05/09/2016 - 15:39

Fresh start for WA health promotion

05/09/2016 - 15:39

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Bryant Stokes, Fiona Kalaf and Steve Harris are among new directors of health promotion agency Healthway, which has been revamped under new legislation after the previous board was forced to step down last year.

Fresh start for WA health promotion
The new Healthway board will be chaired by Bryant Stokes Photo: Attila Csaszar

Bryant Stokes, Fiona Kalaf and Steve Harris are among new directors of health promotion agency Healthway, which has been revamped under new legislation after the previous board was forced to step down last year.

Healthway, an independent statutory body, promotes, sponsors and facilitates good health and activities that encourage healthy lifestyles.

In February 2015, Colin Barnett called for the board to step down following the resignation of then Healthway chair Rosanna Capolingua after a Public Sector Commission report uncovered a misuse of tickets and hospitality by the board and its staff.

Mr Barnett believed the agency needed new leadership of the board and management.

A review of legislation was undertaken so the organisation would be more beholden to government, as it was deemed Healthway’s independence had led to its deficiencies.

In the meantime, a review of legislation has been undertaken and Healthway has been operating under interim management.

Healthway (the Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation) used to function under Part 5 of the Tobacco Products Control Act 2006.

The federal government’s Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation Act 2016 has now removed Healthway’s governance from within an Act relating to tobacco control, establishing it under its own legislation.

Healthway received an appropriation of $23.03 million in the 2016-17 state budget.

Health Minister John Day said the new legislation and board reflected Healthway’s evolution and importance, especially in the face of rising health costs.

“We’re aiming for a win-win, with health promotion not only improving the quality of people’s lives but also helping reduce pressure under the health system,” he said.

“The community will welcome the modernisation of Healthway. One of the key changes is the appointment of board members based on the best mix of expertise and experience required for successful health promotion activities across the state.”

The board will consist of seven members and will be chaired by Professor Stokes as presiding member.

Professor Stokes has performed a number of government health sector advisory roles and was most recently the acting director general of the Department of Health from 2013 to 2015.  

Professor Stokes is renowned for the dedication and knowledge he has brought to his various leadership roles across the Western Australian health sector,” Mr Day said.

“This includes his recent work as chairman of Healthway’s interim board whose stewardship has been vital throughout the transition to the new legislative and governance agreements.” 

Board members appointed include Youth Focus chief executive Fiona Kalaf as deputy presiding member, Perth Public Art foundation’s Nathan Giles as well as Cancer Council WA adjunct professor Terry Selvin, Brand Agency chief executive Steve Harris, Roslyn Carbon and Ricky Burges

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