Doctor Rachel Heenan

Public Health Registrar


Rachel is a public health registrar at the Burnet Institute undertaking her advanced training through the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine (AFPHM), as well as dual training in paediatrics (RACP). Rachel has a Master of Public Health from Harvard University and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; she received her medical degree from the University of Melbourne.

Rachel is passionate about improving global health equity with a focus on infectious diseases. Most recently, she has been working in the Victorian Department of Health’s COVID-19 response. She has over 10 years professional experience in clinical, research, consulting, and policy roles. She has held public health policy and operational roles in local, state, and national departments and in intergovernmental organisations. This is complemented by her clinical and public health research experience across metropolitan and rural Australia, South Asia, the Pacific and East Africa.


  • 2021-present: Senior Medical Outbreak Lead, COVID-19 Response Division, Department of Health (Victoria)
  • 2018-2021: Consultant, Boston Consulting Group
  • 2017: Refugee health fellow, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
  • 2016: Public Health registrar, Western Sydney Local Health District
  • 2016: Policy advisor (intern), Indigenous Affairs Group, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • 2012-2015: Paediatric resident and registrar, Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
  • 2012: Intern, Department of HIV/AIDS, World Health Organization
  • 2011: Intern, University Hospital Geelong


  • 2016: Master of Public Health, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
  • 2013: East African Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • 2010: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Arts, and Diploma of Modern Languages (French), University of Melbourne

Projects (1)

Current (1)

  • VOICE - Victorian Online Initiative for Community Engagement