Professor Sutton joins CSIRO from his current role as Victorian Chief Health Officer where he has provided expert advice on matters relating to the health and wellbeing of Victorians, including playing a critical leadership role in the public health response to COVID-19 in Victoria.
Professor Sutton will lead CSIRO’s Health and Biosecurity group which focusses on research and development around Australia’s health and biosecurity preparedness and responsiveness, digital health, and health and wellbeing.
He will also play a leading role in the development of CSIRO’s broader health challenge strategy, focussing on human health and the intersections where animal and environmental factors have a direct impact on humans. The challenge aims to utilise CSIRO’s expertise working across the whole-of-system health domain to develop personalised health solutions for people, transform the health system, and bolster Australia’s sovereign capability.
Kirsten Rose, CSIRO’s Executive Director, Future Industries, said Professor Sutton’s extensive experience across both the health and biosecurity landscapes will enable CSIRO to continue to meet the challenges and explore the opportunities of Australia’s health systems.
“As the national science agency, CSIRO’s role in health is critically important now more than ever because of the fragmentation, complexity, and vast scale of the health system, reinforcing the need for solutions to be evidence- and science-led,” Ms Rose said.
“The magnitude of the challenges Professor Sutton faced as Victoria’s Chief Health Officer in guiding the public health response to COVID-19, together with his specialised knowledge in tropical medicine and infectious disease, gives him a unique and compelling skill set to continue to drive CSIRO’s leadership in health and biosecurity research.
“We are excited for Brett to bring his leadership and expertise to the CSIRO team.”
A qualified public health physician, Professor Sutton has extensive experience and clinical expertise in public health and communicable diseases, gained through experience in Government, emergency medicine and field-based international work.
Most recently, he has held the role of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer together with the role of Victoria’s Chief Human Biosecurity Officer. Prior to his appointment as Chief Health Officer, Professor Sutton held several senior positions within the Victorian Department of Health, including as Deputy Chief Health Officer (Communicable Disease) and within their Health Protection Branch.
Professor Sutton also has specialist knowledge in tropical medicine and infectious disease, including in lower-middle income countries and complex humanitarian environments, and has worked in various specialised health roles in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Timor-Leste, and Fiji.
Professor Sutton is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health, a Fellow of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine, and a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM). He is also a member of the Faculty of Travel Medicine.
Professor Sutton will commence his new role with CSIRO in September 2023.