Sharon joined RegNet as Professor of Health Equity in May 2014 and became Director in July 2014. She also serves as the Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the Australian National University.
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RegNet scholars present their latest research at the 2017 World Congress on Public Health.
RegNet Director Professor Sharon Friel opened the conference in Melbourne with a plenary speech highlighting the major global challenges and opportunities in public health.
She was subsequently rated a ‘top influencer’ in the twittersphere, as measured by Twitter mentions during the conference.
Professor Friel’s speech highlighted the major global discrepancies in health equity. For instance, that ‘life expectancy differs by more than 30 years globally’. But she also argued that it is ‘a time for hope’ through governance for health equity, and delivered a call to action and strategic vision in pursuit of a ‘fair, sustainable and healthy world’.
Professor Friel said:
‘We might not win every battle but let’s not make perfection the enemy of good. Things can and do change but it requires a shared vision, a willingness to use different regulatory and governance approaches, courageous leadership, and, frankly, political struggle.’
Sharon Friel is Professor of Health Equity and the Director of the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) at ANU. She is the Co-Director of the five year NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity.
A number of other RegNet academics also presented at the conference.
Professor Fran Baum co-hosted a World Leadership Dialogue on the challenges of implementing action on the social determinants of health, with prominent speakers from the World Health Organisation and the Australian Council of Social Services.
Dr Melanie Pescud presented on ‘The Healthy and Equitable Eating (HE2) Policy Framework for Addressing the Social Determinants of Inequities in Healthy Eating’ funded by The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre (TAPPC).
Dr Belinda Townsend co-lead a World Leadership Dialogue exploring how “new generation” trade and investment treaties can affect domestic public health regulation, and presented on the aims and impact of the People’s Health Movement’s WHO Watch project, which aims to influence the governing body meetings of the World Health Organization.
RegNet scholars from the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence on the Social Determinants of Health Equity also hosted a workshop highlighting one of their current research projects which seeks to understand how social determinants of health and health equity get onto the political and social agenda.
The 2017 World Congress on Public Health was held on 3-7 April in Melbourne. It showcased new data and new learning about public health from all over the world, with plenaries from world leaders in public health.