About the Conference

The Australian Public Health Conference (formerly the PHAA Annual Conference) is a national conference held by the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) which presents a national and multi-disciplinary perspective on public health issues. PHAA members and non-members are encouraged to contribute to discussions on the broad range of public health issues and challenges, and exchange ideas, knowledge and information on the latest developments in public health.

Through development of public health policies, advocacy, research and training, PHAA seeks better health outcomes for Australian’s and the Conference acts as a pathway for public health professionals to connect and share new and innovative ideas that can be applied to local settings and systems to help create and improve health systems for local communities. 

The 2020 Conference theme will be: ‘Public Health action: Response to bushfires, climate and coronavirus’. The theme responds to a series of realities which, in different ways, are ‘crises’ impacting on public wellbeing. The public health sector has much to contribute to developing responses to these crises which are measured, effective and socially equitable, and are based on evidence and scientific thinking. Each of our conference’s three headline crises represents serious public and community challenges. They bring risks of lost wellbeing, illness, and even death. They damage our environment, disrupt our economy and diminish social equity creating a significant impact on physical and mental health. “2020” now feels like a tipping point into a new world. One of the dominant societal reactions is anxiety, felt individually and collectively, and this anxiety itself emerges as a public health issue.

What will be the public health response to these events? How do we influence government and private decisions for the better wellbeing of our community? How do we marshal scientific evidence to build persuasive cases? How do we communicate public health messages quickly and effectively? These and other issues will be the subject of this year’s Australian Public Health Conference, at which a range of national and international experts will share wisdom with Australia’s public health community. 


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Health Association of Australia have changed the way we deliver our annual Australian Public Health Conference for 2020. Our traditional face to face conference will now be hosted as an online virtual Conference. 

Whilst we are all facing major disruption, PHAA is committed to ensuring there are continued opportunities for professional development and connection within the public health community. We are embracing a new way of delivering the Australian Public Health Conference in an interactive online format. 

By registering, you will have access to live and pre-recorded keynote, long oral and rapid fire presentations. We will be encouraging interaction through Q&A sessions, workshops, e-posters, as well as a virtual exhibition hall.


The Conference objectives are to:

  • Create an environment for knowledge sharing, collaboration and relationship building;

  • Promote and celebrate public health;

  • To create an understanding of the past, present and future public health issues;

  • Create an inclusive environment with opportunities to discuss issues of diversity, disability and accessibility, and provide an equal opportunity to be part of the program and public health discussion

  • Deliver latest research, program implementations and workforce developments;

  • Showcase new developments in advocacy in public health through keynote speakers;

  • Showcase leadership in public health from established and emerging leaders; and

  • Highlight the activities of the PHAA, including state and territory branches and special interest groups, and encourage delegates to work together to achieve better health outcomes for Australians.


The conference will aim to facilitate conversations on improving effectiveness and efficiencies of public health through knowledge sharing and relationship building. The program must consider the needs and interests of the public health audience to ensure attraction and participation to the conference.

The target audience for the conference is people who work for educational institutions, health agencies, associations, organisations, clinical health centres and employed as health administration and promotion officers, educators, planners, researchers, scientists, nurses and including a wide range of allied health professionals working locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Students are also encouraged to participate and submit to present their work at the conference.