A decade of strengthening Australia’s prevention system



TYPE Prevention Centre News

Thank you to the more than 900 researchers, policy makers and practitioners connected to the Prevention Centre who have worked to enhance national and international evidence to help strengthen Australia’s prevention system.
Co-Director Professor Andrew Wilson AO has been at the helm of our organisation since 2013, initially with Deputy Director Associate Professor Sonia Wutzke, and then since 2018 with Co-Director Professor Lucie Rychetnik. They have witnessed our network go from strength to strength over the years.

The Prevention Centre quickly established a reputation for being open to different research methods and for building trust in our partnerships. I am enormously proud of what we have achieved in the past decade with the growth of truly empowered prevention system across Australia.   

Professor Andrew Wilson AO, Prevention Centre Co-Director

We have reflected on these many achievements in an interactive publication documenting our partnerships and collaborations 2013-2023. Read here. It highlights how we have:

• Supported new and innovative policy-relevant research
• Established new and unique partnerships across Australia
• Incubated new methods and tools for prevention
• Strengthened systems thinking and capacity
• Created opportunities for emerging leaders in prevention
• Influenced prevention policy, practice, research methods and ways of thinking through co-design
• Developed a national infrastructure for specialised prevention communications using science communication.

One of the most important contributions of the Prevention Centre over the past 10 years has been to develop Australia’s capacity and capabilities to apply systems science methods and tools. It is exciting to see how  systems thinking and systems research for chronic disease prevention are becoming part of the mainstream.

Professor Lucie Rychetnik, Prevention Centre Co-Director

Our Co-Directors joined Adjunct Associate Professor Jo Mitchell for the final 2023 podcast episode of Prevention Works for a lively discussion on ‘Ten years of preventive health-what have we learned?’ Listen here.

At the final meeting of the Prevention Centre’s Leadership Executive for 2023, members reflected on the past decade and the scaling up of our successes. This is especially true for Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti and the work she led in measuring liveability. Our support helped transform early proof-of-concept work on liveability into a globally recognised program of research on the relationship between urban design and health. The liveability measures have been adopted by local, state and federal governments and agencies, from Broken Hill City Council to Buses Victoria and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

A lot of impact would not have happened without the Prevention Centre helping to build capacity globally. It has been an honour to see the methods we developed for the Australian National Liveability Study extended to an international project with 80 researchers in 25 cities across 19 countries for The Lancet’s Global Health series, and now further developed in the new 1000 Cities Challenge with the Global Observatory of Healthy and Sustainable Cities.

Distinguished Professor Billie Giles-Corti

There are many more impacts and outputs of this work to come, including doctoral researcher Carl Higgs from the project team this week submitting his thesis ‘Scaling residential analysis of urban liveability and sustainability indicators from local to global’. Read more about the liveability project and other achievement case studies in our retrospective.

The Prevention Centre is looking forward to building on all our work over the last 10 years in the next generation of our funding. Read more here.