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Roadmap to Recovery
A Report for the Nation

Co-Chairs’ Foreword 4

A Roadmap to Recovery – A Report for the Nation 6

Two Options Proposed and a Third Rejected 9
Three requirements for success 13
Six imperatives in the implementation of Recovery 17

Methodology 23

Acknowlegements 25


Co-Chairs’ Foreword

As Co-Chairs of the “Roadmap to Recovery” taskforce

it has been a privilege to work with over a hundred of
the brightest scholars in Australia’s leading universities
to address the most pressing question of our times –
How can society recover from COVID-19?
This report is independent, was not with the National Cabinet, our Federal,
commissioned by a Government, State and Territory Governments in
and was produced by the leading the hope that it may help inform the
researchers in this nation based many decisions they have to make.
on the latest evidence available.
For a problem as vast and complex
as COVID-19 there is no one
solution. That is why our Roadmap
to Recovery, offers two alternatives,
How this document differs from the with many side roads – but all taking
hundreds of articles and opinion us to the destination. We provide
choices because at the moment
pieces on this issue is that this
there are many uncertainties in the
report specifies the evidence data and in predictions. Under such
on which it is based … circumstances it is the job of our
research community to illuminate the
possibilities, rather than offer simple
COVID-19 is not just a medical or a
How this document differs from the
scientific issue, it is something that
hundreds of articles and opinion
affects each of us, and all of us.
pieces on this issue is that this
Therefore, this is addressed as a
report specifies the evidence on
Report for the Nation. It is shared
which it is based, it is produced by


researchers who are experts and belongs to Government which must
leaders in their area, and it engages now make the decisions.
the broadest range of disciplines –
from mathematicians, to virologists,
to philosophers.
… it is produced by researchers
Over a three-week period, this
taskforce has debated and discussed,
who are experts and leaders in
disagreed, and agreed, edited and their area, and it engages the
revised its work over weekdays and broadest range of disciplines
holidays, Good Friday and Easter. All
remotely. All with social distancing. – from mathematicians, to
It is a testimony to their commitment virologists, to philosophers.
to the Australian community, to our
enviable way of life, to securing
our standard of living, to increasing
national productivity and to protecting
the values all Australian’s hold dear.
It is research collaboration in action –
a collective expression of a belief that Prof. Shitij Kapur
expert research can help Government MBBS, PhD, FRCPC, FMedSci, FAHMS
plot the best path forward and of Dean and Asst.Vice Chancellor
a commitment to provide this help (Health) University of Melbourne
in support of the nation and the
Australian community.
As Co-Chairs we recognise the
enormous effort expended by our Vicki Thomson
researchers, and they join with the Go8 Chief Executive
Go8 Board and with us the Co-Chairs,
to acknowledge that the hardest task


A Roadmap to Recovery
– A Report for the Nation
from Australia’s Leading Universities

Executive Summary In this Executive Summary, we

provide: one ethical framework; two
Covid-19 has changed the course of options for pandemic response; three
history. What started off as a flu-like requirements for success in recovery
illness in one person in one corner regardless of which path is taken; and
of the world, has changed the lives, six imperatives in the implementation
livelihoods and futures of billions. of recovery plan.
Australia saw its first case on January
25 and now has over 6,600 cases, Nature of this Report
the country is in partial lockdown, and the Reasons for it
schools and universities have left their
campuses, hundreds of thousands of Rather than recommend a single
jobs have been lost. Fortunately, the dominant option for pandemic
tide appears to be turning and we can response in Australia, we present and
start thinking of Recovery. explain two options for the nation’s
To chart a Roadmap to Recovery we consideration – Elimination or
convened a group of over a hundred of Controlled Adaptation. We offer two
the country’s leading epidemiologists, choices for several reasons:
infectious disease consultants, First, there are considerable
public health specialists, healthcare uncertainties around what we know
professionals, mental health and about Covid-19. Estimates of critical
well-being practitioners, indigenous determinants, such as the number of
scholars, communications and carriers, vary by a factor of ten. With
behaviour change experts, ethicists, such uncertainties in facts, there is a
philosophers, political scientists, limit to how sure one can be.
economists and business scholars
from the Group of Eight (Go8) Second, we completed this report
universities. The group developed in late April 2020, when the Prime
this Roadmap in less than three Minister had already set the course to
weeks, through remote meetings May 15th. Therefore, our job was to
and a special collaborative reasoning consider possibilities beyond that date.
platform, in the context of a rapidly The facts regarding the pandemic will
changing pandemic. evolve and change between now and


