@WePublicHealth: Citizen journalism meets public health

@WePublicHealth tests the use of a rotated curated Twitter account as a new model for citizen journalism with a public health focus.

Every week, a different person – including community members and public health professionals – is asked to tweet-report and investigate public health matters.

Their focus might be local – for example, documenting the cost of fresh foods in remote communities via tweet-photos – national or global (for example, reporting from international conferences and events).

They might use the account to share a photographic or film-based investigation, or to share links to related resources and research, for example. Or they might convene Twitter chats or interviews around particular topics, events or hashtags.

One of the goals is to encourage creative use of Twitter for public interest discussions and investigations.

Information for @WePublicHealth applicants and tweeters

1. The @WePublicHealth project aims to encourage public health investigations and reporting of events and issues that are likely to be of interest or use to Croakey readers. We ask that you consider how you can use the week to provide a service to the account’s followers.

2. If you are interested in a stint on @WePublicHealth, please get in touch with a note about what you’d like to cover. Send a short bio and the topic or event that you would like to cover. The account is not available to those working for Coca-Cola et al.

3. The @WePublicHealth tweets are displayed on the Croakey home page. Please be aware of this, and maintain a respectful, civil tone in your tweets and discussions. Do not tweet anything you would not want to see on Croakey’s home page.

4. This account is not to be used for personal attacks. As the guests have control over the account, they are legally responsible for their tweets. Croakey does not accept responsibility if guest tweeters publish defamatory comments.

@WePublicHealth is inspired by the work of Luke Pearson with @IndigenousX (as previously profiled at Croakey, here and here), and Sarah Stokely who curates @WeMelbourne  and @WeTasmania.

@WePublicHealth archives

@WePublicHealth 2017 archive

@WePublicHealth 2016 archive

@WePublicHealth 2015 archive

Wepublichealth-2014archive.docx (139 downloads) (word.doc)


16 July

This week, Josh Cubillo is in the chair. He is a proud descendant of the Larrakia and Wadjigan clans in the NT, and currently lives and works on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri People

9 July

The @CroakeyNews team re-tweeted #NAIDOC2018 and #BecauseOfHerWeCan. For more information about NAIDOC Week, see here.

2 July

Dr Kimberley Ivory – @kaydeeye – spent 2017 working in Mongolia as Health Advisor to the LGBT Centre Mongolia as an Australian Volunteers for International Development. She is senior lecturer in population medicine in the School of Public Health, University of Sydney. She researches and teaches on cultural diversity and the health impacts of stigma and discrimination, especially with regard to minority populations. She is back in Ulaanbaatar to tweet from the inaugural Rights4Health Conference, a multi-disciplinary health and human rights conference organized by the LGBT Centre and funded by the Australian Embassy in Mongolia. Rights4Health 2018 looks at human rights as positive social determinants of health for LGBTI people and other minority populations, addressing the UNs’ Sustainable Development Goals theme of “leave no-one behind”. Follow #Rights4Health2018.

25 June

Angela Wilson – @ange_wilson – is the Communications and Marketing Coordinator for the Multiple Sclerosis Flagship Program at @ResearchMenzies.  She tweeted about MS research & advancements at the Menzies Institute.

18 June

Adjunct Professor Lucie Rychetnik – @LucieRychetnik – who is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and involved in development and strategy for , shared reflections, resources and reading on climate and health issues. Studying / Carbon Management via .

11 June

Professor Dennis McDermott – @redshoeclick – is the Director of Flinders University’s two Poche Centres for Indigenous Health and Well-Being (Adelaide and Northern Territory). Dennis is a psychologist, academic and poet. A Koori man, his mother’s family are from Gadigal land (inner Sydney) with connections to Gamilaroi country (north-west NSW). Dennis’s teaching and research interests encompass early childhood, social determinants of Indigenous health, racism, incarceration, policy, equity, Indigenous social, spiritual and emotional well-being, workforce development, Indigenous health pedagogy, and the nexus of culture and context in service delivery. In 2014 he was awarded a National Senior Teaching Fellowship by the Australian Government’s Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT).


Let’s talk Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health this week


A portal: the “living, breathing side” of the social determinants of health. Eh?

