Health Promotion Journal of Australia Health Promotion Journal of Australia Society
Journal of the Australian Health Promotion Association

Looking Back, Looking Forward - 30 years of the Ottawa Charter

In 1986, a new document began to be circulated through health professional networks, and in particular health education circles. It came to be called the ‘Ottawa Charter’, because its guiding principles were the result of an international conference held in Ottawa, Canada. At that time, who would have realised the impact that this Charter would have 30 years later?

The succinct articulation of the themes around healthy public policy, healthy environments and reorienting health systems towards prevention helped re-frame the classic health education approach to embrace a broader health promotion approach including the social determinants as highlighted by Marmot. It acknowledged the need for health education while at the same time highlighting that health education alone would not achieve the health outcomes being sought.

Health promotion in Australia over the past 30 years has genuinely adopted the principles of the Ottawa Charter, as you can see in the articles published together in this virtual issue of the Journal. I invite you to revisit these papers, starting with the Lead Article by Watson and James in the first edition of the Health Promotion Journal of Australia and look forward to seeing what the next 30 years is able to achieve.

Professor Rissel, Director of the NSW Office of Preventive Health and Professor of Public Health with the School of Public Health, University of Sydney

The Health Promotion Journal of Australia is the flagship publication of the Australian Health Promotion Association®. For more information on the work of AHPA, and membership details, please see the AHPA website.