Pt I Background: the basics 1. What is public health? Definitions and applications 2. The historical development of public health: landmarks in the field 3. Health in Australia today: health status, the health-care system and the place of public health Pt II Conceptual and analytical toolkit: key concepts and frameworks 4. Distribution of health and its determinants: changing concepts and models 5. Explaining differences and determinants: environment, society and behaviour 6. Public health interventions: from quarantine to the rise of "evidence-based practice" 7. Health systems and policy: making sense of the complex mosaic Pt III Public health infrastructure: building blocks and the system of delivery 8. Who delivers public health? Contemporary policies and players 9. Legislative authority for public health action: how governments and societal expectations intersect 10. Public health intelligence: information and the research base for action 11. Human and financial resources: essential foundations for action Pt IV Public health action: key interventions from past to present 12. Surveillance and disease control: from data to intervention 13. Health protection: from the physical environment to ecological health 14. Preventive services: linking public health and personal health care 15. Health promotion: from lifestyles to societal determinants of health 16. Health maintenance and improvement for vulnerable populations: from needs to rights Pt V Public health challenges: emerging issues and responses 17. Public health governance: politics of participation, decision-making and accountability 18. Futures of public health: where to now for the organised effort? 19. A final note on ethical practice.