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What we do

We aim to create a healthier, fairer Victoria where everyone benefits from good health and has the opportunity to thrive.


Our vision for Victoria

Our purpose is to reduce and eliminate barriers to good health by working with Victorians and Victorian communities who face the greatest systemic inequity. Because we know that the communities facing the greatest barriers are experiencing the poorest health outcomes. We must respond to this widening gap by embedding equity into everything we do.


Learn more about our aspirations and our 10-year strategy:

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Our work

We work with a wide range of people, communities and organisations to reshape the systems that impact our health and wellbeing.

This includes addressing many factors, including risky behaviours by individuals, the actions of some industries that promote harmful products and services, and the policy and legislation underpinning systemic and structural inequity.


Over the next 10 years, we aim to:

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Deliver healthier, longer lives for all Victorians

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Create value to the Victorian healthcare system and economy

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Drive fairer health outcomes with and for Victorian communities

There are many elements to our work. 

We create and fund world-class interventions. We conduct vital research to advance Victoria’s population health. We produce and support public campaigns to promote a healthier Victoria. We provide expertise and insights to government and bring global best practise to Victoria.

Above all, we work in partnership with people and communities to reshape the systems and environments around them that impact their daily lives.

Learn more about our work:

Reshaping systems for a healthier, fairer Victoria


Our vision for people and communities across Victoria is a response to the complex challenges that affect our health, and the opportunities for our community to thrive. 

Rather than focusing on the individual and their behaviours, to have a greater impact we need to look at the bigger picture - the interconnections that make up our health. Think of it as stepping back to see how all the pieces of a puzzle fit together. This is called a 'systems approach'. 


We know we can’t work across every issue, or intervene in every system. That’s why our strategy identifies the key areas where we can add the most value. And where government, partners and organisations in our sector are already acting.

Through this strategy, VicHealth is committing to addressing three underlying systems that have a major impact on our health and wellbeing: built and neighbourhood systems, commercial and economic systems and food systems. By addressing these systems we can make it easier for all individuals and communities to become and stay healthy. 

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How VicHealth is funded


VicHealth receives core funding from the Department of Health to deliver its objectives as outlined in the Tobacco Act 1987. Additionally, VicHealth periodically receives special funding from various Government agencies to deliver specific programs.

Our work reflects our obligations under the Tobacco Act of 1987. It also aligns with the Victorian Government policy and program directions, and national and international health promotion priorities and policies such as the World Health Organization (WHO) charters and declarations for Health Promotion.

  • Previous funding model

    For its first 10 years (until 1997), VicHealth was funded by a dedicated (or ‘hypothecated’) tax. This kind of tax is one generated for a specific purpose and does not become part of a government’s general consolidated revenue. A hypothecated tax is rarely implemented.

    The Victorian State Government applied a levy of 5% on top of existing state tobacco fees (set out in the Victorian Tobacco Act 1987). This money was hypothecated to the Victorian Health Promotion Fund, and the Fund was administered by VicHealth.

    In health terms, such an approach created an incentive in its own right by increasing the price of something considered to be harmful to health (in this case smoking). There was evidence in Victoria before the Tobacco Act was introduced in 1987 that a price increase in cigarettes would reduce the smoking rates of people under 18. This was a powerful message to help the Victorian Government gain community support for a new tax to the community.

    The model created considerable interest in other parts of the world. Thailand, Korea, Finland and Portugal have all implemented some version of a hypothecated tax to fund health promotion.

    For more information, see The Story of VicHealth: A world first in health promotion

What we don't do


Is VicHealth the Department of Health?


No, we are a separate government statutory authority that focuses on health promotion. VicHealth receives core funding from the Department of Health to deliver its objectives as outlined in the Tobacco Act 1987. Additionally, VicHealth periodically receives special funding from various Government agencies to deliver specific programs. Our work reflects our obligations under the Tobacco Act of 1987.


Is VicHealth a support service?


No, VicHealth is not a support service that you call to get help with health needs. Please contact the relevant service (e.g. for mental health support you could contact Lifeline or Beyond Blue).


Find out more

Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022

VicHealth acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land. We pay our respects to all Elders past, present and future.

This website may contain images, names and voices of deceased people.

VicHealth acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.