14 Sep, 2010 Last updated: 09 Dec, 2014

Victoria has scored a major coup by recruiting an internationally-recognised academic to lead Australia's first Centre of Excellence to tackle the rise in chronic diseases

Media release from the Minister for Health

Victoria has scored a major coup by recruiting an internationally-recognised academic to lead Australia’s first Centre of Excellence in Intervention and Prevention Science to tackle the rise of chronic diseases.

Health Minister Daniel Andrews said the appointment of Professor Alan Shiell as the Executive Director was a major boost for Centre, which had been established by the Brumby Labor Government.

“The Centre will be the first of its kind in Australia and will help us take action to reduce the impact of chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer on Victorian families,” Mr Andrews said.

“The centre will be established early next year and will focus on intervention research and policy that will underpin our engagement with the community in our prevention agenda.

“The focus of work will be on healthy children, healthy communities and healthy workers and families.”

Professor Shiell’s research interests are in the economic costs and benefits of investments that improve health at a population level.

“I am tremendously excited to be returning to Australia and Victoria in particular,” Professor Shiell said.

“Victoria’s track record and commitment in health promotion is outstanding. You have extraordinary people and agencies here and the reputation of your public health research scientists is world renown.

“There could not be a better place to establish the Centre for Excellence in Intervention and Prevention Science (CEIPS) with the Department of Health’s vision and leadership.

“CEIPS will attempt to really nail down the means by which wide, system-level change processes can improve the health of Victorians and reduce health inequity.”

Mr Andrews said chronic disease was a major problem in Australia that cost the country’s health system $34 billion a year - around 70 per cent of the health budget.

“Australia is facing an epidemic of preventable chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes,” he said.

“Here in Victoria we remain very committed to leading the way on how to tackle the epidemic and breaking new ground in prevention.”