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EHA : Yearkbook 2009
EHA YEARBOOK 2009 Queensland Branch (continued) Branch Reports Special Interest Group Reports Professional Development (Marketing & Communication) – QEH Special Interest Group QEH is the newsletter of EHA Queensland Branch, published quarterly and distributed to members in electronic format. The objectives of the QEH are – n To advocate for the Environmental Health profession throughout Queensland. n To increase the knowledge and skills of members in environmental health professional practice. n To provide a platform for EHA (Qld) Executive to circulate advice to members on EHA policy and Branch Council initiatives. n To identify and communicate key issues to members on all matters relating to the profession. n To promote Queensland Branch conferences, events and awards. n To raise members' awareness of EHA Branch Council and Regional Group activities. n To function as an information and promotion resource to members, providing a forum for exchange of information and member networking. n To provide an entry-level opportunity for members to submit relevant professional articles for publication. n To promote continuing professional development opportunities to members. n To maintain EHA professional standards and corporate branding requirements. These objectives are achieved utilising a number of strategies. QEH sets out to inform the membership with topical information on policies, activities and initiatives of the National Board as required, Queensland Branch Council, the Branch Executive as necessary, Queensland Regional Groups, and individual Queensland members and invited contributors, as appropriate. Content of QEH is largely dependent on input from Members, with each of the regional groups taking notional responsibility for generating articles for one nominated edition annually. In addition, the final publication of the calendar year seeks to include appropriate pieces by EH students of Queensland tertiary institutions. Standing articles for each edition are a Queensland Branch President's message to Queensland members, editorial comment on environmental health in Queensland, member profiles, and regular updates on Branch Council activities through a column ‘Behind The Scenes’. QEH also attempts to keep members well briefed on specific areas of interest such as local government, food safety and environmental protection with regular contributions from LGAQ’s EH Policy Advisor, as well as relevant state government agencies. It also provides widespread feedback on specific issues raised by individual members or regional group meetings, and web links to topical sites. Editions this year have included the entire ‘alphabet’ of topics – from amalgamations, branch council updates, climate change, dengue, events calendars, food safety, group meetings, health promotions, immunisation, job opportunities, keeping abreast of legislation, links to websites, membership upgrades, natural disasters, overseas deployments, profiles of members/branch councillors, quality of water in rainwater tanks, recruitment and retention, skin penetration, training courses, updating contact details, vacant EH positions - through to waste management initiatives, Xmas greetings, and zoonosis. Queensland Branch Council is currently considering a draft Policy Statement and Action Plan for the QEH SIG. Grant Steen FEHA and Melissa McKeown MEHA Professional Development (Marketing & Communication) – QEH Special Interest Group Co-Convenors Food Safety Special Interest Group While all parts of the Food Act have now commenced, much uncertainty still exists in the minds of EHA Members in relation to the definition of food safety supervisors, and the approval process associated with food safety programs and food safety auditors. The EHA wrote to the Minister for Health seeking support for a widening of the definition of catering (as it applies to businesses requiring food safety programs) to better protect public health, and to address the shortage of approved food safety auditors in Queensland by recognising the unique qualities that EHOs possess. Unfortunately the Minister was not receptive to our suggestions. In a further attempt to influence state food policy, the EHA participated in the review of the Food Act at the end of 2008 and while comments were taken onboard it may be some time before meaningful improvements are made to simplify compliance for both industry and EHOs. In the latter part of 08/09, EHA as part of a wider Queensland Health / local government food safety working group, developed a set of resources for local government in managing the Food Safety Program approval and auditing process. It is this information in particular that local government has been waiting for to ensure the consistent approval and auditing of Food Safety Programs in Queensland.
Annual Review and Yearbook 2008
EHA Yearbook 2010