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Pre-Congress Workshops - Registrations Now Open

Registrations are open for the WPHN Congress 2020 Pre-Congress Workshops.


Please note places are limited per workshop.

Pre-Congress Workshop Registration Costs

Please note:

  • Prices below are per workshop.

  • Workshops will be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and Queensland University of Technology Garden Point Campus.

  • Workshops do not include catering.

  • All prices are in AUD and include GST.

WPHN & PHAA Workshop Registration

$25 AUD 
per workshop

Standard Full-Time Student/Concession Registration

$15 AUD

per workshop

Standard NGO/NFP
Workshop Registration

$35 AUD

per workshop

LMIC Registration

$15 AUD

per workshop

Standard Workshop Registration

$45 AUD

per workshop

Pre-Congress Workshop Options

Please note:

  • Pre-Congress Workshops are being held on Monday 30 March 2020

  • Each workshop runs for 90 minutes, and have been selected through the Call for Abstracts process

  • There is a maximum of 50 people per workshop

  • You need to be registered to attend the below workshops, registration is not included in the Congress registration

Pre-Congress Workshops Part 1 

Date: Monday 30 March 2020
Time: 9:00am - 10:30am

Workshop 1A - Studying governance for nutrition: theory and methods


Location: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre


Hosted By: Dr Anne Marie Thow, Senior Lecturer Heal;th Policy, University of Sydney


Abstract/Overview of Workshop

Background: Global food systems are failing to deliver nutritious food that is readily available and accessible to all. To address all forms of malnutrition and achieve the SDGs (12 of which relate to nutrition), nutrition must be considered in food systems policy making. But policy outcomes for food systems and nutrition are impacted by diverse governance structures that preference certain interests, by sectoral commitments, and by the power of a wide range of actors within state/non state and public/private spheres.

Aims/learning objectives of the workshop: This workshop aims to inform research that supports new approaches to governing food systems, which requires in-depth understanding of existing governance mechanisms across public and private sectors, as well as actor interests, power and influence. 

Process: This workshop will draw on theories of governance, power, policy processes and historical institutionalism from an applied research perspective, and cover:

  • Institutional analysis, to identify spaces and processes for decision making

  • Stakeholder analysis, addressing actor interests, power and influence

  • Policy content analysis, to examine sectoral agendas, priorities and activities


The format will draw on participatory workshopping techniques, and involve a short overview on each theory and method, followed by small group roundtable discussions on each of the research theories and methods.


Dissemination:The workshop will generate knowledge about different theories and methods relevant to health governance research, with an explicit focus on nutrition as a multisectoral governance space. Following the workshop, the convenors will produce a JECH Glossary style article describing terms, theories and methods.

Workshop 1B - Preparing our future public health nutritionists to achieve sustainable food system transformation


Location: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Hosted By: Liza Barbour, Lecturer and PhD Candidate, Monash University 


Abstract/Overview of Workshop

Aim/learning objectives: This workshop will engage participants in facilitated activities to: 

  1. Describe the tertiary education landscape for nutritionists and dietitians in Australia to learn about sustainable food systems, and situate this in the global context

  2. Showcase effective mechanisms and innovative approaches (including international case studies) to improve food system competency amongst students and describe how this may translate into improved outcomes 

  3. Explore possibilities for international research and collaborations amongst tertiary educators


Background: Our natural environment needs to produce enough food for a growing population. As finite resources diminish, there is an urgency to strengthen action towards more sustainable food systems. Public health nutritionists (PHN) form an integral part of the inter-disciplinary workforce required to achieve this and are well-placed to provide leadership. International momentum in this area has recently transferred to Australia, with more tertiary education opportunities arising for PHN students. To strengthen the PHN workforce in this area, training must inspire and equip nutrition students to take action.


Process: The proposed workshop will open with recent research on sustainable food systems teaching and student familiarity and understanding of this topic. Innovative teaching methods will be showcased. Facilitated activities will help identify key competencies required by PHN practitioners to lead sustainable food system transformation and opportunities to formalise cross-disciplinary collaboration to advance teaching and learning in this field. 

Utilisation and dissemination of findings: Findings will inform international research collaborations and/or a community of practice for tertiary educators delivering food sustainability systems training for PHN students. 

