Postcards of prevention: Reflections on community health and wellbeing in Tasmania



TYPE Prevention Centre News

The senior policy officer, and now research fellow, is dedicated to improving health and reducing inequities. Her research explored factors that shape local government roles in community health and wellbeing, with Tasmania being home to the highest rates of chronic disease in Australia.

She used systems thinking methodologies of the Systems Change Framework with the 29 Tasmanian local governments in her research and identified opportunities to enhance their roles from a state government perspective.

The health and wellbeing of local communities is increasingly identified as a key area of focus for councils who have evolved from ‘roads, rates, and rubbish’ to a greater focus on supporting communities to be healthy, safe, inclusive, and socially connected.

If sufficiently supported, local government could be the game changers in curbing the prevalence of chronic disease in our communities.  

Dr Michelle Morgan

The Tasmanian local governments identified the need for greater access to local level health and wellbeing to better inform decision making with a key recommendation of this project being the development of a state-wide wellbeing framework. Not only has that recommendation been acted on, but Dr Morgan is now leading it in her new role with the Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet.

I’m excited that I’ve been appointed as the project lead for the development of the wellbeing framework. It will help strengthen the preventive health system and advance local government roles in approaches to community health and wellbeing.

Dr Michelle Morgan

Read the findings brief on this research project here.