then. Therefore, rather than prescribe economy for years to come. That is
an outcome for three weeks hence not the focus of this report.
– we propose to present a balanced
case for two of them. An Ethical framework to
Any choice between these two guide decision making
options entails a delicate trade-off
between protecting health, supporting At a time of national crisis, and in
the economy and societal well-being. turning our minds to the recovery, it
It is not the role of researchers, or is vital to clarify the key values and
this report, to make this choice. That principles that will guide us in the
is the role of our Government. We are many difficult dilemmas we face.
responsible for setting out the trade- There are things we should not be
offs and that is what this report looks prepared to sacrifice, whatever the
to provide. circumstances. However, the severity
of this pandemic will force us to
Finally, this report focusses on the sacrifice some things we may not
impact of the virus and short term have ordinarily done. Therefore, we
recovery. The pandemic will change should know the conflicting values
global economies and international at stake and the consequences of
relations. This will have significant our choices.
impacts for Australia, its society and


A Roadmap to Recovery – A Report for the Nation

We propose the following principles disproportionately. Therefore,

to guide us: renewal and recovery programs
should focus on those most
yy Whatever measures we implement
affected first. In the long run, they
to manage COVID-19 must be
should foster social and economic
compatible with a commitment
innovation that will make all
to democratic accountability and
Australians more resilient in the
the protection of civil liberties.
face of future shocks.
Special measures that require
the restriction of movement, the yy Finally, there is the issue of
imposition on freedoms, and partnership and personal
the sharing of private data must responsibility. Recovery is not
be proportionate, time-bound, only what Governments can do
grounded in consent and subject for us. Strong recovery will require
to democratic review. a trusted partnership between
governments and civil society,
yy Equal access to healthcare and a
including business, community
social safety net must be provided
sector, unions, academia and
for all members of our community.
local communities. Recovery is
Attention should also be paid to the
something each person owes their
needs of the non-citizens, keeping
neighbour. We need to look out for
in view their unique circumstances.
each other’s welfare in times like
yy The virus has impacted us all, this. That is our way.
some more than others. The
This is not meant to be a
economic cost must be shared
comprehensive or an exclusive list
fairly across the whole community.
of values, but an effort to articulate
yy Although equal treatment is a the values that should guide our
fundamental Australian value, strategies today. In the long run,
the virus, and our policies to how we respond to this pandemic
control it have impacted some will define us.


Two Options Proposed and a Third Rejected
For any jurisdiction facing an epidemic, there are three
fundamental options:
1. Eliminate the illness;
2. Suppress the illness to a low level and manage it; or
3. Allow the epidemic to run through the population in a way that
does not overwhelm the healthcare system. Some have called
this approach “herd immunity.”

At the very outset, the Taskforce number of daily new cases now
rejected the third option which would are fewer than 25. During the peak,
entail somewhere close to 15 million 90% of cases were imported or a
Australians becoming infected. The direct consequence of importation, a
disruption of healthcare, the lives pathway that has now been practically
lost, the inequalities of impact and stopped. Australia’s testing rate is
the tragic consequences on society amongst the highest in the world,
did not make this a viable option for and its test positivity rate and case
Australia, as Government has made fatality rate amongst the lowest. This
clear. This report focused on the confirms the government’s strategy
remaining two. in controlling the epidemic and the
population’s embrace of it.
Australia is unique among comparable
Western nations, and fortunate, to Therefore, while most countries
have two options – elimination or simply cannot consider the prospect
suppression. This is afforded because of elimination, for Australia, a State
of our success in controlling the by State Elimination Strategy remains
number of cases. From the peak of a conceivable, and some would say
the epidemic in late March when desirable, option for Australia. This
we saw nearly 500 cases a day, the option is detailed in Chapter 2.


A Roadmap to Recovery – A Report for the Nation

Option 1: Elimination Strategy need to be enhanced to achieve it.

