On 10 February 2022, Hepatitis Australia partnered with 13 national organisations to hold the first-ever Hepatitis B event with Federal Parliamentarians: We Can Eliminate Hepatitis B! There were fantastic speakers and an excellent turnout at the event, with people joining from around the country. This show of bipartisan support was fantastic and critical to ensuring people impacted by hepatitis B have the resources they need. A key message from the event was the critical role of community leadership and the need to grow the hepatitis B specific community workforce. If you missed the event, watch this space – the event video is coming soon.

This month, Hepatitis Australia anticipates the release of the draft revised National Hepatitis B Strategy and National Hepatitis C Strategy as part of a sector consultation. We look forward to meeting with the membership on 25 March to discuss the strategies. We will be working closely with our fellow national BBV and STI peaks; and liaising with our government and research colleagues. Revision of the national strategies form a significant piece of work for the organisation and play a critical role in shaping the national response to viral hepatitis to 2030. In November last year, we held the Second National Hepatitis Elimination Forum, where the national strategies were a central discussion.

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In this edition:

Wendy smiles - thank you and farewell

Farewell Wendy Anderson

We are sad to see the amazing Wendy Anderson leave us this month, but incredibly thankful for all her fantastic work with the organisation and wish her all the best with her next adventures.

Wendy first started with Hepatitis Australia more than 14 years ago and has worked in a variety of roles during that time. She is well known in the office for being a woman of tenacity, optimism and a great sense of humour – and don’t forget it because she can definitely lift more than you! While we might not have been able to see her face in real life as much as we wanted recently (thanks again COVID), we’ll certainly miss seeing her on Zoom and hearing about how many weeds she killed.

We are sure that the many people who have worked with her over the years will agree that Wendy is a fabulous advocate and overall wonderful human being.

Today is Wendy’s last day with Hepatitis Australia. We asked her to give us a few insights into her time here:

How did you first get started with Hepatitis Australia?

In 2007 I was working as a community development officer with one of Canberra’s largest community service organisations, I was getting burnt out and needed a change. I signed up with a recruitment agency and at the first meeting they confused me with someone else and thought I had come about the position advertised at Hepatitis Australia. I took a look at the position and thought what the heck I will apply. I was surprised and excited to get the position.

In my first six months I felt so out of my depth and often volunteered to wash the dishes as I felt this was something I knew how to do. With the wonderful support of the staff at Hepatitis Australia I got my head around the work and my eyes were well and truly opened to the issues surrounding viral hepatitis. Like many others in the sector I then became a passionate worker dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by viral hepatitis.

How have things changed over the last 14 years?

So many things have changed. Of course the major change has been curative treatments for hepatitis C. I constantly reflect on how amazing this change has been.

I have seen lots of people come and go in the sector, but the one constant is the passion that people have for working in the hepatitis space. No wonder so much has been achieved.

I would like to think that there has been a change/reduction in stigma, it has been a long time now since anyone has made negative comments when I have told them where I work.

What are you most proud of in your time working with Hepatitis Australia?

Gosh, after 14 years working at Hepatitis Australia there is a lot I am proud of. So many projects come to mind but the standouts are as follows:

  • The National Resource Network (NRN) and Hepatitis Educators’ Network (HEN) were true communities of practice. Through the sharing of knowledge, experiences and resources attendees were well connected and increased their capacity and effectiveness to engage with viral hepatitis priority populations.
  • The National Hepatitis Health Promotion Conference provided a plethora of information on grass roots viral hepatitis projects. This conference connected the community sector viral hepatitis workforce and provided a platform to learn from the successes and challenges of others. They were well organised conferences and I took great pride in telling people that it was the team at Hepatitis Australia that organised the conference when asked what conference company we used.
  • The Love our Liver campaign. This 5-year campaign really did open the door to more conversations about hepatitis. Prior to the Love your Liver campaign it was difficult to get media coverage with media releases about viral hepatitis only. The approach of using liver health as the hook to talk about viral hepatitis certainly worked. AND I just love the O’Liver mascots who are a great community engagement tool.
  • The Rock Concert launch of World Hepatitis Day in Federation Square Melbourne where the then National Health Minister Nicola Roxon launched the Third National Hepatitis C Strategy and the First National Hepatitis B Strategy. One of the bands that played were called the transplants because all member had received a liver transplant due to complications of hepatitis C. The Kerri-Anne Kennerley show on Chanel nine did a live cross and interviewed one of the performers.
  • The TEST CURE LIVE campaign. It was an honour to work collaboratively with the member organisations to plan and implement these campaigns which resulted in people being tested and cured of hepatitis C.

