PHM SA Past News and Events

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2007 - upcoming event The People's Health Movement: our current campaigns and actions

Hani Serag Global Co-ordinator of PHM- based in Cairo

5.30 to 7.30pm Thursday 20th September Historian Hotel 18 Coromandel Place, Adelaide

Hani has been the Global Co-ordinator of PHM globally since mid 2006. He is visiting Adelaide en route to the Public Health Association national conference

please RSVP to []

People’s Health Movement SA seminar on "The ethics of addressing health issues in countries and communities globally and locally"

People’s Health Movement SA organised a seminar on “The ethics of addressing health issues in countries and communities globally and locally”. The seminar was held in Adelaide Community Centre on Wednesday 22nd February 2006. The seminar was attended by around 35 people. Three speakers presented their experiences of the ethical dilemmas working in developing countries as well as among Aboriginal communities in Australia. The seminar was chaired by Udoy Saikia, Lecturer, Flinders University.

The first discussion was presented by health workers Liz Sanders and Karen Dixon on “The ethical conflicts of interest of a volunteer based NGO in Peru. In August 2005 Liz and Karen volunteered for 2 months in a community on the outskirts of Cusco, Peru, South America. Their presentation provided an overview of the context they worked in, a semi rural community on the outskirts of a growing city. Poverty, inadequate access to health and education services where key issues for these families who are being pushed off their land by development. Liz and Karen were initially given the project of health and hygiene (showering, washing faces) but felt that this was inappropriate given the quality and access to water at home for these families had not been considered. They went about gathering evidence by way of photos and collecting a story from one woman of her experiences with water. A focus group, in their very limited Spanish was then held and short and long term strategies put in place. The short term strategy was providing large containers and bleach to treat their polluted water supply. The long term strategy was to start to work with the private owners and the government water board to get piped treated water into the homes. In the process of this volunteering experience Liz and Karen came across a few ethical dilemmas. They were primarily the lack of skill and understanding of the NGO and its workers on community development and primary health care and that with all the good will in the world they felt sometimes there was probably more damage being done then good. They thus suggested that it would be great for PHM Oz to explore skill support between NGO’s in developing countries with Australian health workers.

The second speaker Steve Parker presented his work through the “Eye Safety Project – Bangladesh”. During 2000-2005 Sherpur Safe Community and the “Noarlunga Towards a Safe Community Program” have worked together in developing and implementing an innovative eye injury prevention program at the grass-roots level for metal workers in small businesses located in Sherpur, Bangladesh.

In the region there are many small metal fabrication and welding shops. Much of the work is carried out with little or no personal protective equipment and serious eye injuries are commonplace. The workers belong to the poorest of Bangladeshi families and injured workers often cannot afford to access basic medical treatment.

The project has been highly successful. Thirty-eight safety workshops have been held in Sherpur with over 880 adult and young metal workers attending and being provided with individual safety glasses, welding goggles and training to keep their eyes safe.

The third speaker Alwin Chong gave a very interesting presentation on “Aboriginal males and domestic violence, an issue of culture vs ethics”. Alwin mentioned that domestic violence is at an epidemic level in many Aboriginal communities but somehow the responsibility falls to only a few in the community. Moreover we need to understand that domestic violence is not an Aboriginal only problem. Anecdotally, we know that drugs & alcohol are the major triggers to domestic violence. Alwin also highlighted on the issue of Police responses to domestic violence and the tension that exists between non-Aboriginal approaches to understanding and responding to violence and those of Aboriginal communities. It is important that Aboriginal women get the opportunity to driving the policy directions. Somehow there are no appropriate anger management programs.

Earlier Prof. Fran Baum also reported back on Global PHM.

PHM-Oz Adelaide Meeting of SA people November 30, 2005

The meeting was held in the Bice Building of the Department of Public health, Adelaide University to hear reports from local PHM people who have returned form the 2nd People’s Health Assembly (PHA2) held in Cuenca, Ecuador in June. Fran Baume chaired the meeting and introduced the speakers. Frank Tesoriero, Paul Laris, Liz Sanders and Monica Chiappe spoke.

