Population Health

CHO photographPopulation Health Protection & Prevention manages public health issues within the ACT.

The Division is led by the Chief Health Officer, Dr Paul Kelly who holds responsibilities and delegations under various public health legislation.

About Population Health

The Population Health Division's functions are grouped into two sections, Health Improvement and Health Protection.The Health Improvement Branch is responsible for improving the health and well being of the ACT population through promoting healthy behaviours and lifestyles and providing ongoing monitoring and evaluation of health programs and policy.

The Branch includes the ACT Cancer Registry, ACT Cervical Screening Program, Epidemiology, Health Promotion, the Health Promotion Grants Program, and Population Health Research and Evaluation.

The Health Protection Service performs a range of services associated with the prevention of, and timely response to, potential public health incidents.

This includes Communicable Disease and Infection Control, Pharmaceutical Services, Food Safety, Radiation Safety, Environmental Health and ACT Government Analytical Laboratory.

Towards Zero Growth Healthy Weight Action Plan

The ACT Government has set a target of zero growth for obesity in the ACT and the Healthy Weight Action Plan will guide our policies toward this goal. The proportion of children in the ACT who are overweight or obese is 25%.

For adults it has risen to 63.6%, from just 22.9% in 1995. As a result, a growing number of people are at risk of premature cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and a host of other conditions which can cost years of healthy life.

On top of the individual costs, the growth in obesity also puts added pressure on the health system as it responds to higher rates of major, preventable illness.

The Action Plan focuses on strategies that will make active and healthy lifestyle choices easier. The actions in the plan were developed through an extensive process carried out by a whole-of-government taskforce which included representatives from all ACT government directorates, key non-government and academic organisations with expertise in obesity as a public health issue.

Towards Zero Growth Healthy Weight Action Plan


Population Health Division produces a large number of publications and reports, including:

  • The Chief Health Officer's Report which profiles the health and well-being of the ACT population, as required under Section 10 of the Public Health Act 1997.
  • HealthStats ACT website where Canberra’s health statistics on a broad range of population health topics are regularly updated. 
  • The Population Health Bulletin which is published quarterly and each issue has a theme and will highlight a particular body of work, a key function or an emerging topic of interest relating to population health in the ACT.
  • Fact Sheets on a wide range of public health issues.
  • Codes of Practice
  • The Epidemiology Health Series
  • In 2012 Population Health Protection and Prevention funded the development and pilot of a one day Questionnaire Design Course for ACT Health staff.  The course was jointly developed by ACT Health and Dr Helen Jordan, University of Melbourne. The course is conducted regularly free of charge for ACT Health staff.  The Questionnaire Planning Guide and Questionnaire Design Checklist are course materials, and available to download below.

Questionnaire Design Checklist

Questionnaire Planning Guide

Contact us

For general enquires for Population Health matters phone (02) 6205 0883.