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MedConnect | COVID-normal: preparing for a new world

27 October 2021
6.00pm – 7.00pm AEDT
This event has ended
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As we approach the two-year mark since the world first encountered COVID-19, we are grappling with what the future looks like and how we learn to co-exist with this disease. We’ve watched the devastating effects COVID-19 has had on our society and every industry in Australia – now is the time to come together to chart a course for a new COVID-normal world.

What needs to happen to ensure a safe and prosperous future for individuals, businesses, education, healthcare and our most vulnerable communities? What implications has the pandemic had on the way we live and how must society change in response to these? What does our new world look like?

Hear from a panel of world-class experts – Laureate Professor Peter Doherty, CEO of Business NSW Daniel Hunter, and Associate Professor Faye McMillan, in discussion with Associate Professor Adrienne Torda  – for the second of the 2021 MedConnect series, where we will discuss COVID-normal and how we live with this new reality.

This event is presented by UNSW Medicine & Health.


About MedConnect

MedConnect is an exciting digital series proudly hosted by UNSW Medicine & Health, where we take time to discuss some of the biggest challenges facing healthcare today and into the future.

This event will be available on the UNSW Medicine & Health Facebook page and UNSW YouTube channel. A link to watch the livestream will be sent on the event day to registered attendees.

Can't tune in to the event? You can also register to receive the on-demand recording.

Laureate Professor Peter Doherty

Laureate Professor Peter Doherty


Laureate Professor Peter Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Medicine Prize with Swiss colleague Rolf Zinkernagel, for their discoveries about transplantation and “killer” T cell-mediated immunity, an understanding that is currently translating into new cancer treatments. The first veterinarian to win a Nobel, he was Australian of the Year in 1997. Still active in research on immunity to influenza, he commutes between St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis and the Peter Doherty Institute at the University of Melbourne, where he now spends most of his professional time. Apart from his scientific output that can be found on PubMed, he is the author of several “lay” books, including A Light History of Hot Air, The Beginners Guide to Winning the Nobel Prize, Sentinel Chickens: What Birds Tell Us About Our Health and Our World and Pandemics: What Everyone Needs to Know. Passionate about promoting an evidence-based view of reality, his 2015 book The Knowledge Wars is a “warts and all” view of science for non-scientists, even for people who don’t like science. It also suggests how any thoughtful citizen can bypass the facile propagandists and probe the scientific evidence for and against some of the big issues, like climate change or GM foods.

Faye McMilan

Associate Professor Faye McMillan


Associate Professor Faye McMillan is one of two Deputy National Rural Health Commissioners, playing a key role in the federal government’s agenda to increase access to rural health services and address rural workforce shortages. With an extensive career in allied health in regional and rural New South Wales (NSW), she joined the UNSW School of Population Health this year as A/Prof in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health. A Wiradjuri Yinaa woman originally from Trangie, NSW, A/Prof McMillan was previously Director of the Djirruwang Program - Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health) at Charles Sturt University. She has received numerous accolades for her leadership and contributions to population health, education, equity and the community, including a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to Indigenous mental health and tertiary education. In 2019, she was named the NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year. She holds a Doctor of Health Science, Master of Indigenous Health, Bachelor of Pharmacy, Graduate Certificate in Wiradjuri Language, Culture and Heritage, Graduate Certificate Indigenous Governance, and Graduate Certificate in Education. Faye is the first registered Aboriginal pharmacist in Australia.

Daniel Hunter, CEO of Business NSW

Daniel Hunter


As the Chief Executive Officer of Business NSW, the state’s leading voice of business, Daniel Hunter is committed to providing member businesses with the information, advice, products and services they need to grow and stay competitive. His career has spanned finance and operational leadership roles, across both the private and public sector. Previously the Deputy Secretary Finance and Asset Management and Chief Financial Officer for NSW Health, Dan managed a $29 billion annual health budget for the state. He is proud to have been a part of the NSW Health system and their world-leading response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to this, Dan had been the Chief Executive of HealthShare NSW, the 7,000-person shared services delivery organisation of NSW Health, since 2015. Dan also worked at Sydney Water in many different senior roles and in the private sector, with Intercontinental Hotels Group and Channel Seven’s Pacific Magazines. Dan holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Commercial Law from the University of Auckland, a Master’s degree from Griffith University and is a CPA.

Adrienne Torda

Associate Professor Adrienne Torda


Associate Professor Adrienne Torda is Associate Dean, Education and Innovation at UNSW Medicine & Health. She is a practicing clinician and medical educator, with specialist qualifications in infectious diseases and additional degrees and fellowships in university learning and teaching and medical ethics. Her educational passions include innovation in education, partnering with students, role modelling and mentoring. She is involved in curriculum design across the entire undergraduate medical program at UNSW and also teaches medical students from first to final year, on campus and in the hospital workplace. She champions gender equity and inclusive leadership at UNSW.