Frank described the journey of development from PHA1 held several years ago in Bangladesh to Ecuador 2005. He highlighted the importance of a growing consciousness of common issues including the barriers of poverty, war and isolation. Paul described the process of conscientisation happening across the South American continent and the central role of popular social movements in political reform and social justice. Liz described the important role of indigenous Australians at the conference and reported on the stereotypical way in which Aboriginal Australians are seen by much of the world. of Monica told of her experiences in meeting and talking with local indigenous activists and the inspiring commitment they have made to the struggle for health. The focus on local people’s stories and the successes of organising for health were highlighted with some brilliant photos (courtesy of Frank) of the conference and the host city. The speakers’ PowerPoint presentations are being placed on this site.

Fran reported back on the development of the Cuenca Declaration and the launch of the alternative world health report: Global health Watch. This important report provides a clearer and more disturbing perspective than that of the WHO World health Report and is available free for download at The meeting then discussed options for PHM-Oz in SA. These included:

  • Building links to projects in developing countries that would enable skill sharing and work on overseas projects
  • Telling the stories of the struggle for health – through web sites and greater use of community radio (as suggested by Nikki Page from Radio Adelaide)
  • Support for the development of a national primary health care policy
  • Developing a campus presence to encourage recruitment of uni students.

Thanks to Professor Janet Hiller for use of the room, and to Jackie Street for organising access.

Paul Laris

Report of PHM SA Meeting in Adelaide

The South Australian branch of the People's Health Movement (PHM-SA) had its first meeting for 2005 on Wednesday 28th of April at Women's Health Statewide in North Adelaide. The meeting was attended by 45 people from a broad range of academic, occupational and student backgrounds.

The key note address was given by Fran Baum, PHM Global Steering Committee member and recently appointed Commissioner of the World Health Organisation’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (WHOCSDH). Fran began by reviewing the historical understanding and placement of social determinants in the health policies of the WHO and other institutions. She then explained the reasons for the establishment of the Commission and the objectives and preliminary strategies discussed during the launch in Chile in March 2005.

Tori Saint, coordinator of the PHM-SA, followed with a brief update on the activities and initiatives of the interstate PHM branches. Paul Laris described the first People’s Health Assembly held in 2000 before discussing South Australia’s contribution to the upcoming Second People’s Health Assembly (PHA2).

The format of a publication – to be distributed at the PHA2 – detailing key health issues in SA through ‘Vox Pop’ stories was outlined and potential contributors suggested. Richard Hicks, Chairperson of Healthy Cities Noarlunga, offered to provide funding for a PHM Oz banner to be taken to the PHA2. Watch this space for more information regarding these matters.

A special thanks to Gwyn Jolley for chairing the meeting, Kate Saint for preparing the refreshment platters, and Women's Health Statewide for the use of their facilities.

PHM SA Launch, 7 Sept 2004

PHM South Australia had a fascinating talk from David Legge on Tuesday 7th September. He spoke about unfair trading regimes and set the current pattern of trading relationships in an historical context. People at the meeting agreed that it would be good to have a longer session on these issues because we only began to scratch the surface.Subsequently it has been suggested that we should plan a weekend retreat on trade and health (or some thing similar) work through the issues in more details.

After David's talk Frank Tesoriero described the evolving plans for the PHA 2005 and we discussed mechanisms for fund raising to sponsor at least two Indigenous South Australians to attend the People's Health Assembly in Ecuador in July 2005. Two Indigenous people present were keen that these should include at least one young person and this was endorsed by the meeting.

Victoria Saint appointed as Coordinator of People's Health Movement S.A.

I have recently been appointed as the Coordinator of the PHM-SA. I will be working one day a week from March through to July. It is my responsibility to establish an email list of people interested in working to achieve the aims of the People's Health Movement and to organise the meetings for the PHM-SA. I will also assist in developing a document detailing key health issues from South Australia to be prepared for distribution at the Second People's Health Assembly to be held in Cuenca Ecuador in July 2005, and will be involved in fund raising activities for this event.

If you are interested in receiving updates on the activities of the PHM-SA or wish to contribute to the fund raising efforts, please contact me at

In solidarity

Victoria Saint

PHM-SA was launched in Sept 2003.

Photo from launch
Photo from launch
Photo from launch
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