Thoughts on economics and liberty

The problem with Brett Sutton, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer – 1




This is an associated post: The problem with Brett Sutton, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer – 2



There is not a SINGLE public health measure directed by Brett Sutton over the past six months that is justified by the science.


Unverifiedfrom twitter


The problem with Brett Sutton, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer – 2

Notes for (and draft of) complaint against Daniel Andrews to the International Criminal Court

Sutton has NO qualifications or EXPERIENCE in the field of epidemiology and virology.

==original post==

I have made a number of comments/suggestions to Brett Sutton. His lack of responsiveness to my questions set me off on a publicly critical path against this Labor government in Victoria – when then meant I had to resign.

I’ll compile my tweets to Sutton separately, later (that’s why this is #1). I want to emphasise that I couldn’t care less about Sutton’s qualifications. It is what he does that matters, and that’s the real issue – but I’ll talk about that separately.


Sweden’s health and mental wellbeing has been managed by one of the world’s foremost epidemiologists. Victoria’s by a GP who believes that a sledgehammer is the best tool to kill a swarm of mosquitoes.

Not everyone might use FB, so sharing the contents of my associated link:

(by André Rodrigues)

I don’t mind Prof. Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer. I don’t envy his current role but he’s done a lot of good work in his career, particularly in vulnerable populations. He’s got a decent amount of medical experience and expertise, and sound knowledge of communicable diseases (viruses and stuff), he’s even published on Gonorrhoea (seriously).

Most of us are aware that Prof. Brett Sutton is a General Practitioner, so he’s generally qualified to have an educated opinion on health related matters. Most of us are also aware he currently has God-like powers to impose and lift restrictions upon Victorian lives as he and his Deputy CHO see fit, in order to “suppress” (but let’s be honest “eliminate”) the dangerous virus because “to stay at low numbers you have to get to low numbers”. That’s all well and good (it’s not really but for the sake of what I am focusing on, let’s pretend it is…) but is Prof. Brett Sutton qualified to be in his role, assuming such unprecedented authority? My opinion, is a simple no. Here’s why:

Most of us are not aware that the esteemed Prof. Brett Sutton is a Public Health Masters graduate from James Cook University (#462 in QS Rankings). Brett Sutton does not have a PhD. For an academic or clinician with “an international reputation” in his field, Prof. Sutton has a relatively poor and frankly noncompetitive track record in academic circles. In the last 5 years for example, he has been the first author on only 3 research papers (one of each in the fields of Climate Change, Palliative Care and Gonorrhoea).

It is interesting that in March 2020, just prior to Lockdown 1.0, Dr. Brett Sutton was handed an Adjunct Clinical Professor appointment with the Dept. of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, by the Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, a Level E appointment (that can only be endorsed by the VC). Level E is the highest level that can be obtained; typically reserved for appointees who have “established an international reputation in the area”. Evidently, Prof. Sutton met eligibility criteria for a Level E academic appointment, without writing more than 1 research paper within the same field of research. His profile is suspiciously scarce of any details (i.e. empty).

Good timing wasn’t it. I mean, its comforting to get health advice from a Professor during a pandemic, he must know and understand things we don’t. I mean it’s not like I have a PhD in Epidemiology and Public Health…oh wait, Monash did give me one of those… where’s yours Prof. Sutton?

On a humorous note (but also an alarming one), if Prof. Brett Sutton submitted a job application for my current position, he would not meet the eligibility criteria for an interview (he would get one of those automated emails saying thank you but we had too many applications blah blah ). If Prof. Brett Sutton submitted an NHMRC, ARC or any other Federal or State level grant application as a Chief Investigator, he would not meet the eligibility criteria.

His eyes are kind of dreamy though, I’ll give him that.



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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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16 thoughts on “The problem with Brett Sutton, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer – 1
  1. Patrick

    FINALLY someone with some research on Dr. Sutton! I have searched and searched on the usual methods and all I managed to find was that female journos seem to think he’s quite hot. I have always wondered why this mystery man has so much power. It appears to be entirely due to cronyism. Thanks for your hard work, Sanjeev, very glad I found this blog.

  2. Grumpy

    Along with Patrick I thank you for the information. Not being a social media platform user, I would never have found this out without your help.

  3. Bill Richards

    Thank for your work, and learned insight into CHO Sutton. As ‘Grumpy’ ^ implies, information regarding this fellow is quite difficult to find and getting harder by the day.

    Between Andrews’ megalomania and allegiance to Socialism (+ ‘debts’ to various unions) and the complete unsuitability of Dr Sutton (and a few others), it is no wonder that Victoria finds itself in the situation it is.

