World Economic Forum Simulated Pandemic and Australian Involvement

In the public interest.

I have been watching the simulation of a viral pandemic from the World Economic Forum Event 201 sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Many around the world are concerned that this event closely simulated the COVID-19 pandemic.

I noted some Australians were present.  So I thought I’d profile one here.  Jane Halton was at this simulation as a global leader.  She is a former Health Department bureaucrat who has spoken to the World Health Organisation in 2007 and likely numerous contacts given her role.  She liaised with industry interests and peak bodies engaged in global health coordination, regulation and information sharing.

It is reported that Jane Halton has been in charge of the Department of Health for 33 years as a bureaucrat.

A notable position she has held was to lead the people smuggling taskforce in Howard Government.  The Conversation provides further information:

Her career has had its share of controversy. John Howard’s head of the prime minister’s department, Max Moore-Wilton appointed her to lead the people-smuggling taskforce, putting her on the front line during the first “Pacific solution”, and the “children overboard” affair when the political climate was red hot.  The role gained her enemies and admirers. Margo Kingston’s 2002 profile reported, “she’s famous for shocking dithering blokes round a meeting table with: ‘Haven’t any of you got balls!’”.  As health department secretary Halton struck up a good relationship with then-minister Tony Abbott. After he became prime minister there was some speculation she could become the first woman to head the prime minister’s department, but instead she was appointed the first female secretary of finance.

The article mentions in 2016 the resignation of Stephen Conroy (Labour – right) which I found an interesting connection in respect of the NBN that he was Communications Minister.  This connects to the IT industry where Australians are told to go online as part of social distancing and self isolation.  Today MP Paul Fletcher is in this portfolio.


Green Left Weekly discuss the Children Overboard Affair

She maintained her position in the Abbott government reforming health, as follows:

Department was reformed as the Department of Health in September 2013, when the Abbott Government was elected, and Halton remained at the head. During this time, Halton was responsible for providing advice to government on issues including the administration of Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and private health insurance, and for implementing a $60 billion budget.[1] Whilst she was Health Secretary, Halton led the development of the first Memorandum of Understanding between Medicines Australia and the Australian Government, in 2010.[9][10]

She then joined the Department of Finance as a Secretary from 2014-2016.  I found this quote from Wikipedia interesting:

She also emphasised the scope of work harnessing technology to deliver public services more efficiently across government agencies into different platforms.[12]

She was invited to become a Director on the Board of ANZ and Clayton Utz.

Halton announced her resignation, set for 15 October 2016, on 16 September 2016.[13][14][15] After stepping down as Secretary, Halton was appointed to the board of the ANZ Bank[16] and Vault Systems.[17]

Halton is chair of the global Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations[18][19] and in March 2020 was appointed to the executive board of the Australian National COVID-19 Coordination Commission.[20]

What is interesting is that she attended the simulation in October 2019 and then was appointed to the Australian National COVID-19 Coordination Commission.  Is this luck or preparedness?

Clayton Utz stated that Australia is a hotspot for investment.  I would like to see analysis on who is acquiring Australian assets during this time of COVID-19.

Apparently in 2017 she was appointed to the Board of Crown Casino, quote as follows:

Casino giant Crown Resorts has appointed one of the most powerful women in the history of the public service and the chief financial officer of global poker-machine maker Aristocrat as its newest board members.


Other interesting information is as follows:

Halton was created an Officer of the Order of Australia in June 2015.[23] She was made an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (FAHMS) in 2015.[24]