The SPHPM came into being on April 1 2008. Under direction from the new Dean, the school was created to give the faculty a public health presence in the fast growing public health arena. Professor John McNeil has served as Head of SPHPM since its formation in 2008, previously serving the position of Head of Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine.
The predecessor of Monash's School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine was the Department of Social & Preventive Medicine which was inaugurated at Monash University under its foundation Professor and Head, Dr Basil Hetzel in June 1968. The original Department boasts an extraordinary array of outstanding alumni including Professors Tony McMichael (now Australian National University), the late Chris Silagy and also Richard Southby (now Executive Dean Emeritus, George Washington University Medical Centre, USA). From 1968, the original Department grew to become the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, and since 1 April 2008, the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. The Monash School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (SPH&PM) is now one of the largest Schools of Public Health in the Asia Pacific Region.
The School is primarily co-located at the Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP) in Melbourne, with staff at other locations throughout Melbourne and elsewhere, as well. AMREP is located just south of the Melbourne city centre, close to the business hub of St Kilda Road and well known shopping precincts including Chapel Street, Prahran Market and St Kilda. It is well-served by public transport. The Monash School of Public Health collaborates extensively with medical research institutes, government departments, NGOs and hospital departments throughout Australia and globally. It has particularly strong collaborations with many institutes and other Schools of Public Health around the Asia Pacific Region and it currently hosts for the Directorate for the Asia Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health.
The AMREP precinct is home to one of Australia's largest and best supported applied research environments that also includes several of Australia's largest and most prestigious research institutes, including the Baker-International Diabetes and Burnet Institutes. The Monash Institute of Health Services Research which is also part of SPH&PM, is located in the grounds of Southern Health in Melbourne, providing similar opportunities. SPH&PM is also home to the internationally renowned Australasian Cochrane Centre, the federally-funded organisation for training and communication for the many Cochrane Groups throughout Australia and the region.
The School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at The Alfred Centre celebrated the naming of their two Meeting rooms in honour of Dr Basil Hetzel AC, Foundation Professor of Social & Preventive Medicine and the late Prof Louis Opit, second Professor of Social and Preventive Medicine, on Thursday 11th August 2011.
Read more about the Opit and Hetzel naming ceremonies.