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Dietitians Australia is the peak industry body for dietitians, representing our members and our profession. We’re the leading voice in nutrition and dietetics. We are pleased to support the Parliamentary Friends of Nutrition group.

Our advocacy and policy work helps us support Australia's healthcare needs. We work with all levels of government, government agencies and other peak bodies to influence health policy. 

We raise awareness about the importance of nutrition in public health and advocate for the role of Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs).  

Nutritional health is a key public health issue. Our expert advice can help improve the health of all Australians. 

Read about some of our key advocacy work below.

Advocacy and policy work

Federal priorities
Two women cooking in kitchen.
We called on the Federal Government to support requests for Aged Care, mental health, disability and a national nutrition policy to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians. Increasing access to APDs through public funding in Aged Care, mental health and disability will help vulnerable people stay healthy longer, function well in society and reduce the significant costs of treating diet-related diseases. A broad-based National Nutrition Policy would provide the foundation needed to drive the population towards a much healthier future, promoting quality of life for all Australians, reducing the burden of diet-related disease and the associated extraordinary and ever-growing costs of treatment.
Female caregiver bringing groceries to senior woman.
We call on the Australian Government to commit funding in the upcoming 2023-24 budget to Aged Care, preventive health and Medicare. This funding would improve access to APDs, guarantee the implementation of the National Preventive Health Strategy and the National Obesity Strategy and ensure food and nutrition monitoring is undertaken.
National policy
We, together with the Public Health Association of Australia, Nutrition Australia and the Heart Foundation, call on the Australian Government to update the National Nutrition Policy. A National Nutrition Policy should provide for cohesion across Australia's food system, prioritise health and nutrition, and be championed by dietitians. Unhealthy eating patterns are now the leading preventable risk factor contributing to health conditions in Australia and globally. There is an urgent need for the development and implementation of a comprehensive, multi-faceted and co-ordinated response.
Food system
We call for food system transformation in Australia that supports the population to adopt healthy and sustainable diet-related practices to promote human and planetary health. Dietitians can make major contributions to the transformation of our current food system to nourish present and future generations within planetary boundaries.
Man with Down syndrome at home having breakfast with woman.
We support the rights of people with disability to access nutrition support products and APD services. This is to promote physical, mental and social wellbeing. People with a disability have unique and sometimes complex food and nutrition needs. Access to APDs and nutrition support products is important to ensure NDIS participants can realise their goals and aspirations.
Young man in wheelchair eating while on laptop.
We recommend the implementation of greater oversight, accountability, education and support for the provision of food and nutrition for all Australians impacted by disability to reduce the risk of preventable deaths.
Mental health
We call for greater access to the services of APDs to prevent, treat and manage mental illnesses. Given dietary strategies can be an effective management tool, and people suffering with mental illness are at greater risk of serious health conditions, APDs are uniquely qualified to provide support and assistance to anyone struggling with mental illness.
Aged care
Shot of a group of seniors enjoying breakfast together in their retirement home
We support the implementation of mandatory malnutrition screening in aged care. We are also calling on the government to develop a national policy and action plan for nutrition care in residential aged care homes and community aged care. This will improve the quality of life for older Australians.
Younger woman speaking with older man on a bench outside.
We call for the establishment of governance, monitoring and evaluation frameworks for the existing ‘National Meal Guidelines for home delivered and centre-based meal programs for older Australians’. This is essential to ensure older Australians are provided with the right foods and drinks to meet their nutritional needs when receiving home-delivered meals at home.
Aged care staff need training to provide adequate nutrition care under the guidance of contemporary policies and best-practice procedures. Nutrition training should be a core component (not an elective) in vocational education training qualifications for a ‘Cert III in Individual Support’ and a ‘Cert IV in Ageing Support’. Additionally, all existing aged care staff should be required to complete training modules on food, nutrition and the dining experience to equip them with the knowledge and skills to support older people with their food and nutrition needs. APDs should be engaged to assist in the development and delivery of training content for vocational education and ongoing aged care sector training.

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If you have questions about our advocacy and policy work, contact us at



Find more of our Advocacy and Policy work