Graeme Shirtley Oration –CDRE ANDREW ROBERTSON CSC PSM
Dr Andrew (Andy) Robertson is the Chief Health Officer and Assistant Director General within the Public and Aboriginal Health Division in the Western Australia Department of Health (WA Health). He was previously the Deputy Chief Health Officer and Director, Disaster Management from February 2008 until June 2018. With specialist medical qualifications in Public Health Medicine and Medical Administration, and sub-specialty training in Underwater Medicine, Disaster Medicine and Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) Defence, he served with the RAN from 1984 until 2003, including completing three tours to Iraq as a Biological Weapons Chief Inspector with the United Nations Special Commission in 1996 and 1997 and sea-postings on HMAS CANBERRA, HMAS SYDNEY and HMAS PARRAMATTA. In his Reserve role, he served as the Director Naval Health Reserves – WA from December 2006 to July 2015, provided specialist medical advice as an advisor to the Sea Worthiness Boards, and deployed as a public health specialist on Pacific Partnership in 2015 and 2016. In July 2015, he was promoted to Commodore and undertook the role of Director General Navy Health Reserves until December 2019.
In October 2003, he took up the position of the Director, Disaster Preparedness and Management in WA Health, a position that was integrated into his Divisional Director’s role prior to his Deputy Chief Health Officer role. In December 2004, he led the Australian Medical Relief team into the Maldives post tsunami, managed WA Health’s response to the 2005 Bali Bombing, led the WA Health team into Indonesia after the Yogyakarta earthquakes in June 2006, worked as the Radiation Health Adviser to the Australian Embassy after the Fukushima nuclear incident in 2011 and conducted the AUSMAT needs assessment in Nepal after the Nepal earthquake in 2015. Since 2008, he has coordinated the WA Health responses to Cyclone George, the Varanus Island gas explosion, the Ashmore Reef incident, the public health system aspects of the H1N1 2009 pandemic, the 2011 CHOGM meeting and the 2015 Ebola preparations, and acted as the Chief Information Officer and the Chief Medical Officer. He has been undertaking the current role since June 2018, including leading the WA Health response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.