As part of this year’s World Congress on Public Health that took place in Melbourne, Australia from April 3-7, Western Health, a member of GGHH, hosted a field trip showcasing their environmental sustainability program. Delegates from Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and England participated in the visit to learn how Western Health is planning to achieve their strategic aim of “being socially responsible and using resources sustainably.”

Catherine O’Shea, Sustainability Officer at Western Health, described their Local Sustainability Action Plans and outlined actions being taken to reduce Western Health’s environmental footprint in each of the 10 GGHH goal areas. One of Western Health’s environmental champions, pharmacist Grace Wong, described the development and roll-out of the pharmacy department’s Local Sustainability Action Plan (LSAP), including an outline of their chosen action areas, such as incorporating environmental criteria into tender documents.

The field trip finished with an insightful tour of some of Western Health’s environmental sustainability features such as their waste/recycling segregation areas, organic waste dehydrator, and e-water taps (electrolysed water for cleaning/sanitising without chemicals).

Catherine O’Shea left the group with a powerful message to take home: “Rubbish is a resource, not waste”.


World Congress on Public Health

The 15th World Congress on Public Health took place from April 3-7 in Melbourne, Australia. The event is held by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA).

Fiona Armstrong, Executive Director of the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA), HCWH’s strategic partner in Australia, and CAHA’s member Grace Fitzgerald ran a workshop on “The role of public health professionals in advocating for policy change: a case study”. This covered the need for climate change to be framed as a health issue, and explored the ways in which health professionals can act to use their influence. Click here for Grace and Fiona’s workshop slides.

In addition, Fiona Armstrong and Carol Behne, Sustainable Healthcare Project Officer at CAHA, participated in a session on Climate Change. Armstrong presented on CAHA’s campaign for a National strategy on Climate, Health and Wellbeing, including progress to date and future plans. Behne discussed about the Global Green and Healthy Hospitals (GGHH) program and its objective to protect public health through environmental sustainability in healthcare. They shared cases studies from GGHH members that demonstrated the mitigation, adaptation and leadership efforts possible from the health sector in addressing climate change. Click here to see Armstrong’s presentation and click here for Behne’s presentation.

Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Global Health

During the event, Dr. Peter Orris, Senior Adviser to HCWH, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Global Health in recognition of Dr. Orris’ work in the context of the WFPHA’s Environmental Health Working Group and in campaigns to improve environmental health. For more information on the award Dr. Orris received, click here.