Hence the option entails greater
yy The Elimination strategy should
uncertainty regarding the timing
lead to fewer total infections,
of relaxation of social distancing
hospitalisations and deaths, and
better protection of vulnerable
populations than any of the yy The number of asymptomatic
alternatives. carriers in Australia is not known
and may pose a potential risk to
yy Once achieved, elimination would
this strategy. However, modelling
allow for a faster relaxation in social
shows that provided the number
distancing and other restrictions.
of asymptomatic cases is modest,
yy To achieve this elimination, the strategy should still be viable.
Australia would likely have to
yy If some jurisdictions have
continue the lockdown in certain
achieved elimination and others
jurisdictions beyond mid-May,
have not, it will require extended
possibly for another 30 days.
travel barriers within Australia.
yy It necessitates waiting for new
yy The risk of re-introduction of cases
local cases to fall to zero, and then
from abroad will remain , requiring
maintaining this for two incubation
strict international border control
periods, i.e. about two weeks.
measures. Australia’s unique
yy This strategy will require extensive geography, strong border control
testing and contact tracing, but and quarantine procedures would
modelling shows the extra testing enable this.
should be achievable within our
yy Once achieved, the psychological
system with reasonable additional
sense of safety and social
well-being that would result
yy It is hard to predict exactly when from “elimination” of all local
the cases of locally acquired transmission would allow for a
disease might fall to zero, and fuller and more vigorous recovery
whether current measures may of the economy.


The second option acknowledges the of cases may remain active. It accepts
likelihood of ongoing international this reality and tries to manage it.
infections, a limit to the duration We call this strategy “Controlled
of social distancing measures and Adaptation” because it entails
the potential of asymptomatic controlling the spread of the virus,
or undetected transmission and while making sure that society adapts
therefore accepts that some low level to live with ongoing infections.

Option 2: Controlled yy This strategy will require extensive

Adaptation Strategy testing and contact tracing, but
yy The major immediate advantage with a special emphasis on a very
of this strategy is that the phased tight feedback to those managing
lifting of restrictions can begin as the public health response so that
early as mid-May. they can adjust the restrictions,
in regions, or in segments of the
yy The major long-term advantage population, as appropriate.
of this approach is that it
acknowledges the high likelihood yy However, there is always a risk that
of prolonged global circulation the number of infections could
of this infection, and starts off spike, and some of the spikes could
by preparing Australians and the lead to more extensive “surges”
system to adapt to living with the which may require resumption of
ongoing risk of infections some stricter social distancing, as
has occurred in Singapore.
yy This approach provides a feasible
strategy to safely manage current yy What is hard to predict is how
and future infections within the confident the public will feel
health system. when restrictions are lifted with
new cases ongoing, therefore
yy The strategy accepts a slightly economic and social life may
higher number of cases, resume slower, even though the
hospitalisations, and deaths. restrictions may be lifted earlier.


A Roadmap to Recovery – A Report for the Nation

What the public must know impositions are here to stay. In both
and understand cases, enhanced hygiene, some
measures of physical distancing and
The choices are not binary, but along greater testing and tracing, will be the
a continuum. They will both require new norm.
some restrictions, large scale testing,
tracing and isolation systems to keep In both cases most of us will remain
us safe. In that regard they are similar. susceptible. The final “exit” from
They differ in the depth, breadth and both pathways will require a vaccine
duration of how these measures that confers immunity to all of us.
are applied. We cannot predict when that will
be. It seems reasonable to expect
The big difference is that while one in the next year or two. Should
Elimination will require the restrictions it become clear that the chance of a
for a longer duration at first, it vaccine is remote – current strategies
offers the reward of lower cases will need to be revisited.
and greater public confidence about
safety and all its attendant benefits. The challenge over the coming
The Controlled Adaptation sends weeks will be to evaluate the relative
a signal of pragmatic acceptance attractiveness of the two options;
of low infections right at the start, to assess, despite considerable
and in return promises a somewhat uncertainty, how best to trade off the
earlier return, greater flexibility with potential rewards of the Elimination
measures, and manages the risk of option against the greater sacrifices
flare ups within the capacity of our required in a framework of values
adapted health system. we share.
Neither of these two will allow for The Go8 looks forward to working
a return to life as we knew it over with the nation and its Government
Christmas 2019. As with air travel to continue its contribution.
after 9/11, some restrictions and


