In 2001, Cancer Council Australia, Diabetes Australia and the National Heart Foundation of Australia recognised the need for an overarching alliance to address the increase in these population-level risk factors and associated disease burden.
Initially supported by the Australian Government, the Australian Chronic Disease Prevention Alliance (ACDPA) was established to develop policy recommendations and combine its members’ capacity to reduce the impact of overweight and obesity. The Stroke Foundation and Kidney Health Australia soon joined the alliance, emphasising the relationship between overweight and obesity and multiple chronic illnesses.
In 2005, ACDPA became entirely self-funded, strengthening its advocacy as an independent voice for policy reform. Together, the diseases represented by member organisations form a large proportion of Australia's chronic disease burden. Jointly addressing shared modifiable risk factors has the potential to greatly reduce the impact of chronic disease in Australia.
Over the past 15 years, ACDPA has worked with government, public health groups and other stakeholders to promote evidence-based measures and initiatives to improve nutrition, increase physical activity and decrease overweight and obesity.
ACDPA played a significant role in the establishment of Australia’s Health Star Rating food labelling system – an imperfect model but one ACDPA continues to work to improve. ACDPA also had a formal, independent advisory role in the development of the $2 billion intergovernmental Australian Better Health Initiative.
ACDPA continues to provide an independent voice addressing key risk factors of chronic disease and advocating for policy that recognises the value of prevention.
In early 2019, the National Vascular Disease Prevention Alliance (NVDPA) merged with ACDPA for a joint focus on early detection, risk assessment and management of risk factors. Activities and publications related to NVDPA are incorporated into and continue under ACDPA.
In 2022, ACDPA expanded to include Lung Foundation Australia to represent people living with lung conditions and multiple chronic conditions, and focus on preventable risk factors for lung disease.
Find out about chronic disease risk factors.