About Communicable Diseases Network Australia

Information page about the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA). It details the CDNA's background; its various committees and activities; the composition of the CDNA; and recent publications and contact details.

Page last updated: 25 March 2015

CDNA Strategic overview and workplan


The Communicable Diseases Network Australia will provide national public health co-ordination and leadership, and support best practice for the prevention and control of communicable diseases.


  • To develop and co-ordinate national surveillance programs for communicable diseases.
  • To develop policy, strategy and advice on the prevention and control of communicable diseases.
  • To support and strengthen training and capacity building in the communicable disease field.
  • To coordinate the investigation and control of multi-jurisdictional outbreaks of communicable disease.
  • To engage and work with a range of national and international partners to prevent and control communicable diseases.

CDNA is a sub-committee of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

CDNA meets fortnightly to share and evaluate the latest information and developments in communicable diseases surveillance with a view to providing a high quality surveillance of communicable and notifiable diseases including: HIV/AIDS, sexually transmissible infections, vaccine preventable diseases, arboviruses and zoonotic and enteric diseases.

CDNA provides national leadership to multi-jurisdictional outbreaks investigations and additional special teleconferences are held as required when outbreaks or potential outbreaks occur.

All States and Territories have signed the National Health Security Agreement which enacts the National Health Security Act 2007. This agreement enshrines the importance of a national surveillance function and the role of CDNA.

CDNA has a list of existing projects that have either been agreed to by CDNA as a priority or have been tasked to complete by the AHPPC. These include:

    • Developing National Guidelines in the Series of national Guidelines (SoNGS);
    • Developing a national communicable disease framework;
    • A biennial national communicable diseases conference;
    • Contributing to the review of the Australian Health management Plan for Pandemic Influenza (AHMPI), including the surveillance annex;
    • Providing direction to the work of the CDNA sub-committees

These are contained in the attached table and are tracked through CDNA’s regular meetings and progress reported to the AHPPC.

In addition to its core surveillance function and existing projects, CDNA has a range of ongoing functions. These include:

    • Participate, where appropriate, in AHPPCs program of health sector exercises which could include:
        • a desktop mass casualty exercise;
        • a desk-top pandemic preparedness exercise; and
        • major mass casualty exercise including aero medical evacuation;
    • Advise National Health Emergency Management Subcommittee (NHEMS) on how to include a CDNA component in its development of forward plans for AHPPC engagement in national health sector exercises and how to include appropriate public health/communicable disease practices in national emergence frameworks;
    • Providing advice on research priorities to strengthen domestic disease surveillance and control;
    • Working with other relevant national committees; and
    • Providing advice on the inclusion and/or removal of conditions on the National Notifiable Diseases List.