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Work for Health-Dame Carol Black

On 26 October 2010, Comcare hosted the Work for Health Forum with Medibank Health Solutions and the Australian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (AFOEM) as part of our Healthy@Work, Happy@Home campaign. This forum brought together employers, healthcare professionals and other partners to build on the growing evidence that the workplace has a role in promoting health and wellbeing.

Dame Carol Black with guests at the Work for Health Forum

Dame Carol Black with guests at the Work for Health Forum

 Dame Carol Black with guests at the Work for Health Forum

The keynote speaker for the forum was Dame Carol Black. Dame Carol Black is the National Director for Health and Work in the UK and author of the report, Working for a Healthier Tomorrow. Her vision for the UK is the prevention of illness and promotion of wellbeing, with the workplace playing a key role in affecting change and driving behaviour for good health.

Dame Carol Black’s presentation reinforced the message that:

  • work is good for our health and wellbeing
  • paid work is the best route to independence, health and wellbeing for most people
  • work is necessary for the economy.

Dame Carol Black also reported that she considers a healthy organisation, with capacity to manage employees with health issues, a critical factor for success. Senior management support and the positive relationship between the employer and employee are crucial. Dame Carol Black also spoke of the challenge to educate and support businesses to identify the need for a health approach and develop a business case for health and wellness in the workplace.

These messages strongly align with Comcare’s priorities in the Strategic Plan 2010–2015—increasing the emphasis on worker health and the importance of good work for the health and safety of federal workers.

Four organisations within the Comcare scheme— Telstra, Centrelink, Comcare and TNT—participated in a panel discussion at the forum. They discussed how they had demonstrated the gold standards identified in the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Workplace Wellness in Australia report—leadership, culture, people and process.