Workshop 1C - Harnessing co-design technology to support communities advance the healthiness of food environments


Location: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Hosted By: Associate Professor Julie Brimblecombe, Associate Professor Public Health Nutrition, Monash University

Abstract/Overview of Workshop

This workshop brings together experts in systems thinking for improved food systems, healthy food retailing, community-based participatory action research, continuous quality improvement, and decades of practical on the ground experience working with communities in the co-design and monitoring and evaluation of solutions for healthier living environments. Researchers from Monash University, University of Queensland and Menzies School of Health Research with decades of experience working with remote Indigenous communities have joined with researchers from the GLOBE Obesity Centre, Deakin University through the CRE-REFRESH, Australia's first CRE dedicated to research on healthy food retailing.  Their combined research is collaborative and translational and is focused on building a collective understanding of the local food system with remote, rural and outer-regional communities and developing information feedback and accountability systems for continuous improvement of local food environments. 

Workshop 1D - To be advised

Location: Queensland University of Technology, Garden Point Campus

Abstract/Overview of Workshop:

Workshop 1E - How to use national reports in nutrition advocacy to progress systemic change


Location: Queensland University of Technology, Garden Point Campus


Hosted By: Naomi Hull, National Coordinator, World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative Australia


Abstract/Overview of Workshop

Background: The World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) provides a key tool for tracking a country’s progress on the implementation of the WHO Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (GSIYCF). It helps countries to understand and take action on Action Area 5 ‘safe and supportive environments for nutrition at all ages’.

WBTi Australia released it's 80-page report in 2018. It revealed a severe lack of policy and funding commitment and outlined a strategy for improvement. Suggestions for government action included strengthening the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes(WHO Code) (influencing the food environment, (ICN2 recommendations13,15, 16, 39), full funding and commitment to Baby-friendly Health Initiative(BFHI) (protect, promote and support breastfeeding, Recs. 29 - 33) and providing adequate paid maternity leave (Rec. 30).


Aims: The WBTi Australia report and advocacy strategy will:

  • familiarise participants with the WHO GSIYCF and WBTi tool (Rec. 28);

  • support participants to understand linkages between WBTi findings and required actions and priorities under ICN2;

  • quip participants to use the WBTi tool for advocacy and research.


Methods: The workshop will provide participants with:

  • briefings on Australia’s commitment to WHO Code/BFHI/paid maternity leave;

  • facilitated discussions to understand the impact of policies on families;

  • demonstrate WBTi tool as an advocacy strategy; and

  • discuss building collaboration beyond the health sector to improve community nutrition standards.


Conclusion: Participants of this workshop will be equipped to use the WBTi tool as a comprehensive advocacy strategy to improve public health nutrition in their country.

Pre-Congress Workshops Part 2 

Date: Monday 30 March 2020
Time: 11:15am - 12:45pm

Workshop 2A - How to bridge the gap between knowledge and policy development


Location: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Hosted by: Christel Lemmuis, Director Food and Nutrition Policy, Australian Government Department of Health

Abstract/Overview of Workshop:

The aim of the workshop is to engage participants in a discussion to better understand how Government develops food and nutrition policy and to explore how the pathway from evidence to policy development works practically. The workshop will also explore how policy makers can better use international success stories to influence local policy, in particular those with limited evidence.
Key discussion areas will include:

  • Identifying data – how do we find, filter and use data to inform policy
         o    When is there enough evidence to justify policy development

  • How do we develop policy in the absence of strong evidence
         o    Who should be involved in policy development
         o    What’s the role of media

  • How do we better engage the knowledge generation sector to undertake research that best suits policy development
         o    How can knowledge generators better influence policy development
         o    How can policies best be scoped and framed to gain support from decision makers
         o    How should policy actions be prioritised

  •  What is happening internationally that we could use to enhance our processes 
         o    Should we uplift programs working internationally without national data
         o    How do we better share efforts internationally

  • How do we balance competing priorities in policy making e.g. international trade and business growth, job creation, fiscal, equity and sustainability considerations?

The workshop will include 3 presentations (30mins) followed by small group work addressing each key theme (30mins), report back (20mins) and conclusions (10mins).

