Australian Communities Foundation - Home

Sorry. You're using a browser that we
don't support.

To experience this site, please use Firefox, Chrome or Edge.

Safeguarding the Environment Learning Circle: Climate and Health

Profile of Australian Communities Foundation in partnership with Groundswell Giving
Hosted by Australian Communities Foundation in partnership with Groundswell Giving
27 May 2020

The recent heatwaves, bushfires, and smoke pollution have meant, for many Australians, the health impacts of climate change have become very personal. As an infectious disease, COVID-19 is yet another example of the kind of health threats that climate change will make worse.

Right now, there is a deepened trust and respect for health professionals within our community as our political leaders have turned to the health sector to guide us all through the COVID-19 health emergency. Many health groups and professionals see this moment in time as a critical opportunity to link health and the climate emergency, and to ensure that a coordinated recovery from COVID-19 centres the health of the planet to protect the health of its people.

Join us at the next Safeguarding the Environment Learning Circle to learn about the far-reaching impacts of climate change on public health, and the current opportunity to scale up the capacity of the health sector to advocate for climate action.

Chaired by the Climate and Health Alliance (Groundswell Giving grantee), this learning circle is your opportunity to learn more about the Alliance’s COVID-19 campaign and join the Impact Fund in co-funding this important work to reach the $50,000 target.


Wednesday 27 May 2020
1pm – 2pm


This learning circle will be hosted on Zoom. To register, follow the ‘join the event’ link below and enter your details.

Please note that this virtual learning circle may be recorded. If you do not wish to appear on video, please ensure your video is disabled for the duration of the session.


Fiona Armstrong – Executive Director and Founder, Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA)

Topic: Introduction to climate change impacts on public health

Fiona is an expert in climate change and health policy, advocacy, and communications. She is the architect of the world-leading policy roadmap, the Framework for a National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia, and lead author of many of CAHA’s reports. Fiona is the recipient of the Tony McMichael Ecology and Environment Award from the Public Health Association of Australia, and the Frank Fisher Award from the City of Yarra. Fiona is a co-founder and director of CLIMARTE, an organisation that harnesses the creative power of the arts to inform, engage and inspire action on climate change.

Liz Hanna – Honorary Senior Fellow, Australian National University Climate Change Institute

Topic: Health impacts of rising temperatures and heatwaves

Following a clinical career in ICUs, Liz transitioned to environmental health as a research academic. After investigating chemical exposures for her PhD, she joined the ANU and applied the same research focus to climate change, examining physiological exposure responses, vulnerability, the cognitive underpinnings of self-protection, health sector preparedness and policy responses. Heat exposure has captivated Liz for the past decade. Her passion for primary research and advocacy to raise community resilience and health-protective policies led to her convening Australia’s National Climate Change Adaptation Research Network, her Presidency of CAHA, and numerous government consultancies, both here and internationally. She now chairs the Environmental Working Group of the World Federation of Public Health Associations.

Carol Ride – Founder and President, Psychologists for a Safe Climate

Topic: Mental health, disaster resilience and psychological impacts of climate change

Carol has worked as a psychologist in the field of couple therapy, as a therapist, supervisor and trainer. Her shift to work in the field of climate change as a psychologist and activist, is motivated by the injustice climate change brings to present and future generations, and by a deep love of nature.

Simon Judkins – Immediate Past President of the Australasian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM), Emergency Physician at Austin and Albury Health

Topic: How climate health impacts are presenting in emergency departments

Simon is a member of the ACEM Public Health Committee which drives ACEM’s advocacy on Climate Change and health. He has recent first-hand experience of the impacts of the bushfires after spending 4 days in Mallacoota from the day after the fires devastated the area, and has 3 teenage boys he wants a better world for.

Image credit: Groundswell Giving