A future for the world's children? A WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission

Thu 12 Mar 2020 2:00pm8:00pm

Despite dramatic improvement in survival, nutrition and education over the recent decades, today’s children face an uncertain future. Climate change, ecological degradation, migrating populations, conflict, pervasive inequalities and predatory commercial practices threaten the health and future of children in every country.

In 2015, the world’s countries agreed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) yet nearly 5 years later, few countries have recorded making progress towards achieving them. This commission presents the case for placing children, aged 0-18, at the centre of the SDGs. In practice, this means reviewing every government decision for its impact on children before implementation.

Join us for a public lecture at Customs House as our experts examine ecological and commercial pressures to ensure children receive their rights today and a liveable planet tomorrow. 

Event details

Public Lecture 

Date: Thursday 12 March 2020 
Time: 5.30 - 8.00pm
Venue: The Long Room, Customs House 
Cost: Free to attend but registration is required (Canapes served pre and post lecture). 

Join Anthony Costello (by video), Peter Sly and Peter Le Souef as they discuss the goals of the WHO-UNICEF-Lancet Commission on child wellbeing, including implications for Australia and what future our children face. 


Professor Peter SlyProfessor Peter Sly

Professor Peter Sly AO is Director, Children's Health and Environment Program, Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Children's Health and Environment, and former Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Pacific Basin Consortium for the Environment and Health. Professor Sly is a NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and a paediatric respiratory physician with extensive research experience in respiratory physiology, developmental immunology and children's environmental health. Professor Sly’s research aims to understand the mechanisms underlying chronic childhood lung diseases in order to improve clinical management and to delay or prevent their onset, with consequent reductions in adult lung diseases. A combination of basic science, longitudinal cohort studies and translation of research findings into clinical practice, including clinical trials, are included in three main areas: children’s environmental health, asthma, and cystic fibrosis.

Professor Anthony CostelloProfessor Anthony Costello

Anthony Costello is Professor of Global Health and Sustainable Development at University College London. His areas of scientific expertise include the evaluation of interventions to reduce maternal and newborn deaths, strategies to tackle malnutrition and non-communicable diseases, and the health effects of climate change. He has extensive experience in running population trials in Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Malawi, including large community trials of participatory learning and action using women’s groups.

He holds fellowships of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal College of Physicians. He has also received Honorary Fellowships of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and of the Faculty of Public Health. In April 2011, Costello received the James Spence Medal, the highest honour of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health where he is a fellow. In May 2016, he received the BMJ Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018 he published a book “The Social Edge. The Power of Sympathy Groups for our Health, Wealth and Sustainable Future."

Peter Le SouefProfessor Peter Le Souëf

Prof Le Souëf is an academic respiratory physician/scientist. He is currently the Professor of Paediatrics for the University of Western Australia, a Respiratory Physician for Perth Children’s Hospital and an Honorary Research Follow at the Telethon Kids Institute, Perth. He has worked in collaboration with researchers from every continent over the last 25 years on many aspects of child health. He has published 291 peer-reviewed papers, given 228 invited presentations at international scientific meetings, and won 67 research grants including 16 NHRMC project grants as CIA. He was Head of the UWA School of Paediatrics for 20 years to 2016, during which time the School grew three fold and achieved the highest research output/capita of any UWA school or institute.

Scientific Symposium

Date: Thursday 12 March 2020 
Time: 2—5pm 
Venue: Child Health Research Centre, UQ


  1. Children at the centre of the Sustainable Development Goals: a new global movement. Peter Sly, CHEP, UQ
  2. Future child health under the “business as usual scenario”. Peter Le Souef UWA
  3. Environmental concerns for children in the Western Pacific, Oceania region. Paul Jagals CHEP, UQ
  4. Environmental contributions to adverse birth outcomes. Dwan Vilcens 
  5. Threats to children’s health from air pollution. Claire von Mollendorf, MCRI