Message from Executive Director: COVID-safe Christmas wishes

The public health response we have all contributed to and witnessed in Melbourne this year has been a remarkable success. At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic back in July, we recorded 723 new cases in a day. As I write this message, some five months later, we have just reached 52 consecutive days of zero daily community transmission (13 active cases in hotel quarantine). It is no wonder the Victorian example is lauded internationally.

Whilst we are now afforded increasing freedom, we understand that this year has been particularly hard for the community but also for the health and academic sectors.

Our health services and workforce have worked tirelessly and transformed care dramatically, putting themselves at risk for the health and safety of others. Our researchers have been pushed to their limits delivering new innovations to combat this disease, dealing with dramatic funding limitations and major changes to the way we research and teach. We have all pivoted, zoomed and socially distanced, whilst keeping our community and staff supported and as safe as possible.

In this context, we are proud to deliver our inaugural Monash Partners Impact Report showcasing how we have worked with our community and Partners in 2019-2020 toward better health for our community. This includes outlining our support for COVID-19 research, our major advances in data driven healthcare improvement and our important progress in consumer and community involvement.

Our NHMRC-accredited Centres including Monash Partners, have also been appraised by the Federal Health Department and have emerged with flying colours. The value and contribution of the Centres is increasingly recognised, reaching beyond the relatively minor grant funding we provide, to networking and collaboration across community, research and healthcare, responding to health priorities, supporting systems change and delivering health impact.

As we near Christmas and the holiday season, we hope it brings with it time for reflection and rejuvenation. A chance to carve out time to reconnect with family and friends and enjoy our new-found freedoms. Thinking of those with family and friends overseas and still in the midst of COVID-19. I for one, am looking forward to the New Year as we continue to build on the fortunate situation we have worked so hard collectively to achieve.

Until next year,

Professor Helena Teede AM