Workshop 2B - How to implement a co-designed, culturally-tailored, childhood overweight and obesity prevention program


Location: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Hosted By: Jessica Hardt, Research Dietitian - Obesity, Children;s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service

Abstract/Overview of Workshop

Aims/Learning Objectives:

  1. Develop an understanding of aspects involved in co-designing a childhood obesity prevention program.

  2. Practice skills necessary to effectively implement a co-design methodology. 

  3. Identify key enablers and potential barriers of implementing a co-design approach. 

  4. Discuss strategies to promote effective and sustainable co-design implementation.


Background: The cross-cultural gap in health equity continues to expand, with Maori and Pacific Islander (MPI) populations exhibiting a higher prevalence of obesity and the life diminishing comorbidities. Despite the effectiveness of multicomponent behaviour change interventions, contextualisation of obesity prevention programs to ethnically diverse populations is currently lacking.

Aiming to tackle MPI obesity burden, a team of consumers, health professionals and cultural-advisory members collaborated to co-design a first-of-its-kind, culturally-tailored community-based childhood obesity prevention program. The co-design methodology provided a great sense of ownership to the MPI community, resulting in outstanding levels of satisfaction, engagement and thus health behaviour change.  

Process: Individuals holding significant co-design experience will deliver information via a presentation format. Working in groups, participants will apply their learnings via a case study, followed by a discussion of key enablers and potential barriers of implementing this methodology within their respective fields. To conclude, future areas to apply the co-design methodology to address the cross-cultural gap and sustainably improve health care delivery among Australia’s vulnerable populations will be formulated. 

Dissemination: Promoting consumer empowerment, building capacity of health professionals and initiating change on a systems-level will improve health service delivery, significantly reduce health inequity and improve health outcomes of Australia’s most vulnerable populations. 

Workshop 2C - Successes and failures in addressing household food-security: lessons learned 


Location: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Hosted By: Dr Sue Kleve, Lecturer and Research Public Health Nutrition, Monash University

Abstract/Overview of Workshop

Background: Household food insecurity is one of the most pressing issues of the millennia. In high income countries, poverty and inequality are drivers of food insecurity, yet approaches to improve food security have predominantly focussed downstream and overlooked the social determinants. 


Methods: This workshop will: 

  1. Examine successful and unsuccessful food security programmes in national/state/community-settings;

  2. Identify factors that have enabled programme success and barriers to wider uptake of programme success;

  3. Appreciate different stakeholder perspectives (e.g. food system, government, non-profit sector, consumers) in food security programme planning and implementation;

  4. Introduce a framework for addressing food and nutrition security and the inequities in healthy eating for multi-sectoral action.   


Results: A framework that distinguishes nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive actions, incorporating political and welfare structures and the diverse needs of sub-population groups has been applied to food security. This framework will be used to explore the effectiveness of Australian and overseas case studies across downstream (e.g cooking classes), midstream and upstream (e.g income generation) interventions. 


Conclusion: To progress SDG -2, to achieve food security, public health initiatives must be framed in context of actions on social determinants. Workshop participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the role of policy and advocacy in food security programmes;

  2. Facilitate the process of co-design of knowledge and skills in food security programme planning and implementation;

  3. Document thinking of immediate and long term actions promoting positive attributes that will optimise success of a range of food security interventions to strategically improve the right to food.

Workshop 2D - Global Syndemic – policy indicators for obesity, undernutrition and climate change?


Location: Queensland University of Technology, Garden Point Campus


Hosted By: Professor Boyd Swimburn, Professor, University of Auckland

Abstract/Overview of Workshop:

Background: There is a convergence from many disciplines related to food and nutrition, that transforming food systems to be sustainable, healthy, equitable and prosperous will be central to reducing The Global Syndemic of obesity, undernutrition and climate change. While The Global Syndemic is the paramount challenge for human and environmental health, there has been substantial policy inertia in implementing recommended policies. Food industry opposition and the reluctance of governments to tax and regulate are the two major reasons for policy inertia, but a third reason is insufficient demand from civil society for policy action. Monitoring tools are needed so that civil society can contribute to the accountability systems for policy action by national and municipal governments.


