Dr Iain Butterworth is a community psychologist with a strong interest in the interrelationship between urban design, planning, governance and well-being. Iain is Manager of Liveability and Sustainability for the Eastern and Southern Metropolitan Health Regions of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. Here, Iain is helping to implement the Victorian Labor Government's policy commitment to fostering “Liveable, Inclusive and Sustainable Communities”. A big part of his role is in supporting the development and implementation of the Victorian Liveability Research Program. This policy research is led by the Place, Health, and Liveability Program, McCaughey VicHealth Wellbeing Unit at the University of Melbourne. He is also an honorary Associate Professor at the School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne.
Iain has worked in community development, government, higher education and consulting. His doctoral dissertation on environmental adult education received the American Psychological Association's ‘Emory Cowen Dissertation Award for the Promotion of Wellness’ in 2001.
In 2003-2004 Iain was a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley. His mentor was Prof Leonard Duhl MD, Professor of Public Health and Urban Planning. Prof Duhl's ideas spawned the World Health Organisation's Healthy Cities approach. Used by thousands of cities, municipalities and localities world-wide since 1986, Healthy Cities fosters comprehensive intersectoral planning, policy and action to address the environmental, social, and economic determinants of health and wellbeing. The purpose of his Fulbright visit was to explore how Healthy Cities initiatives could help build community capacity, and connect people better to place. Iain's visit was featured in the 2003 Fulbright Annual Report (page 10).
Whilst at Deakin University from 2004-2009, Iain helped to establish an interdisciplinary post-graduate planning degree and helped lead the university's community engagement agenda.
At the Department of Health, Iain is drawing on the Healthy Cities approach to develop a place-based, Regional Health and Wellbeing Strategy that engages stakeholders from all sectors across the region. Iain is heavily involved in his department's Place, Health and Liveability research partnership with the University of Melbourne. Iain is also an Industry Partner and member of the Victorian Advisory Group for the five-year NHMRC National Centre for Research Excellence for Healthy, Liveable and Equitable Communities. Iain also contributed to the development of the Plan Melbourne metropolitan planning strategy.
Iain is currently Chair of the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Fulbright Alumni Association.