One (good) starting point: embracing complexity


Now, let’s talk the Indigenous Australian social determinants of health – what do they add and how, and why such impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health? 


Responding to the challenges of lifting health and well-being No.1: Building a culturally-safe workforce


Responding to the challenges of lifting health and well-being No.2: Having the hard conversations – talking racism, systemic discrimination and unconscious bias


Let’s talk strengths No. 1: resilience (redefined) and health


Let’s talk strengths No. 2: Indigenous knowledges and health


Let’s talk strengths No. 3: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art / dance / music / prose / poetry … what’re they to do with health?

4 June

El Gibbs is a past winner of the Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition and a writer about disability and other social issues, including the #CripCroakey series for Croakey. She’s the Manager, Media and Campaigns at People with Disability Australia and a proud disabled person.

El talked about the NDIS, disability and health, poverty and other social determinants of health affecting people with disability, barriers to healthcare, ethical research, and the strengths and expertise of people with disability.

28 May

This week, Dr Chelsea Bond – @drcbond –  and the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at The University of Queensland –  – covered  and more. Dr Bond is an Aboriginal (Munanjahli) and South Sea Islander Australian and a Senior Lecturer with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit. Dr Bond has worked as an Aboriginal Health Worker and researcher in communities across south-east Queensland for the past 20 years and has a strong interest in urban Indigenous health promotion, culture, identity and community development. Her career has focused on interpreting and privileging Indigenous experiences of the health system including critically examining the role of Aboriginal health workers, the narratives of Indigeneity produced within public health, and advocating for strength based community development approaches to Indigenous health promotion practice. Her PhD research which examined the disjuncture between Indigenous and public health narratives of identity in an urban Aboriginal community was awarded a Dean’s Commendation for Academic Excellence placing her among the top 10% of her graduating year. Dr Bond has published a number of papers in relationship to strength-based health promotion practice, Indigenous social capital, and the conceptualization of Aboriginality within public health. Dr Bond is an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow examining how Indigenous educators within Australian higher educational institutions create culturally safe teaching and learning environments.

Dr Bond is a board member of Inala Wangarra (an Indigenous community development association), and Screen Queensland, an affiliate member of UQ Poche Centre for Indigenous Health Research and regular guest host of 98.9FM’s Let’s Talk program.

21 May

Summer May Finlay, a Yorta Yorta woman, PhD candidate, and contributing editor at Croakey, tweeted from Geneva, covering the launch of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) first Indigenous Working Group and the World Health Assembly. The working group’s Co-Chairs are Adjunct Associate Professor Carmen Parter from Australia and Adrian Te Patu from New Zealand, together with Emma Rawson and Finlay as Co-Vice Chairs. Read more in this Croakey article.

14 May

The Lowitja Institute – @LowitjaInstitut – covered the #ResearchIntoPolicy forum in Canberra. This was described as “a conversation with researchers, policy makers, and stakeholders from across the health sector about research projects driven by the priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities”. The forum featured presentations on three Lowitja Institute funded projects, and discussed how decision makers can translate the findings into effective policy for the health and wellbeing of First Peoples. Read reports on the forum by Dr Megan Williams for the Croakey Conference News Service.

7 May

Croakey contributing editor Dr Lesley Russell –  @LRussellWolpe – covered #HealthBudget18, sharing news and analysis.

30 April

Christina Watts – @WattsChrissy90 –  shared some of the latest news and research in She is an advocate and researcher, a MPhil candidate at the University of Sydney, and Tobacco Control Project Coordinator at   Also see this article she co-authored for Croakey about how tobacco companies are using Twitter.

23 April

Croakey editor Dr Ruth Armstrong – @DrRuthAtLarge – was on the road as OutsiderInsideUSA, posting public health and other observations, and pictures as she travelled.

16 April

This week,  covered the launch of the Pilbara edition of WA Indigenous Storybook, even travelling 40 kms one morning to get internet access to post amazing photographs of the stunning landscape. You can access the storybook here: https://www.phaiwa.org.au/indigenous-storybook/

9 April

This week, Croakey editor and conference reporter Jennifer Doggett covered the 6th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium in Canberra – read her stories here.

