Professor Kelly is currently the Chief Medical Officer at the Australian Government Department of Health. Prior to this appointment, he was the Acting Chief Medical Officer, leading the Government’s health response to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. A public health physician and epidemiologist by training, He first joined the Department in March 2019 as the Chief Medical Adviser, Health Products Regulation Group and became the Deputy Chief Medical Officer in February 2020 following the response to the Summer 2019-2020 bushfires. Prior to these appointments, he spent 8 years as Chief Health Officer for the Australian Capital Territory and Deputy Director-General of Population Health in the ACT Government Health Directorate.
He has previously worked in research, health systems development, post-graduate teaching and as a health service executive including Director of the Masters of Applied Epidemiology Program at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University (ANU), and in the Northern Territory working as a Principal Research Fellow with the Menzies School of Health Research, as well as with the Centre for Disease Control in the NT Department of Health. Professor Kelly has worked in parts of Australia as well as Malawi, Indonesia, East Timor and the UK.
Professor Kelly has over 30 years research experience and has published over 120 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He has supervised or mentored many trainees and post-graduate students and delivered lectures, workshops, seminars and conference talks nationally and internationally.
He is the Chair of the Australian Health Protection Principle Committee (AHPPC) and as an official member of National Cabinet, has contributed his extensive public health and epidemiological knowledge and experience in the formulation of various plans and advice relating to COVID-19. This has included the publication of statements and guidelines across a wide range of COVID-19 issues including incoming and outgoing travel particularly regarding infection prevention and control at Australia’s borders, aged care, hotel quarantine, public health measures such as social distancing and hygiene and the application of restrictions in response to community cases of COVID-19. This vital work has significantly contributed to Australia’s approach to virus suppression.