Work With Purpose

Monday June 15, 2020

The dynamic duo with Professor Brendan Murphy and Caroline Edwards

He loves Italy, her mother was born in Spain. He is learning to sing, she grew up with a father who was totally blind. In this remarkable interview, Work with Purpose speaks to the people and the partnership that subdued the COVID-19 health crisis in Australia.

Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy recounts the heartache of closing Australia’s borders and many businesses. Acting Secretary of the Department of Health, Caroline Edwards tells of the late-night WhatsApp conversations with her family in Spain as the virus tore through that European country, up-ending their way of life.

In this powerful and personal episode of Work with Purpose, you are left reassured that Australia’s ‘Team Health’ – a team of hard working, intelligent public servants – pulled together to get it done when it mattered most. Discussed in this episode:

  • When the Chief Medical Officer first heard of Coronavirus.
  • The COVID-19 protection processes.
  • Suspending “normal” departmental rules and processes.
  • Principal-based decision making.
  • Professor Murphy dealing with newfound fame and his love for languages.
  • Partnerships between government departments to support Australians.

Produced in partnership between

Supported by


  • Caroline Edwards PSM image
    Caroline Edwards PSM

    Former Associate Secretary at the Department of Health and IPAA ACT Councillor

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