Mr Geoff Browne

Mr Geoff Browne

PhD Student

How can the use of community indicators program in municipal strategic planning be improved for sustainable development?

The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 requires local government authorities to prepare a Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plan that is based on an examination of data about health determinants and identification of evidence-based goals and strategies. There are many forms of evidence available to local government that describe the socially determined aetiology of health and wellbeing, but limited information on how they are used by local government.

This research will use both qualitative and quantitative methods to determine what evidence sources are used by local government for the preparation of MPHWPs and the role that different data sources as well as other forms of information play. The research will ascertain what councils determine to be their responsibility and efficacy in strategic planning for health and wellbeing and the role that evidence plays in this. With reference to theories on how knowledge becomes action, this study will make recommendations for local and state government on the way that MPHWPs are developed as well as on the form and delivery of evidence. Research outputs will contribute to improvements in the way that evidence-based knowledge is used by government for the development of local level actions for sustainable community health and wellbeing.

Geoff has worked for seven years as a senior policy analyst and professional wildfire fighter with the Victorian Environment Department and Environment Commissioner. He was a chief author of the 2008 State of the Environment report and the 2013 State Waste Policy. Geoff also has experience in local government and private practice as a sustainability consultant. It was while working for state government that Geoff became interested in the role of evidence in decision making, and the importance of community wellbeing for sustainability.

Geoff has a Bachelor of Behavioural Science from LaTrobe University and a Master of Social Science (Planning & Environment) from RMIT University.


  • Professor Billie Giles-Corti, Director of McCaughey VicHealth Community Wellbeing Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne.
  • Dr. Melanie Davern, Research Fellow & Director Community Indicators Victoria, McCaughey VicHealth Community Wellbeing, Unit, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne.