Uncategorized Uncategorized Key DEA Milestones for the Past Two Decades

Key DEA Milestones for the Past Two Decades

In 2021, we’re proudly celebrating our 20th anniversary. Below is a timeline of key milestones from the past 20 years.

1999The model for DEA was based on the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE) founded in 1990 and whose headquarters are in Switzerland.

Co-founder David Shearman visited Geneva to meet with ISDE, and they agreed to create an Australian branch of ISDE. 

Call to action published in an editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia written by Tony McMichael and Charles Guest, alongside an advertisement for the formation of DEA.
2000Recruitment of initial members of DEA.
2001DEA was incorporated in the state of South Australia and became a registered organisation.
2002Key inaugural meeting to plan the structure and vision of DEA. 

Meeting included David Shearman SA, Bill Castleden WA, Colin Butler VIC, Grant Blashki ACT, Kevin Chamberlain QLD, Roscoe Taylor QLD.

Vision developed “promoting health through care of the environment”.

Policy development commenced when Tony McMichael, David Shearman and Colin Butler wrote a

Position paper on climate change and human health.
2003First Annual General meeting (Canberra). 

Bill Castleden elected Chair and David Shearman Secretary.Leading article in RACP News by Tony McMichael, Linda Selvey and David Shearman: “The Impact of Global Climate Change on Human Health”. It concluded with an invitation to join DEA.
2004First state committee formed in WA. 

Call for others to be instigated.Scientific Advisory Committee established.
2005The DEA Fund established; DGR charity status obtained via entry into Register of Environmental Organisations.

Constitution updated so that medical students could be full members.

Funding from the Federal Environmental Education Research Grant Scheme for “Community environmental education using human health messages”, which was used to develop posters. The first was co-badged by the AMA.
2006Climate Change and Health poster distributed to over 20,000 doctors in late 2006 as a once- off enterprise with the AMA.
2007First Annual Scientific Meeting in Fremantle, in conjunction with Rural Health West – 200 attendees.

Four members of the Management Committee became Al Gore Climate Educators.
2008(WHO declared the theme for World Health Day as “protecting health from climate change”)

Release of “Climate Change Health Check 2020” report endorsed also by RACGP and AMA.(First Garnaut Climate Change Review report released)

Received a grant from the Poola Foundation (Tom Kantor Fund) to enable the employment of administrative staff – Joy Oddy was appointed. 
2009Inaugural student-led iDEA conference held at Melbourne’s Newman College.

Climate Code Green project in conjunction with the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA )– amazing video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIdebt9a_iI   

Steady increase in submissions, talks, publications. Formation of new state committees for Queensland; Victoria; South Australia. 

DEA students formed National Student Committee.
2010DEA was a lead organisation in the formation of the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA).

DEA advanced ‘Coal is a health hazard’ campaign and published about the health dangers of the coal industry.
2011DEA members published an article in MJA which was featured on the cover “The mining and burning of coal: effects on health and the environment”.

Spoke about health risks of coal seam gas, including community talks and parliamentary submissions.

Wrote to banks about not financing new coal mines (first Divestment strategy).iDEA conference held in Sydney.

Kingsley Faulkner appointed Chair.
2012Legal challenge to approval for a new coal-fired power station in Victoria – with assistance from legal firm Maurice Blackburn.

iDEA in Melbourne (CERES).Students created the “Fact and Action” pamphlets.
2013(Atmospheric CO2 levels greater than 400ppm).

Publication of major report “The Health Factor”, outlining health costs of fossil fuels.

Focus on air quality and pollution and health effects.

Appointment of Merryn Redenbach as Research and Liaison Officer.

Divestment subcommittee formed, inspired by Bill McKibben’s, Do the Maths tour.

Inaugural meeting of Forests and Biodiversity subcommittee, continuing work which had already been occurring for several years.“

DEA in a Heartbeat” – fantastic 3 minute video clip released:  https://www.dea.org.au/resources/dea-in-a-heartbeat-who-what-and-why/   

David Shearman awarded inaugural Tony McMichael Public Health Ecology and Environment Award by PHAA in celebration of the life and work of Tony McMichael.

iDEA held in Adelaide.Increasingly using social media, as media landscape became less favourable.
2014iDEA in Melbourne with over 400 attendees.

(Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon spoke at UN Climate Summit about climate change)

(People’s climate marches coordinated internationally)

Employment of part-time Media & Communications Officer: Carmela Ferraro.
2015Students presented about climate change and health at the World Medical Association, World Health Summit.

iDEA in Western Sydney “iDEA15: A Prescription for Action”.Employment of Sallie Forrest as Policy & Advocacy Officer and Public Health Registrar.

Released major report “No Time for Games: Children’s Health & Climate Change”, launched by Fiona Stanley.  

Eugenie Kayak appointed to new position of Deputy Chair. 
2016Published “Investing in Health” report in conjunction with CAHA – focus on divestment.DEA divested the organisation’s banking from a bank which invests in fossil fuels.

iDEA16 “Protecting our Future” held in Brisbane.  Included workshops for GPs which attract CME points for General Practitioners.
2017Became a member of CANA (Climate Action Network Australia).

iDEA17 hosted in Melbourne.Diet & Agriculture Subcommittee convened.
2018Became a member of Places You Love alliance, advocating for a new generation of environmental laws.

iDEA18 “Health in a Changing Environment” held in Newcastle.

Ongoing incremental increase in number of formal submissions made – 23 made this year.Student group published “Greening Hospitals” guide.

Appointment of Selina Lo as Executive Officer and then Cate Ealing in interim role.

Eugenie Kayak appointed to new position of National Co-Chair.

Michael Kidd appointed National Chair
2019David Shearman stepped down after nearly 20 years in National Secretary role.

Published comprehensive report on “The Implications for Human Health and Wellbeing of Expanding Gas Mining in Australia”.

iDEA conference in Hobart “iDEA19 Keeping the Lights on”.

DEA declared climate change as a health emergency.DEA underwent organisational review and began governance transformation process.

Continued to add to collection of fact sheets, with new fact sheets developed on forests and land clearing and how they impact health.“

No Time for Games” pledge campaign launched in front of Parliament House, endorsed by multiple medical colleges and peak bodies. 

Appointment of Denise Cauchi to role of Executive Director.Significant wins against coal.

The sale of Port Augusta power station marked the end of a long campaign to close it.

In a historic win, the courts rejected Rocky Hill in NSW because of its impacts on climate change.
2020(COVID-19 pandemic)

Devastating bushfires across Australia, with DEA members working to highlight the health impacts and links to climate change in local and international media.

DEA office re-located to Melbourne.

Kylie Astell employed as full-time Office Manager.New Strategic Framework launched https://www.dea.org.au/about-dea/strategic-framework-2020-2025/

iDEA20 planned for Canberra but cancelled due to COVID-19.

Implemented organisational review, including restructure of Board and Committees. 

Revised Constitution approved at Special General Meeting October 2020.

John Van Der Kallen appointed as National Chair; Kimberly Humphrey as Deputy Chair.

Climate Health Emergency Petition instigated by DEA and signed by several thousand doctors. 

The climate emergency declaration by both the AMA and DEA was the beginning of several other medical colleges also declaring a “Climate Emergency[4] [EK5] ”.

Production of videos including #TurnOffTheGas campaign. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmdceYeO50g

Open letter to MP Sussan Ley about the review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) – mentioned in 180 publications.

Joined over 350 international health organisations demanding a healthy recovery from COVID-19 #HealthyRecovery.

Established DEA Campaigns Committee and Healthcare Sustainability Special Interest Groups.

Collaborated with other health organisations to produce an Expert Position Statement on Health-based standards for Australian regulated thresholds of NO2, SO2 and ozone.

Agreement to work together with Federal AMA to mitigate the severe health impacts of climate change.

Release of Report “Net zero emissions: responsibilities, pathways and opportunities for Australia’s healthcare sector”
2021Celebrating 20th anniversary

iDEA21 planned for Adelaide

To keep pace with growth of DEA, staff team expands to include several part-time roles: Janelle Sewell as Campaigns Coordinator; Jesse Thompson as Digital Communications and Campaigns Officer; Jode Cowie as Administration Officer.

Find out more about DEA’s history.

Partnerships/working relationships:

  • Medical Observer publication – distribution of themed posters to all GPs
  • Australian Family Physician publication
  • AMA & RACGP – Climate Change Health Check 2020
  • ACF – Green Clinics
  • RACP
  • RACS
  • AMSA
  • AYCC
  • MAPW
  • ISDE
  • EJA
  • Universities
  • Community groups all around the country
  • Lord Mayor’s Charitable Trust
  • Places You Love alliance
  • Global Green Health Hospitals