Three requirements for success
1. Early Detection and Supported Isolation
2. Travel and Border Restrictions
3. Public Trust, Transparency and Civic Engagement

Regardless of which path Australia yy Both strategies envisage that

chooses in mid-May, some things do testing is widely available and
not change. accessible (including in remote
areas), free of charge, with minimal
1. Early Detection and wait times and a short turnaround
Supported Isolation time (less than one day). Sentinel
testing, which entails testing of
yy Both strategies will require an a few selected persons, alone
extensive system of testing, will not be sufficient. Therefore,
tracing and isolation. testing capacity will need to be
yy Two kinds of tests are useful. Tests significantly increased.
detecting the virus (also called, yy The precise application of testing
PCR, antigen) and tests that detect and contact tracing differs between
personal immunity (antibody, the two strategies. In devising
serology). At this stage the virus- these new approaches Government
PCR test is the critical one. should explore the possibility of
yy The purpose of testing is to identify engaging the community, private
the cases and isolate them, identify and business sector.
the contacts and quarantine them, yy In both strategies, those who are
and assess the level of community positive must isolate in a safe way
prevalence. – with support and monitoring in


A Roadmap to Recovery – A Report for the Nation

an appropriate way. Their potential cautions that automatic uptake

contacts must be traced and may be low, and may require public
contacted, and advised quarantine campaigns to increase acceptance.
and testing if appropriate. Any such use must be with the
person’s consent, for a time-limited
yy Isolation and quarantine should only
period, only for the purposes of
end after confirmation of no further
public health, and without prejudice.
viral shedding.
2. Travel and Border
Rather than waiting for a Restrictions

vaccine, we recommend that yy Given the state of the pandemic

the Government fund research in the rest of the world, we
recommend that the government
into developing and testing continue the two-week period of
new strategies based on virus enforced and monitored quarantine
and/or immunity testing and a and isolation for all incoming
travellers regardless of origin
combination of in-country/overseas or citizenship.
quarantine which may allow for an yy International travel bans remain
earlier resumption of international on all Australians, other than for
travel. sanctioned “essential” travel, for the
next six months and any returning
yy Digital contact tracing apps can essential travellers be subject to
assist – however they are not the quarantine restrictions.
a panacea and work best when
integrated with traditional manual yy If some countries have their
contact tracing methods. epidemics under control in a
manner same as ours, then
yy The Taskforce recommends the our Government may explore
exploration and use of these establishing a special bilateral
innovative digital techniques but travel understanding.


yy The Australian Government by acknowledging uncertainty,
should engage with the World communicating clearly and with
Health Organisation (WHO) to empathy for everyone, especially
anticipate a regime of “International those with vulnerabilities.
Vaccine Certification” were a
yy The Australian population has a
vaccine to become available.
sophisticated understanding of
yy We do not find evidence for a Covid-19 issues and has engaged
reliable “immunity passport” at
the moment.
yy Rather than waiting for a The Australian population has a
vaccine, we recommend that sophisticated understanding of
the Government fund research
into developing and testing new
Covid-19 issues and has engaged
strategies based on virus and/or actively in the social distancing
immunity testing and a combination issues. Treat them as a partner by
of in-country/overseas quarantine
which may allow for an earlier clearly communicating rationale for
resumption of international travel. decisions, including what evidence
3. Public Trust, Transparency is being used, who was consulted,
and Civic Engagement and what impacts were considered
yy Given the months and possibly and why a choice was made.
years of measures and compliance
that are required, winning actively in the social distancing
public trust, transparency of the issues. Treat them as a partner by
information used to make decisions clearly communicating rationale for
and the degree and quality of civic decisions, including what evidence
engagement are critical to success. is being used, who was consulted,
yy Communication is the central link and what impacts were considered
to building trust. Prioritise trust and why a choice was made.


A Roadmap to Recovery – A Report for the Nation

yy This is especially critical if there industries, business organisations,

is use of citizen-generated data and other stakeholders in decisions
(i.e., from mobile contact tracing about options for strengthening and/
applications). Governments must or relaxing containment measures.
address real and perceived privacy
yy The young have been particularly
concerns and mitigate against
displaced by the social distancing
the potential for misuse. Where
policies and many will find it hard
possible use trusted independent
to gain a foothold in the economy.
bodies to oversee some of these
activities to avoid the politicisation Consideration should be given
of health data and to ensure to the establishment of a funded
continuity. national service program (e.g.
Aussies All Together) to inclusively
yy Maintaining civic engagement for engage the young from across
the long haul is critical. Where the nation in the process of social
possible, involve communities, reconstruction across the country.


