VicHealth (the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation) is the world’s first health promotion foundation, created in 1987 with a mandate to promote good health. We were established with all-Party support by the State Parliament of Victoria with the statutory objectives mandated by the Tobacco Act 1987 (Vic) (the Act). The responsible minister is the Minister for Health, The Hon. Jill Hennessy MP.
The objectives of VicHealth as set out in the Act are to:
- fund activity related to the promotion of good health, safety or the prevention and early detection of disease
- increase awareness of programs for promoting good health in the community through the sponsorship of sports, the arts and popular culture
- encourage healthy lifestyles in the community and support activities involving participation in healthy pursuits
- fund research and development activities in support of these objectives.
The functions of VicHealth as set out in the Act are to:
- promote its objectives
- make grants from the Health Promotion Fund for activities, facilities, projects or research programs in furtherance of the objectives of VicHealth
- provide sponsorships for sporting or cultural activities
- keep statistics and other records relating to the achievement of the objectives of VicHealth
- provide advice to the Minister on matters related to its objectives referred by the Minister to VicHealth and generally in relation to the achievement of its objectives
- make loans or otherwise provide financial accommodation for activities, facilities, projects or research programs in furtherance of the objectives of VicHealth
- consult regularly with relevant Government Departments and agencies and to liaise with persons and organisations affected by the operation of this Act
- perform such other functions as are conferred on VicHealth by this or any other Act.
VicHealth performs and manages these functions by:
- developing a strategic plan, including concept, context and operations
- initiating, facilitating and organising the development of projects and programs to fulfil the strategic plan
- ensuring an excellent standard of project management for all project and program grants paid by VicHealth
- developing systems to evaluate the impacts and outcomes of grants
- ensuring that such knowledge is transferred to the wider community.
- Fairness – we promote fairness and opportunity for better health for all Victorians, by making health equity an aim of all our work.
- Evidence-based action – we create and use evidence to identify the issues that need action and to guide policy and practice by VicHealth and our partners.
- Working with community – we work with communities to set priorities, make decisions and create solutions.
- Partnerships across sectors – we collaborate with governments at all levels and form alliances with others in health, sports, research, education, the arts and community, as well as nurture strong relationships with health promotion practitioners and the media.
VicHealth has played a unique role since its inception. We champion positive influences for health and seek to reduce negative influences. This means helping individuals and communities make better-informed decisions, and shaping environments that support healthier choices.
Our strategy incorporates a behavioural insights lens that considers the influences on people’s behaviour and choices. This complements existing approaches with new ways to accelerate better health outcomes for all Victorians. Our culture of innovation enables us to be a catalyst for, and early adopter of, new health promotion approaches.
We work in partnership with all sectors as a trusted, independent source of evidence-based practice and advice. We play a critical role in creating and strengthening this evidence base through our rigorous research and evaluation of our actions.