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health information management student looking at book

Research is an integral part of the School; we are recognized national and international leaders in three overarching areas of public health:

Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Our highly skilled researchers and teaching academics are developing the School’s capacity to tackle the major health challenges facing societies in Australia and around the world.  We aim to improve population health outcomes through training a skilled workforce in areas such as health promotion, nutrition, and disease prevention and through the generation of new knowledge to sustain good health across the life-course.  Innovation in research and teaching allows us to develop highly skilled graduates ready to become the leaders in health promotion and disease prevention for the next generation.

Occupation and the Environment

The team in the Occupation and the Environment Theme undertake research and teaching in the areas of occupational health and safety, environmental health, chronic and infectious disease epidemiology and biostatistics.  We work with our industrial partners to provide high quality teaching programs which prepare students for rewarding work in the areas of public health and occupational health and safety.  Our research programs focus on improving the health of the population by increasing our understanding of the causes of ill-health, and developing approaches to measure and prevent exposure to those causes.  We particularly focus on exposures in the workplace and in the physical environment (air, water, soil etc).

Health Systems and Health Economics

Collectively, our multidisciplinary team has considerable and widely recognised expertise across health systems and economics. Our prime purpose is to develop capacity through research, teaching and knowledge transfer activities with the aim of improving health care system performance. Our educational programs focus on expanding knowledge of policy, leadership and management issues within the context of health care policy and provision. Our students come from across Australia and from around the world including experienced health service personnel from a variety of areas. We offer courses in health administration and health information management among others. Our research in health systems contributes to policy formulation, prioritisation and evaluation. It is aimed at promoting more efficient and effective health systems that promote improved health and wellbeing. We work at all geographical levels, from WA-based research to national decision-making through to international collaborations with leading researchers in their respective fields.

Each of these areas comprise one or more core public health disciplines (see School discipline areas for further information).

Much of the research that is undertaken in the School is supported by highly competitive funding awarded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Australian Research Council and other major funding bodies. In 2015, we were awarded the first NHMRC Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Western Australia around community-based randomised clinical trials.

The School hosts the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health Impact Assessment (one of only four worldwide) and The Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health (CERIPH). We are also home to the highly successful mental health promotion campaign Act-Belong-Commit. In addition, many academics within the School act as consultants for Government and national and international not-for-profit agencies including the World Health Organisation; UNICEF; UNAIDS; and AusAID.