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EHA : Annual Review and Yearbook 2008
Environmental Health Australia National President Corporate Reports The last twelve months was an important time for the organisation in a number of ways. In the first instance it was important from the international perspective as in May, we were the host of the International Federation of Environmental Health 10th World Congress on Environmental Health. The Congress was held in Brisbane and the planning for the event was undertaken over a three to four year period and required a great deal of work on the part of the International Organising Committee under the chairmanship of Dr Peter Davey. The feedback on the event from both our international and domestic colleagues was extremely pleasing and indicated that the right balance was struck in relation to relevance and content. In addition to the Congress, the International Federation of Environmental Health Council meeting was conducted and it afforded the Australian delegates Fleur Cousins, Peter Davey and I to be informed by, and contribute to, the discussions around the common problems experienced by members associated with the environmental health workforce, education and practice. Two specific initiatives that involve EHA have come from this meeting. The first is we are working with the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) and our New Zealand colleagues on the development of a reciprocity agreement between the countries for environmental health officers. The second initiative is working with the Environmental Health Officers Association of Ireland on the development of an emergency management course in Ireland. The International Faculty Forum was also conducted and Dr Nancy Cromar, a director of EHA, is now the Chair of this Forum. There was much discussion on environmental health education and the development common core elements of environmental health courses. Other important initiatives were concerned with workforce and professional development. EHA was successful in obtaining project funding from Queensland Health to develop a Local Government Environmental Health Workforce Resource for the Management of Organizational Risk. This project is currently being undertaken and will provide risk management guidance on the employment of local government environmental health staff. This Project is linked to initiatives contained within the Environmental Health Committee (enHealth) Work Plan 2007-2008. In terms of professional development initiatives, the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) policy and the Certified Environmental Health Practitioner (CEHP) and Certified Environmental Health Technician (CEHT) Schemes were launched at the World Congress. These initiatives have been in the planning for some time and it was pleasing to see the development stage completed and the implementation phase begin. It is intended that the CPD policy will be in place in September 2008 and the CEHP rolled out in early 2009. Both the CPD policy and the CEHP/CEHT Schemes provide the basis for the development of environmental health workforce quality, and puts environmental health practitioners on a similar footing to that of other health professionals. The continued publication of our peer reviewed journal and the ongoing accreditation of environmental health officer university training programs throughout the year have also contributed to the professional standing of EHA and its practitioner members. The other highlight of the year was the name change of the organisation to Environmental Health Australia. This announcement at the World Congress signaled a renewed commitment to develop EHA into the premier Australian environmental health professional organisation. I take this opportunity to sincerely thank my colleagues on the Board, Branch Councils, Regional Groups and Special Interest Groups around Australia for their time and commitment to EHA and the environmental health profession. I also wish to acknowledge and thank our staff led by Mr Waikay Lau, our Chief Executive Officer, for their wonderful support, hard work and loyalty. Jim Smith Dr PH LFAIEH NATIONAL PRESIDENT 14 EHA ANNUAL REPORT 2008