Hon. Greg Hunt: McKinnon Political Leader of the Year

The Hon. Greg Hunt has been named the McKinnon Political Leader of the Year for 2020, recognised for his leadership in spearheading Australia’s health response to the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020.

The Health Minister was recognised for taking action to ensure Australians felt protected by our Government. Hunt was central in ensuring public health evidence underpinned government decision making. He drove Australia’s vaccine acquisition strategy and steered reforms to Medicare-funded telehealth which ensured Australians under lockdown or subject to movement restrictions could receive remote medical care.

Minister Hunt took significant action to make sure Australians felt supported by our Government through the pandemic. In May 2020, he led the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan, scaling up services available to Australians to help deal with lockdowns, the challenges of isolation, and other COVID-19 challenges.

The Health Minister listened and embraced the medical and scientific advice of expert voices in 2020, leading to the Federal Government’s early decision to ban flights from China in February and shortly after close the border to international arrivals. He was also responsible in the early days of the crisis for ensuring supply lines for critical medical equipment remained open.

The McKinnon Prize Selection Panel noted Hunt’s responsibility for key policy decisions throughout 2020 – a year dominated by the once-in-a-generation COVID-19 crisis. They applauded his willingness to be guided by scientific advice and praised his decisive, action-oriented leadership style.

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The McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership is a collaboration between the Susan McKinnon Foundation and the University of Melbourne.

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