Aims: To develop the monitoring tools for measuring policy implementation for food systems transformation. 
Methods: Multiple monitoring systems exist which contain some indicators of policy action on food systems. A process of linking these efforts and creating collaborations across the monitoring organisations is underway. A series of indicators which relate to policy implementation are being collated for wider consultation with end-users. Delegates at the WPHNA conference are important end-users and this interactive workshop will seek feedback and discussion on the suite of indictors. Key questions relate to the coverages of the indicators (eg gaps, priorities), the process of data collection (eg cost, burden, lead agencies), the communications (eg league tables, stories, recommendations) and application (eg advocacy, evaluation). 

Conclusions: Civil society needs the tools to engage in monitoring for accountability for food systems transformation. 

Workshop 2E - Indigenous foods, food sovereignty and dietary diversity


Location: Queensland University of Technology, Garden Point Campus


Hosted By: Dr Margaret Raven, Scientia Fellow, University of New South Wales

Abstract/Overview of Workshop

Aims: Explore the role of traditional Indigenous food for diets for improved Indigenous, population, and planet health; and the application of policy and action for Indigenous peoples’ sovereignty in their use.


Background: Climate change and loss of biodiversity has brought increased attention to the knowledge of Indigenous peoples’ as stewards of natural resources and guardians of biodiversity. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples establishes the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent as a pre-requisite for activities that affect Indigenous ancestral lands  and natural resources. Agricultural, urban and mining developments have ignored the rights of Indigenous peoples and exploited their natural resources to the detriment of their health and wellbeing. However, some Indigenous peoples have retained their sovereignty in developments related to traditional food, leading to benefits to the local and wider community.  


Method/process: The workshop will include a series of short presentations, an expert panel and table discussions. We will explore the status of global and state policy to protect Indigenous sovereignty in use of resources for ‘dietary diversity’ and identify the elements of successful local initiatives and enablers and barriers. We will present the nine international principles from the FAO and UN high level expert seminar on Indigenous food systems to consider their practical application in Australia and internationally. 


Results: This workshop will provide participants with knowledge of Indigenous peoples’ food rights and their practical application. Findings will be disseminated to participants and shared more widely with relevant organisations to support advocacy. 

Pre-Congress Workshops Part 3 

Date: Monday 30 March 2020
Time: 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Workshop 3A - Exposing and avoiding conflict of interest and industry interference PHN agendas


Location: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre


Hosted By: Dr Angela Carriedo, and Claudio Schuftan, World Public Health Nutrition Association


Abstract/Overview of Workshop

Background: Since its foundation, the World Public Health Nutrition Association (WPHNA) has been a leading association in protecting public health initiatives and strategies aimed at improving the food and nutrition status of populations. Research has shown that food and beverage industry (F&BI) interference in public health nutrition policies and programs can be subtle yet pervasive, with conflict of interest (COI) situations often not recognised by those involved.   


Aim: This WPHNA-led workshop aims to provide an overview of what a COI is in the context of public health nutrition, where COI situations are occurring and what are the main actions the public heath nutrition community can take to prevent it.   Also, it aims to explore the food and beverage industry tactics interfering with the work of leading international health agencies. Policy makers, practitioners, activists and academics are invited to attend.


Process: Speakers will set the scene by defining, providing examples and suggesting actions to combat COI and to increase awareness of F&BI interference in the public health nutrition agenda.   Participant interaction will be invited through Q&A with a panel of experts from different settings (government and organizational policy makers, practitioners, activists and academics) as well as practice of documenting cases for the WPHNA COI website.  

Outcomes: Participants will be better informed and prepared to recognise and deal with COI situations in their public health nutrition work. All participants can contribute to a statement calling for action against nutrition COI in the South and South East Asia region.  

Workshop 3B - Building capacity through monitoring food marketing and prices


Location: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Hosted By: Dr Sally Mackay, Research Fellow, The University of Auckland


Abstract/Overview of Workshop:

Aim/Learning objectives: To propose methodological advances to monitor food environments, in particular the cost of foods and diets, and the exposure of children to marketing of unhealthy foods.


