The 13th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference took place in Ballarat, Victoria from November 13 -15, 2017. The conference was packed with presentations ranging from suicide and self-harm, burns, injury within Indigenous populations, childhood safety, road safety, and alcohol and other drugs, to name a few. The conference focused on working in partnerships, using evidence to inform practice, and collaboratively aligning goals to maximise injury prevention efforts.
On personal reflection, one of my key take-home messages from the conference included aligning injury prevention aims within Local, State and National agendas. By aligning our injury prevention objectives with broader frameworks, we can collectively work towards common goals and continue to push injury prevention as a National priority. This was highlighted at the start of the conference in Jonathon Passmore’s (Technical Lead, Violence and Injury Prevention, WHO) keynote address, where he emphasised aligning our injury prevention work with specific Sustainable Development Goal objectives (1). He also stressed the intersectionality between the social determinants of health and injury, and how we must work to address these in order to reduce the incidence of injury. This set the scene for the conference to focus on societal and systematic factors that contribute to injury.
Addressing the social determinants was again highlighted within the closing keynote address by Professor Mark Stevenson from Melbourne University. He further discussed how, as a workforce, we tend to discuss injury prevention efforts in isolation. For instance, within road safety, we have traditionally focused efforts within individual pillars of prevention, such as: Road safety management, safer roads and mobility, safer vehicles, safer road users and effective post-crash responses. Despite these efforts, if we don’t look at the whole system and how we approach prevention collectively, ‘it is just putting a Band-Aid’ on the issue, as stated by Prof Stevenson. By approaching injury prevention through the interaction of complex systems, we can address the foundational determinants to injury.
Overall, I was inspired by the keynotes and learned valuable tools and knowledge from the presentations. The workshop session on ‘Cracked Pots’ reiterated the need to work in partnerships and to take time to reflect on our work. As knowledge translation is an underpinning framework for our work at Injury Matters, I am inspired to build on these strategies to systematically work toward an injury free community.
- United Nations. Sustainable Development Goals [Internet]. 2015. Available from: www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/
Information from Rachel’s Talk:
Injury Matters’ staff member Rachel Meade, Injury Prevention Manager, presented on the Stay On Your Feet® program: Learnings for future practice, which highlighted the key results of the previous five falls prevention campaigns. Results from campaign evaluation (n = 274) showed:
- 84% participants (n = 230) agreed that actions can be taken to reduce falls risk;
- 63% of participants surveyed indicated that they had changed at least one behaviour since receiving information from Stay On Your Feet®:
- 8% removed hazards at home
- 7% took steps to keep a healthy mind
- 6% ate healthier foods
- 6% wore non-slip footwear
Information from Cat’s Presentation:
Injury Matters’ staff member, Catrina Wold (Evidence and Practice Lead), presented on Knowledge translation: Application within Injury Prevention. Catrina’s presentation highlighted the journey that Injury Matters has taken to provide effective evidence to needed users in order to influence decision making, policy, programs and evaluation. Injury Matters has worked in partnership with the Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health (CERIPH) at Curtin University to develop a framework that embeds our everyday work with systems and processes to translate evidence into practice.