Six imperatives in the implementation
of Recovery
1. The Health of our Healthcare System and its Workers
2. Preparing for Relaxation of Social Distancing
3. Mental Health and Wellbeing for All
4. The Care of Indigenous Australians
5. Equity of Access and Outcomes in Health Support
6. Clarity of Communication

1. The Health of our Healthcare yy Many have delayed or deferred

System and its Workers their ongoing care and elective
procedures. Support direct
Australia has done an effective job messaging to assure all Australians
of reinforcing its hospitals and its of the safety of the healthcare
critical care capacity. For now, that system and urge a gradual return
seems sufficient. At the same time, to usual patterns of healthcare.
the Australian health research sector Care of COVID-19 patients must
has excelled by isolating the virus, not come at the expense of others.
developing vaccines candidates, and
testing new therapeutics. However, it yy Create a national, real-time, data-
must now prepare for the long run and: repository of all COVID-19-related
care in primary, secondary and
yy Support healthcare workers by
acute care to ensure best care
ensuring they have sufficient
for all. This is critical because we
and assured PPE supplies and
know little about COVID-19 care
comprehensive training in the
now. Developing such a national
appropriate use and bespoke
resource will improve outcomes
programs to support their mental
for all.
health and well-being.


A Roadmap to Recovery – A Report for the Nation

yy Continue to support medical 2. Preparing for Relaxation

research that integrates laboratory, of Social Distancing
epidemiological and clinical
trial-based and health services Australia will soon face the complex
research that models the projected challenge of resuming campus
dissemination and spread of teaching in schools and universities,
COVID-19 in an Australian context, and businesses returning to premises.
informs strategies to minimise the While many will look forward to this,
number of infections and optimise many others will be concerned and
the treatment of Australians. some will personally be at greater
risk. How this transition is supported
yy COVID-19 has resulted in a huge will have a major impact on societal
increase in video/tele-health and wellbeing and economic recovery.
eHealth use. The valuable aspects
of this new model should be yy Return to physical schooling
sustained as an important part with special consideration of
of routine health care, supported the following groups: children
by nationally agreed standards in primary schools as they have
and quality indicators. The digital additional needs in regards to
divide in Australia must be closed socialisation, emotional and
or we risk even further entrenching academic support and require
existing health inequalities amongst greater parental involvement
lower income groups. in schooling at home; students
for whom this is the final year
yy The training and education of for transition to further study or
thousands of healthcare students employment; students and teachers
has been disrupted. The National who have pre-existing conditions
Principles for clinical education and who may feel particularly
during the COVID-19 pandemic are vulnerable on return.
a significant step towards flexibility
in health care worker training yy All schools may need to coordinate
requirements to ensure viability a range of additional resources to
of the health workforce pipeline. help educators identify and address


learning gaps, mental health issues 3. Mental Health and Wellbeing
among students and concerns and for All
wellbeing of staff.
The unprecedented scale and speed
yy There is no one-size-fits-all formula of the COVID-19 pandemic has
for the return of all businesses. implications for the wellbeing of all.
Consideration should be given to Evidence from previous large natural
the creation of a sophisticated disasters and pandemics shows that
national “risk tool” that businesses in its aftermath there is a significant
can use to review and self-assess increase in anxiety, depression, post-
their own situation and create traumatic stress syndromes as well
the appropriate and optimal as substance abuse. These symptoms
environment for return. extract a huge individual and family
price and a significant economic
toll. People with psychological
vulnerabilities and pre-existing mental
There is no one-size-
illness are at higher risk. The greatly
fits-all formula for increased demand for services will
the return of all continue throughout the recovery
phase. The following is recommended:
yy Coordinated and sustained public
health messaging on the risks
associated with COVID-19 and
yy A workforce health-tracking system actions that can be taken to maintain
specific to COVID-19 and should be mental health and wellbeing.
developed to ensure that reopening
practices are safe to the workforce yy Rapid scaling of secure evidence-
and public. Information from such a based Health and Telehealth
system should be used to learn and interventions in addition to
design best practices, and those strengthened provision of
should be widely shared. community-based support.


