Workshops and Networking Functions

During the virtual Australian Public Health Conference 2020, in addition to live and on demand sessions, there will be a number of Workshops and Networking Functions.

Below is an outline of these sessions. As more information becomes available, we will update the details below.

Virtual Yarning Circle Sessions - REGISTRATIONS CLOSED


Session 1 Date: Thursday 22 October 2020, 12:30pm - 1:15pm

Session 2 Date: Tuesday 27 October 2020, 2:15pm - 3:00pm

Session 3 Date: Thursday 29 October 2020, 3:15pm - 4:00pm

Facilitated By: Dr. Michael Doyle, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Special Interest Co-Convener on behalf of the PHAA

The Australian Public Health Conference 2020 will feature a series of virtual Yarning Circle sessions.


A Yarning Circle is a place which privileges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices, and provides a place to listen, network and yarn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Whilst there are no formal presentations, Elders and other leaders will be invited to share their knowledge.

Everyone is welcome to attend, but due to the nature of these Yarning Sessions, participation is limited and priority will be given to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander conference participants.

Expressions of interest are now open for registered Conference delegates. 

Workshop 1 - How do we improve public health messaging during periods of bushfire smoke and poor air quality? - REGISTRATIONS CLOSED

Date: Friday 23 October 2020 

Time: 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Hosted By: Centre for Air pollution, energy and health Research (CAR)

Facilitated By: A/Professor Fay Johnston, Dr Rachel Tham, Ana Porta Cubas, Professor Jane Heyworth

The 2019-20 bushfire season shone a spotlight on the absence of consistent public health communication surrounding bushfire smoke and poor air quality more generally. This workshop, run by the Centre for Air pollution, energy and health Research (CAR) will bring together researchers, not for profits, public health organisations, public health practitioners and government representatives in a ‘knowledge exchange’ to discuss questions such as:

• What type of public health information does the public need around bushfire smoke and poor air quality generally? In what formats?

• What are the knowledge gaps that exist around the use and effectiveness of public health information during periods of poor air quality?

• What are the opportunities for the attendees to collaborate to improve public health information on poor air quality?

• What roles and responsibilities amongst different organisations are envisioned?

This workshop will be highly interactive and discussions will be documented by CAR and provided to attendees after the conference.


Participation from the following groups is encouraged;

• Public health professionals working closely with the community  

• Members of departments/agencies tasked with public health messaging to the general public

• Members of not for profits particularly affected by high levels of air pollution (e.g. those representing ‘at risk’ groups)

• Members of associations with a keen interest in improving education around air pollution

Workshop 2 - Addressing Climate Change Vulnerability through Health Impact Assessment: A framework for Health Services - REGISTRATIONS CLOSED

Date: Monday 26 October 2020 

Time: 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Hosted By: The Healthy Urban Environment Collaboratory

Facilitated By: Fiona Haigh, Alana Crimeen, Ben Harris-Roxas

Climate change impacts on human health are evident in Australia and are predicted to become more frequent and intense. While the effects of these climate changes are likely to impact everyone, disadvantaged populations are potentially at risk of being disproportionally affected, compounding the social and economic inequalities that already contribute to existing health inequities.  Local Health Districts (LHDs) play a critical role in responding to changing health needs of the local population, and to the likely effects of climate change on health service resources, workforce and infrastructure.

Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a systematic process that considers the potential health impacts of a proposal during the planning stages and offers recommendations to mitigate harms and maximise benefits. Climate change vulnerability health impact assessment (CCVHIA) provides a framework and process for health services to assess the potential impacts of climate change on vulnerable populations and develop responses using a vulnerability lens, which considers the interactions between exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity and resilience.

The workshop consists of three parts. Firstly, we will present and discuss ways of conceptualising vulnerability and resilience in relation to climate change. We will then provide an introduction to and overview of to the CCVHIA framework and related tools. We will then facilitate an interactive session with participants.  

Workshop 3 - How do we use what we know? The practice-evidence exchange in disaster recovery - REGISTRATIONS CLOSED

Date: Tuesday 27 October 2020 

Time: 3:30pm - 5:00pm

Hosted By: University of Melbourne

Facilitated By: Professor Lisa Gibbs, Bhiamie Williamson, Phoebe Quinn

This workshop will draw on over a decade of research collaborations between leading disaster recovery academics and end-user organisations. This has involved an ongoing process of policy/practice insights being used to identify evidence needs and the subsequent research findings being used to guide disaster recovery work.


Key topics presented for discussion:

1)               10 years Beyond Bushfires – understanding the social elements of disaster recovery

2)               Recovery Capitals (ReCap) – applying the evidence to guide practice

3)               Aboriginal insights – a dialogue between different forms of knowledge

4)               Taking care of the next generation – building strong school communities

5)               Same but different – examining the human impacts of the recent series of emergency events

The workshop will include the release of new practical evidence-informed resources to support community recovery. The presentations will explore the flow of knowledge over time and place which has occurred, leading to discussion about ‘What comes next?’

Students and Young Professionals in Public Health Networking Session - REGISTRATIONS CLOSED


Date: Thursday 29 October 2020

Time: 3:30pm - 4:05pm

This virtual networking session is a chance to meet other students and young professionals who are participating in the Australian Public Health Conference 2020. It is also a great way for conference attendees (especially first-timers) to meet and make new connections within the public health community!

All students and young professionals attending the virtual Australian Public Health Conference are welcome and encouraged to join this session.


Participants will be randomly allocated to small networking groups of 4. After a 8 minute networking opportunity, you will be randomly allocated to a new group of 4. This session will allow you the opportunity to connect with 4 groups over the 30 minute session. 


How to Register


To register for any of these sessions, please email You must first be a fully registered participant of the virtual Australian Public Health Conference 2020.