26 March and 2 April

With it being two short working weeks due to Easter, @3DN_UNSW took the reins for two weeks – to cover a National Roundtable on the Mental Health of People with Intellectual Disability, hosted by UNSW Sydney, which brought together more than 100 key experts from the health and disability sectors to lead national and state action on improving the mental health of people with intellectual disability. The event was organised by the UNSW’s Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry, NSW Council for Intellectual Disability (NSW CID) and the NHMRC Partnerships for Better Health team. As well as covering the #IDMHRT18 meeting, the guest tweeters shared a wealth of resources, as was also covered in this Croakey article.

The Department of Developmental Disability Neuropsychiatry (3DN) was established by the Chair of Intellectual Disability Mental Health, Professor Julian Trollor, in 2009. The Chair is funded by Ageing Disability and Home Care, Family and Community Services NSW and the Mental Health Branch, NSW Ministry of Health. 3DN is part of the School of Psychiatry within UNSW Medicine, and champions the right of people with an intellectual or developmental disability to the same level of health and mental health care as the rest of the population. We promote a standard of excellence in clinical practice, research, workforce development, education and policy in the field of intellectual and developmental disability mental health.

19 March

Margaret Faux – @MargaretFaux – is a lawyer, the founder and CEO of one of the largest medical billing companies in Australia, a registered nurse, and a PhD Candidate at the University of Technology Sydney. Margaret’s doctorate is examining medical practitioner claiming and compliance under Australia’s Medicare Benefits Schedule. Margaret has been involved in medical billing for over 30 years and is passionate about well-functioning health financing systems which underpin effective universal health coverage.

12 March

Dr Marita Hefler (@m_hef), Co-Coordinator and Lecturer for the Menzies Master of Public Health unit Qualitative Research Methods and News Editor for the BMJ specialist publication Tobacco Control, is covering the latest news in tobacco control and public health, including reflections from the recent #WCTCoH2018 in South Africa. Marita joined the Menzies tobacco control research team in 2013. Her current research interests are the use of social media to enhance tobacco control, and smoke free prisons policy. She has published on use of social media for tobacco control advocacy, and been a resource expert for social media in tobacco control for a range of international workshops. Marita has a particular interest in tobacco control approaches for socioeconomically disadvantaged populations; her PhD examined the smoking trajectories of highly marginalised young people. She also has a background in program evaluation, and has led a number of evaluations of public health programs in Australia and internationally.

5 March

Krister Partel — @kristerpartel & @aushealthcare — Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Advocacy Director tweeted about healthcare systems thinking and how we can evolve our public healthcare system to meet 21st century demands. On 7 March, Krister reported from AHHA’s health sector town hall #AHHABlueprint seeking the sector’s input into the development of case study exemplars highlighting system innovation and best practice to be used to support AHHA’s advocacy on the implementation of the recommendations found in, Healthy people, healthy systems. Strategies for outcomes-focused and value-based healthcare: a blueprint for a post-2020 national health agreement.

26 February

TasCOSS, the peak body of the Tasmanian community services sector. – @TasCOSS – covered health and social issues in the lead up to the Tasmanian election.

19 February

Aimee Brownbill, a PhD candidate with the School of Public Health at the University of Adelaide, profiled some of the key health issues facing South Australian voters in the lead up to the State election on 17 March. Follow her on @AimeeBrownbill.


12 February

Associate Professor Samantha Thomas from Deakin University – @Doc_Samantha – reported from the 7th International Gambling Conference, Auckland, NZ.


5 February

The Social Action and Research Centre@SARC_Anglicare – sits within Anglicare Tasmania and for over 20 years has worked to create positive political, social and cultural change to bring about a just Tasmania. From a foundation of social justice, SARC undertakes social research, policy development, advocacy and community engagement. We seek to influence and shape the systemic framework that impacts on the lives of low income and vulnerable Tasmanians – public policy, legislation, programs, practice and public discourse.

With the Tasmanian state election falling on March 3 this year, SARC is engaged in advocacy on three main areas: housing affordability, vulnerable children, and removing poker machines from the state’s pubs and clubs. The issue of pokies has shaped up to be one of the key election issues for 2018 and is a long-standing priority for SARC.  During this week as guest twitter host, SARC shared much of its own research and material on these three areas, as well as other relevant articles, research, and pieces of interest.

