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Community nurse administers vaccination to young man

Community and Primary Health Care Network

Connecting consumers, healthcare professionals and our community
We aim to drive education and research that will improve the health of communities and build a stronger Primary Health Care system focused on people's lifelong health needs.

About us

The Community and Primary Health Care Network (CPHCN) is building strong partnerships between the University, Primary Health Care organisations and people in the community. Our aim is to promote and embed a Primary Health Care approach centred on meeting people’s health needs throughout their whole life.

Our Faculty of Medicine and Health delivers education and research programs that encompass widest array of healthcare disciplines of any University in Australia. Primary Health Care principles and newly emerging models of care are integral to supporting a high quality, high performing Australian healthcare system.  

News and events


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Digital Health Innovations in Primary Health Care

Tuesday 4 Jul 2023, 12:30 - 4:00pm at Sybil Centre, USyd Camperdown and online

The CPHCN together with the Digital Health Informatics Network presents an inspiring and informative program focused on digital innovations in primary health care. Join us for a networking lunch followed by showcase presentations and discussions starting with special guest keynote speaker Prof Paul Bowie from Glasgow University and NHS Education for Scotland showcasing digital tools to support patient safety in primary health care.

All are welcome to attend this free event with lunch and afternoon tea provided. The presentations will be streamed on Zoom.


  • Keynote Speaker Professor Paul Bowie  - Programme Director (Safety & Improvement) with NHS Education for Scotland – Digital tools to support patient safety in primary health care
  • Dr Christopher Harrison - Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health – Community and Primary Health Care network data hubs
  • Dr Julie Gordon – Research Fellow, WHO Collaborating Centre for Strengthening Rehabilitation Capacity in Health Systems/Centre for Disability Research and Policy, School of Health Sciences - Community and Primary Health Care data
  • Dr Carissa Bonner – Senior Research Fellow, Menzies Centre for Health Policy & Economics, School of Public Health, FMH, USYD - Interactive risk communication tools in general practice
  • Frances Barraclough – Senior Lecturer, Academic Coordinator Interdisciplinary Education, University Centre for Rural Health - VR module

RFDS Best for the Bush report

Access to primary care the key to better health outcomes in rural and remote Australia

A new Royal Flying Doctor Service research report series, entitled ‘Best for the Bush, Rural and Remote Health Base Line 2022’, has recently been released. The report demonstrates significantly poorer health outcomes for people with limited access to primary health services and identifies the issues that most urgently need attention from service providers, funders and policy makers together with recommendations. Read the report linked on the RFDS website and learn more here > 

Community and Primary Health Care Strategic Plan 2022-2027

We are excited to share our Community and Primary Health Care (CPHC) Portfolio and Network Strategic Plan 2022-2027 officially launched in December.

In this plan, we describe the initiatives that we will deliver to meet our community and primary health care strategic goals over the next five years. It has been created with input from consumers, community and advocacy organisations, healthcare providers and colleagues from Primary Health Networks and Local Health Districts who share our vision of healthcare that delivers equity and access for all.

Thank you to all of our CPHC champions across the University and within our external partner organisations who have provided invaluable contributions to developing our plan. Our ability to translate our goals into tangible benefits for our community will be enhanced by working together. View the Strategic Plan >

Topics of interest

Rural scene

Community-University collaborations: addressing health service needs and workforce development

Broadcasting live from Broken Hill with panellists online in Lismore and Dubbo on Zoom, this CPHCN webinar focused on our rural and regional Schools and their connections in their local communities.

Primary Health Networks 101– making communities happier and healthier

An expert panel of Primary Health Networks (PHN) leaders presented an engaging webinar in May focused on the the valuable role PHNs play in supporting the health and wellbeing of our communities. The panel described the national PHN agenda and highlighted some key programs of work, including collaborative commissioning and climate change and mental health. We heard about the vital role of PHNs in dealing with the impacts of COVID and extreme weather, including the recent floods in Northern NSW. Speakers also provided a researcher’s 101 guide on how to engage with PHNs and the Primary Health Care clinicians and communities they serve.

Consumer Involvement in Research

In 2022 CPHCN hosted a well-attended webinar exploring the importance of involving consumers in health research.  Chaired by Prof Sarah Lewis, FMH A/Dean Research Performance, the lunchtime webinar featured an expert panel of speakers including consumers with first-hand experience, and panelists from The University of Sydney, Health Consumers NSW and Sydney Health Partners.  Speakers shared recent research examples, consumer perspectives and plenty of helpful resources available to support researchers partnering with consumers in health research. From the webinar, further reading:

Do you have a Community and Primary Health Care news item to share? Email the CPHCN.

Our focus areas

  • Cancer care
  • Chronic disease
  • Community health
  • Consumer engagement
  • Digital health
  • Disability
  • End of life care
  • First Nations health
  • Genomics / biomedical data
  • Health system reform
  • Medicines safety
  • Mental health
  • New models of care
  • Population health
  • Primary care
  • Rural health
  • Self care
  • Telehealth/ virtual care
  • Women’s health  

  • Behavioural and Social Sciences in Health
  • Dentistry and Oral Health
  • Diagnostic Radiography/ Medical Imaging Science
  • Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Exercise and Sport Science
  • General Practice
  • Health Services Management
  • Laboratory Science
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Rehabilitation Counselling
  • Speech Pathology
  • Medicine
  • Nursing and Midwifery
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health
  • Social Work

Join the network

Membership is free and open to postgraduate research students and employees of the University of Sydney and affiliated institutes working within fields related to Primary Health Care.

We also welcome and include consumers, primary health care professionals and our partners in government and industry. Complete our membership form to join.

World Health Organisation infographic Primary Health Care

A Primary Health Care approach

Primary Health Care is defined by the World Health Organisation as essential health care that is universally accessible and meets people’s health needs throughout their lives. We are dedicated to achieving this by embedding a Primary Health Care approach to research, education and engagement.  

A Primary Health Care approach is a whole of society approach. It includes methods of health promotion, disease prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. It addresses the broader determinants of health through multisectoral policy and action, an importantly, empowers individuals, families and communities to take charge of their own health and care.

Learn more about Primary Health Care

The CPHC Network Leadership Group represents the CPHC disciplines within the University and key external and affiliated partners in fields relating to CPHC:

  • Faculty of Medicine and Health
  • CESPHN (Central and Eastern Sydney PHN)
  • Health Consumers NSW
  • Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use
  • Menzies Centre for Health Policy
  • Regal Health
  • Rural Clinical School Dubbo/Orange
  • Rural Clinical School Northern Rivers
  • South Western Sydney Local Health District
  • Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • Sydney Dental School
  • Sydney Local Health District
  • Sydney Northern Health Network
  • Sydney School of Health Sciences
  • Sydney School of Medical Sciences
  • Sydney School of Pharmacy
  • Sydney School of Public Health
  • The Daffodil Centre
  • The Kolling Institute, Northern Clinical School
  • University Centre for Rural Health
  • WentWest PHN
  • Western New South Wales Primary Health Network
  • Westmead Clinical School


Prof Meredith Makeham

Contact CPHCN

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