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Human Genetics Advisory Committee (HGAC)

The Human Genetics Advisory Committee (HGAC) provides on-going advice on high-level technical and strategic issues in human genetics, and on the social, ethical and legal implications of human genetics and related technologies, to Council. HGAC also provides national leadership in responding to new developments in these technologies.

Functions

The functions of HGAC, as gazetted by the Minister on 25 March 2009, are:

  • to advise NHMRC on current and emerging issues in human genetics and related technologies, particularly the expected impacts on human health and healthcare;
  • to advise NHMRC on the ethical, legal and social implications arising from developments in human genetics and related technolgies;
  • such other functions as the Minister from time to time determines in writing after consulting the CEO; and
  • any other functions conferred on the Committee by the NHMRC Act, the regulations or any other law.

While the HGAC provides advice to Council on high-level technical and strategic issues in human genetics, and on the social, ethical and legal implications of human genetics and related technologies it is important to note that under the NHMRC Act the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) has carriage of the development of Human Research Guidelines.

Membership

The composition of HGAC is not defined under the NHMRC Act. HGAC has 17 members for the 2012-15 triennium. The membership includes persons with expertise in human genetics; community representation; privacy, discrimination and health law; data management and information security; science communication; and the health needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

A member of AHEC also sits on HGAC - this is a requirement under the NHMRC Act.

Professor Robyn Ward, Chair
Professor Christopher Goodnow
Ms Mary Murnane PSM
Professor Ngiare Brown
Professor Leslie Burnett
Professor John Christodoulou AM
Mrs Dianne Petrie OAM
Professor Emma Whitelaw
Professor Margaret Otlowski
Professor Jim Bishop AO
Associate Professor Clara Gaff
Professor Andrew Sinclair
Dr Vanessa Tyrrell
Professor Ingrid Winship
Professor David Mackey
Mrs Lesley Murphy


Contact HGAC

Postal address HGAC Secretariat
NHMRC
GPO Box 1421
Canberra ACT 2601
Email address hgac@nhmrc.gov.au
Telephone (02) 6217 9487

Other information

NHMRC's Genetics subsite - a central repository for human genetics resources and information developed by NHMRC.

Page reviewed: 17 July, 2014