Former health minister joins ANU

1 November 2019

Former ACT Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris will help health leaders develop high-level skills to keep Australians well as part of a new role at The Australian National University (ANU).

Ms Fitzharris will take up the role of Senior Fellow in Health Policy and Leadership next week.

In this role she will bring together expertise from across ANU to develop a program to give senior health executives the management, policy, leadership and analytical expertise they need to steer Australia's health sector through the challenges ahead.

"I'm passionate about health and about higher education so this opportunity to join the ANU College of Health and Medicine is really exciting," Ms Fitzharris said.

"Delivering exceptional healthcare to the Australian community is vital.

"There are challenges and opportunities for health professionals navigating a dynamic healthcare environment. This requires leadership skills to ensure healthcare leaders can engage in policy, technological and digital developments and lead teams to new ways of collaborating within and beyond the healthcare sector.

"We need smart, innovative, skilled people to lead the sector through these challenges. With its world-class research in health and policy development, ANU is well-positioned to support current and future health professionals across the country."

Ms Fitzharris will also bring her experience in public policy reform to research projects at ANU, and to students of health and health policy in the ANU College of Health and Medicine, the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, and other parts of the university.

In addition to the health portfolio, Ms Fitzharris had been Minister for Transport and Municipal Services, and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research, and she also chaired the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council.

Ms Fitzharris has degrees with first class honours in commerce and international development from the University of Otago and University of Auckland, respectively. Before commencing her political career she worked for New South Wales Police, Australian Federal Police and the Attorney-General's Department.

Dean of the ANU College of Health and Medicine Professor Russell Gruen said Ms Fitzharris was perfect for the role.

"We need to bring multiple perspectives to tackle emerging challenges in the health sector and I've been looking for the right person to champion this for some time," Professor Gruen said.

"I was deeply impressed with Meegan as a minister so I am delighted she is joining ANU."