- To provide opportunities for the professional development of members, including the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas and information.
- To provide opportunities for the exchange of knowledge in the field of health promotion through the annual Australian Health Promotion National Conference, and the publication of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia and other contemporary media.
- To develop and comment upon existing and proposed health promotion policy and programs in the wider community and to advocate for contemporary directions.
- To support members in their endeavours to increase public awareness of the concept of health and to increase public and professional awareness of the roles and function of health promotion practitioners, contributing to discussion, debate and decision making on health promotion policy and programs
- To make recommendations with respect to the standards and practice of health promotion as well as the training of health promotion practitioners.
- To represent the interests of Australian health promotion practice when liaising with other organisations.
Since its incorporation in 1990, the Health Promotion Association has grown and developed such that it now has an established function and a central place in Australia's health promotion landscape. Evidence of this can be seen in our participation on the National Public Health Partnership (NPHP) Advisory Group. The Health Promotion Association is now recognised as an integral and vital component of the public health sector.
The Australian Health Promotion Association operates at both the National and State level in order to achieve its objectives. The Association has branches in all states and territories – Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Austalia.
At the national level, the Health Promotion Association's major activities include:
- The Australian Health Promotion Association National Conference usually held annually and hosted by the Association Branches on rotation. A new initiative in 2008 was the inaugural Population Health Congress and there are plans for a second congress to be held in Adelaide in 2012.
- Health Promotion Journal of Australia
- Quarterly newsletter - the Australian Health Promotion Update
- An integrated website providing up-to-date professional industry and membership information
- A national listserv providing members with the latest employment opportunities and events information
At the Branch level:
- Branches are heavily involved in professional development, including conducting seminars, workshops and training courses on a wide range of topics. Some branches also provide scholarships for health promotion students or graduates, mentoring programs as well as listservs. Most branches publish a regular state-based newsletter informing members of current activities and discussing relevant local issues.
The Health Promotion Journal of Australia (HPJA) was established in 1991 and continues to evolve and grow, publishing high quality articles on a wide range of health promotion topics. Each year we publish a special issue of the HPJA that focuses on one particular area of health promotion. Back copies of all journals are available for purchase from the Secretariat.
The Health Promotion Association is also active in public health advocacy. For example when the Native Title Amendment Bill and the '10 point plan' were first proposed, the Health Promotion Association initiated a postcard campaign urging Federal Senators and senior Government and opposition members to consider the impact of these changes on indigenous people's health. The Queensland branch initiated this campaign and 5000 postcards were distributed nationally and sent to relevant federal politicians.
Other examples of advocacy work include lobbying relevant politicians for improvements to gun control following the Port Arthur massacre, advocating for changes to state legislation for the inclusion of hot water tempering devices in all new homes in order to reduce hot water burns and scalds, and joining forces with other professional organisations to support abortion law reform. These are just a few examples of the advocacy work undertaken by the Australian Health Promotion Association at national and state levels.
Membership of the Australian Health Promotion Association is diverse, and includes designated health promotion practitioners, researchers and students, as well as others involved in promoting physical, mental, social, cultural and environmental health, whose primary profession or area of study may be something different, but whose responsibilities include promoting health.
Our members come from a broad range of sectors including health, education, welfare, environment, transport, law enforcement, town planning, housing and politics. Members are drawn from Government departments and agencies, universities, non-Government organisations, community-based organisations and groups, private companies and industries, and students.
There are over 1,100 members and journal subscribers. All members receive a tri-monthly national newsletter and regular updates about activities of interest.