International healthy workplace conference

The wave of workplace wellness cannot be avoided but wellness is only part of achieving safe and healthy workplaces. At the end of October 2019 Melbourne is hosting the 7th Global Healthy Workplace Awards and Summit at Monash University.

Occupational health and safety (OHS) often accuses workplace wellness advocates of providing symptomatic relief instead of addressing issues that cause the un-wellness in the workplace. However the October summit seems to offer deeper analysis on both these perspectives and in the broader context of healthy workplaces.

Of particular interest is one of the keynote speakers, Ruth Shinoda. Shinoda is Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Secretary, Strategy, Performance and Engagement at New Zealand’s Treasury and is extremely well placed to discuss the countrywide wellness initiative being championed by Prime Minister Jacinda Arden. The most obvious manifestation of this strategy was 2019’s “Wellness Budget“.

The current agenda includes discussions on

  • Making the Business Case (with an Australian panel so hopefully there is Australian data)
  • A Practitioners Roundtable – including topics on the physical and psychosocial work environments, and
  • “cultivating mentally healthy workplaces globally”

There are many speakers on global initiatives as it is a global conference but each country and jurisdiction has specific legislation, business needs and social sophistication that makes it difficult for experience and evidence in one country to translate to another. However, global initiatives can be of interest, if structured to adapt to local circumstances and needs.

SafetyAtWorkBlog will be reporting on the event as a guest of the summit.

Kevin Jones

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