This is without doubt, an unprecedented and difficult time for us all. Not in living memory, has an infectious disease spread so rapidly to affect people across the world, including from the largest cities to the most remote communities.

At Menzies, we are all working hard to ensure that the impact of COVID-19 is limited as much as possible. This includes ensuring our staff and students remain safe and healthy, the well-being of our project participants and partners is protected and that the vital work we have undertaken for more than 35 years can continue.

We are actively supporting the Northern Territory, Queensland and Timor-Leste governments in their responses to COVID-19. This includes providing high-level strategic advice, training, enhancing testing and guidance on infection control and patient care.

Many of our researchers hold joint positions at the Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH). These staff members are increasing their clinical workloads at the hospital in response to the increased demand on health services. Our lab staff are ready to support the Department of Pathology at RDH with the testing program and we are developing guidelines to assist in the management of COVID-19 patients with chronic diseases.

As we start to emerge from this first wave of infections in Australia, we know it is critical that we remain vigilant and prepare for future impacts.

This preparation can take different forms. As an institution, we are reassessing how we continue to conduct our research programs and are working to adapt our projects to accommodate travel restrictions and other measures introduced to protect our communities. We are also looking at how we can better support and inform these communities about the risks of COVID-19. This has included developing COVID-19 health messages in Aboriginal languages and other targeted resources for people with chronic conditions.

Yes, these are challenging and uncertain times. However, we will get through this together. We have developed this dedicated COVID-19 webpage to provide our community with information and news about Menzies’ response to COVID-19 and how you can help support us to continue our work to improve the health of all people across northern Australia and the region.

Professor Alan Cass
Director, Menzies School of Health Research

  1. Davis, J.S., Ferreira, D., Denholm, J.T. & Tong, S.Y.C. (2020). Clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): The current state of play [Preprint]. The Medical Journal of Australia, April 27. 
  2. Howitt, R., Alves de Jesus, G., Araujo, F., Francis, J., Marr, I., McVean, M., MacMoran, E., Rollinson, V., Chung, A. & Yip, T.W. (2020). Screening and triage at health-care facilities in Timor-Leste during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, April 22. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30183-1.
  3. Hefler, M. & Gartner, C.E. (2020). The tobacco industry in the time of COVID-19: time to shut it down. Tobacco Control, 29, 245-246. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2020-055807

To keep up-to-date, subscribe to our social media channels, Facebook and Twitter and subscribe to our e-newsletter - Healthy Tomorrow.

  1. Epidemiologist Dr Karen Dempsey - part of the NT COVID-19 response

    Epidemiologist Dr Karen Dempsey - part of the NT COVID-19 response

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    When Timor-Leste voted for independence in 1999, violence erupted in the small island nation. Many Timorese were evacuated to Darwin to escape the withdrawing Indonesian troops. The Northern Territory Centre for Disease Control (CDC) managed the diagnosis...

  2. Reimagining health education in remote communities

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    Pop-up labs have been transformed to encourage healthy lifestyles and teach communities about how to stay healthy during lock-down and beyond. HealthLAB, a Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) initiative, is a pop-up lab where you can have an...

  3. Dili laboratory begins testing for coronavirus independently

    Dili laboratory begins testing for coronavirus independently

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    In collaboration with Menzies, the National Health Laboratory in Timor-Leste has begun reporting results of COVID-19 tests independently.

  4. Q&A with Menzies endocrinologist, Professor Louise Maple-Brown

    Q&A with Menzies endocrinologist, Professor Louise Maple-Brown

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    Prof Louise Maple-Brown discusses new diabetes guidelines during COVID-19.

  5. More than 100 COVID-19 research projects across Australia from Medical Research Institutes

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    Across AAMRI’s members there are more than 100 research projects currently in progress relating to COVID-19, covering vaccines, drug trials, diagnostics, screening tests, mental health and indigenous health.

  6. The Magic Cure: A book to help Australian parents talk to kids about coronavirus

    The Magic Cure: A book to help Australian parents talk to kids about coronavirus

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    The Magic Cure, written by Professor Anna Ralph, tells the story of two human siblings, an elf, a wizard and the search for a cure for a mystery illness.

  7. ABC News: Impact of services to remote Indigenous communities

    ABC News: Impact of services to remote Indigenous communities

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    A/Prof Heidi Smith-Vaughan, leads a mobile educational training service team in Darwin called Healthlab. She says while coronavirus has restricted travel, social media has opened up access to communities.

  8. Australian doctors aid Timor Leste in COVID-19 fight

    Australian doctors aid Timor Leste in COVID-19 fight

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    Australian doctors have joined the fight against COVID-19 in Timor-Leste in a bid to prevent devastation in one of South-East Asia's most vulnerable countries.

  9. Australian doctor in East Timor warns of impact coronavirus could have if it spreads there

    Australian doctor in East Timor warns of impact coronavirus could have if it spreads there

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    An Australian doctor on the frontline of treating COVID-19 in East Timor, has called on his trust in God to help him, warning of the “devastating” impact if the virus spreads in the vulnerable nation.

  10. Territory wins praise

    Territory wins praise

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    Prof Kelly spent nine years in the NT working as a principal research fellow at the Menzies School of Health Research, as well as with the Centre for Disease Control.

  11. RDH set to trial cocktail of drugs

    RDH set to trial cocktail of drugs

    Date

    Menzies researcher and Co-director of infectious diseases at Royal Darwin and Palmerston Hospitals Dr Jane Davies said the two drugs have shown promising signs of working to fight the virus in test tubes.

