28 April 2023

We are thrilled to announce the official launch of the National Hepatitis Infoline. This free and confidential service is available to anyone anywhere in Australia. Our goal is to provide localised support and information to those affected by viral hepatitis, a disease that affects over 450,000 people in Australia and is the leading cause of liver cancer - the fastest growing cause of cancer death in Australia. 

A launch event held at Parliament House on Monday 27 March 2023, commencing with a beautiful and inspiring Welcome to Country by Ngunnawal woman Selina Walker. Condolences were expressed on the passing of the highly respected senior Ngunnawal Elder Aunty Agnes Shea OAM who was a leader for justice and reconciliation in Canberra and across Australia.

The Hon. Ged Kearney MP, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, shared her commitment to eliminating viral hepatitis in Australia by 2030. 

"Eliminating viral hepatitis in Australia by 2030 is absolutely achievable, and our government is committed to ensuring we get there," said Ms Kearney. 

The National Hepatitis B Strategy and the National Hepatitis C Strategy drive Australia’s response to achieve the 2030 elimination goals. The public consultation on these national strategies will begin soon. “We are now in the later stages of developing the new national hepatitis B and C strategies, covering 2023 to 2030 – a last big last push to eliminate hepatitis B and hepatitis C by 2030,” stated Ms Kearney. 

“People affected by hepatis B or hepatitis C can feel incredibly overwhelmed. The National Hepatitis Infoline supports people to engage in testing, diagnosis and treatment by enabling access to accurate information and support,” said Carrie Fowlie, CEO of Hepatitis Australia. 

 “We’re very excited about the National Hepatitis Infoline, it’s a key piece of infrastructure in our national response,” said Ms Kearney. “It fills a critical service delivery gap by providing nationally coordinated, localised, community-based support.” 

Over 4000 people have already accessed the National Hepatitis Infoline for information, peer support, linkages and referrals. 

The event was co-hosted by Hepatitis Australia and the Parliamentary Friends for Ending HIV, STIs and Other Blood Borne Viruses . Showcasing their bi-partisan support, co-chairs of the Parliamentary Friends Group, Senator Louise Pratt and Senator Dean Smith spoke at the event.  

Hepatitis Australia board member Steven Taylor spoke about his lived experience and the ongoing issue of people being diagnosed with viral hepatitis, feeling afraid and with little information. Sarah Ahmed, Executive Director of Hepatitis ACT shared how the Infoline works on the ground with two cases studies showing how they resolved issues for individual people while also advocating for health system changes to enable better services & greater access to healthcare. 

Also in attendance were representatives from the state and territory community hepatitis organisations, who provide the service delivery of the National Hepatitis Infoline, alongside sector supporters, representatives from the Department of Health and other parliamentary representatives. We’d like to thank the many organisations who supported the launch through attendance or promotion of the National Hepatitis Infoline.  

To access the National Hepatitis Infoline, visit the website at www.nationalhepatitisinfoline.org.au or call 1800 HEP ABC (1800 437 222).  

Get print quality photos from the event here.

Read the media release here.

Access the brand kit to help promote the National Hepatitis Infoline here