Overall I am proud to have worked for an organisation that successfully advocated for the hepatitis C curative treatments to be listed on the PBS and made available without restriction.

You’re known for having many beautiful sayings – what is one snippet of wisdom that you’d like to leave us with?

Yes, I do love beautiful sayings. The one I would like to share is ‘We all know something, but together we know a lot’. I tweaked this one from Simon Sinek’s quote ‘no one knows everything, but together we know a lot. We all have something valuable to contribute.

Thank you and farewell, Wendy. From everyone at Hepatitis Australia

Hepatitis Australia’s Pre-Budget submission

The Federal Budget 2022 will be delivered on Tuesday 29 March, and Hepatitis Australia has identified three key areas requiring immediate investment.

The submission builds on the issues identified at the Second National Hepatitis Elimination Forum, to ensure we strengthen and consolidate our successes, and remedy missed national targets to achieve hepatitis elimination by 2030.

Hepatitis Australia has called on the Australian Government to invest in these three priorities in the 2022-2023 Federal Budget:

  1. Continue to resource the implementation of the five National Blood Borne Virus and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategies (including the National Hepatitis B and National Hepatitis C Strategy), consistent with Australian Government implementation expenditure to date.
  2. Maintain Australia’s National Hepatitis Infoline to ensure 360,000 Australians have access to a single point of contact for timely, confidential and non-stigmatising hepatitis information, community-based support and referral.
  3. Establish an Australian hepatitis B-specific community workforce to ‘catch-up’ to achieve the national elimination targets.

As noted in the submission, investment in hepatitis elimination has significant health, societal and economic benefits. With continued Australian Government investment and partnership, the elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030 is achievable!

Read the submission

Hepatitis Australia’s National Cancer Plan submission

Australia’s liver cancer burden and the associated inequity in outcomes for marginalized people is growing. Liver cancer, predominantly caused by hepatitis, is Australia’s fastest growing cause of cancer death and the third-deadliest cancer globally. It defies the positive trends seen in other areas of cancer prevention and care in Australia; and highlights a growing area of inequity in cancer outcomes.

The Australian Cancer Plan 2023-2033 will set the priorities for cancer responses in Australia for the next decade. The Plan aims to remove system level barriers, reduce geographic inequity and improve the impact of new models of care and ways of working across all cancer types.

Hepatitis Australia is calling for the Australian Cancer Plan to identify liver cancer as a priority focus area. This requires the inclusion of relevant national strategies (i.e. the National Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Strategies 2023-2030 and the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Bloodborne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Strategy 2023-2030) in a detailed national policy context, linkage between relevant national governance structures, and specific two, five and 10 year actions.

Read the submission

World Hepatitis Day festival 2022

Mark your calendars for the 2022 World Hepatitis Day festival
28th July is World Hepatitis Day – a very important date for the community and the sector. This year, we’re calling on our colleagues in the sector to reserve the weeks either side of this important date for World Hepatitis Day events.

This means that between 18 to 31 July, avoid hosting internal sector events, for example committee meetings. Instead, think about how you can activate your networks and host public-facing events or sector mobilising activities during this time.

If your organisation is interested in participating in World Hepatitis Day 2022 and is not currently represented on the Australian World Hepatitis Day Network, please email [email protected] to find out more. The next meeting will be held on 29 March.

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Project scheme funds new research into viral hepatitis

Six Australian health and medical researchers will receive Commonwealth funding to further ground-breaking research that will improve health and treatment outcomes for Australians and their families. The Partnership Project scheme provides funding for researchers and partner organisations to work together to define research questions and undertake the research, which can lead to breakthroughs in treatment and prevention.

Included in this funding, Professor Jason Grebely’s team at the University of New South Wales have received nearly $1.5million to run a national program to scale-up point-of-care hepatitis C testing and treatment. This work amplify the National Hepatitis C 50,000 Project to scale up testing and treatment to find 50,000 people living with hepatitis C by the end of 2022.

