About Us

PHU%20Group%20photo.jpgThe Public Health Unit provides public health services to the people of South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. This includes Sydney's southern and eastern suburbs, and the eastern and central sectors of the City of Sydney. We identify, prevent and minimise public health risks to the community which can be infectious, chemical, or radiological. They may be caused by other humans, animals and the environment.

Our Mission

To protect, promote, improve and maintain the health of the populations in south-eastern Sydney, by providing professional, high quality public health services, education, research, information and interventions.

Acknowledgement of Country 

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land. We support and respect the survival of this proud culture and are committed to improving Aboriginal health. We'd like to pay our respects to Elders of past, present and future generations, and would like to extend this respect to all Indigenous people.

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Meet our teams!

Our Administration team is the backbone of our everyday business. When you contact the Public Health Unit, you will be greeted by one of our friendly administration officers who will process your request and transfer you to the relevant team or provide details of who you may need to talk to. We regularly respond to and interact with health professionals, members of the general public and schools in our area. We are a dedicated team who are highly trained in a wide range of skills including customer service, accounts management, correspondence, record keeping, logistics, operations and data entry. It is these skills that allow us to provide support to the Public Health Unit and the community in the South East Sydney Local Health District.

Environmental Health is a key component of Public Health. The National Environmental Health Strategy defines Environmental Health as those aspects of human health determined by the physical, chemical, biological and social factors in the environment. The practice of Environmental Health covers the assessment, correction, control and prevention of environmental factors that can adversely affect health, as well as the enhancement of those aspects that can improve human health. Our team includes Environmental Health Officers and a Tobacco Control Officer. 

The Immunisation team provides advice and guidance on the provision of immunisations across the lifespan. We provide expert clinical advice to support those in the community and healthcare settings who provide immunisation services to clients. As part of this service we also provide a dedicated immunisation service to adolescent children through the school program.

Our Aboriginal Immunisation Health support worker is dedicated to increasing the uptake of vaccinations in our Aboriginal population to help improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. By using a culturally appropriate service, she supports and engages with Aboriginal community members -  providing important immunisation information, sending friendly reminders, working with other health workers and doctors, promotional activities and encouraging Aboriginal identification within the health system. Increasing Aboriginal Immunisation rates can help towards closing the gap in health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The Infectious Diseases team provides information and advice to health providers and the community. We regularly support GPs, childcare and aged care facilities; as well as members of the public; and hospital clinicians. We provide advice to assist in the prevention and control of diseases that may pose a public health risk. We support facilities in the management of outbreaks or single high-priority cases. Information provided by our team may include how a disease is transmitted, prophylaxis required to prevent spread, childcare or work-place exclusion guidelines, and recommended infection control measures. We also collect and collate information related to general disease surveillance and are regularly involved in a number of key research and study projects.

The Epidemiology team has a passion for data and loves a good disease outbreak investigation. We provide our expert advice on all facets of data quality, disease surveillance, outbreak response and public health research. We help coordinate the Unit’s Cruise Ship Program and undertake influenza pandemic and emerging diseases preparedness activities. We work closely with all teams in the Public Health Unit. We provide particular support to our Communications team to ensure public health messages are engaging and reach those that will benefit the most.

The Cruise Ship Program is run cooperatively between the Epidemiology team and The Environmental Health team with the support of a fabulous administration officer. The program includes two activities: the Cruise Ship Health Surveillance Program and the Vessel Inspection Program. These programs aim to ensure healthy cruising is enjoyed by all.  

We have a Communications team that includes two project officers with a communications background. They work closely with all the Public Health Unit teams, and the District Communications team to support and improve our methods of communication. They are also developing our use of social media through Facebook and Twitter.

Our Director and Deputy Director are public health physicians. They are medical doctors with higher specialty training in public health medicine. They support all the teams and activities of the Public Health Unit, and work with team leaders to provide strategic direction.