After Hours is a webinar series all about climate change and human health. Each session focuses on one specific aspect of the relationship between climate change and human health—and what health professionals can be doing about it.
Episodes are delivered by a leading health expert in the relevant field. Joining the live audience is free and all are welcome. Recordings of each session are available on this page and our YouTube Channel.
If you’re a doctor, After Hours sessions are an activity accredited by the RACGP and ACRRM. Attendants of the webinars will be provided with a certificate of attendance—free of charge.
Dr Kate Wylie is a GP who is passionate about climate action to improve health.
Based in Adelaide, Dr Wylie is the chair of Doctors for the Environment Australia and chairs the RACGP’s Climate and Environmental Special Interest Group. She has founded Climate Medicine, an advocacy project whereby she presents to community groups on the health effects of climate change.
In all her work, Dr Wylie seeks to activate her audience so they can become more involved in creating the paradigm shift that we need to combat the climate crisis and ensure the health of our beautiful planet.
“Our planet is worth saving, and so are we.”
Trees should be celebrated for all that they give us as humans and for their integral part in global biodiversity and planetary support. Not only are trees beautiful they also:-
- Boost our physical and mental health
- Filter our air and water
- Provide homes for pollinators, that underpin much of our food supplies
- Cool our communities
- Help protect us from infectious diseases
- Connect to Country
- Help curb climate change- the biggest threat to health this century.
But these incredible things need our protection. Australia is a deforestation hotspot, and this directly harms our health and damages our natural world.
This AfterHours webinar aims to show how truly tremendous trees are and the ways we can work together to protect them. Facilitated by Dr Kate Wylie, our experts in the field are:-
Dr Marion Carey, DEA board member and sustainability group member, Marion has a background in public health and a long standing interest in the connections between climate change, biodiversity and health. Marion is a co-author of “Trees: the Forgotten Heroes of our Health” and will present on this joint WWF-DEA report, showing us the multiple ways that trees improve life for humans and benefit our health.
Ms Sarah Dawson, Engagement Manager at WWF-Australia who will provide an overview of the work that WWF-Australia is undertaking to take Australia from a deforestation hotspot to a leader in protecting and restoring our forests as part of WWF’s plan to Regenerate Nature by 2030. Sarah will give an overview of some of WWF’s recent activity, including the launch of the Trees Scorecard and our live campaign to save the greater glider from logging in Tallaganda State Forest.
Dr Jennifer Sanger, a passionate forest ecologist and science outreach coordinator. Jennifer is the co-founder for The Tree Projects, an environmental outreach organisation which educates people about the worlds most notable trees. She is also a member of the Independent Science Council of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Climate Collective. Jennifer will focus on how forest store and absorb carbon.
Dr Jenny Conway, rural specialist GP and DEA sustainability group member. Jenny has been an advocate for the need to protect native forests since her medical school days and is the proud secretary of her local Environment group in the Yarra Valley. She will share her local campaigning experience in stopping native forest logging in Victoria, showing that grass roots advocacy can branch out to make a big difference. She will also share DEAs Position Statement “Ending Native Forest Logging in Australia”.
July 27, 2023. Dr Kate Wylie, Professor Melissa Haswell, Mr Jacob Hegedus, Dr Arnagretta Hunter
Fracking and other forms of gas extraction are known to have multiple detrimental impacts on human health. There are direct impacts from the process itself, like air and water pollution, and gas also contributes to global warming and the climate crisis, which is the greatest health threat facing humanity.
Despite this, Gas is big business in Australia. Australia is the largest exporter of LNG in the world and the industry continues to expand into new territory like the Beetaloo Basin and the Scarborough Gas field.
This webinar looks at the many serious effects of gas on human health. For children, this includes birth defects, childhood cancers and asthma. For adults, this includes heart failure, heart attacks, chronic lung disease, many cancers and mental illness. These effects are often most felt locally and there is an ongoing struggle for First Nations peoples across this country, who work to protect their land and communities from harm.
