Good news

Good news

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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.

Good news Gary Lum JEE WHO IHRs


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.

Good news Weight Chart Gary Lum JEE WHO IHRS Good news Weight Chart Gary Lum JEE WHO IHRS

Busy weekend

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.

JEE Mug Gary Lum Good news Core capacities WHO JEE IHRs

I won’t say where I’m going just yet, you’ll find out soon enough. If you don’t subscribe to My Thoughts and Stuff, now is a good opportunity so you don’t miss out on the surprise!

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.

I’ve mentioned before but in this group, we have podcasters from Mouthy Broadcast, Zombie Anonymous, Dork Trek, and the Promenade Podcast. Check them out if you dare.

Podcasts I listen to while walking, driving and working around the flat

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.

Good news The Medical Fun Facts Podcast Gary Lum JEE WHO IHRS

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20 Replies to “Good news”

  1. I enjoy following you on all your paths! And I was finally able to listen to a podcast one night and now I can read your posts in YOUR voice!
    Congratulations on everything!!!!

  2. Wow such amazing subjects you presented on Gary…so clever. My news for the week is that I retired last Thursday after 34 and a half years in AFP…such a lovely feeling but bitter sweet of course as I do love that organisation.

    1. Thank you very much Sue, those subject are very dear to me.
      Well done on retiring after such a fulsome career in the AFP. Now for the next exciting phase in your life.

  3. Nice to read, that you have had such a good work week, Gary. While you are out and on travel food, you could have a little extra exercise to help you with the food.

  4. Sounded like a big great work-week. I would cut yourself some slack on the healty-eating journey because you have come so far ☺ This week hasn’t been the best one for me but I did manage to cook four dishes yesterday and get quite a few things done today so sort of makes up for it 😀

    1. It was huge but so good. I reckon your pumpkin soup looked perfect. I hope you have sufficient leftovers 😃 😋

    2. My pumpkin soup was okay for a first time, lol. Could be even bolder in taste 😃 Looking forward to your upcoming week in food too. A great source of inspiration 😀

    3. Thanks Mabel, this week I’m going to be well behaved, well at least, I will try to be well behaved. The following week I’m away and there will be travel food. I must remain disciplined.

    4. Low carb, less processed food should keep you going 😀 Travel food sounds delicious. Maybe you can have just one bite of every treat, portion control 😀

    5. One bite is the aim and then that inner voice goes on about not wasting food. I really need to get over that. I need to focus on my health.

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