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The Public Health Laboratory Network (PHLN) was established as part of the implementation of the National Communicable Diseases Surveillance Strategy. The PHLN is a collaborative group of laboratories with expertise in public health microbiology. State and Territory health departments nominate the laboratories, while relevant national organisations and a laboratory from New Zealand are also represented on the PHLN.
The PHLN facilitates nationwide and regional collaboration between microbiologists and epidemiologists and disseminates information about, and advises on: public health policies, the best available testing, data management and analysis, and research on communicable disease control.
The inaugural meeting of the PHLN was held in June 1997. The network now communicates monthly by teleconference and annually in person. Current work of the PHLN includes writing laboratory case definitions for all of the national notifiable diseases, providing typing and subtyping nomenclature for each organism for the revised National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS), and reviewing recommendations for changes to the Laboratory Virology and Serology (LabVISE) reporting scheme.
The PHLN is a network for all microbiologists involved in public health. If you wish to bring a matter to the attention of the PHLN, please contact your representative or the secretariat; their contact details are listed below.
Australian Capital Territory - ACT PathologyMr Paul Southwell. Phone: (02) 6244 2510
New South Wales - Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR)Chair: Professor Lyn Gilbert. Phone: (02) 9845 6252
Dr Dominic Dwyer. Phone: (02) 9845 6694
New South Wales - South Eastern Area Laboratory Services (SEALS)A/Prof William Rawlinson. Phone: (02) 9382 9113
A/Prof John Tapsall. Phone: (02) 9382 9079
Northern Territory - Territory Health ServicesDr Gary Lum. Phone: (08) 8922 8034
Queensland - Queensland Health Pathology ServicesDr Joan Faoagali. Phone: (07) 3636 8050
Queensland - Queensland Health Scientific ServicesMr John Bates. Phone: (07) 3274 9101
South Australia - Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science (IMVS)Prof Chris Burrell. Phone: (08) 8303 5434
Dr Geoff Higgins. Phone: (08) 8222 3378
Dr Jan Lanser. Phone: (08) 8222 3385
Tasmania - Royal Hobart HospitalDr Alistair McGregor. Phone: (03) 6222 8022
Victoria - Microbiological Diagnostic Unit (MDU)A/Prof Geoff Hogg. Phone: (03) 8344 5701
Victoria - Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL)Dr Mike Catton. Phone: (03) 9342 2637
Western Australia - PathCentreDr Tim Inglis. Phone: (08) 9346 3461
Dr David Smith. Phone: (08) 9346 3122
National - CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)Dr Tony Della-Porta. Phone: (03) 5227 5015
National - Communicable Diseases Network Australia New Zealand (CDNANZ)Dr Vicki Krause. Phone: (08) 8922 8510
National - Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged CareDr Angela Merianos. Phone: (02) 6289 8403
National - National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH)Ms Mary Beers. Phone: (02) 6249 5609
New Zealand - Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd (ESR)Dr Diana Martin. Phone: 0011 64 4914 0778
PHLN SecretariatMs Robyn Leader
Surveillance and Management Section
Department of Health and Aged Care
GPO Box 9848 (MDP6)
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Phone: (02) 6289 3688
Facsimile: (02) 6289 7791
This article was published in Communicable Diseases Intelligence Volume 24, No 10, October 2000.