Facilitated by Dr Kate Wylie, the webinar will feature experts in this field.
- Professor Melissa Haswell: Professor of Practice in Environmental Wellbeing at the Sydney Uni, Portfolio of the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Indigenous Strategy and Services and School of Geosciences at University of Sydney,
- Mr Jacob Hegedus: Research Assistant, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Indigenous Strategy and Services at Sydney Uni and Gumbaygnnirr man from the Northern Rivers whose community fought against fracking of their land and won, and
- Dr Arnagretta Hunter: Human Futures Fellow ANU College Health and Medicine.
March 24, 2023. Presented by Dr Dimity Williams and Kate Wylie
The natural world provides our life support system- giving us clean air and water, a stable climate and healthy soils to grow our food. Earth’s biological richness, or biodiversity, offers us precious medicines and beautiful places for psychological and spiritual rejuvenation. Yet modern life has seen screen spaces replace green places as we have moved inside and into virtual worlds. This change has not been good for us, or our planet. Lifestyle-related diseases and mental health problems are overwhelming health systems everywhere. Meanwhile, outside, the natural world is falling apart with climate change and mass extinctions of plants and animals. The solution is simple: we need to reconnect to nature. Join mother, nature lover and GP, Dr Dimity Williams, as she discusses her new book, Nature, Our Medicine: How the natural world sustains us, with DEA’s Chair, Dr Kate Wylie. Incorporating science, history, stories, and alternative cultural knowledge, Dr Williams makes the case that caring for nature is essential for our wellbeing. And for all life on Earth. With a Foreword by Bob Brown, her book provides an accessible exploration of the link between human health and the natural world.
December 15, 2022. Presented by Associate Professor Ken Winkel and Dr Kate Wylie
Fifty years ago the United Nations held the first conference to focus on the importance of the environment. The associated ‘Stockholm Declaration’ led, amongst other things, to what has become the global sustainable development agenda. In that same year, the late Melbourne GP turned politician, Dr Moss Cass, was appointed as our first Australian Minister of the Environment and Conservation. These two events were seminal in framing the current global and national environmental and conservation laws and regulatory frameworks.
Despite these and further initiatives by subsequent advocates, we face a relentless crisis in the state of Australian and global biodiversity.
The 2021 State of the Environment report outlines the sorry state for our country. The current Biodiversity COP15 in Montreal reflects the global efforts to protect biodiversity and avoid mass global extinction.
Presented by Associate Professor Ken Winkel, Biodiversity: a necessity for human health will consider the state of biodiversity, its bi-directional links to human health and steps doctors can take to reverse this threat to planetary health.
October 26, 2022. Presented by Doctors for the Environment Australia
This webinar provides an overview of climate changes health effects and provide solutions so that GPs can be climate ready and climate friendly.
The panel includes:
Dr Kate Wylie: Chair RACGPs Climate and Environmental Medicine Specific Interest Group, Deputy Chair of DEA. Kate is a GP from Adelaide who is passionate about climate action to protect human health. She is solutions focused and seeks to activate people to become part of a positive movement for climate action.
Dr Denise Ruth: Denise is involved in multiple projects in her local community and will talk about how GPs can address climate concerns in their clinical practice and be advocates for social change at a grass roots level.
Dr Ross Wylie: Chair Clinical Advisory Committee, Northern Rivers PHN. Ross will talk about how practices can green their premises and reduce the carbon footprint of their practice based and clinical emissions.
Dr Michelle Hamrosi: GP and lactation consultant, Michelle is a passionate advocate for environmental care and will shared her lived experience of the Black Summer Fires and its effect on the health of her community.
July 20, 2022 Presented by Dr Kate Wylie and Dr Roger Harris
Health care constitutes 7% of Australians domestic carbon footprint with hospitals and pharmaceuticals being responsible for almost 2/3rd of these emissions.
We can reduce this carbon burden by addressing our practice habits, taking emissions into account, while achieving best practice care.
