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Public Health Advocacy

Upcoming course information

Start date 21 Aug 2023
Dates and Times 21 – 24 Aug
18:30 – 20:30
28 – 31 Aug
18:30 – 20:30
Cost Full price - $1,800*
Early bird - $1,600*^
Delivery Online
Commitment 2 hours for 8 evenings over 2 weeks
Enrolments close 13 Aug

About the course

In collaboration with the Public Health Advocacy Institute of Australia at Curtin University, the aim of this short course is to share ideas on public health advocacy. Designed to build the skills and confidence of academics, public servants and other public health professionals, this course is for those who strive for improvements in public health through effective advocacy.

In this course you'll delve into using knowledge and evidence to advocate for a cause, policy or idea and, ultimately influence decision makers and public opinions.

Uncover how public health advocates work towards healthier individuals and communities. Share the intent that no one is left behind and that advocacy does not sit in isolation.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health summarises public health as not just about “Protecting Health, Saving Lives”, but doing so “Millions at a Time” (Johns Hopkins, 2020).

*Students, low-income participants and those whose study is being funded by a small NGO may be eligible for a $600 discount.
To discuss, contact:

^Early bird offer is available until 2 July and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.


Who this course is for

  • Academics, public servants and other public health professionals.
  • Policy officers seeking to understand policy implementation.
  • Those working in health-related NGOs looking to improve their skills in being able to influence policy outcomes.

Career potential

The key role of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) in developing policy has been fundamental for decades. However, there is a growing need amongst all those involved in policy development and analysis to also understand the implementation process.

Many NGOs of all sizes are keen to have people on board who understand the full policy process from development to analysis and implementation. It is the public health advocacy process that facilitates implementation.

Additionally, the traditional manner in which academics have been regarded has been based on publications and citations. The ability to influence within their area of expertise and translate research into practice, so that research and publications have more practical impact, has highlighted the need for well-developed advocacy skills.


Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the policy implementation process in public health.
  • Appreciate the importance of values-based advocacy.
  • Build practical skills in working with a range of players in the policy implementation process including:
    • The media
    • Local Government Councillors
    • State and Federal Members of Parliament
    • Bureaucrats at a range of levels.
  • Understanding how public health influence operates at an international level.
  • Build practical skills in preparing and appearing before a Committee of Inquiry that could be:
    • A Commission
    • Parliamentary Inquiry
    • Government Inquiry.

Course presenters

Learn from industry experts

Dr Michael Moore AM PhD

Dr Michael Moore is the former CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia, past President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) and current Chair of the WFPHA Global Taskforce on Immunisation as well as a number of other of health networks. A Distinguished Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health and Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra. Michael served four terms as an elected member of the ACT Legislative Assembly from 1989 to 2001 and was Australia’s first independent Minister, appointed as Minister of Health and Community Care. In 2017 he was honoured by being made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Dr Aimee Brownbill PhD

Dr Aimee Brownbill is a Senior Policy and Research Advisor at the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education. Aimee has a PhD in Medicine (Public Health), a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences (Nutrition and Health Promotion) and Honours Degree in Public Health and has contributed to collaborative applied research projects in the fields of nutrition, alcohol and tobacco control. She has authored peer-reviewed journal articles and presented her research nationally and internationally. She has also authored reports and briefings for government and consults on public health policies in Australia, currently focusing on exploring the integration of policy, research and advocacy to best achieve translational outcomes in public health policy and practice.

Course Structure

Module 1

Introduction to public health advocacy

  • Why public health advocacy?
  • Public health is political
  • Ten steps in public health advocacy
  • The importance of evidence
  • The Sustainable Development Goals
Module 2

Values-based advocacy

  • Introduction to values-based advocacy
  • Values based messaging
  • Working within a wider discourse
  • Targeted advocacy campaigns
Module 3

Building relationships

Understanding the range of players involved in the policy implementation process including:

  • Bureaucrats
  • Politicians
  • Political Staffers
  • Media/Journalists
  • Other NGOs
  • Researchers
Module 4

Working with the media

Understand the role of the media in public health advocacy including:

  • Traditional media (e.g. print,radio and television)
  • Social Media (e.g. Facebook and Twitter)
Module 5

Being opportunistic

  • Being opportunistic
  • Having a ‘presence’
  • Working with others
  • Creating opportunities
  • The elevator pitch
Module 6

Submissions/ Appearing before committees

  • Preparing a submission
    1. Parliamentary
    2. Bureaucratic
    3. Commission
    4. Committee
  • Understanding what the committee is looking for
  • Preparing for presentation to a committee on the public health perspectives
Module 7


  • Working with the World Health Organization
  • The role of World Federation of Public Health Associations
  • Other international organisations
Module 8

Planning advocacy action – Presentation

  • Students will integrate their learnings from the course to make a short presentation on an advocacy action plan

After completion

Once you’ve finished the Public Health Advocacy short course you will earn a certificate of completion from University of Canberra’s Faculty of Health that you can share on your resume and LinkedIn profile.

If you would like to know more about this short course, please contact us to have all your questions answered.

Contact us

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