10 Nov, 2014 Last updated: 18 Feb, 2015

For two decades the VicHealth Letter has been a trusted vehicle for discussion in addressing the big issues in health and providing transformational insights from our world-class interventions.

Today it continues to showcase VicHealth’s pioneering work and our invaluable partnerships to improve the health of all Victorians. This special feature reflects on the highlights from the past 40 VicHealth Letter editions.


Inaugural Edition

Issue 1-1994

Inaugural edition of the VicHealth Letter, originally called the VicHealth Action Report. Former VicHealth Chair Professor Emeritus Sir Gustav Nossal’s opening message celebrates successful cross-sector collaboration to reduce the reliance sports and the arts had on tobacco industry sponsorship, and the role VicHealth plays in delivering health messages to the community.


Mental Health Promotion Edition

Issue 2-1994

Mental health promotion has been a high priority for VicHealth from its early years. This edition, with a foreword by inaugural CEO Rhonda Galbally, is one of many dedicated to the outstanding research we have funded in this area



Young People

Issue 4-1996

This edition provided an overview of VicHealth’s research and funding to establish facts on health promotion practice directed at changing young people’s risk behaviour. It featured an interview with Tammy Curtis on the value of VicHealth’s sponsorship of Volleyball Victoria and the National Heart Foundation’s Heart Health message.


Older People

Issue 5-1996

As the number and proportion of older Australians increase, health promotion needs to recognise the importance of supportive healthy environments for older people, as this edition highlighted.



Men and Women

Issue 6-1997

In the 1997 ‘Men & Women’ edition we featured our prevention programs focused on the different gender needs, as well as those within the communities of Kooris, migrants and people with disabilities.


Families & Health Promotion

Issue 7-1997

One of the key goals of health promotion must be to support the development of healthy families with all the different manifestations of diversity in family structures. This edition focused on VicHealth’s family-related projects.



Mothers’ And Children’s Health

Issue 10-1998

Professor Rob Moodie’s first editorial as CEO for this edition on mental health.

“We must begin to understand that mental health is fundamental to good health and quality of life, and therefore must be addressed as part of improving Australia’s overall health.” - Professor Rob Moodie




Issue 14-2000

VicHealth’s origins provided us with a unique position from which to examine the tobacco issue, publish our position on it and advocate for redoubled pressure on one of the single largest causes of preventable death in Australia today. Since VicHealth was established we have seen some enormous changes and certainly have much to be proud of. But we continue to be vigilant and maintain the pressure to drive down smoking rates.



Physical Activity

Issue 16-2001

The trend of decreasing rates of physical activity cuts across all ages and social groups. Increasing the rates of physical activity requires a multifaceted approach at both the policy and community level. In this issue we presented views from a range of individuals and organisations to discuss how the rates of physical activity can be improved.



Koori Health

Issue 18-2002

In 2002 the health status of Indigenous people in Australia was still worse than the rest of the population. Koori communities, with the support of VicHealth and its partners, have embarked on an innovative series of programs designed to improve the health status of Indigenous Victorians. These initiatives and our contribution on this important health issue were explored in this edition.




Issue 20-2003

VicHealth has a core focus on building evidence to support health promotion and public health activity. Since 1999 we have commissioned research when necessary to answer broad questions related to policy and programs. The edition looked at our investment in research to make the critical link between research and practice.



Health 2004

Issue 22-2004

A special edition on what was to come when Melbourne hosted the 18th World Conference on Health Promotion and Health Education. In this issue we spoke with indigenous health experts from Canada and New Zealand; we found out what rapid globalisation means for health; we looked at a successful bullying prevention program; and at the UN’s global report on the challenge of the slums.



A Growing Concern

Issue 24-2005

A VicHealth Letter devoted to the issue of physical activity and children.


An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Issue 25-2005

In this issue the VicHealth Letter looked at the many barriers to investing in public health and examined what needs to be done to overcome these barriers. The articles cast light on a number of different facets of the interaction between health promotion and prevention concepts, our practice, and the decision-making process in our society.



Healthy Planet, Healthy People

Issue 26-2006

VicHealth Letter pushed the debate forward about how sectors can work better together to promote healthy environments and featured some influential commentators to contribute to this edition, including Professor Ian Lowe, Richard Eckersley, Dr Iain Butterworth, Professor Evelyn de Leeuw and Doctor Mardie Townsend.


Respect, Responsibility And Equality

Issue 28-2006

This VicHealth Letter featured an editorial by VicHealth CEO Rob Moodie and Chief Commissioner Victoria Police Christine Nixon on the work of VicHealth and our partners to raise awareness of violence against women and its impacts in the community.



The Gold Medal For Participation

Issue 29-2007

Former VicHealth Board Member Lindsay Gaze provided an editorial in this edition that explored some of the challenges of a public health/sport partnership and highlighted examples of how sport is attracting more participants and promoting healthy environments.


Making The Link Between Cultural Discrimination And Health

Issue 30-2007

Todd Harper as CEO co-wrote an editorial with Professor Ian Anderson in this issue of the VicHealth Letter on raising awareness of the problem of discrimination and its associated health, social and economic costs, as well as some ideas towards reducing it.


To Your Health? Exploring What’s Safe, Sensible And Social

Issue 31-2007

Alcohol is entrenched in our society: we use it to celebrate, commiserate, relax and socialise. However, alcohol is a common companion of violence and injury, unsafe sex, crime, poor mental health, car smashes and workplace absenteeism. This VicHealth Letter explored the role of alcohol in our lives.



To Your Health? Exploring What’s Safe, Sensible And Social

Issue 33-2008

The articles in this edition encouraged a closer look at the methods of marketing as a potential toolbox for health promotion. Feature insights from Professor Rob Donovan, Professor of Social Marketing in the School of Marketing at Curtin University WA, and Professor Mike Ewing, Head of Marketing in the Faculty of Business & Economics at Monash University.



From Margins To Mainstream

Issue 34-2009

Special edition: From Margins to Mainstream reported on a conference hosted by VicHealth and co-organised with the World Federation for Mental Health, the Mental Health Program of the Carter Center and The Clifford Beers Foundation. The Melbourne Charter for Mental Health Promotion was an outcome of the conference and formed part of the Victorian Government’s Mental Health Reform Strategy.



Work and Health

Issue 35-2010

This VicHealth Letter provided a broad picture of healthy workplaces and hoped to promote further discussion of what makes for positive changes and what some organisations do to implement positive programs.



Healthy Environment

Issue 36-2013

How do the places we live, learn, work and play influence our health? In this edition we explored why creating healthy environments is critical to our wellbeing and is the purpose of VicHealth’s work in this area.


Health Equity

Issue 37-2013

Another VicHealth Letter on the important issue of raising awareness on the need to help reduce health inequity.


Digital Innovations

Issue 38-2013

An edition on finding new ways to use digital technology to facilitate innovative collaboration.



VicHealth Takes Centre Stage In The Arts

Issue 39-2014

An exciting edition featuring our arts investments with Melbourne Now and White Night Melbourne and our research into obesity trends and lack of physical activity among children. It also featured a special interview with Australia’s prolific and well-known social researcher, writer and commentator Hugh Mackay.