Three areas where we can really make a difference are in pathology ordering, asthma management and anaesthetic gases. In each of these, low carbon practice also constitutes good clinical practice, making climate action a win for emissions and a win for our patients.
Dr Roger Harris will be presenting the excellent work that Coda Change is doing to address these three climate actions.
Dr Harris is a co-founder of Coda and a senior staff specialist in the intensive care unit at the Royal North Shore hospital and the Sydney Adventist hospital (SAN). He is dual qualified in Emergency Medicine and Intensive Care and is passionate about education and climate change.
March 30, 2022. Presented by Dr Kate Wylie and Dr Nina Lansbury
The latest IPCC report was released on the 1st March. It outlines the increasingly dire effects of climate change. It included a focus on the health implications. It also assessed how climate change will effect the different regions of our planet, including a chapter on Australia and New Zealand.
This AfterHours we will hear from IPCC lead author Dr Nina Lansbury. Dr Lansbury will highlight the impacts of climate change for us here in Australia. She will focus on the social inequities inherent in climate change and in particular on the effects in the Torres Strait Islands and other remote Indigenous communities.
Dr Lansbury is a research and teaching academic at The University of Queensland’s School of Public Health. Her current research at UQ examines health aspects for remote Indigenous community residents on both mainland Australia and in the Torres Strait in terms of housing, water and sewerage, and women’s health. She is also investigating the impacts of climate change on human health, and this involves a role as lead author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (WG II, AR6). Within the research sector, she was previously a senior research scientist at CSIRO, manager of the Sustainable Water program at The University of Queensland, and senior research consultant at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, UTS. Within the non-government sector, she was previously the director of the Climate Action Network Australia and research coordinator at the Mineral Policy Institute.
February 24, 2022. Presented by Dr Kate Wylie
We often talk about the need to have a healthy planet to have healthy people, but what do need to have a healthy planet?
Planetary Health is an emerging field of thought and refers to “the health of human civilisation and the state of the natural systems on which it depends”. It seeks to define planetary health boundaries, including climate change, biodiversity, food and water systems, land use and agriculture, pollution and chemical waste; and assesses the health status of these domains.
Human activities are impacting on these planetary health boundaries and we need to change the way we interact with our planet to ensure its future health and by extension our own.
August 26, 2021. Presented by Dr John Van Der Kallen, Dr Kim Loo, Dr Kate Wylie and Ms Denise Cauchi
July 22, 2021. Presented by Dr Grant Blashki
The psychological impacts of the planetary health crisis are immense. Eco-anxiety and climate grief are increasingly common problems in our rapidly changing world. Many of us have now have been personally effected by extreme weather, fires, heatwaves, pollution etc and cannot help but feel distress, sadness and anger as we watch the climate crisis deepen. Health care practitioners see the mental health effects of climate change in our professional lives and we need to be able to support our patients as they grapple with these emotions, while also supporting our own psychological health needs. Presented by Dr Grant Blashki, this webinar will look at the psychological impacts of the climate crisis and provide guidance in their management.
Dr Grant Blashki is a practicing GP, the Lead Clinical Advisor for Beyond Blue, Associate Professor at the Nossal Institute for Global Health, and the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute both at the University of Melbourne, Adjunct at Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Writer in Residence at Future Leaders books, Health Ambassador for the Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation, and Honorary Professor at Shenzhen Luohu Hospital Group in China. His three themes of research are 1) Mental Health 2) Environmental Health and 3) Global Health. He has co-authored over 125 peer reviewed publications and 8 books. He was one of the co-founding members of DEA.
June 17, 2021. Presented by Dr Kristine Barnden and Ana Navidad
Throughout the world, women and children are highly vulnerable to the effects of a warming planet, and vulnerability increases with increasing levels of gender inequity. In all societies, improving women’s access to education, reproductive health care, financial resources and decision-making roles, is a vital part of climate mitigation and resilience. For Australian women and the health professionals caring for them, there are specific considerations around exposure to heat and air pollution, especially in pregnancy, that will be covered in this presentation.
