New VicHealth Chair Appointed

08 July 2016

Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, today announced the appointment of Fiona McCormack as the new Chair of the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth).

Following a three month transition period, Ms McCormack will take up the position of VicHealth Chair in October, replacing Professor John Catford.

Since 2014, Professor Catford has played an outstanding role as Chair of VicHealth, following a period as Deputy Chair from 2012 – leading the implementation of the first 3 years of VicHealth’s 10 year Action Agenda, and helping shape VicHealth's priority directions for the coming 3 years.

As the Chair, he guided the organisation through significant reforms, and oversaw the delivery of many innovative initiatives, programs and campaigns. In late 2014, under his leadership, VicHealth was designated a new World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Leadership in Health Promotion.

Professor Catford has been appointed as the inaugural Chair of the Latrobe Health Taskforce and Latrobe Health Assembly to support the Government’s work in implementing the recommendations of the re-opened Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry.

Ms McCormack is the CEO of Domestic Violence Victoria, the peak body for family violence services for women and children in Victoria. She brings extensive expertise in health and illness prevention and is a leader in policy development and raising community awareness in the area of family violence.

Her work is framed by her strong understanding of the burden of disease caused by domestic violence, and she has also contributed to public health research in this field.

The Royal Commission into Family Violence noted that preventing family violence is essential for the health and wellbeing of our community.

The Victorian Budget 2016/17 delivered a $572 million package to respond to the Commission's most urgent recommendations – the first step in the long-term process to fix our broken system and change attitudes towards women.

The Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015-19 outlines six key action areas to create a healthier Victoria, including healthier eating and active living, tobacco free living, reducing harmful alcohol and drug use, improving mental health, preventing violence and injury and improving sexual health and reproductive health.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“Fiona McCormack is a leader in her field – her expertise in family violence advocacy will guide VicHealth in tackling some of the complex health and wellbeing issues that Victoria faces, now and into the future.”

“She brings outstanding skills, knowledge and experience in helping people facing disadvantage to improve their health and wellbeing.”

“I thank Professor Catford for sharing his wealth of experience with VicHealth. I look forward to the important contribution that John will make to improving the health and wellbeing of families living in the Latrobe Valley.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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