The ACT Branch of the Public Health Association Australia presents the Sax Oration each year in honour of the late Dr Sidney Sax to promote discussion on issues of importance in public health in Australia.
This year’s oration was given Chris Rissel, Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney. Chris’s research interests focus on obesity prevention and active travel. He is one of the authors of Cycling: Getting Australia Moving (other authors of this report are Adrian Bauman, Jan Garrard, Ian Ker, Rosemarie Speidel and Elliot Fishman). Chris has just completed a three-year project to promote increased use of cycle paths in south-west Sydney. (A list of his publications can be found here.)
The Oration was hosted by CeRAPH and the University of Canberra took place in the NATSEM Building on the University of Canberra campus. The title of the talk was Legislation for public health: the good, bad and unexpected consequences of bicycle helmet legislation for cycling safety and promotion.
Chris discussed the impact helmet legislation has had on cycling participation in Australia. Some of the ideas he discussed can be found in this radio interview. His oration prompted a large number of questions and discussion. Some of the data Chris presented can be found here.