From the Director

Photo of David Kalisch

Hello, and welcome to AIHW Access. The first half of 2014 has been an exciting time for the AIHW, with quite a few big changes for the Institute and the release of a huge number of new reports, many of which are highlighted in this issue.

Australia's health 2014, the AIHW's biggest flagship publication, and its companion report Australia's health 2014-in brief, kept many of us busy right up until their release in June.

The AIHW is required to compile this report card on the nation's health every 2 years, and it is then tabled in our national Parliament. Australia's health 2014 is the 14th report in this series.

This year, both the format and delivery of Australia's health are new. Each chapter comprises a series of stand-alone, but topically related analytical feature articles and short snapshots that provide essential facts and figures on a range of health conditions and issues.

New topics include the health of the working-age population, and reasons for the health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Work has also been started on our next biennial publication, Australia's welfare 2015. A large number of our annual reports and one-off publications have also been released in the past few months.

The Institute published key findings from the AIHW's 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey ahead of the detailed report which will follow later this year.

The AIHW conducts the National Drug Strategy Household Survey every 2-3 years, with the 2013 survey collecting data from nearly 24,000 people across Australia.

The results show some very positive outcomes­ that smoking rates continue to fall and fewer young people are drinking alcohol. While the use of some illicit drugs has decreased, other areas, such as the misuse of pharmaceuticals, are on the rise.

Another significant release was the Institute's annual report on child protection. An expansion of the data collected for this year's report allowed for more detailed analysis and reporting in this important area.

And while the significant numbers of new reports have kept us on our toes, staff have been busily settling into our new premises at 1 Thynne Street in Bruce, we've launched a new intranet and have welcomed a new Board Chair to the AIHW.