NCEPH: The first twelve years 1988 - 000 And lists of all graduates, academic and general staff 1988 - 2008.

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Douglas, Bob

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Canberra, ACT: National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australian National University

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The National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH) began in response to a national review of public health teaching and training for the Commonwealth Minister of Health by Dr Kerr L White from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1986. In April 1987, ANU signed a contract with the Commonwealth of Australia to create a new National Centre of Excellence in Epidemiology and Population Health, which initially would be fully funded by a block grant to ANU of $2 million per year. The purposes were: a) To carry out research of the highest academic standards in epidemiology and population health in close association both with demographers and other social scientists and with biomedical and clinical scientists. b) To develop research pursuits, in particular in ■■ Epidemiology of communicable and non-communicable diseases and behavioural disorders: ■■ Statistics, including biometry, medical statistics and health and vital statistics: ■■ Sociology, including survey methods, the social welfare dimension, the sociology of medicine, the organization of health services and individual and group perceptions of health: ■■ Health economics, including cost benefit analysis of health care and health care delivery systems and general analysis of the health sector of the economy: ■■ Population studies including studies of fertility, infertility, mortality and the social and economic aspects of demographic change. c) To provide a supervised experience in research leading to MSc and PhD degrees in the above fields so as to generate leaders in epidemiology and population health, but not to offer degrees in coursework alone and d) To provide intensive short courses as appropriate. In his report Dr White proposed that the Centre should be located intellectually and geographically within the Institute of Advanced Studies at ANU in close proximity to the John Curtin School for Medical Research so it could draw on the strengths of the Institute with its wealth of talent and its traditions. This summary of the first 12 years, during which I was privileged to be the first Director, has been prepared to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Centre’s formation. It clearly reflects my personal bias and cannot do justice to all of the people who contributed to making it such an enjoyable journey.

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