Advance Awards Life Sciences Category Finalist
A public health advocate and sustainable food architect, Dr Alessandro (Sandro) Demaio founded his career using nutrition as a platform for social change. As a recognised global expert and now CEO of VicHealth, Sandro speaks to the three biggest threats for Australians: climate change, obesity and chronic disease. Amplifying the science of his medical background with an art for public presence, Sandro has become a popular figure across broadcast TV, online editorial, news commentary forums and even a cookbook publication. Whether working alongside the Victorian Government at VicHealth, advising the World Health Organisation, co-authoring global reports with UNICEF, co-founding the social movement NCDFREE to engage young leaders from across the world, or founding the biennial festival21, a free event celebrating food and ideas, Sandro is as passionate as he is pragmatic.
A former World Health Organization medical officer who trained and worked at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital, Dr Sandro Demaio’s international perspective has been informed by a decade working across the globe. During his time as CEO of Oslo-based EAT Foundation, he oversaw the launch of the EAT-Lancet Commission; a scientific commission that led to a global conversation around healthy and sustainable diets, including launch events at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and more than 40 other global locations. This report became one of the most discussed pieces of science globally in 2019. Sandro led the Lancet Series on Nutrition and was a central architect in the formation of the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition. During the COVID-19 crisis, Sandro has been seconded to assist the COVID-19 Department Incident Management Team as the (part-time) Deputy Public Health Commander.