Director, Border Health Section, Australian Government Department of Health
Ms Mandy Charlton is the Director of the Border Health Section within the Health Emergency Management Branch at the Australian Government Department of Health, based in Canberra, Australia. Ms Charlton has been involved in the COVID-19 response since January 2020, leading Australia’s human biosecurity policy and legislation framework at international borders and negotiating Australia’s national and subnational division of responsibilities. This has included using powers under the relatively recent Biosecurity Act 2015 to provide a legal mechanism to support policy decisions made throughout the pandemic, and engaging with agencies at international borders to implement the health policy advice.
Ms Charlton has also been involved in the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) in Australia, including leading the Australian team for the Joint External Evaluation of IHR implementation throughout 2017. Through this evaluation, Australia’s legislative framework for health emergency preparedness and response was evaluated, with the opportunity to practically test this framework coming in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ms Charlton has 10 years experience at the Department of Health, including leading a team in the development and implementation of the Biosecurity Act 2015. Ms Charlton is not a lawyer, but has tertiary qualifications from the University of Newcastle and the University of Sydney in public health, social policy, and social change and development.