Paul Kelly Chief Health officer Australia

The Australian Government has welcomed the appointment of Professor Paul Kelly as Australia’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO).

Prof Kelly has been acting in the role since June 2020, and prior to this was Deputy CMO from January 2020.

Prof Kelly has been intimately involved in Australia’s response to COVID-19 from the earliest days of the pandemic, and on the health response to the devastating 2019–20 bushfires.

Since Dr Brendan Murphy’s appointment as Secretary of the Department of Health, Prof Kelly has ably led the response to COVID-19, including as Chair of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

His appointment to the permanent role of CMO ensures Australia remains in very capable hands. He was successful after a rigorous and highly competitive selection process conducted by the Department of Health.

Prof Kelly and his colleagues have been instrumental in our world-leading health response to the pandemic.

He has become a familiar and reassuring presence on our TV screens. His in-depth knowledge of this virus and its transmission has been invaluable.

Prof 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 with infectious diseases.

He has vast experience in infectious disease epidemiology, in particular influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Also read: Re-Opening of Australia – Morrison’s three step strategy

The Australian Government has asked much of the CMO and medical advisers in 2020, and has always acted on their expert advice. We thank them and congratulate Prof Kelly on this important appointment.

Prof Paul Kelly will continue to lead Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a particular emphasis on our vaccination roll-out.


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