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29 January

Dr Kalinda Griffiths – @Klick22 – is a Wingara Mura Leadership Program Fellow with the Sydney Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics at the University of Sydney. She is an epidemiologist who received her undergraduate degree in biomedical science and master’s degree in public health from Charles Darwin University, and recently received her PhD in cancer epidemiology from the University of Sydney. She is also an honorary research fellow at Menzies School of Health Research, and a Deputy Editor of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia. As an early career researcher, Kalinda has made contributions in cancer epidemiology, social epidemiology, analysis of linked data, and laboratory science. Her core interest is in better understanding complex health inequities through the use of data, particularly big data and linked data. Kalinda was the Northern Territory Young Australian of the Year in 2011 for her contributions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research. Kalinda will share some of the work that is being undertaken at the Sydney Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Statistics and any other public health news that might be of interest.


22 January

The Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association (AIPA) – @AipaAust – provides leadership on wellbeing and mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. AIPA is committed to improving the social and emotional well-being and mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by leading the change required to deliver equitable, accessible, sustainable, timely and culturally competent  psychological care which respects and promotes their cultural integrity. Furthermore, AIPA is committed to supporting and formally representing the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychologists and students, supporting Indigenous psychologists through undergraduate and post graduate courses, working toward achieving equity within the profession and developing and delivering professional development activities which aim to increase the cultural competence of the mental health workforce, service delivery and the mental health system overall.  By maintaining a high standard of practice and engaging in Indigenous psychological research, AIPA is committed to being on the forefront of Indigenous psychology in Australia.

As well as offering leadership, professional support, mentoring and networking for Indigenous psychologists, AIPA has identified the following ten priorities for action:

  1. Establish a fully funded AIPA secretariat
  2. Deliver cultural competence training
  3. Work toward Indigenising psychological curriculum in universities
  4. Work toward increasing the number of Indigenous psychologists
  5. Provide mentoring and professional support for AIPA members
  6. Expand and nurture AIPA membership
  7. Develop new paradigms in Indigenous psychology
  8. Provide input into social and emotional wellbeing and mental health policy
  9. Provide pathways for Indigenous people to enter psychology
  10. Develop and implement a research agenda for AIPA.

AIPA aims to provide leadership to achieve equitable participation of Indigenous people within psychology. Currently there are 81 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander psychologists in Australia, representing .4% of the profession (instead of 2.5%). Psychology needs to increase the number of Indigenous graduates ten-fold to achieve parity.


15 January

Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz – @GidMK – was in the chair. An epidemiologist working in chronic disease in Sydney’s west, he was announced last month as winner of the 2017 Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay competition. He discussed some of his plans for his forthcoming essay, Health Behind Bars: It’s Criminal, which will examine the neglected issue of prisoner health, and will be published jointly in 2018 by Croakey and Inside Story. He also discussed his work in diabetes in western Sydney.





8 January

This week, Melinda Edmunds – @Melinda_Edmunds – and Gemma Crawford – @gemmacrawford – kicked off the @WePublicHealth year with a look at some of the health promotion issues for 2018.

Melinda has over seven years’ experience as a health promotion practitioner. Melinda worked in the not-for-profit sector for six years working on state-wide injury prevention, sector development, and healthy lifestyle programs. She is currently Senior Coordinator at PHAIWA where she manages capacity building and professional development projects, conducts research to support public health advocacy activities and works in partnership with a range of organisations to ensure good public health advocacy outcomes. Melinda is a Director on the Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA) Board and the immediate past President AHPA (WA Branch).

Gemma has more than 15 years of experience in the practice, advocacy, teaching and research of health promotion and public health. She is currently Course Coordinator for postgraduate health promotion and public health programs and an Academic with the Collaboration for Evidence Research and Impact in Public Health in the School of Public Health at Curtin University. A proud pracademic, her practice and research experience spans injury prevention, physical activity, youth health and peer education, capacity building and workforce investment, political support for health promotion and prevention, knowledge translation, ethics and research impact, alcohol and other drugs, mental health, sexual health and BBVs. Gemma is the national president of the Australian Health Promotion Association and Director of FoxPollardConsulting, and is in what she hopes are the final stages of a very long PhD.

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