Dr Meru Sheel, was on the ground in Tonga and Papua New Guinea helping our neighbours with their response to the pandemic. Photo: WHO Country Office in Papua New Guinea.

Dr Meru Sheel, was on the ground in Tonga and Papua New Guinea helping our neighbours with their response to the pandemic. Photo: WHO Country Office in Papua New Guinea.

Combatting COVID-19 from Canberra

The Australian National University’s contribution to the fight against coronavirus in Australia has spanned the desert to the sea and has been built on cross-campus collaboration. Kierra Jade Maciver and Rachel Curtis report.

Australia's public response to the pandemic has been underpinned by the quality of advice our governments have received – much of it coming from experts at ANU.

In the early stages of the pandemic, Professor Russell Gruen, Dean of the ANU College of Health and Medicine, gathered more than 50 experts under a COVID taskforce to ensure a rapid and collaborative response from the best minds on campus.

“I wanted expertise to inform the nation’s and the University’s decisions, and where research and evidence doesn’t exist, I wanted our researchers to fill the gaps,” he says.

“We train some of the world’s finest field epidemiologists, and many have been actively assisting all levels of government across Australia by providing expertise and evidence-based advice.”