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Global Network Development Session for the South West Pacific Region

San Juan, Puerto Rico, 23 June 1998

Last updated: 31 August 1998

1. Introduction

Seventeen members of the International Union of Health Promotion and Health Education (IUHPE) Southwest Pacific Regional Group (SWP) met on 23 June, 1998 during the 16th IUHPE World Conference held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. This regional group now has 80 fully paid members representing 16 countries.

2. Purpose of the meeting

The purpose of the meeting, chaired by Professor Don Nutbeam, was to:

  • table the report of activities undertaken and progress made within the Southwest Pacific Region during 1997/98
  • consider and debate the implications of the three major IUHPE global objectives from a regional perspective. These global objectives seek to a) advocate for health; b) improve effectiveness; and c) build capacity,
  • discuss how the IUHPE SWP can achieve these goals through the implementation of strategies such as:
    • advocacy
    • professional and technical development
    • networking
    • partnership building
    • strengthening the IUHPE's capacity.

3. Strategic options recommended

  • That the SWP should look at ways in which funds can be raised to support the attendance of Pacific Island country members and other financially disadvantaged colleagues to international and global meetings. This could possibly take the form of:

    • scholarships from the French government for Franco-phone countries such as Vanuatu and New Caledonia,
    • a $5 - 10 levy being placed on all subscription fees to Australian based conferences to create a pool of funding support,
    • seeking financial and accommodation support for conference attendance from international NGOs such as Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis,
    • approaching UN agencies such as UNESCO, WHO Western Pacific Office, the European Commission, and New Zealand ODA for assistance,
    • building "buddy" or 'twinning" relationships between Australian institutions and universities with PIC members in order to support their advocacy efforts on behalf of the IUHPE/SWP group.

  • That a process should be developed whereby IUHPE/SWP one day meetings are "piggy-backed" onto national Australian and New Zealand conferences and meetings either prior to or after the main meeting. This will have the benefits of reducing incurred expenses of local and overseas members, encouraging a more pro-active involvement and raising the overall identity and representation of the IUHPE/SWP in the region.

  • That an intensive effort should be made to increase regular communication between members through the creation of an e-mail list server, development of an Internet home page, and integration of IUHPE information on established regional radio networks such as SPC's quarterly PEACESAT communique.

  • That IUHPE/SWP consider the possibility of creating a "consultancy consortia" of technically skilled members in the areas of health promotion and health education that would be submitted to regional donor organisation such as AusAID and NZODA.

4. Constructive feedback on conference organisation

Whilst recognising the challenges of organising international conferences in general and the positive experiences of the present 16th IUHPE conference, SWP members felt they would like to offer some constructive comments and observations to assist in the organisation of the future Paris conference. Suggestions included;

  • consider raising the profile of artistic and visual presentations at future conferences within the programming format. Concern and disappointment was expressed at the very poor attendance at the visual arts presentations from New Caledonia and Australia. It was felt that more pro-active marketing of these events would have raised the interest level of conference participants in these presentations,

  • consider the involvement of major professional book sellers having a major stand at the conference,

  • that as an increasing amount of official UN documents, charters and resolutions on health promotion and health education are being developed, perhaps a special stand for the promotion and distribution of this material could be created,

  • the availability of dietary options such as vegetarian food,

  • that cultural norms, such as a conference program without clear meal breaks or provision of food or drink is explained prior to the conference. This will alleviate any financial embarrassment or misunderstanding,

  • that access to an initial participant list would be beneficial,

  • that access to major plenary papers would be an advantage if financially possible,

  • adequate time should be incorporated into any program for networking, personal meetings and group interchange. The difficulty of balancing a full professional and social/cultural program is recognised within different cultures but having said that the accommodation for networking should be a major consideration,

  • moderators and rappatoeurs be well briefed.

List of those attending the meeting:

Bennett, Jan: Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services
Bowcock, Robyn: Kimberley Aboriginal Health Service
Degeling, Deirdre: Western Sydney Area Health Service
Erben, Rosmarie: Brisbane (Regional Director, SW Pacific Region, IUHPE)
Gagliardi, Josephine: South Pacific Commission
Macdonald, Heather: AusAID
Marshall, Bernie: Deakin University
McBride, Nyandra: National Centre for Drug Abuse
Nutbeam, Don: University of Sydney
Qureshi, Yousuf: Mid Central, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Ritchie, Jan: University of NSW
St Leger, Lawrence: Deakin University
Shilton, Trevor: Australian Association for Health Promotion Professionals, Perth
Short, Leonie: Queensland University of Technology
Sickert, Christina: Health Promotion Unit, SAHC
Trebilco, Peter: School of Community Medicine, UNSW
Wise, Marilyn: University of Sydney


Rowling, Louise: University of Sydney
Miles, Alison: Prometheus
Angus, Sandy: University of Sydney

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