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Politics and power for promoting health

20 May 2024 - 30 Jun 2024, 12:00am-12:00am

This six-week online course will run from 20 May to 30 June 2024 and includes self-paced online modules with video tutorials, interviews, podcasts, reading materials, and discussion forums, allowing you to learn at your own pace with a community of like-minded health promotion practitioners.

Participants should expect to spend 2-3 hours each week to review course material and engage in interactive tasks across the six weeks.

This is the first of two new courses delivered by Curtin University on behalf of AHPA® to support the Australian health promotion workforce. The second course to be held in 2025 will focus on health promotion advocacy theories and strategies. Successful completion of both courses will be recognised as the equivalent of a unit in Curtin’s postgraduate public health degrees.

Politics and power short course tile


Health promotion is about giving people power over conditions which can influence health. It goes beyond a focus on the individual, recognising the impact which our social, economic, political and physical environments influence population health outcomes. People's opportunities and access to important resources and goods and services such as housing, employment and education can be reflected in the health or illness that they experience. So, it is not enough to just encourage individuals to change their attitudes and lifestyles, when, in fact, their environment or life circumstances put limits on their choices or are barriers to change.

This course seeks to extend your understanding of the ways in which we can promote health through the development of healthy public policy and supportive environments. But to do this effectively we need to understand the political structures and decision-making contexts which shape the health of our society and those in positions of power that we need to influence to improve health status.

Health promotion demands that individuals not be treated in isolation from the larger social units, political contexts and ecological settings in which they live, work and play.

Join us as we explore the role of politics and power in promoting health.

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for Australian health promotion practitioners and specialists. It is particularly useful for early- and mid-career practitioners seeking to improve their political literacy and capacity to develop healthy public policy.


Dr Jonathan Hallett, Senior Lecturer, School of Population Health, Curtin University

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the roles and responsibilities of the federal, state/territory, and local levels of government in Australia and opportunities for health promotion.
  2. Discuss the process through which legislation is proposed, debated, and passed into law in Australia, using specific health promotion bills as case studies.
  3. Examine the impact of neoliberalism on health promotion, specifically focusing on individual versus collective approaches to health.
  4. Analyse the role of political ideologies in shaping the priorities and strategies of major Australian political parties in the context of health promotion.
  5. Discuss the role of corporations and commercial interests in shaping health outcomes and public policy.
  6. Describe a conceptual framework for advocacy in health promotion, identifying key components and strategies for effective political advocacy.


AHPA members: $95
Cost is subsidised by the Australian Government’s Health Peak and Advisory Bodies Program Grant 2022-2025 funding.

Non-members: $220.


Participant numbers are capped at thirty (30). Places will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Enrolments are now closed as the maximum number of participants has been reached. Please provide your contact details via this form if you wish to go on a waitlist. AHPA will be in touch if any places become available in the 20 May-30 June 2024 course, or the course is run again at a later date. 


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