UWA joins expert taskforce to help government response to COVID-19

29/04/2020 | 3 mins

UWA has contributed nine top researchers to a taskforce of more than 100 experts across the Group of Eight (Go8) Universities that has today released a Roadmap to Recovery report, designed to help the Federal Government plot the best path through COVID-19.

The report, the most comprehensive of its kind presented to Government, presents two options for consideration: elimination or controlled adaption.

It notes that, until a vaccine is developed that confers immunity to all Australians, COVID-19 will remain in the community and many will still be susceptible.

UWA experts who are part of the taskforce include:

  • Dr Chris Blyth
  • Katrina Boterhoven de Haan
  • Professor Donna Cross and Associate Professor Tim Inglis from the Faculty Health and Medical Sciences
  • Professor Romola Bucks and Associate Professor Ullrich Ecker from the Faculty of Science
  • Professor Peter Robertson from the Business School
  • Professor George Milne from the Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
  • Professor Pat Dudgeon from the School of Indigenous Studies    

UWA Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Tim Colmer said UWA was pleased to contribute valuable expertise and work collaboratively across Australia’s eight research-intensive universities to help the country navigate through the pandemic by sharing specialised knowledge.

“The biggest challenge for governments is combining evidence-based decision making while weighing up the options and scenarios of how COVID-19 might play out,” Professor Colmer said.

“Our researchers not only have the specialised knowledge to provide expert advice, but their enthusiastic response and participation in this project, reflects the high quality and commitment from our staff and research students to contribute to understanding and responding to this pandemic.

“Our researchers have volunteered considerable amounts of their time to this important project to contribute their expertise to support the Australian community.”

The taskforce was co-chaired by Professor Shitij Kapur, Dean of Medicine at the University of Melbourne and Vicki Thomson, Chief Executive of the Go8.

Go8 Chief Executive and Taskforce Co-Chair Vicki Thomson said the expert advice of the Go8-based world-leading researchers was presented to Government on Monday 27 April.

“Committed researchers have all volunteered for the extremely intense project during which they worked across public holidays and well into each night,” she said.

“We are extremely proud to call them ours.”

Media outlets seeking access to these experts can contact the UWA Media Office. The University also has an experts guide for media seeking evidence-based input from UWA academics across a broad range of subject areas and specifically, COVID-19.

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