Some of the poorest and most disadvantaged children in the world live in South-East Asia, especially in parts of China and India. Australia is well placed to provide research leadership within our region and has a responsibility to build capacity in developing countries. Despite our research prowess and relatively fortunate circumstances, the environmental threats to the health of children are not high on the research agenda in Australia. The general public is becoming better informed and increasingly concerned about adverse environmental influences on health. The development of CHEP at The University of Queensland will allow us to take advantage of this public sentiment and to gain a strategic advantage. CHEP researchers also collaborate with WHO and Ministries of Health in the Pacific Islands on research projects to inform public health strategies and interventions. This includes field projects focussed on epidemiological studies of leptospirosis in Fiji, and lymphatic filariasis elimination in American Samoa.