A Roadmap to Recovery – A Report for the Nation

yy Increased capacity to ensure organisations and their partnership

timely assessment and effective with Governments, the number
treatment for people with ongoing of cases is proportionately lower.
mental illness and those at risk However, Indigenous Australians
of suicide. are particularly at risk as Australia
“reopens” with a weakened economy
4. The Care of Indigenous and the resulting consequences.
yy We recommend the continued
The disproportionate impact financial and logistical support
of pandemics on Indigenous of Indigenous COVID-19 planning
taskforces in all jurisdictions for
the remainder of the pandemic.
Lack of adequate housing yy Lack of adequate housing
particularly adversely affects
particularly adversely affects the
the ability of local aboriginal
ability of local aboriginal health health services to control virus
services to control virus spread spread – immediate and more
enduring interventions are needed
– immediate and more enduring to address the shortage of
interventions are needed to appropriate housing.
address the shortage of appropriate yy The COVID-19 pandemic has
housing. exacerbated vulnerabilities of local
workforces which were dependent
on staff from interstate and even
populations worldwide is well New Zealand. Short and Long-term
documented. Thanks to the initiatives to build local workforce
leadership by Australian Indigenous capacity are needed.


5. Equity of Access and yy The main thrust of our
Outcomes in Health Support recommendations is that there isn’t
a single silver bullet for all these
History tells us that pandemics affect diverse populations. However, a
those with the least resources and central principle is for Governments
with specific vulnerabilities hardest to engage and partner with these
and longest. We must guard against groups in designing and delivering
that. Subsequent generations will judge solutions for them.
us for how equitably we supported
and included in decision-making the
people who are most at risk. It is also critical that the public
yy The report identifies several understand that even with the
populations that are particularly at Elimination Strategy, life will not
risk: women who are pregnant and
women at risk of family violence,
return to the ‘old normal’.
children and young people, those
living in out-of-home care; older
6. Clarity of Communication
adults and those living in residential
aged care; people with disabilities;
The overall success of the recovery
people living with a life-threatening
will depend upon engaging
illnesses amongst others.
widespread public support and
yy Those who are at the intersection participation regardless of which
of these attributes, often bear the strategy is chosen.
greatest brunt.
If the Elimination Strategy is
yy The main purpose of this section pursued, it is important that the
is to alert the nation to its special public understands the additional
responsibilities to these many sacrifice needed, why it is worth it
populations. and what benefits they can expect


A Roadmap to Recovery – A Report for the Nation

in return. It is also critical that the people feel empowered to act,

public understand that even with rather than just passive recipients
the Elimination Strategy, life will not of instructions.    
return to the ‘old normal’.
yy Enlist the support and assistance
With the Controlled Adaptation of independent, credible and
strategy, it is critical that the public trustworthy advocates (e.g.
understand that in exchange for an healthcare workers, educators,
earlier relaxation, there will be a need community leaders) to convey
for ongoing adaptation. The public key messages.
should also be prepared that should
yy Enhance the impact of
communication by establishing
Several community reference community reference groups to
groups should be established so provide ongoing input into the
decisions that affect them and also
that collectively, they represent how best to communicate them.
Australia’s demographic and Collectively they should represent
Australia’s demographic and socio-
socio-cultural diversity. cultural diversity.
numbers worsen, the course may yy Be proactive in identifying and
need to be temporarily reversed. actively combatting misinformation
This would not be a failure of the and conspiracy theories by
strategy – rather it is the strategy. transparently providing factual
and current information.
It is important that Governments
continues to: Details regarding all these
recommendations and the evidence
yy Communicate the approach and
on which they are based is provided
associated measures using specific
in the long version of this report.
and empathetic language that helps



