University of Melbourne joins The Trinity Challenge

The University has been invited to join the Trinity Challenge, a new global effort to identify, respond and recover from global health emergencies.

In becoming a member of the challenge, the University joins some of the world’s pre-eminent social, private sector, and academic institutions including the University of Cambridge, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, Aviva, GSK, and McKinsey.

Trinity Challenge founder, Professor Dame Sally Davies, featured in the University's Conversations on Covid series in December 2020, where she met Dr Jason Thompson from the Transport, Health and Urban Design Research Lab (THUD) in the Faculty of Architecture Building and Planning, whose team's work underpinned the Victorian Government's Roadmap to COVID-Normal strategy.

Dr Thompson said Dame Sally was impressed by what had been achieved here in Victoria in the fight against COVID.

"We used interdisciplinary teams, data integration, data analytics, and strong engagement with policy-makers to help guide better decision-making and plan our strategy out of lockdown," he said.

"She said to us, 'What you described, that’s so exciting. That’s exactly the sort of thing we’re looking for at the Trinity Challenge if you’d like to get involved,' and of course we said, yes."

Dr Thompson will lead an interdisciplinary team with experts from Melbourne, the University of Leeds, the Turing Institute, and the University of New England.

"We are confident that lessons learned here in Australia about using data and analytics to effectively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic - especially in the area of policy modelling - can have benefit elsewhere around the world," he said.

"The Trinity Challenge connects us to some of the best thinkers and technology companies in the world and supports our goal of minimising the harm of the current health crisis and those we are likely to face into the future."