Australian epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws AO (née Viney; 17 March 1953 – 12 August 2023) passed away on that date. She spent more than 30 years teaching epidemiology at the University of New South Wales and specialized in infectious illnesses. She became a “household name” in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of her consistent work in educating the public about the illness.
Mary Louise Mclaws Early life
Mary-Louise McLaws, the daughter of Barry and Louise Viney, was born in Tasmania on March 17, 1953. Prior to relocating to the Central Coast, where she attended Gosford High School, she and her older brother spent their formative years living with their mother in Bondi, New South Wales. She adopted her stepfather Bruce McLaws’ last name. She grew up in a Jewish household.
In addition to earning a Bachelor of Science from the University of Sydney, McLaws also earned a Diploma in Tropical Public Health in 1984, a Master of Public Health in 1988, and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1992.
Mary Louise Mclaws Career
In 1992, McLaws began attending the University of New South Wales. She “wrote more than 180 research papers” and “supervised and supported many PhD students for decades” during her career. She was an expert on infections acquired in hospitals. She also conducted early research on HIV/AIDS in Australia in 1995, looking at women who had contracted the virus via male sexual partners.
For two months in 2004, McLaws was assigned to Beijing by the World Health Organization to monitor bird flu. She also provided advice to Hong Kong’s government during the SARS pandemic in 2002–2004.
During the COVID-19 outbreak in Australia, McLaws “became widely known to the Australian public through her media appearances.” She was one of the first people to publicly support the use of face masks as a requirement and the closing of the Australian border.She later pushed for vaccination laws to be enforced, including the creation of vaccination centres to create herd immunity. The Australian Financial Review listed her as one of the top ten “most culturally powerful people” in Australia in 2021.
Mary Louise Mclaws Personal life
McLaws had a son and a daughter with Richard Flook, whom she married in 1988.She received a brain cancer diagnosis in January 2022 and passed away on August 12, 2023, at the age of 70.
Mary Louise Mclaws Honours
In the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours, McLaws received the designation of Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his “distinguished service to medical research, particularly to epidemiology and infection prevention, to tertiary education, and to health administration.” The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies held a reception at Emanuel Synagogue in June 2023 in her honor.
Where was Mary Louise McLaws born?
young age. Mary-Louise McLaws, the daughter of Barry and Louise Viney, was born in Tasmania on March 17, 1953. Prior to relocating to the Central Coast, where she attended Gosford High School, she and her older brother spent their formative years living with their mother in Bondi, New South Wales.