Advocacy in the Spotlight                           Edition 4 - November 2022

Welcome to the fourth edition of Advocacy in the Spotlight where we showcase contemporary advocacy across a diverse range of sectors. We hope these examples will show the importance of advocacy and inspire you to advocate on behalf of your cause or passion.

We invite you to share your experiences and innovations with us to share with others at

What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is the active support of a cause. The word ‘advocate’ has been used since ancient times and comes from the Latin word ‘advocare’ meaning ‘to be called to stand beside’.
Advocacy involves persuasion. It aims to influence perceptions around an issue and encourages people to care about that issue. Advocacy is about coalitions who share and disseminate the same message.
It’s about having a voice and standing beside those who do not. Advocacy entails being at the table when decisions are being made. It involves recognising who and what your opposition is and overcoming resistance.
Advocacy is challenging and aims to seek policy change.


The Advocacy Toolkit

The toolkit is a practical resource that supports and encourages health professionals and interested organisations to engage in advocacy. The toolkit
  • Demystifies advocacy,
  • Includes examples and case studies demonstrating how advocacy strategies can be applied across different issues,
  • Offers tips to effectively work with the media, and
  • Provides practical tools to help you and your organisation advocate on your issue.

To download the toolkit click here.

Australia's Centre for Disease Control Discussion Paper is out!
The Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care is establishing an Australian Centre for Disease Control (CDC) to improve Australia's ongoing response to current and emerging public health emergencies.
The potential role and functions of 2024 proposed CDC are outlined in a discussion paper and examples of how it could improve public health in Australia, and principles guiding its design are also considered.

The Discussion Paper can be found here.

Check with your healthcare and aged care stakeholder or advocacy group to see whether it has been invited to make a submission; being due on 9 December.

The Discussion Paper includes 28 questions that aim to guide further consultation on the development of a CDC. Croakey recently published a blog written by Terry Slevin, CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia, which outlines the Paper and discusses the 28 questions.

You can access this blog here.

This Month's Campaigns

My Talking Tom - A Petition to Ban Games that Hook Kids In

In mid-November, a coalition of more than 20 US groups filed a petition asking the Federal Trade Commission to prohibit video games like My Talking Tom, as well as social networks like TikTok and other online services, from employing certain attention-grabbing practices that may hook children in online.

The App, which has been downloaded more than a billion times from the Google Play Store, bombards children with marketing and is crowded with ads, constantly offers players extra points in exchange for viewing ads and encourages them to buy virtual game accessories.

The petition asked regulators to prohibit online services from offering unpredictable rewards which is a technique that poker machines use, to keep children online. It also asked the agency to prohibit online services from using social-pressure techniques, like displaying the number of likes that children’s social media posts garner, and endless content feeds that may cause children to spend more time online than they may have wished.

To read more go to this site (note that there may be a paywall).
The Soda Tax Debate Rages On
Advocates are continuing to argue that increasing the price of sugar-laden drinks will reduce consumption and improve public health, deflecting opposition from industry which states it is simply another cost for those least able to shoulder it, or an example of the nanny state.
There is plenty of research like this article, that identifies the benefits of a soda tax including reduced consumption. Yet despite emerging research, no sugary drink taxes have been enacted in the USA since 2018. A Guardian article recently reviewed the successes of the introduction of soda taxes in Berkley, Arizona, Michigan and Seattle.

If you are keen to read about these advocacy successes, go to this site.

Hepatitis Advocacy Campaign Launched (Hep B Voices)

Hepatitis B is a virus causes liver damage and affects around 200,000 Australians. Most people living with Chronic Hepatitis B (CHB) acquired infection at birth or early in life. In early November, Australia’s first hepatitis B community organisation wholly led by people with lived experience of hepatitis B in Australia -  Hepatitis B Voices Australia (Hep B Voices) was launched.
The program, led by the Doherty Institute, aims to support, represent and advocate for the health and well-being of people affected by chronic hepatitis B in Australia.

Latest Advocacy Research

Call for Climate Change Leadership by Medical Colleges

Climate change is an immediate threat to population health, health equity and the health sector. The impacts of climate change are being observed throughout Australasia, with the most immediate challenges noted in general and rural practice, mental health, and respiratory medicine.
This article, published in the November issue of the MJA discusses how climate change will affect every medical specialty and recommends advocacy to show leadership in climate change.

Read the article here.
Professor Samar Aoun Named WA Australian of the Year 2023
Congratulations to Professor Samar Aoun who has been named the 2023 WA Australian of the Year. Prof Aoun is a researcher and advocate for end-of-life care, bereavement and grief support. She has been recognised as an international leader in the advocacy of public health approaches to palliative care.

For the full list of winners, you can visit this site.
Reports & Resources
For advocacy tips and ideas, go to PHAI's Advocacy Toolkit:
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