End Polio Campaign
Oct 27, 2020 7:40 AM
Dr Catherine 'Kitty' O'Connor
End Polio Campaign

The World Health Organization (WHO) on 25 August announced that transmission of the wild poliovirus has officially been stopped in all 47 countries of its African region. This is a historic and vital step toward global eradication of polio, which is Rotary’s top priority. After decades of hard won gains in the region, Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative — WHO, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Gavi, the vaccine alliance — are proclaiming the milestone an achievement in public health. They offer it as proof that strong commitment, coordination, and perseverance can rid the world of polio.

Dr Catherine (Kitty) O’Connor is a Doctor of Law from Oxford University. Having practised as a solicitor in the UK for a number years, Kitty retired from active case work in 2002 upon her arrival in Melbourne. An avid Sydney Swans supporter, she is currently the in-house counsel at Healthcare Australia. The mother to three Great Danes, Kitty originally joined Rotary in 2009 as part of the Honiara Rotary Club in the Solomon Islands where she was living. She returned to Australia and her beloved Albert Park in 2011 and left the Rotary fold only to rejoin in 2016.

President of the Laverton Point Cook Rotary Club for two years from 2018, Kitty took on the role District 9800 Polio Chair in 2019. Now a member of the Rotary Club of Melbourne South, a two-time cancer survivor, Kitty supports her most passionate causes as a speaker for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Fight Cancer Foundation, Equality and Diversity and of course Polio.