Population Health

CHO photograph

The Population Health Division manages public health issues within the ACT.

The Division is led by the Chief Health Officer, Dr Paul Kelly who holds responsibilities and delegations under various public health legislation.

The Office of the Chief Health Officer is responsible for providing public health advice and undertaking high level project and policy work on behalf of the Chief Health Officer.

The Population Health Division's functions are grouped into two sections, Health Improvement and Health Protection.

About Population Health

The Health Improvement Branch is responsible for improving the health and well being of the ACT population through promoting healthy behaviours and lifestyles and providing ongoing monitoring and evaluation of health programs and policy.

The Branch includes the ACT Cancer Registry, ACT Cervical Screening Program, Epidemiology, Health Promotion, the Health Promotion Grants Program, and Population Health Research and Evaluation.

The Health Protection Service performs a range of services associated with the prevention of, and timely response to, potential public health incidents.

This includes Communicable Disease and Infection Control, Pharmaceutical Services, Food Safety, Radiation Safety, Environmental Health and ACT Government Analytical Laboratory.

2014 ACT Health Sector Winter Plan

The Population Health Division has continued to work closely with ACT Medicare Local and both Canberra and Calvary Hospitals to undertake specific winter preparedness activities to assist the broader ACT health sector to effectively mitigate the risks and manage the consequences of winter outbreaks of infectious disease.

Download: 2014 ACT Health Sector Winter Plan (PDF File - 137k)

Towards Zero Growth Healthy Weight Action Plan

The ACT Government has set a target of zero growth for obesity in the ACT and the Healthy Weight Action Plan will guide our policies toward this goal. The proportion of children in the ACT who are overweight or obese is 25%.

For adults it has risen to 63.6%, from just 22.9% in 1995. As a result, a growing number of people are at risk of premature cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and a host of other conditions which can cost years of healthy life.

On top of the individual costs, the growth in obesity also puts added pressure on the health system as it responds to higher rates of major, preventable illness.

The Action Plan focuses on strategies that will make active and healthy lifestyle choices easier. The actions in the plan were developed through an extensive process carried out by a whole-of-government taskforce which included representatives from all ACT government directorates, key non-government and academic organisations with expertise in obesity as a public health issue.

Download: Towards Zero Growth Healthy Weight Action Plan (PDF File - 2306k)
Towards Zero Growth Healthy Weight Action Plan (Web Friendly Version) (PDF File - 1106k)

Population Health Strategic Framework 2013-2015

The Population Health Division Strategic Framework establishes the role of the Division in the context of the work of other key players working in public health in the ACT The Framework sets strategic objectives for the Division to meet in improving the health of the ACT.

Download: Population Health Division Strategic Framework 2013-15 (PDF File - 212k)

Population Health Research Strategy 2012 - 2015

In 2012, the Population Health Division (PHD) developed the first Population Health Research Strategy for the ACT.

The Strategy endeavoured to align with the overall strategic direction for health research in the ACT and the Strategic Framework for the Population Health Division.

The Population Health Research Strategy 2012 - 2015 aims to guide the research agenda for PHD and associated research partners.

The Strategy includes:

  • identifying priorities and need;
  • strengthening capacity of the ACT to engage in research activities;
  • ensuring that the outcomes from research are transferred into health policy and programs; and
  • monitoring and evaluating the success of the strategy in achieving population health outcomes.

Download a copy of the Strategy

Download: Population Health Research Strategy (PDF File - 220k)

Get Healthy now!

The Get Healthy Information and Coaching ServiceŽ is now available in the ACT, so there's no better time to get healthy than now! Get Healthy is a free, confidential telephone-based Service funded by ACT Health, which helps people make lifestyle changes regarding healthy eating, being physically active, and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.


Population Health Division produces a large number of publications and reports, including:

Contact us

For general enquires for Population Health matters phone (02) 6205 0883.