  4. Grazza

    A thought, looking back at the 1918 Spanish Flu and noting that the authorities did not do much different from what our authorities have done this pandemic: lockdowns, masks, excessive cleanliness,… except for blood letting … would we (with or without qualifications in the area) have done any more effectively?

  5. Tabs

    You need to research more thoroughly, and understand context better.

    You have omitted his considerable epidemiology experience through his leadership level work with MSF (Medcines San Frontiers) in Afghanistan and other public health work at high level in Kenya.

    You have also failed to understand that Monash University, a part of the “G8” is in the top 50 of worldwide universities… nobody is getting a level E professorship (highest level in the Australian system) without an extensive world class record demonstrating equivalence not only to a PhD (which gets you in 3 grades lower down the scale) but equivalent to the PhD plus about 10 years of high level achievement and widespread recognition in the academic field. Suggesting they give that to just anyone is like suggesting equivalent status Times world ranked universities Carnegie Mellon, NYU, or the London School of Economics and Politics might hand them out like candy… ridiculous.

  6. Rob McG

    Sutton is/was a purely political appointment. In any event he won’t be there and neither will several other Andrews era Vic health high level appointees when there is eventually a change of state government. Who can also forget some of the “gems” that have been uttered by his ex-deputy Van Dieman? The relevance (or not) of his professional qualifications doesn’t really surprise anyone does it?

  7. Amanda H

    Tab, have read his paper on his “tour” of Afghanistan. He was there for 6 months.
    No mention that he was the leader of anything, he was just part of a team & he certainly was not the organiser.
    The main work they did was handing out vitamins & food supplements to malnourished kids & minor first aid & also some education.

  8. Terry

    Well you seem to have done background work but he is a GP, has worked in med emergency.. that is important when decisions have to be made quickly.So that’s a plus correct me if I am wrong in saying you omitted that .
    In relation to virology and infectious disease, sure I agree that not having that is a weakness. But tell me, precisely who are key experts with quals in infectious that ARE IN PRACTICE OR HAVE BEEN ..that are a support to him in the Department . And also isn’t it OK to get advice from acknowledged experts who have qualifications like Prof Peter Col.and day Prof Mary Mc. just to mention 2 others. I’m not at all impressed by Prof Murphy.. he spoke generally all the time, never heard ant detail from him in areas of virology or infectious disease. He did zip to me and was a bureaucrat . Now more of a bureaucrat earning very big dollars for being a coordinator of vacc logistics and policy.. he wouldn’t write a single policy . What are his quals. He is a low standard abd says very little
    So Sutton looks and cone over better than Murphy.
    So in summary, who supports Sutton abd what are their virology abd infectious disease quals and experience. If they exist, that s ok for me
    But I admit that Sutton doesn’t seem to feel comfortable without the right quals
    But I disagree with anti lockdown people. Now that we can look back on data, it is abundantly clear that when things got bad overseas, we all know these lax nations had to impose lockdowns abd they did work . People argue about seasonality causes spikes, but there is no algorithm that proves that no virologist , but what I know is this. The recognised classic infectious disease approach in a pandemic is to isolate , that is the historical and expert opinion, I support that

  9. Scotti

    I looked up the registry of medical practitioners of Australia, yes Mr sutton is registered but not in this epidemic field, however he is doing better than Mr hunt, Australia’s health minister. The only Greg hunt I found is registered in W.A, as a pharmacist,
    Hang on aren’t pharmaceutical companies the ONES cashing in on this.?
    It would be better if qualified professionals were standing in the roles of these ministers, all of them.

  10. Richard Chan

    Another dud appointed by Victorian Labor. Every time i hear James Merlino comment on the latest Melbourne Corona lockdown by claiming “we are doing this on medical advice” i will reflect on what I have read in this article about Mr Sutton. As for Tabs comments above, Monash or any other University in Melbourne is not worth any credible world wide University ranking. Victoria’s high school students roam shopping centres during the day when they are supposed to be in class all over Melbourne and when they eventually apply for university, the entry requirements are dum downed and lowered for their poor written and mathematical skills. Top 50 Tabbs, you have to be kidding!.

  11. Chris

    Sutton, obviously, is not qualified for his current job, and yes must be a “job for the boys” or “yes man” ( does Dan have anyone who isn’t that on his team?).
    Cannot believe the explosive and emotive language he used to justify the current lock down. Disgraceful.
    Anyone with a modicum of decency would resign- decency is something that is clearly lacking in the current Victorian Government.

  12. Desi

    it seems Suttons best qualification for the job is his brothers wife. In 2006, Sutton was a reality TV show ER doctor, removing a pea lodged in a child’s nose. Fast forward 14 years and Sutton is chief medical officer of Victoria. During a ‘pandemic’ no less. That’s quite a transformation.


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