Event: Deadly Liver Mob Seminar

  • Date: Wednesday 30 March 2022
  • Time: 1:00 – 2:30pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time
  • Organiser: Centre For Social Research in Health, UNSW


Join this seminar to hear all about the Deadly Liver Mob (DLM) program, an incentivised, peer-led program that offers education and screening for hepatitis C, hepatitis B and STIs for Aboriginal people. You will hear from the Aboriginal workers who worked with communities, the program designers, partners and sponsors. You will hear about the evaluation of DLM and get a sneak peak of the online toolkit designed for people who want to run their own DLM program.

Early bird registrations and abstract submissions for the 2022 World Indigenous Peoples' Conference on Viral Hepatitis are open

The third WIPCVH, originally scheduled for Sept. 23-26, 2020, will now be held June 22-24, 2022 in Saskatoon, Canada. A dynamic program for the conference is under development. It will feature Elders, doctors, nurses and peer navigators, people working with Indigenous health and community organizations, experts on Indigenous perspectives of gender, students, artists, dancers and more.

The conference will be in hybrid form, with unlimited virtual registrations available. Abstracts are due by 15 March 2022 for both in-person and virtual presentations.

Find out more

Event: C the Whole Story: Hepatitis C in Homelessness, AOD, and Mental Health Settings Forum

  • Date: Friday 1 April 2022
  • Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time
  • Organiser: ASHM


This one-day, virtual forum brings together Nurses, NSP Frontline Workers, and Peer Workers from around Australia to share their experiences, strategies for success, and innovative approaches to providing treatment to people living with hepatitis C in homelessness, AOD (alcohol and other drugs), and mental health settings.

Event: Vaccines Against Hepatitis C webinar symposium

  • Date: Thursday 24 – Friday 25 March 2022
  • Time: 3:00am Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time (12pm EST)
  • Organiser: Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination


This deep-dive symposium will look at the latest research related to HCV vaccine development. Over two days, eight speakers will discuss results from clinical trials for past candidate vaccines, new findings in HCV immunology and implications for vaccine development, and emerging vaccine platforms, such as mRNA, that could be applied to HCV. Nobel Laureate, Dr. Michael Houghton, will close the symposium with his thoughts on the opportunity of HCV vaccine development within the next decade.

INHSU 2022 Abstracts and Scholarship Applications closing soon

The 10th International Conference on Health and Hepatitis Care in Substance Users (INHSU) will be held in Glasgow in October this year, with both in-person and virtual attendance options. The conference unites researchers, clinicians, people with lived experience, policymakers, and community organisations to improve the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs.

There are full and partial scholarships available for researchers, practitioners and community members. Applications close 20 March.

Also closing on 20 March, the conference team are seeking abstracts that further the health and wellbeing of people who use drugs.

Scholarship applications Abstract submissions

New Australian consensus recommendations for the management of hepatitis B

The Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) has published the ‘Australian consensus recommendations for the management of hepatitis B’. This statement highlights important aspects of hepatitis B management in Australia to inform clinical decisions and establish a standard of care. Hepatitis Australia was pleased to contribute to the development of these guidelines via the Community Oversight Group and has endorsed the statement.

These recommendations aim to improve awareness of chronic hepatitis B among clinicians and to increase detection of cases that currently remain undiagnosed. Timely identification of individuals living with hepatitis B, and where appropriate, commencement of antiviral therapy, can prevent the development of cirrhosis, liver cancer and mother‐to‐child transmission as well as hepatitis B reactivation in immunocompromised individuals. Recognising patient and viral factors that predispose to the development of cirrhosis and liver cancer will enable clinicians to risk‐stratify and appropriately implement surveillance strategies to prevent these complications of hepatitis B.

Read the Consensus Statement Summary

Two new Australian Hepatitis C in Children resources

ASHM has released two new Australian resources to support clinicians and relevant workforce in understanding and acting on the AASLD-IDSA HCV Guidance: HCV in Children:

New highly effective and tolerable direct-acting antiviral agents for the treatment of hepatitis C are now approved for paediatric patients in Australia, including options available for children over six years of age.

Both resources emphasise the need for psychosocial support and counselling for mothers and children with hepatitis C, including education on testing, transmission and prevention, disclosure and referral to support groups and community hepatitis organisations for information and advice.