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Strengthening Australia against infectious diseases

We are working to strengthen Australia’s capabilities in preparing for and preventing infectious and vector borne diseases through surveillance and interventions. With access to wide-ranging expertise, CSIRO provides a One-Health approach that recognises the health of people, animals and the environment are closely linked.

[Image appears of a bubble floating through the air and then bursting against a piece of grass]


[Images move through of a light behind some bark, and then a view looking up through the trees and then down into the water]


Brett Sutton: It’s really incalculable, it’s really difficult to calculate what a healthy population means.


[Image changes to show a rear view of a person holding up their hand to shade them from the sun]


David Hansen: Big challenges are generally what scientists like to tackle.


[Images move through to show a person walking through a crop, a female sitting in a wheelchair while people move around her in fast motion, and then a robotic arm at work in a laboratory]


Charlotte Williams: A big idea would be something that helps a lot of people. That is changing the way we do science.


[Images move through to show a person inflating a Hazmat suit, a person depressing a syringe of pink liquid, a sample of blue liquid, and the person in the Hazmat suit entering through a door]


Dwane O’Brien: It takes an incredible team of diagnosticians, disease researchers and engineers and trades to solve these big problems.


[Images move through of a male working on a computer, a close view of the computer, a researcher working with insects in a clear box, a close view of a computer screen, and a researcher in a lab]


Brett Sutton: CSIRO’s role broadly is to go toe to toe with the big challenges that Australia faces, that our region faces and that the world faces.


[Images move through to show a researcher wearing a Hazmat suit and working in a lab, a close view of researchers syringing liquid into test tubes, and two females working on a computer together]


Charlotte Williams: Australia has a really rich biotech and med-tech sector, and CSIRO works really closely with that sector to advance all different aspects.


[Images move through to show a side, facing and rear view of medical staff wheeling a patient in a hospital bed along the hospital corridors]


David Hansen: It’s often stated that it takes up to 17 years for a new health innovation to really be embedded in our health care system.


[Images move through to show a farmer walking through a crop, an ear tagged cow, a female lifting up a child, a green tree frog, and a rear view of children and a dog running in a paddock]


Dwane O’Brien: One Health is where you recognise that the health of people and animals of the environment are really closely linked.


[Images move through to show an aerial view of a city, pedestrians waiting at traffic lights, a flock of birds, a bee crawling on a flower, a turtle crawling to the ocean, and children running into the sea]


Brett Sutton: It’s a case of humans not just being one village on the Earth but actually sharing it with really significant eco-systems that we interact with all of the time.


[Images move through to show a male putting on a face mask, a male wearing a full head shield and face mask, a “Closed Due to Covid” sign, cars moving along a road, an aerial view of crops, hens hopping out of their coop, and an aerial view of sheep being mustered]


Dwane O’Brien: The impact of diseases upon the community, on the agricultural sector through their livestock, the impacts of those diseases can be massive.


[Image changes to show a person having a CT scan]


David Hansen: You know we want to diagnose things properly.


[Image changes to show a person looking at scan images, two medical staff looking at a computer screen, and a person using an iPad to look at various scans]


Brett Sutton: We’re now in a complex world where diagnosis might require machine learning, AI, to be able to pick up early stages of diseases.


[Image changes to show a doctor listening to a baby’s chest with a stethoscope]


David Hansen: The big idea to me is making sure that we have a sustainable health care system.


[Images move through to show a researcher in a lab, various lab machines in operation, and then a person drawing up liquid into a syringe]


Charlotte Williams: It’s all about the research, discovery and the build in order to deliver at a global scale.


[Image changes to show a male and female looking at a computer together, and then the image changes to show a researcher looking at enlarged microscope slides on a computer screen]


Dwane O’Brien: It’s an incredibly rewarding thing to do as a, as a scientist.


[Image changes to show a researchers looking up at a screen, and then the image changes to show robotic machines in operation]


Charlotte Williams: Every day we strive to bring these big ideas to life here.


[Images move through to show a person putting plants into a tray, a robotic hand being tested, and a drone moving through the air]


Brett Sutton: And I think we have to continue to support ideas where we’re not sure where it might lead, does that mean you don’t even go there?


[Images move through to show a person with an artificial leg using a skateboard, a person blowing bubbles, and the bubble floating through the air]


I think that’s wrong. I think you have to look at the possibilities in certain ideas and say, we’re not sure where this might lead.


[Music plays and the image changes to show a bubble moving through the air, and text appears on the right: The voices behind CSIRO’s Big Ideas]


[Image changes to show Brett Sutton talking to the camera, and text appears: Brett Sutton, Director Health & Biosecurity]


Brett Sutton: Hi, I’m Brett Sutton. I’m Director of Health and Biosecurity at CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency.


[Image changes to show David Hansen talking to the camera, and text appears: David Hansen, Research Director, Australian e-health Research Centre]


David Hansen: Hi, I’m David Hansen. I lead CSIROs Digital Health Research Program, the Australian E-Health Centre.


[Image changes to show Charlotte Williams talking to the camera, and text appears: Charlotte Williams, Group Leader, Chemical Biology, Diagnostics and Devices]


Charlotte Williams: Hi, I’m Charlotte Williams, I’m Group Leader for Chemical Biology Diagnostics and Devices.


[Image changes to show Dwane O’Brien talking to the camera, and text appears: Dwane O'Brien, Deputy Director, Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness]


Dwane O’Brien: Hi, I’m Dwane O’Brien, I’m Deputy Director of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness.


[Music plays and the image changes to show the CSIRO logo and text appears: CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency]






How can we strengthen Australia against infectious diseases?

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