring a presentation and Q&A with Dr Sandro Demaio, CEO of VicHealth. Participants were also invited to join facilitated discussions to explore the strengths of Victoria’s prevention and health promotion system, and how the system needs to adapt to improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians.