VicHealth and our partners are investigating policy mechanisms that support government decision-making to promote societal wellbeing and consider both human and planetary health, now and for future generations.
The events of 2020–21, including the catastrophic Australian bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, are a prescient reminder that the world is rapidly changing. These changes bring consequences for both human and planetary health, and the wellbeing of current and future generations. Social, environmental and economic imbalances pose a threat to all, but particularly people living on low incomes or experiencing disadvantage. The imperative to build back better creates opportunities for governments to look for new ways of working to better support the health and wellbeing of the community now and into the future.
In 2020, VicHealth commissioned The George Institute for Global Health to analyse two innovative models that integrate wellbeing into the business of government: the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act and New Zealand's ‘Wellbeing Budget’.
This report draws lessons from the development and implementation of both initiatives and explores the potential feasibility of similar measures to integrate wellbeing into the business of government at all levels across Australia.
The findings provide practical insight into innovative approaches to translate sustainable development into national, state and local laws and/or policies, with the aim of inspiring practical action to improve the wellbeing of current and future generations of Australians.
Report launch and roundtable
In July 2021, VicHealth, The George Institute for Global Health and the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS) hosted a report launch and roundtable that brought together experts from the health, community, environment, research and youth sectors. Participants discussed key questions around what a wellbeing economy could look like in Victoria, how complex policy change could be achieved, and how we could work together to move the agenda forward.
We have developed a Roundtable Communiqué that summarises discussions from the day. Access the Communiqué here: A roundtable: Integrating wellbeing into the business of government
Dr Sandro Demaio (VicHealth CEO) provided opening remarks at the roundtable, which can be found on the VCOSS website: https://vcoss.org.au/analysis/2021/08/nows-the-time-to-gather-momentum/
Roundtable participants heard from Dr Katherine Trebeck, Senior Strategic Advisor for the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll). WEAll is a collaboration of organisations, alliances, movements and individuals working towards a wellbeing economy, delivering human and ecological wellbeing.