COVID-19 Update Series – Part Four: Understanding and moving on from COVID-19

About the series

Over recent weeks, ADC Forum has brought together Australian and global thought leaders to explore and debate the evidence and the issues, with which the Covid-19 crisis challenges us.

The aim of this four-part series is to present current information and insights and expose arguments relevant to understanding and moving on from the crisis.

ADC Forum does not necessarily endorse any of the viewpoints, but presents them as a contribution to informed discourse and decision making on issues critical to our future.

What are the lessons, so far, about COVID-19 and how do we apply them?

We have gained significant insights about the nature of COVID-19 since it first cast its shadow nearly a year ago. But the rapidly rising wave of new infections in some of the worlds biggest economies demonstrates that the threat is still very real. As debate continues among the experts, public discussion about the responses has become increasingly politicised.

This panel takes stock of what we have learned, how this know this knowledge can or should be applied and what are the strategies for moving forward?

An eminent panel of Australian and international experts recently shared their insights on these critical issues.


Terry Moran AC 
Terry Moran served as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australia’s most senior public servant position, from 2008  to 2011. As Secretary, Terry was responsible for leading the work of the Department on national security and international policy; environment, industry and economic policy; social policy and reforms negotiated by the Council of Australian Governments; and coordination of government administration, including Cabinet support.  During the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, he helped to lead the development of Australia’s highly successful policy responses. He also chaired the Advisory Group on the Reform of Australian Government Administration, which developed a blueprint for reform of the Australian Public Service. Prior to joining PM&C, Terry held a number of senior positions at state and federal level, including Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Victoria, Director-General of Education in Queensland and CEO of the Australian National Training Authority.

Terry is a member of the ADC Forum advisory Council. He is also Chancellor at Federation University of Australia and Deputy President of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and chairs the Melbourne Theatre Company and the Centre for Policy Development and is a member of CEDA’s Board of Governors.

Professor Raina MacIntyre
One of the world’s leading emerging infectious diseases experts, Professor MacIntyre is the NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Professor of Global Biosecurity at the University of NSW.. She heads the Biosecurity Program at the Kirby Institute, which conducts research in epidemiology, vaccinology, bioterrorism prevention, mathematical modelling, genetic epidemiology, public health and clinical trials in infectious diseases. Professor MacIntyre’s medical research focuses on respiratory transmissible viral infections and she has led the world’s largest body of international clinical research on face masks and respirators.

Professor Kanta Subbarao
Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza in 2016. Prior to her arrival in Melbourne, she was Chief of the Emerging Respiratory Viruses Section of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, NIAID, National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States from 2002-2016 and chief of the Molecular Genetics Section of the Influenza Branch at the US CDC from 1997-2002.
Professor Subbarao is a virologist and a physician with specialty training in pediatrics and paediatric infectious diseases. Her research is focused on newly emerging viral diseases of global importance including pandemic influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and includes study of virus biology and pathogenesis, immune responses to infection and vaccination, development and preclinical and clinical evaluation of vaccines.

Mio Takaoka
Mio Takaoka is the CFO and Member of the Board of Medical Note, Inc., and a Partner, Arbor Ventures. She is renowned as one of the first VC investors in the Japanese FinTech space and is experienced in identifying and scaling truly innovative FinTech companies. She is also expanding her reach into the digital healthcare sector through her involvement with Medical Note, a digital healthcare platform founded by doctors, which has 20mm monthly users in Japan. Mio started her career with Goldman Sachs, and over the course of 18 years with the firm, gained experience across trading, M&A, and Venture Capital. Mio is currently a committee member of the JVCA Ecosystem Committee and has been selected as 1 of 55 top women in Japan by Forbes as well as one of the ‘Top 100 Influencers in FinTech’ by NextBnk in 2016 and 2017. She is also a co-founder of FINOVATORs, a pro-bono organization which promotes the development of the fintech ecosystem in Japan, and has been invited to speak at the Fintech Study groups held by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Infrastructure for Japan, and the Financial Commission of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. Ms Takaoka is also a Foundation Member of G1 Institute, and shares her insights at various high profile international meetings. Mio received her BA in Natural Sciences (Physics) from Cambridge University.

Professor Kenji Shibuya
Director, University Institute for Population Health at King’s College London. His expertise ranges across important topics in global and population health. Professor Shibuya has been an advisor to both central and local governments, and most recently he was appointed as Special Advisor to the Director-General of the World Health Organization on health metrics and systems and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a new vaccine fund. He obtained his MD at the University of Tokyo and earned a doctorate of public health in international health economics at Harvard University.

Associate Professor Louis Irving
Director of the Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine and Director of Clinical Training, PGY 2/33 at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and Director of the Lung Tumour Stream at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. He has over 40 years of clinical experience in public hospitals and is actively involved in teaching and training as an inaugural fellow of the Academy of Clinical Teachers at the Melbourne Medical School.  Lou’s research interests include lung cancer, COPD and asthma producing over 220 publications and multiple NHMRC grants. He is a strong advocate on health and peace matters.  He is a spokesperson for the Influenza Specialist Group and the Lung Foundation of Australia, a member and previous co-ordinator of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War and has participated in the UN sponsored peace keeping activities in Rwanda and East Timor.  In the past 8 years Lou’s advocacy activities have included a strong focus on reducing air pollution in Australia.  He has authored several government submissions regarding the pollutant thresholds in Australia and appeared as an expert witness in several large infrastructure projects affecting local communities in Melbourne.

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