About us

About us

Latest update: 18 May 2011

The Australian National Preventive Health Agency (Promoting a Healthy Australia) was established on 1 January 2011, following the commencement of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency Act 2010, to provide national capacity to drive preventive health policy and programs. The Agency is providing policy leadership and establishing partnerships with Commonwealth, state and territory governments, community health promotion organisations, industry and primary health care providers.

The need for a national preventive health agency to drive the preventive health agenda was identified by the Council of Australian Governments in 2008,[1] and was further developed in the Government’s response to the National Preventative Health Taskforce’s report,[2] and the report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission.[3]

The Agency is a statutory authority, in the Health portfolio, responsible through its CEO to the Commonwealth Minister for Health. For financial purposes, the Agency operates under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and for staffing purposes, under the Public Service Act 1999 (Public Service Act). The funding structure of the Agency was agreed with States and Territories through the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health.

The Australian National Preventive Health Agency Act 2010 provides for the Health Minister to appoint an Advisory Council of up to 11 members comprising individuals with a breadth of experience and expertise, including members representing the States and Territories and the Commonwealth.

The Australian Government has established the Australian National Preventive Health Agency to strengthen Australia’s investment and infrastructure in preventive health.

Our Vision

A healthy Australian society, where the promotion of health is embraced by every sector, valued by every individual, and includes everybody.

Our Mission

To be the catalyst for strategic partnerships, including the provision of technical advice and assistance to all levels of government and in all sectors, to promote health and reduce health risk and inequalities, and to initiate actions to promote health across the entire Australian community.

Strategic Goals

The Agency has six high-level strategic goals which capture the scope of its activity and which will, through sustained attention and collaborative action, deliver the vision.

Promote and guide the development, application, integration and review of public, organisational and community-based prevention and health promotion policies.
Provide policy advice and program leadership to support the development, implementation, evaluation and scaling up of evidence-informed health promotion and health risk reduction strategies for population groups across the lifespan and in a range of settings, with an initial focus on obesity, tobacco and harmful alcohol consumption.
Drive the development of dynamic knowledge systems that enable evidence-informed policy and practice in prevention and health promotion across Australia.
Guide improvements in national surveillance systems for prevention and health promotion and ensure that information on the progress of prevention and health promotion strategies is made readily available and regularly reported.
Build broad and comprehensive prevention and health promotion capacity.
Establish ANPHA as an innovative, reliable, transparent and accountable organisation, highly regarded by governments, partners, staff and the community with a strong national identity.

Our Focus

The Australian Government recognises that population-focused efforts to prevent chronic disease and promote health are critical to maintaining a sustainable health system and a fuller life for all members of the Australian community. The Agency is leading, facilitating and promoting policies and programs that keep people healthy.

The Agency’s focus is on alcohol, tobacco and obesity – all significant lifestyle risk factors associated with chronic disease. Approximately 40% of potentially preventable hospitalisations for chronic conditions are associated with alcohol, tobacco or obesity.[4] In developing its policies and programs, the Agency is actively engaging and collaborating with Commonwealth, state and territory officials, education, community and health non-government organisations and industry.

In 2013, the Agency published the first report on the State of Preventive Health in Australia, developed the first National Preventive Health Research Strategy , presented the inaugural National Preventive Health Awards and established the Smoking and Disadvantage Network.

The Agency will also continue the rollout of the National Binge Drinking Strategy expansion measures and the delivery of the major social marketing efforts related to smoking through the National Tobacco Campaign. In an effort to reduce rates of obesity in Australia, the Agency's new Shape Up Australia initiative will assist Australians to identify credible sources of information on healthy weight, diet and physical activity. The initiative will bring an integrated approach to the efforts of a range of partners across government and non-government sectors to obesity prevention and physical activity promotion.

The Agency will work with Medicare Locals to embed prevention and health promotion action at the primary care level and to analyse and disseminate information for a wide range of sectors and communities to promote the effective adoption of prevention and health promotion actions.

The Agency is responsible for providing evidence-based advice to governments on the development of preventive health policy is managing a research fund to gather the information needed to develop new preventive health policies and programs, with a focus on translating research into practice. As part of this work, the Agency is also managing the national evaluation of the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health.

[1]        COAG Communique, 29 November 2008.
[2]        National Preventative Health Taskforce (2009) Australia: The Healthiest Country by 2020 – National Preventative Health Strategy – the roadmap for action. Commonwealth of Australia.
[3]        National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission A Healthier Future for all Australians Final Report June 2009. Commonwealth of Australia.
[4]     Derived from Table A5.1, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2012. Australian Hospital Statistics 2010-11, Cat. No. HSE 117, Canberra: AIHW.