ACT Preventive Health Plan

We want Canberrans to enjoy the highest standards of health at every stage of life and to take part in the opportunities our city has to offer.

We have set the foundations for achieving this goal with the Healthy Canberra: ACT Preventive Health Plan 2020–2025.

Reducing the prevalence of chronic disease

We are committed to supporting all Canberrans to make healthy lifestyle choices and to take the steps needed to prevent disease. We recognise that actions by the health sector alone will not be enough to meet this challenge.

The Healthy Canberra: ACT Preventive Health Plan 2020–2025 is being delivered in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, including non–government organisations, communities, other government agencies, industry and researchers.

The plan outlines five areas we’re focusing on:

  • supporting children and families
  • enabling active living
  • increasing healthy eating
  • reducing risky behaviours
  • promoting healthy ageing.

Reaching our goal of reducing the prevalence of chronic disease and supporting good health across all stages of life requires a sustained effort over multiple years.

To help meet this goal, the ACT Preventive Health Action Plan 2020–2022 articulates Government-led actions in the 5 priority areas. A second 3-year action plan is under development and will be released in 2023.

A focus on prevention

An important focus of the plan is the prevention of chronic disease.

In 2018, 38% of the burden of disease in Australia could have been prevented by reducing or avoiding exposure to modifiable risk factors such as:

  • tobacco use
  • obesity and being overweight
  • poor diet
  • high blood pressure
  • alcohol use.

Long-term health conditions

As a population, we have one of the highest life expectancies in the world but while we are living longer, we continue to live with a significant burden of chronic disease.

In 2017 to 2018, more than 48% of adults in the ACT had at least one of these chronic diseases:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • back problems
  • cancer
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • osteoporosis
  • mental health conditions.

ACT Health Promotion Grants Program

The ACT Health Promotion Grants Program supports the plan’s objectives by offering grants to community-based organisations to improve the health of Canberrans and minimise the risk of them developing chronic diseases.

Find out more about funding opportunities at the ACT Health Promotion Grants Program.

You can also email to find out about grants or be added to our distribution list.


It is important to measure our progress. The plan's evaluation framework provides clear direction for all stakeholders on:

  • what needs to be achieved in the short and long term
  • how we will measure and report on progress
  • where we may need to recalibrate our efforts.

The ACT Preventive Health Plan Annual Activity Report 2020 documents our progress delivering actions during the first year of implementation.

In 2022, a Mid-Term Review of the plan was completed.

The review looked at the processes underpinning the whole-of-government approach to the plan and made recommendations for the second half of the plan’s term.

The review includes a community survey, literature review, survey and interviews with cross-government stakeholders.

Population–level indicators relating to chronic disease are reported on HealthStats.


Page last updated on: 22 Mar 2023