Our School came into being on April 1, 2008. Under direction from the Dean, the School was created to give the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences a public health presence in the rapidly expanding public health arena. Professor John McNeil has served as Head of School since its formation, previously serving as Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (DEPM).
The School’s predecessor was the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, inaugurated under its foundation Professor and Head, Dr Basil Hetzel, in June 1968. Over time the department expanded, first becoming the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, and then the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine in 2008. We’re now one of the largest schools of public health in the Asia Pacific Region, and were the first Victorian university to offer a Master of Public Health qualification.
We’re a proud member of the Alfred Research Alliance, a dynamic hub of health research and education with access to world-class facilities and some of the best minds in health and medicine. We’re co-located with fellow members at the Alfred Precinct in Melbourne, and we have some staff at other locations throughout Melbourne.
We believe collaboration with like-minded groups drives innovation, and we’ve worked extensively with other Schools in the region, medical research institutes, government departments, NGOs and hospital departments throughout Australia and globally.
The School and previous departmental iterations boast a formidable array of outstanding alumni whose achievements include demonstrating the link between iodine and thyroid disease, revolutionising the treatment of heart failure with beta-blockers, and establishing the link between climate change and disease. Notable graduates and former staff include:
- Dr Basil Hetzel AC, Foundation Professor of Social and Preventive Medicine
- Prof Louis Opit, second Professor of Social and Preventive Medicine
- Prof Henry Krum, Head of Clinical Pharmacology
- Prof Damien Jolley, Biostatistician
- Prof Amanda Thrift, Divisional Head at the Monash School of Clinical Sciences and Director at National Stroke Foundation
- Prof Tony McMichael, Monash’s first PhD student in epidemiology
- Dr Noni Holmes, Health and safety researcher and breast cancer advocate
- Prof Chris Silagy AO, pioneer in evidence-based medicine and founder of Cochrane Australia
- Prof Christopher ‘Kit’ Fairley, Director of Melbourne Sexual Health Clinic
- Prof Richard Southby, Executive Dean Emeritus, George Washington University Medical Centre, USA)
- Prof Joan Ozanne-Smith AO, Professor Emerita at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
- Dr Andrea Hinwood, Victoria’s inaugural Chief Environmental Scientist