The Roadmap project was designed Standard remote collaboration

to provide considered and evidence- methods, such as circulating drafts
based responses to questions by email, have many drawbacks such
of critical and pressing national as the difficulty of keeping track of
importance. document versions, integrating edits
and comments on many different
Experts were recruited from across
versions, and ensuring that everyone
the Go8 universities – Australia’s
can see the latest version. It seemed
leading research-intensive universities
clear this approach would struggle
– in areas as diverse as epidemiology,
with an expert group as large as the
statistical modelling, infectious
Roadmap Task Force.
diseases, public and mental health,
psychology, economics, political The Steering Committee made the bold
scientists, Aboriginal and Torres decision to try a new crowdsourcing-
Strait Islander expertise, business, inspired approach. All members were
international relations scholars and given access to the SWARM cloud
political scientists. collaboration platform, a research
prototype being developed by a team at
Individuals ranged from eminent
the University of Melbourne’s Hunt Lab
professors to early career researchers,
for Intelligence Research. The platform
to capture the diversity of expertise
is the result of a three-year research
across generations of talent.
effort funded by the US Intelligence
The Task Force faced the challenge Advanced Research Projects Activity,
of articulating the collective wisdom aimed at developing better ways
of this large and diverse group on a to support groups of analysts to
complex set of questions in a short work through difficult problems and
period, under conditions of great produce high-quality reports. The
uncertainty and rapid change and platform’s design is generic enough
where no members could physically that it can support analytical work in
meet. many other domains.



On the platform, all Task Force would need to be carefully monitored

members were able to access nine and that adjustments may be
workspaces, one for each of the main required. In the second week, three
questions being addressed. Within a such changes were made: addition
workspace they could view, create, of new Task Force members to cover
and collaboratively edit contributions expertise gaps; off-platform video-
of various kinds, including draft conferencing to accelerate coordination
section reports; rate and comment of small emergent teams; and, where
on contributions; and use real-time appropriate, relaxation of anonymity.
chat. While these activities are
By the end of week 2, draft reports
supported by many cloud platforms,
were available for all nine questions.
a combination of design features
These were woven together into
makes the SWARM approach unique.
a single Final Report by a small
These include:
editing team from the Group of Eight
yy A “groupsourcing” model in which Directorate. Task Force members were
small teams from within the large briefly given a final opportunity to
expert pool coalesce and self- provide comments. The Final Report
organise to tackle specific questions; was then reviewed by a team of
selected independent commentators
yy Support for “contending analyses,”
and approved by the Go8 Board
where any member can put up
of Directors before being provided
a draft report and the group as
directly to Government.
a whole can select the most
promising via “readiness” ratings; The result is a comprehensive,
independent, evidence-based report for
yy Use of pseudonyms, intended to
Government that provides guidance as
mitigate social dominance effects
to how and when Australia can move
arising from the differing status of
to the recovery phase.
Dr Tim Van Gelder
The Steering Committee understood
from the outset that the approach Dr Richard De Rozario



We thank the following for active participation Professor Kim Cornish Professor Richard Holden
on the SWARM platform: Monash University University of New South Wales
Professor Charles Abraham Dr Kyllie Cripps Professor Eddie Holmes
University of Melbourne University of New South Wales University of Sydney
Professor Karen Adams Professor Donna Cross Ms Bernadette Hyland-Wood
Monash University University of Western Australia University of Queensland
Associate Professor Eva Alisic Professor Mark Dadds Associate Professor Tim Inglis
University of Melbourne University of Sydney University of Western Australia
Dr Kelly-Anne Allen Professor Sara Davies Associate Professor Andrew Jackson
Monash University Griffith University University of New South Wales
Dr Erik Baekkeskov Professor Megan Davis Professor Jolanda Jetten
University of Melbourne University of New South Wales University of Queensland
Professor Emily Banks Professor Patricia Dudgeon Ms Yawei Jiang
Australian National University University of Western Australia University of Queensland
Associate Professor Anthony Bell Professor Sandra Eades Professor John Kaldor
University of Queensland University of Melbourne University of New South Wales
Dr Andrew Black Associate Professor Ullrich Ecker Associate Professor Adam Kamradt Scott
University of Adelaide University of Western Australia University of Sydney
Dr Andrew Black Ms Nicole Ee Professor Shitij Kapur
University of Sydney University of New South Wales University of Melbourne
Professor Tony Blakely Professor Jane Fisher Ms Alex Kennedy
University of Melbourne Monash University Group of Eight
Dr Chris Blyth Professor John Freebairn Dr Elise Klein
University of Western Australia University of Melbourne Australian National University
Ms Katrina Boterhoven de Haan Dr John Gardner Professor David Le Couteur
University of Western Australia Monash University University of Sydney
Professor Robert Breunig Professor Ross Garnaut Professor Julie Leask
Australian National University University of Melbourne University of Sydney
Professor Alex Broom Professor Marie Gerdtz Professor Karin Leder
University of Sydney University of Melbourne Monash University
Dr Matthew Brown Associate Professor Kathryn Glass Mr Yulin Li
Group of Eight Australian National University University of Adelaide
Professor Romola Bucks Professor Quentin Grafton Associate Professor Kamalini Lokuge
University of Western Australia Australian National University Australian National University
Professor Jim Buttery Professor Len Gray Professor John Mangan
Monash University University of Queensland University of Queensland
Dr Katherine Carroll Professor Jane Gunn Professor Andrew Martin
Australian National University University of Melbourne University of New South Wales
Professor Allen Cheng Professor Ian Hickie Professor James McCaw
Monash University University of Sydney University of Melbourne
Professor Alex Collie Ms Anna Hickling Dr Christopher McCaw
Monash University University of Queensland University of Melbourne
Professor Rae Cooper Professor Keith Hill Professor Lisa McDaid
University of Sydney Monash University University of Queensland