Dr Kristine Barnden is a Hobart based obstetrician, climate activist, and member of Doctors for the Environment Australia. As an obstetrician, she is interested in the effects of environmental exposures on current and future generations. Dr Barnden believes the most effective thing she can do to help improve the health of women and children around the world is to get ordinary Australians talking about climate change. After her presentation Dr Barnden will be joined by Ana Navidad, midwife and climate activist.
May 20, 2021. Presented by Dr Rosemary Stanton
Human agriculture practices contribute almost 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The way humans produce food and the types of food we eat are a significant burden for the health of our planet, with some foods (notably beef) carrying a far greater burden than others. Dietary practices are a great opportunity for climate change action and mitigation. By changing to a plant rich diet we can help treat the climate crisis and improve our own health too. Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM is presenting this webinar on Nutrition in a Changing Climate. Dr Stanton is a household name in Australia and as a nutritionist her professional work has educated the public on nutrition and health for many years. Dr Stanton is a Visiting Fellow in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales, and is passionate about issues relating to sustainable food production and consumption. In 2019, the Public Health Association of Australia presented Rosemary with their highest honour – the Sidney Sax Award “for providing a notable contribution to the protection and promotion of public health, solving public health problems, advancing community awareness of public health measures and advancing the ideals and practice of equity in the provision of healthcare”. As well as many peer-reviewed scientific papers, Rosemary has authored over 30 books on food and nutrition, including several textbooks, and continues to write on nutrition for both the public and the medical profession. She was a member of the NHMRC’s committee that developed the most recent dietary guidelines and infant feeding guidelines and she is working to ensure future guidelines give greater focus to the interrelationships between healthy diets and environmental factors.
April 14, 2021. Presented by Dr Ben Ewald
Air pollution is estimated by the World Health Organisation to be responsible for an estimated seven million excess deaths per year and is a major cause of ill-health in Australia. Air pollution comes from transport and industry emissions, from the combustion of coal and gas and from bushfires. The catastrophic climate fires demonstrated how serious a health threat air pollution from smoke is. This threat will increase in Australia as a result of global warming. Join respected GP and academic Dr Ben Ewald as he outlines the far-reaching effects of air pollution on human health. Pollution has obvious effects on respiratory and cardiovascular function, but also effects intrauterine development and cognitive development in children. Dr Ewald is passionate about the need for robust policy in this area and will identify current policy opportunities in Australia during his talk. Dr Ewald has 20 years of teaching experience, having taught epidemiology at the University of Newcastle. His interests are in applying the methods of epidemiology to the health problems seen in the community and in general practice. He has more than 40 publications in peer reviewed journals and is a member of Doctors for the Environment Australia. After his presentation Dr Ewald will be joined by Drs Vicki Kotsirilos, Bob Vickers, Kathleen Wild and Kate Wylie for a panel discussion and to answer questions from the audience. Please join Dr Ewald for this one hour webinar and learn how air pollution is inextricably linked with global warming.
March 18, 2021. Presented by Dr Kate Wylie
Climate change is a health issue. The climate crisis has been described as the greatest threat to human health this century. For health practitioners the health effects are becoming increasingly apparent and a part of our daily professional lives. They are going to become more obvious and more severe as the climate crisis deepens. This webinar provides an introduction to the health effects of climate change and is aimed at GPs and other health practitioners. It is vital that the medical profession understands this greatest of all health threats so that we act in the best interests of our patients and our community. Presented by Dr Kate Wylie, the webinar outlines how anthropogenic global warming is changing our climate and how this change then effects human health. Importantly, it focuses on what health practitioners can do to treat climate change, both on a case-by-case basis but also from a broader public health perspective. Dr Wylie is a GP who is passionate about climate action to improve health. She is a member of Doctors for the Environment and has completed the Climate Reality Leadership Program with Al Gore. Dr Wylie is the founder of climate medicine, an advocacy project whereby she educates community groups on the health effects of climate change. Please join Dr Wylie for this one hour webinar and learn how you can be part of the solution to the climate crisis.