A Healthy Start to Life for All Australians

Please note the information on this page has been provided for historical reference purposes only.

The A Healthy Start to Life for All Australians Strategic Award forms part of National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC’s) response to the Australian Government’s National Research Priorities announced in December 2002. In particular, the award comes under the research priority area Promoting and Maintaining Good Health and its priority goal A Healthy Start to Life.

Background

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is the lead agency supporting research development for the priority Promoting and Maintaining Good Health. This priority area is defined as promoting good health and preventive healthcare - particularly among young and older Australians - and helps families and individuals to live healthy, productive and fulfilling lives. It is about promoting the healthy development of young Australians, developing better social, medical and population health strategies to ensure that older Australians enjoy healthy and productive lives, and encouraging all Australians to adopt healthier attitudes, habits and lifestyles.

Sitting under the National Research Priority of Promoting and Maintaining Good Health are the four Priority Goals of:

  • A Healthy Start to Life;
  • Ageing Well, Ageing Productively;
  • Preventative Healthcare; and,
  • Strengthening Australia’s Social and Economic Fabric.

The aims of Priority Goal 1, A Healthy Start to Life are to counteract the impact of genetic, social and environmental factors which predispose infants and children to ill health and reduce their well being and life potential.

Objective of the A Healthy Start to Life for All Australians Strategic Award

The major objective of the research funded through this strategic award is to identify and reduce the impact of conditions occurring in adulthood which have their origins in the early stages of life. An associated aim is to advance understanding of the interaction between genetic, biological, social and environmental factors which enhance the potential for the development of resilience and well being in children.

The initiative will achieve its aims and objective by funding:

  • innovative, inter-disciplinary and cross-sectoral research relating to child health that builds upon the current knowledge base and expertise in child heath and provides an evidence base which can be readily translated into policy and practice and lead to measurable health outcomes;
  • research that examines the ways in which environmental, social and cultural factors intersect with genetic and biological factors in maternal and/or child health to increase the risk of chronic disease or disability or which build resilience to such risks; and
  • research that seeks to develop and/or evaluate interventions that facilitate the necessary health tolerance levels that children require for development and lifelong health, resilience and wellbeing.

Up to $5 million over 5 years has been provided to support projects that may inform policy and programs related to detection, intervention and prevention in the areas of perinatal, postnatal, maternal, infant and child health. The award focuses on innovative research which has an interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral approach to child health.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research A Healthy Start to Life initiative

On 19 May 2005, the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon. Mr Tony Abbott announced four research projects that will receive funding through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research A Healthy Start to Life initiative:

See more information on the projects funded through the initiative.