Kelly Sykes

Project Manager – Fleming Fund Country Grant Papua New Guinea


Kelly has been working in public health for more than 12 years. She began her training in the USA as a Physician Associate, practicing clinically for 6 years across general/internal, LGBTIQ+ and HIV/AIDS medicine. During this time, Kelly also led projects related to HIV/AIDS, TB, antimicrobial stewardship and patient flow across the USA, Kenya and Uganda.

Since arriving in Australia, Kelly was responsible for leading numerous state-wide initiatives through Safer Care Victoria, including the implementation of a state-wide sepsis pathway and antimicrobial prescribing guidelines.

Prior to joining Burnet, Kelly led the COVID-19 Strategy and Policy team at the Victorian Department of Health and oversaw development of key policy work relating to public health and social measures, including the ‘Roadmap to Reopening.’

Kelly considers herself to be values-driven individual and is most energised when working on projects closely aligned to her values. Kelly’s pronouns are she/her/hers.


  • 2022 – current: Faculty, Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • 2019 – 2020: Committee member, The Water Well Project


  • 2022 - current: Project Manager – Fleming Fund Country Grant, PNG, Burnet Institute
  • 2022 – current: Faculty & Consultant – Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • 2020 - 2022: Executive Director and Advisor, COVID-19 Strategy and Policy - Victorian Department of Health
  • 2018 – 2020: Senior Project Officer – Safer Care Victoria
  • 2016 – 2019: State-wide Sepsis Improvement Project Manager – Safer Care Victoria / Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • 2012 – 2016: Senior Physician Associate – Internal Medicine, HIV/AIDS, LGBTIQ+
  • 2012: HIV/AIDS and Health Project Officer – Joint Clinical Research Centre
  • 2012: Public Health Officer – Matibabu and St Mary’s


  • 2012: Master of Public Health, Arcadia University, United States
  • 2012: Master of Medical Science, Arcadia University, United States
  • 2012: Master – Physician Associate, Arcadia University, United States
  • 2009: Bachelor of Science, Pre-Medicine, Stockton University, United States


  • 2022: Secretary’s Award
  • 2020: IPAA Evidence-based Policy Award Finalist
  • 2018: Clinical Excellence and Patient Safety Award – ACHS QI
  • 2017: Celebrating Excellence in Healthcare Innovation – MH
  • 2017: Quality Initiative for Clinical Excellence and Patient Safety – ACHS QI
  • 2012: Gretchen M. Paruch Humanitarian Services Award
  • 2012: Hortense T Moss Scholarship Health Sciences
  • 2012: Pi Alpha National Physician Associate Honour Society
  • 2012: Alpha Epsilon Lambda National Honour Society
  • 2011: Program Scholar Distinction, Steptococcoal Pharyngitis

Projects (1)

Current (1)

  • Fleming Fund Country Grant – Papua New Guinea