RSP Annual Lecture - Jane Halton

The ANU Research School of Psychology Annual Lecture is a highlight of our year, showcasing the significant impact of Psychology on community and social issues. For this year, an alumnus Adjunct Professor Jane Halton will deliver the lecture and discuss "Prevention, Preparedness, Politics and Pandemics. Where does Psychology fit?".



Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic much has been made of the need to follow the health advice. This has been crucial to our public health response meaning that Australia has had many fewer deaths than other countries.

In reality pandemic managment requires much more. Success or failure relies on speed of response, how ready we are, the engagement and compliance of citizens and global cooperation. As we reflect on and distill the lessons of COVID-19 we will need to build for the future including how to prevent recurrence.

In our management of the current crisis, lessons learned and future approaches, behavioural science has and will continue to be crucial. We know that the mental health consequences of the last 18 months have been profound for many people. Decision making, risk appetite and risk management together with the role of behaviour change have also been fundamental to success. Psychology has been at the core of much of our handling strategy.

This lecture will be both a reflection of progress to date and the challenge of preparation and prevention for the future.


Please note that registration for this event is Free. 



A Psychology Honours graduate of ANU, Jane Halton AO PSM FAICD FIPPA is a member of the board of the ANZ, Crown Resorts, Clayton Utz, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and the US Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation. She is chairman of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, COTA and Vault Systems. Jane is co-chair of the COVAX coordination mechanism. Her 33-year career within the Australian public service included nearly 15 years as Secretary of the Departments of Finance and Health (and Ageing). Previously she was Executive Co-ordinator (Deputy Secretary) of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. She has extensive experience in the delivery of the Australian Government budget and the management and performance of Australian Government agencies. Jane has held a number of significant roles in Global Health Governance including as board member (6 years) and Chair of the board of the WHO and at the OECD as chair of the health committee (12years). She holds adjunct professor positions at the University of Canberra and University of Sydney.