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Prevention and Community Health Committee (PCHC)

PCHC was established in the previous triennium to provide advice to Council on issues in community and public health, as well as prevention of illness.


PCHC provides evidence-based health advice to Council on a range of matters in community and population health, prevention, and environmental health.

PCHC will consult with the community, health care professionals, and all levels of government in identifying emerging issues and gaps in knowledge, and developing and maintaining standards for the development of health advice.

The functions of PCHC, as gazetted by the Minister on 25 March 2012, are:

  • to provide the NHMRC with advice on issues in community and public health, and prevention;
  • such other functions as the Minister from time to time determines in writing after consulting the CEO; and
  • any other function conferred on the Committee by the NHMRC Act, the regulations or any other law.


PCHC has a strong public health focus. In addition to members with expertise in public health membership includes persons with backgrounds in Indigenous health; infectious diseases and immunology; and consumer advocacy.

The composition of PCHC is not defined under the NHMRC Act. However, a member of AHEC also sits on PCHC - this is a requirement of the NHMRC Act.

Professor David Roder AM, Chair
Professor Louise Baur
Professor Ian Caterson
Emeritus Professor Maree Gleeson OAM
Professor Mark Harris
Professor Louisa Jorm
Ms Meagan Lawson
Professor Helen Herrman
Mr Tony McBride
Professor Melanie Wakefield
Associate Professor Anne Wilson
Professor Samar Aoun
Professor Wendy Oddy
Dr Mark Wenitong

Current Work Plan

PCHC is currently:

  • Developing a National Best Practice Guide for Data Access for Research (see information on the Data Reference Group)
  • Undertaking the drafting of a National Data Strategy
  • Considering a Targeted Call for Research for Obesity to address the 15-35 yr cohort
  • Advising on the development of an Information Document on PSA Testing for health and medical practitioners
  • Considering an evidence based approach to improve mental well being through positive early parenting
  • Being a part of new Steering Groups of the Research Translation Faculty as they develop cases for action to translate research into policy and practice, as well as advise on evidence gaps
  • Working with these new Steering Groups of the Research Translation Faculty and the new Partnership Centres to improve the case for prevention on a number of issues, and
  • Advising on numerous environmental health issues such as wind farms, fluoridation, water quality, lead and coal seam gas.  

Contact PCHC

Postal address PCHC Secretariat
GPO Box 1421
Canberra ACT 2601
Email address
Telephone (02) 6217 9487


Page last updated on 30 September 2014