VicHealth is working to integrate a focus on equity through all programs, campaigns, policy work, research and evaluation.

The problem: some groups are more likely to experience better health than others

Cigarette icon

Smoking rates can be 2 to 5 times higher for particular population groups compared to all Australians1.

Population icon

Depending on where you live in Victoria, there can be up to 7 years difference in life expectancy2.

10-17 years icon

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can expect to live 10–17 years less than other Australians3.

VicHealth is working to integrate a focus on equity through all programs, campaigns, policy work, research and evaluation. 

In 2013, VicHealth published Fair Foundations: The VicHealth framework for health equity, a planning tool that guides action on the social determinants of health inequity. Fair Foundations was updated and republished this year, and is accompanied by a new supporting resource called About Fair Foundations and Promoting Health Equity. 

Fair Foundations was also used to guide eight evidence reviews about what can be done to reduce inequities in relation to mental wellbeing, alcohol consumption and harm, tobacco smoking, physical activity and healthy eating, as well as in different settings, in early childhood, and through social innovation. 

VicHealth is committed to the promotion of health equity, where everyone has the opportunity to gain their full health potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential, if possible. 

VicHealth’s commitment to reduce health inequities experienced by Aboriginal Victorians remained a focus this year. 

Sport provides a critical setting for the integration of health promotion activity for Aboriginal Victorians, demonstrated by Surfing Victoria’s Indigenous Surfing Program. 

Our support of the program focused on long-term sustainability, strengthening the capacity of local mentors, further developing regional surf events and broadening the appeal of participation in Surf Development Squads.

Back to VicHealth Highlights 2014-15

1VicHealth 2015, Addressing the social determinants of inequities in tobacco use (, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, Melbourne.
2Department of Health and Human Services 2014, Life expectancy at birth: Victoria 2003–2007 (
3Oxfam Australia 2015, Close the Gap ( ).