Our medical experts

The Australian Government has put together a team of widely respected clinicians, led by the Chief Medical Officer, to assist with the COVID-19 response. With a huge breadth of experience, these experts will help us manage as effectively as we can the unprecedented health challenges we are facing.

Professor Paul Kelly

Chief Medical Officer

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Professor Paul Kelly is a public health physician and epidemiologist with more than 30 years’ research experience. He has worked around the world in health system development and infectious disease epidemiology.

Paul was one of the leads in developing the FluCAN project – a national influenza surveillance system used by hospitals to track patients who are hospitalised with influenza. This work helps to determine the effectiveness of the yearly influenza vaccine.

Paul has vast experience in infectious disease epidemiology, in particular influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis. This will help us understand how coronavirus spreads through the community and what we can do to slow the spread.

Adjunct Professor (Practice) Alison McMillan

Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer

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Alison has been a nurse for more than 35 years, specialising in intensive care. She has held executive positions in health service operations, safety and quality, nursing and midwifery policy and health emergencies.

As a member of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and as co-chair of the Infection Control Expert Group, her role in the coronavirus response is to advise the Australian Government to realise the value of the nursing and midwifery professions in achieving safe, quality and compassionate health and aged care outcomes for the Australian community.

Professor Michael Kidd AM

Deputy Chief Medical Officer

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Professor Michael Kidd AM has been a general practitioner for 35 years, working in urban and rural areas across Australia, and is a past president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

He is a world-leading authority on primary health care, having worked in senior leadership positions in Australia and around the world, including the World Health Organization and the World Organization of Family Doctors. He has vast experience of national and global health systems.

Michael is helping change the way we deliver quality health care to every Australian. His contribution to the coronavirus response is focused on how the health system can evolve to meet the current needs of the Australian community – bringing health care into our homes.

Dr Ruth Vine

Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health

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Dr Ruth Vine is Australia’s first Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health. Ruth has worked as a consultant psychiatrist in clinical and government roles since 1991. She has been Victoria’s Chief Psychiatrist and Director of Mental Health.

Ruth provides her expertise to the mental health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She will work with states and territories to make sure Australia’s mental health system meets patient needs. This means people suffering mental ill health can get the help when and where they need it.

Ruth works with states and territories on the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan, and with the department in the development of the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention agreement and response to the Productivity Commission Report on Mental Health.

Dr Nick Coatsworth

Infectious Diseases Physician

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Dr Nick Coatsworth brings together two of the most important factors in the fight against coronavirus – he is a respiratory specialist and infectious diseases specialist.

He has extensive experience in health emergencies and epidemics around the world, including leading Australian Medical Assistance Teams and working in Congo, Chad and Sudan with Médecins Sans Frontières.

Dr Coatsworth is currently serving as executive director of medical services for Canberra Health Services and continues to provide advice to the department in the COVID-19 response. 

Last updated: 
15 January 2021

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