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Health-Related Education for Sustainability: Public Health Workforce Needs and the Role of Higher Education

  • Rebecca Patrick (a1), Jonathan Kingsley (a2) and Teresa Capetola (a1)


Public health practitioners have important roles to play in addressing environmental sustainability imperatives that have an impact on human health. Yet, to date, the extent to which practitioners are willing and able to address these issues is an understudied subject. This article draws on the findings of two qualitative studies involving 49 interviews with public health and/or sustainability practitioners and academics from Australia to highlight the capacity-building needs of the sector within the ‘health and sustainability’ space. The findings of this study raise several issues for workforce development and partnership building, contending that content on environmental sustainability should be integrated into all university courses. Underscoring gaps and opportunities, the article also reflects themes in the literature in relation to health-related education for sustainability; in particular, requirements for generic and transferable professional competencies and the role of universities in knowledge exchange and creation.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Rebecca Patrick, Deakin University, School of Health and Social Development Health, Nature and Sustainability Research Group, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood VIC 3125, Australia. Email:


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Health-Related Education for Sustainability: Public Health Workforce Needs and the Role of Higher Education

  • Rebecca Patrick (a1), Jonathan Kingsley (a2) and Teresa Capetola (a1)


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