  12. Australian doctors aim to stop COVID-19 from 'tearing through' Timor-Leste

    Australian doctors aim to stop COVID-19 from 'tearing through' Timor-Leste

    Date

    Australian doctors have joined the fight against COVID-19 in Timor-Leste in a bid to prevent devastation in one of South-East Asia's most vulnerable countries.

  13. Play to Connect team adapts program to support remote communities during COVID

    Play to Connect team adapts program to support remote communities during COVID

    Date

    The Play to Connect team work with parents and children aged between three and seven to learn about child development through creative child-led play.

  14. Trump’s Faulty Malaria-Coronavirus Connection

    Trump’s Faulty Malaria-Coronavirus Connection

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    President Trump has suggested there are few novel coronavirus cases in “malaria countries” because of the use of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine.

  15. Expert opinion - Kidney disease and COVID-19

    Expert opinion - Kidney disease and COVID-19

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    For many years, experts at Menzies School of Health Research have contributed to the development and revision of national guidelines for health service delivery. The COVID-19 pandemic poses multiple challenges to how we deliver critical health services...

  16. The role of universities in times of national crisis

    The role of universities in times of national crisis

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    Edited excerpt: Associate Professor Erin Smith and Professor Ross Andrews discuss their role in the nation’s recent crises and the contribution that universities and researchers make to the nation during such times.

  17. Cancer and COVID-19 - What it means for our mob

    Cancer and COVID-19 - What it means for our mob

    Date

    "Having cancer can be a stressful situation, made more challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s really important for our Mob that we take particular care of ourselves, stay isolated as much as possible, especially if you are 50 or over...

  18. COVID-19 health messaging in language

    COVID-19 health messaging in language

    Date

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a team of Menzies researchers have developed a series of videos for people living in Aboriginal communities with health conditions such as chronic kidney, lung and/or heart disease. The videos encourage people to stay...

  19. The tobacco industry in the time of COVID-19: time to shut it down?

    The tobacco industry in the time of COVID-19: time to shut it down?

    Date

    The world will emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic changed. Phasing out cigarette sales would be an enormous long-term gain for public health.

  20. Q&A with infectious diseases expert Professor Josh Davis

    Q&A with infectious diseases expert Professor Josh Davis

    Date

    Professor Josh Davis is a clinician researcher, and divides his time between clinical work as an infectious diseases physician in Newcastle, and research work as a senior principal research fellow based at Menzies. He is also the President of the...

  21. The answer to Indigenous vulnerability to coronavirus: a more equitable public health agenda

    The answer to Indigenous vulnerability to coronavirus: a more equitable public health agenda

    Date

    Indigenous peoples over 50 have been directed to self-isolate, while for non-Indigenous people the age cut-off is 70. This is a reminder of the ongoing crisis of Indigenous health.

  22. Dr Lisa Whop - The answer to Indigenous vulnerability to COVID-19

    Dr Lisa Whop - The answer to Indigenous vulnerability to COVID-19

    Date

    Dr Lisa Whop a senior research fellow at Menzies has collaborated with Dr Chelsea Bond a senior research fellow at the University of Queensland's School of Social Science to provide a thought provoking article addressing Indigenous vulnerability to...

  23. Strengthening family relationships through play

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    Date

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  24. Researchers call for stronger regulation of online gambling industry in the NT

    Researchers call for stronger regulation of online gambling industry in the NT

    Date

    Dear Minister Fyles - Please see the attached letter from a group of public health researchers concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on patterns of gambling, and in particular, online gambling.

  25. A political impasse in Timor-Leste as coronavirus looms

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  26. Rapid regional assistance for Pandemic Preparedness and Response Planning

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  27. Australia helps Timor-Leste to prepare for COVID-19

    Australia helps Timor-Leste to prepare for COVID-19

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    Australia is supporting Timor-Leste to be prepared in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19.

  28. Capacity building in Timor-Leste

    Capacity building in Timor-Leste

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  29. Demands Grow to Shut Down Pokies

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  30. Researcher profile | Thank you Dr Jane Davies

    Researcher profile | Thank you Dr Jane Davies

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Menzies School of Health Research needs your support to help strengthen the COVID-19 response across northern Australia, nationally and internationally to save lives and protect our world-class health and medical research capability.

With the emergence and spread of COVID-19, Menzies is playing a critical role responding to the pandemic in the Northern Territory, across northern Australia and in neighbouring countries in South East Asia.

We have set up the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund to strengthen Menzies’ capacity to respond in a dynamic way to the evolving COVID-19 crisis across northern Australia.

This is central to Menzies’ mission to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who are particularly vulnerable to illness and death as a result of underlying health conditions.

Menzies has the plans, community and health sector partnerships and expertise. The solutions to these challenges are clear to us.

But we need your support.

By donating to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund you are enabling us to continue to find enduring solutions to health issues in northern Australia, nationally and internationally, including COVID-19.

Your support will:

  1. Help us to deliver flexible, adaptive activities to tackle COVID-19 in this unprecedented crisis.

  1. Enable us to redeploy our research teams to health services to support the COVID-19 response, as well as other critically important areas during this period of uncertainty.

Contact :  Colin Baillie, Head of Development, colin.baillie@menzies.edu.au, 0410 634 889.

Donate here

Menzies is a registered charity and a tax-deductible receipt will be issued for all donations.