Victoria’s reputation as a dynamic and progressive state is due in no small part to the individuals and organisations driving our progress towards a healthier, more equitable and more resilient community. I am proud to say that VicHealth has been not only a direct contributor to those goals, but also a hard-working ally to peers and colleagues from many sectors.
Over the years, those partnerships and collaborations have allowed us to connect with some of the most outstanding and innovative thinkers of our time. Among them are the six individuals whose thinking is profiled in this very special 50th edition of the VicHealth Letter. They include:
- Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti on the need to embed health thinking in all areas of governmental policy-making;
- Professor Evelyne de Leeuw on the benefits of a trickle-up model driving the health agenda from the grassroots;
- Professor Jeff French on forming coalitions that involve individuals, communities and even for-profit sector partners;
- Professor Vishaal Kishore on the potential for agencies on the periphery of the health sector to become the engine of innovation;
- Dean Brostek, co-founder of The Kinetica Group, on how the sports sector is becoming more social, more flexible, and more accountable to health outcomes;
- and Dr Sandro Demaio, the incoming Chief Executive Officer of VicHealth, on the challenges and opportunities of the new digital food ecosystem.
A medical doctor by profession, Dr Demaio has spent most of the last decade pioneering new ways to engage communities in public health issues. He is the former chief executive of the EAT Foundation and has been the architect of healthy eating and lifestyle campaigns festival21 and NCDFREE, a global movement against chronic disease which reached over 2.5 million people in its first 18 months. He will begin his new role at VicHealth later this year.
The insights shared across these six interviews provide us all with an opportunity to reflect on our current practice and think ahead to where we can grow, adapt and renew our efforts in the years ahead. I hope you find it every bit as provocative, inspirational and, frankly, useful as I have.
Dr Lyn Roberts AO
Acting Chief Executive Officer, VicHealth