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COVID-19 explained. Years 5 and 6 (Stage 3)

On Demand

What are viruses, what they do and where they come from? Professors Palmer and Cunningham will explain how vaccines have controlled many diseases such as smallpox, the flu, measles and now COVID-19. 


The webinar “Get the vax straight: Primary” was recorded live on 8 November 2021 and is now available to view anytime via YouTube. A link to the webinar recording will be sent after you book your place. Most suitable for learners in Years 5 and 6.

Primary students, join us online to meet Professor Sarah Palmer and Professor Tony Cunningham from The Westmead Institute for Medical Research (WIMR) as they discuss, question and explain the latest in the global fight against COVID-19. Learn what viruses are, where they come from and how we have successfully controlled so many with vaccines including Smallpox and measles. Variants like Delta will be explained and the likelihood of emerging strains and how can they be stopped?

Let’s bust the myths and learn the benefits of working scientifically as scientists strive to protect us all and make a safer world.




Professor Sarah Palmer is the Co-Director of the Centre for Virus Research at WIMR and a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney School of Medicine. She is a world-renowned HIV researcher who received her PhD at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, focusing on medical virology. Professor Palmer also conducted her post-doctoral studies at Stanford University, Centre for AIDS Research. For 8 years Professor Palmer directed the core virology laboratory for the HIV Drug Resistance Program at the National Institutes of Health in the USA. Her expertise in identifying parts of HIV proteins likely to stimulate human white cell responses, now pivoting her learnings of HIV to COVID-19.

Professor Tony Cunningham is the Founder and Co-Director of the Centre for Virus Research of WIMR. He is an infectious diseases physician, clinical virologist and scientist, internationally renowned for his research related to HIV and herpes viruses. He is an antivirals expert. Professor Cunningham and his team pioneered the Shingrex vaccine in a quest to prevent shingles in ageing populations. This currently being manufactured by GSK and will be available in June, which is an incredible achievement. Professor Cunningham is the Co-Director of the Centre for Virus Research at WIMR, Director of the Australian Centre for HIV and Hepatitis Virology Research, and serves on numerous international expert panels on HIV, antivirals and vaccines. Tony also is a member of the NSW Government vaccine committee, and state RNA vaccine consortium via UNSW. Tony originally founded WIMR, and in 2010 he was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “service to medicine, particularly in the field of viral research and through the development and leadership of medical and biomedical research”.


Event Details

Event Type

On Demand (available until: 20-Jan-2027 11:59PM)

Delivery Platform

Youtube Recording


50 Minutes





Syllabus Outcomes

Living World ST3-4WS-S, (ACSHE083, ACSHE100), (ACSSU043), Working Scientifically (ACSIS231, ACSIS232)

Main KLA, Strand, Sub Strand

Science and Tech » Working Scientifically and Design and Production » Living World

Other KLAs

Science and Tech

Learning Intentions & Success Criteria

Participants will learn to:

  1. Identify various pathways into STEM careers and interests
  2. Describe evidence backed theories into the origin of COVID-19
  3. Explain evidence backed practices into the control of spread of COVID-19 and other diseases

Success can be measured by the ability of the learners to:

  1. Explain the key issues and timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Describe the role of WIMIR
  3. Argue rationally for widespread vaccination as a control measure

Joining The Event

Technology and Materials Requirements

This webinar was recorded live on 8 November 2021. After you book your place, a link to the recording will be sent to the email you have registered with.

If you have any queries please contact the provider

Name: Bookings team

Phone: 61 2 9217 0222

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.maas.museum

NSW Department of Education

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