Dr Siobhan McDonnell Mr Ross Roberts-Thomson Professor Simon Wilkie

Australian National University University of Adelaide Monash University
Professor Patrick McGorry AO Associate Professor Simon Rosenbaum Professor Deborah Williamson
University of Melbourne University of New South Wales University of Melbourne
Professor Warwick McKibbin Professor John Savill Associate Professor James Wood
Australian National University University of Melbourne University of New South Wales
Professor Jodie McVernon Dr Ashley Schram Dr Mandy Yap
University of Melbourne Australian National University Australian National University
Professor Tracy Merlin Mr Roberto Schurch Professor Paul Young
University of Adelaide University of Queensland University of Queensland
Professor George Milne Dr Theresa Scott We acknowledge Dr Tim Van Gelder and
University of Western Australia University of Queensland Dr Richard De Rozario and their “SWARM” team
Dr Nikki Moodie Associate Professor Linda Selvey for allowing us to, and helping us, use their
University of Melbourne University of Queensland Collaborative Reasoning Platform.

Dr Lucy Morgan Professor Louise Sharpe Acknowledgements of those who made special
University of Sydney University of Sydney contributions as “Submissions” and to the
Chapters is recorded in the accompanying
Professor James Morley Dr Kirsty Short document.
University of Sydney University of Queensland
Thank you to our independent reviewers:
Associate Professor Julia Morphet Professor Helen Skouteris
Monash University Monash University yy Mr Jeff Connolly, Chairman and CEO,
Siemens Ltd
Dr Sally Nimon Dr Joseph Smith
Group of Eight University of Adelaide yy Professor Glyn Davis AC, CEO of the Paul
Ramsay Foundation
Professor David Paterson Professor Tania Sorrell
University of Queensland University of Sydney yy Professor Stephen Duckett, FASSA,
Grattan Institute
Dr Collin Payne Professor Marc Stears
Australian National University University of Sydney yy Ms Kathryn Fagg, AO, FAATE

Dr Michael Phillips Professor David Story yy Dr Alan Finkel AO, Australia’s Chief Scientist
Monash University University of Melbourne yy Dr Cassandra Goldie, CEO, Australian Council
Professor John Piggott Ms Vicki Thomson of Social Service (ACOSS)
University of New South Wales Group of Eight yy Mr Andy Keough CSC, Managing Director,
Professor Jane Pirkis Professor Carla Treloar Saab Australia
University of Melbourne University of New South Wales yy Ms Linda Nicholls, AO, Chair of Melbourne Health
Ms Maeve Powell Professor Tim Usherwood yy Dr Jennifer Westacott AO, CEO, Business
Australian National University University of Sydney Council Australia
Professor Mikhail Prokopenko Professor James Ward
University of Sydney University of Queensland
Dr Signe Ravn Professor Jim Watterston
University of Melbourne University of Melbourne
Professor Ian Reid Professor Peter Whiteford
University of Adelaide Australian National University
Professor Peter Robertson Professor Harvey Whiteford
University of Western Australia University of Queensland