Background: INFORMAS* is an international network of researchers monitoring food policies and environments globally using shared step-wise methods and protocols in seven modules. This workshop focuses on two of these; assessment of the exposure and power of promotion of unhealthy foods; and measurement of the relative price and affordability of healthy diets, meals and foods with current (less healthy) choices. 


Process: Four five-minute presentations followed by small group work. Participants will explore practical and logistical challenges inherent in the current protocols, propose solutions and identify future needs.  Participants will work on food marketing or food prices, considering the feasibility of approaches in the context of their own country. Each group will include an INFORMAS facilitator. Discussion will focus on: monitoring advertising on emerging marketing platforms, particularly social media; the type of information required to assess diet and food costs; and the feasibility of new approaches to monitoring food marketing (e.g. screen capture of social media marketing) or food prices (e.g. using electronic price data or ‘citizen scientists’) in different populations, sub-groups, cultures and locations.


Capacity building:  Participants will explore how monitoring tools/methods can be used in their own country with support from the INFORMAS network. The INFORMAS protocols will be updated based on the ideas generated at the workshop.

*International Network for Food and Obesity/NCDs Research, Monitoring and Action Support

Workshop 3C - To be advised

Location: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre

Abstract/Overview of Workshop:

Workshop 3D - Increasing public health voices at Codex


Location: Queensland University of Technology, Garden Point Campus

Hosted By: Alexandra Jones, Research Fellow (Food Policy and Law), The George Institute For Global Health

Abstract/Overview of Workshop:

Aims: This workshop will build practical capacity of public health stakeholders to participate in processes of the international food standards agency - the Codex Alimentarius Commission

Background: Codex is a UN body created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with a dual mandate: to protect public health, and promote fair trade. Codex standards are voluntary, but frequently used by countries as a touchstone when developing national policies. As Codex is recognised as an international standards setting body at the World Trade Organization (WTO), guidance it develops has potential to show up in trade discussions around food. 

In short - what happens at Codex matters for public health nutrition. 

Current issues being discussed include front-of-pack nutrition labelling, follow-up formula, and criteria for ‘high in’ labelling of fats, sodium and sugars.

The food industry actively participate at Codex, and have potential to undermine the ability of countries to take progressive public health measures. It is necessary to increase public health voices at the Codex table at both a national and international level.


Process: We will introduce Codex, its significance for public health nutrition and provide practical directions for contributing to Codex processes. A variety of government and non-government practitioners will share their experiences. An exercise will guide participants through providing comments on Codex draft texts.


Utilizing findings: Participants will be encouraged to take follow up action at a national level, and to contribute to a growing network of public health stakeholders following Codex

Workshop 3E - Advocacy for healthy and sustainable food systems


Location: Queensland University of Technology, Garden Point Campus

Hosted by: Dr Christina Pollard, Research Associate, Curtain University

Abstract/Overview of Workshop

Background: Achieving sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets is a key pillar of action by the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition.  Yet, current food systems are unsustainable and entrenched in producing unhealthy foods.  The scale of the challenge demands urgent food system transformation, not nudges, or tweaks which are insufficient to achieve healthy diets from sustainable food systems.  

Workshop format: Workshop presenters will examine: (1) the characteristics of healthy and sustainable food systems; (2) the global and national organisations that influence nutrition policies affecting food systems; (3) the power of global retailers and their response to nutrition policies; (4) the impact of ultra-processed food on sustainable and healthy diets; and (5) dietary guidelines incorporating sustainability considerations.  Participants will then practically explore the role advocacy plays, and what they can do to promote healthy and sustainable food systems. 


Learning objectives: This workshop will assist participants to:

  1. Describe the characteristics of healthy and sustainable food systems.

  2. Identify current government nutrition policy priorities, and their strengths and weaknesses in making progress to achieving healthy and sustainable food systems.

  3. Describe the complex web of global organisations who can influence national nutrition policies.

  4. Explain the importance of supermarket responses to government-led nutrition policies.

  5. Discuss how dietary guidelines and the NOVA food classification system, based on level of food processing, can assist in creating healthy and sustainable diets.

  6. Practically apply the recommended advocacy process to identify what they can do to promote healthy and sustainable food systems.

World Public Health Nutrition
Congress 2020

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