HOW TECHNOLOGY AND SCIENCE ARE INFORMING VICTORIA’S COVID RESPONSE
MARTIN FOLEY, VICTORIAN MINISTER FOR HEALTH & GERARD MANSOUR, VICTORIAN COMMISSIONER FOR SENIORS
9 OCTOBER 2021
Lessons learned in the pandemic
The large audience that tuned into U3APP’s Seniors Festival Saturday Seminar was given wide ranging, thoughtful and candid insights into Government’s response to the COVID19 Pandemic by the Victorian Minister for Health, Martin Foley and the Victorian Commissioner for Seniors, Gerard Mansour. A refreshing change from the combative and obfuscating style of media interviews that we have become all too accustomed to.
Both speakers acknowledged that the advent of Coronavirus had impacted heavily on people’s lives and even more so in the last months with the emergence of Delta. Both speakers also acknowledged the challenges in responding to the Pandemic – the uneven impact it has had on Victorians through isolation, economic hardship, misinformation, and issues of mental health.
Minister Foley stressed the fundamental importance of science and technology as essential tools in the health crisis. He acknowledged that the development of effective vaccines was the biggest breakthrough internationally; but locally Victoria’s universities and scientific bodies like CSIRO, the Doherty and Burnett Institutes had responded with modelling, tracing, genomic sequencing, the testing of sewage and ventilation control and the upskilling of staff. Lives, because of the science and technology, have been saved.
The Minister stressed the high level of cooperation and genuine support of Health Ministers, Health Departments and Health Bodies and Officers across Australia irrespective of political persuasion. These lessons will carry over as we emerge from the crisis.
Gerard Mansour, the Commissioner for Senior Victorians also pointed to changes in the Victorian senior’s activities in this period: acquisition of new IT skills, engagement with neighbours and developing greater resilience. The Commissioner praised U3A as an organisation that fosters connectivity and learning that embodies his logo of “never stop exploring”. The Commissioner’s presentation can be accessed by clicking here.
The Webinar was most ably facilitated by Marcel Colman, a Current Affairs Tutor of U3APP, with insightful comments and thought-provoking questions. Move over Leigh Sales!
To view a recording of the seminar, click HERE.
Pam Caven, COVID-19 Working Group, Committee of Management