Test for success: rapid antigen testing for COVID-19

Test for success: rapid antigen testing for COVID-19

Sep 3
Join epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws, rapid testing expert Devon Elke and CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento to discuss the use of rapid testing in Australia against COVID-19.
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Melinda Cilento, Chief Executive, CEDA
Devon Elke, Director, CDL Rapid Screening Consortium
Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, Professor of Epidemiology, Hospital Infection and Infectious Diseases Control, and Deputy President of the Academic Board, UNSW

Event Overview

As the COVID-19 pandemic grinds on, Australia continues to rely heavily on non-health interventions - primarily border closures, quarantine and social distancing - to protect the community as we wait for vaccine levels to rise. Could we be doing more?

In a recent Op-Ed, CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento called on Australian governments to 'use every tool available' to comprehensively tackle COVID-19.

One widely-available and easily deployed tool is rapid antigen testing. While less accurate than the "gold standard" PCR (polymerase chain reaction) diagnostic tests currently used, rapid testing could enable faster, cheaper, more accessible and more widespread testing and be used as a first step for screening when there are widespread outbreaks such as in Sydney now.

To discuss the point, and how to progress rapid testing in Australia, UNSW epidemiologist Professor Mary-Louise McLaws will be joined by Devon Elke of Canadian rapid testing firm CDL Screening Consortium (who have deployed rapid testing with more than 500 organisation across Canada), and CEDA CEO Melinda Cilento. 

Roundtable start times:
SA/NT: 9.30am
WA: 8.00am

This virtual roundtable is by invitation only. The roundtable will be conducted on a virtual platform and numbers are limited to maximise participation. Invitations to virtual roundtables are a valued benefit of CEDA membership. Chatham House Rule applies. Roundtable discussions will be targeted to varied groups, including state-based Trustees discussions, national or industry sector Trustee roundtables, and c-suite conversations.


Meet the speakers

Melinda Cilento
Chief Executive, CEDA

Melinda is a company director, economist and experienced senior executive. She is a Non-Executive Director of Australian Unity and Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia. Melinda is also a member of the Parliamentary Budget Office panel of expert advisors. Melinda was previously a Non-Executive Director with Woodside Petroleum, Commissioner with the Productivity Commission and Deputy CEO and Chief Economist with the Business Council of Australia. Melinda has also previously held senior roles with the Federal Department of Treasury, Invesco and the International Monetary Fund.

Devon Elke
Director, CDL Rapid Screening Consortium

Devon is Director at CDL Rapid Screening Consortium, a not-for-profit organisation with the goal of establishing a robust rapid screening system and operational implementation strategy to be delivered as a public good. Previously, Devon spent 15 years leading technology and organisational change across the financial and professional services sectors, most recently as the Head of Innovation for an international law firm.

Professor Mary-Louise McLaws
Professor of Epidemiology, Hospital Infection and Infectious Diseases Control, and Deputy President of the Academic Board, UNSW

Mary-Louise joined the World Health Organisation (WHO) Health Emergencies Program Experts Advisory Panel for Infection Control in February 2020 in response to COVID-19. Previously, she was the WHO Advisor to China and Malaysia for surveillance and an expert advisor to WHO on several global projects for many years. She has worked in the HIV pandemic, reviewed the response to the SARS 2003 outbreak in Hong Kong and Beijing and assisted the Australia preparedness for pandemic influenza. Outside pandemics, she works in patient safety reducing the risk of infection in hospitalised patients.

Hosting opportunity available:

If you are interested in hosting this virtual roundtable discussion please contact the event coordinator by clicking Contact us above.

Trustee event advice - Coronavirus

We at CEDA are proud to regularly convene and engage speakers and audiences as an essential element of our efforts to broaden discussion and debate of the most important policy issues facing Australia. In doing so, our first priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff.

CEDA is currently running Trustee roundtable discussions virtually and face-to-face where there is member demand and they can be delivered in accordance with government health advice for a specific state.

For face-to-face roundtables, CEDA is working closely with our hosts and venues to ensure that social distancing can be maintained and facilities and equipment have been properly sanitised.

In line with government advice we request people that are unwell with cough or fever or other respiratory symptoms do not attend CEDA events. We also ask that you follow government advice and maintain social distancing by refraining from shaking hands or exchanging physical greetings, and wherever possible, staying at least 1.5 metres away from others.

CEDA is closely monitoring government advice regarding public gatherings and will follow all relevant health advice from the Australian government in relation to COVID-19.

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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