Good news but I can’t say terribly much
Good news is always worth sharing and this has been a good week. That said, there’s not too much I can say. You see, I had a brilliant work week.
I’m mindful of not sharing too much about work. As an Australian Public Servant and a member of the Senior Executive Service, we’re reminded appropriately that ‘at all times’ we must conduct ourselves in a way that maintains the integrity of what we do.
What that means is I should not publicly discuss matters that relate to the policy areas I am actively engaged in. While some colleagues see it as a restriction, I see it as a freedom. It’s why I feel comfortable with this blog, my food blog Yummy Lummy, and my professional blog and podcast The Medical Fun Facts Podcast.
Last Friday, we welcomed evaluators from WHO who came to evaluate Australia’s compliance with the International Health Regulations 2005 and specifically the core capacities. This is part of the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) process that WHO has been undertaking since the recent change from self-assessment to external assessment.
We had evaluators from WHO HQ, WHO WPRO (Manila), WHO One Health Office, OIE, USA, Canada, Japan, China, and New Zealand.
The IHR core capacities are those required to detect, assess, notify and report events, and respond to public health risks and emergencies of national and international concern, as stipulated in Articles 5 and 13, and Annex 1, of the Regulations.
It was great to meet with the external evaluation team on Friday. Over the weekend, members of the JEE team plus colleagues from the department spent time reviewing external sites relevant to the core capacities.
On Monday, my focus was on routine work and a special stakeholder meeting relating to a very important part of my work.
On Tuesday though, the process of formal evaluation took place and began in earnest. This involved nineteen separate panel sessions covering all the core capacities. I had the privilege of chairing four sessions which meant I got to present information on those core capacities. I was really happy to be able to speak about Australia’s capability and capacity in our national laboratory system, biosafety and biosecurity (pathogen security), linking public health and security agencies, and finally radiation emergencies. These are all areas I feel strongly about and for which I have a good working knowledge. This formal evaluation took three whole days of solid questions and answers. It was thoroughly enjoyable though. Needless to say, I was pretty happy with the process. Good news.
The only downside of these sorts of meetings is “meeting food”. Don’t get me wrong, meeting food is usually tasty, but when something this big happens, it usually means there are regular breaks and regular opportunities to indulge in scones, spinach and feta rolls, chicken and mayo wraps, freshly cut fruit and litres of filter coffee and tea. Not so much good news!
My weight loss desires took a back seat as you can see in this week’s graph.
No, not with Christmas shopping but with podcast recording and uploading. I’m going away for a week soon and I needed to prerecord three podcast episodes so I don’t have to worry about them while I’m away. This kept me busy all weekend while the rain was falling steadily across the south-east of Australia.
Connecting and reconnecting with friends on social media
Good news, this week saw a return of K to blogging over at Here in the Silence. It is great to reconnect with her and to read her writing. She is such a wonderful person, beautiful in all ways and a terrific writer of prose and poetry.
I’ve mentioned before the podcasters I ‘hang’ with online. We’ve recently moved to Slack as a platform to chat. It offers so many opportunities to share with one another and has the ability to connect with other productivity tools like Trello and Evernote.
It’s funny, most of the people I chat with on Slack are fellow podcasters, but we tend not to chat that much about the mechanics of podcasting. We normally discuss things relating to food, video gaming, and popular culture.
Then, of course, it’s great to chat with people on Twitter and Facebook. What I like about this is that after getting to know some people, we’ve built up such a good rapport we now spend quite a bit of time chatting via Messages or e-mail or Twitter DMs.
So what have you been up to this week?
Do you have any good news to share? Feel free to let me know in the comments.
Hit me up on social media like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to share what’s been good in your life this week.
This week on the Medical Fun Facts Podcast
This week I’m talking about Tetanus. The show drops on Monday night at 7 pm Canberra time. You can listen via your favourite podcatcher or watch an Apple Keynote presentation on YouTube or read the show notes at The Medical Fun Facts Podcast.