The Centre for Environment and Population Health (CEPH) at Griffith University’s School of Medicine is delighted to announce that two alumni have been named in the 2020 Australia China Awards. They are Professor Changjun Bao, winner of the Research and Science category, and Professor Jiangli Di, winner of the Women in Leadership Category.

Both former students have contributed significantly to effective responses to COVID-19, helping to save lives and livelihoods. Their work demonstrates that global public health expertise is needed more than ever in this challenging era.

This is the seventh year that a CEPH alumni has won one of the Australian China Alumni Award categories, but the first year that two nominees have been honoured. 

Meet the winners:

2020 Australia China Alumni Award for Research and Science winner Professor Changjun Bao

Prof. Changjun Bao is the Senior Epidemiologist and Chief of Department at Jiangsu Province Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. As a public health scientist, he combines his expertise in epidemiology, zoonotic infectious diseases, and strategic leadership to prevent and control pandemics. Through SARS, H1N1, H7N9, and COVID-19 outbreaks, Bao has been there, directing and managing these emergencies to safeguard the health of the Jiangsu people. When China was shocked by the speed and scale of COVID-19 transmission, Bao promptly led his team to research, plan and implement ways to block transmission. Bao’s meticulous technical guidelines, decisive and timely response measures, crowd monitoring breakthrough technologies, thorough contact tracing and early treatment have resulted in an outstanding COVID-19 response for Jiangsu that had, as of 10 September 2020, 665 confirmed cases, zero deaths, and a remarkably speedy societal recovery within two months. Nicknamed ‘Superman’ by his colleagues, due to his non-stop work ethic since the pandemic started in January 2020, Bao was honoured as a top 10 anti-epidemic employee by Jiangsu Government and featured on the cover of China’s Xian Dai Kuai Bao magazine. He has published more than 20 papers in highly reputable international journals. Bao’s achievements have won him numerous national and provincial medical science and technology awards. 


2020 Australia China Alumni Award for Women in Leadership winner Professor Jiangli Di

Dr Jiangli Di works at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, where she is deputy director and principal researcher for health monitoring of women and children in the China Women and Health Centre. Dr Di has been influential in protecting and promoting women’s health. She has designed, coordinated and implemented many significant large-scale national and international programs to advance women’s health, particularly in impoverished rural areas. For example, she has led the National Cervical and Breast Cancer Control Program for Rural Areas, the National Women and Children’s Health Surveillance Program, and the Comprehensive Intervention for Maternal Anaemia for UNICEF. She has been chief investigator for 28 national and international research projects leading to the development of more than 30 national policies, guidelines and training materials on women’s health. Each has had far-reaching implications for women’s health. Dr Di has published over 30 papers, edited 13 books, and served as an executive and editorial board member of 12 national government and professional committees. For her outstanding achievements, she has received eight awards. The most notable recent achievement is her contribution in planning and executing successful COVID-19 responses in three consecutive outbreaks in Wuhan, Beijing and Xinjiang.