The Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM) is a Faculty of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). It provides training and continuing education for Public Health Medicine Fellows and trainees.
AFPHM is committed to achieving a high standard of population health in Australia and New Zealand. Along with providing education and training in public health medicine, AFPHM supports public health medicine research and development, advocates for the highest standard of population health and promotes public debate on matters that affect the health of the community. You can learn more about AFPHM’s mission and vision by reading the Statement of Purpose.
AFPHM recognises the unique position of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and Māori in Australia and New Zealand's culture and history. We are committed to seeking equity in the partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia and Māori of New Zealand in ways that recognise their distinctive cultural and legal rights and the different social and administrative contexts within which they live, including in New Zealand the specific guarantees of the Treaty of Waitangi.
About Public Health Medicine
Public health medicine is a medical specialty primarily concerned with the health and care of populations. Physicians interested in public health medicine train in both clinical medicine and public health.
The work of a public health physician includes:
- the health and care of populations
- health promotion
- prevention of disease and illness
- assessment of a community's health needs
- provision of health services to communities and smaller population groups
- public health research.
William Redfern Oration
AFPHM’s keynote address at the annual RACP Congress is called the William Redfern Oration. The Oration is named after Dr William Redfern, a surgeon, who was born in c1774 in Trowbridge, England and died in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1833.
Redfern was sent to Australia as a convict in 1801/1802 after escaping the death penalty for his role in the Mutiny of Nore in 1797 and pleading to be transported after languishing for four years in jail in England. He was granted a pardon in 1803 and appointed Assistant Surgeon in the Colony in 1808.
William Redfern was both a pioneer in public health and represents the earliest beginnings of the first medical specialty to develop in Australia - that of preventive medicine. William Redfern greatly improved the health conditions in the settlement through basic public health interventions.
The William Redfern Oration was instituted in 1994 by the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine in acknowledgement of the debt owed by Dr William Redfern for his pioneering work in public health medicine in Australia.
Find out more about the William Redfern Oration.
Public Health Medicine Advanced Training program
AFPHM runs the Public Health Medicine Advanced Training Program in Australia and New Zealand.
AFPHM runs monthly public health webinar – these are open to trainees, Fellows and the public. The webinars are recorded and past presentations may be found via the RACP YouTube channel. For information on upcoming webinars, please check the latest AFPHM eBulletin, or search RACP Events (filter for 'AFPHM').
Protecting, promoting and improving health for the whole community
The AFPHM have developed a publication entitled Public Health Physicians: Protecting, Promoting and Improving Health for the Whole Community (PDF).
This publication articulates the value of public health physicians, credentialled as Fellows of the AFPHM, to the contemporary public health workforce and their capacity to contribute to the broader health system. It's intended to inform health system decision makers in their strategic and workforce planning by describing the skills, expertise and roles of public health physicians. It highlights that public health physicians ensure effective leadership, advocacy and better health outcomes by stating that:
- public health physicians are medical specialists with a duty of care for populations rather than individuals
- public health physicians are trained to solve complex health problems and make sound evidence-based decisions at a systems-level
- public health physicians are trained to lead complex change management including health promotion and disease prevention, systems reform, strategic planning, and performance monitoring required to meet heath needs
- public health physicians lead policy reforms and interventions to transform population health in ways that are evidence-based and cost-effective
- protection of public health is a key role of government and public health physicians work across government portfolios
The publication clearly outlines the broad range of training, expertise and impact of public health physicians, including their unique skills in:
- leading, collaborating and finding solutions for complex population health challenges
- supporting populations and health systems
- integrating medical and public health expertise
- creating and leading evidence-based health systems and public health interventions
- ensuring equity in health policies
- statutory health protection and disease prevention
AFPHM members are encouraged to promote and circulate the document to their networks and within their workplaces.
Read the AFPHM eBulletin for the latest public health medicine and Faculty news.
You can get involved in the Faculty and connect with other AFPHM Fellows and trainees in a number of ways. Follow the links:
The AFPHM Council and AFPHM Committees govern AFPHM. The current President of the AFPHM is Emeritus Professor Robyn Lucas.