The Hon Greg Hunt MP was named the 2020 McKinnon Political Leader of the Year for his leadership in spearheading Australia’s health response to the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020.
Mr 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.
Mr Hunt took significant action to make sure Australians felt supported by the 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.
Mr Hunt listened and embraced the medical and scientific advice of expert voices in 2020. This lead to the Federal Government’s early decision to ban flights from China in February and shortly after to 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 2020 Selection Panel noted Mr Hunt’s responsibility for key policy decisions throughout the unprecedented year of 2020. They applauded his willingness to be guided by scientific advice and praised his decisive, action-oriented leadership style.