The Consumer and Community Advisory Group (CCAG) provides strategic advice to National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) Chief Executive Officer on health matters and on health and medical research matters from a consumer and community perspective.

CCAG plays an important role in providing a health consumer and community perspective on a diverse range of NHMRC business, including advice on consumer involvement in health and medical research.

The advice of the CCAG complements the advice and expertise of consumer and community representatives on the NHMRC Council and its Principal Committees. For further information on how NHMRC supports consumer and community engagement, including access to resources, please visit the NHMRC website.

Membership

CCAG is a Working Committee that was established under Section 39 of the NHMRC Act 1992 and is comprised of 12 consumer and community leaders in Australia. The committee members for the 2021–2024 triennium are below. 

Committee members

Ainslie Cahill

Chair,
Ms
Ainslie
Cahill
AM

Ms Ainslie Cahill leads consumer and community involvement at Maridulu Budyari Gumal (SPHERE – the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise), a partnership of 14 universities, hospitals and research institutions across the Sydney Basin, collaborating and innovating to reduce costs, increase value and change how health care is delivered to the local community.

She is a well-respected and trusted member of the Australian health community, with a broad, non-partisan consumer network that includes national and state peak bodies as well as local community groups, and extensive contacts in universities, medical research institutes and local health districts. Ms Cahill is known and regarded for her inclusive and collaborative approach and focus on equity and better health outcomes for all.

Ms Cahill led the health consumer organisation Arthritis Australia for 12 years to 2018, building its reach and increasing its products and services. In 2018, Ainslie was made an Honorary Life Member of Arthritis Australia for her outstanding contribution in making a difference to the lives of tens of thousands Australians and for fulfilling the mission of the organisation. She also served as a director of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) board for many years, receiving a CHF Honorary Life Membership in 2011 for leading the transition of CHF from an incorporated association to a company limited by guarantee.

Ms Cahill has previously served on the Australian Health Ethics Committee (2018–2021) where she was also the member in common with the Community and Consumer Advisory Committee. She also serves on the NHMRC Community Observers Working Committee, providing independent community oversight of NHMRC peer review processes. Currently, Ms Cahill is also a Member of the Department of Health Natural Therapies Review Expert Advisory Panel and Member of the Australian Health Research Alliance Consumer and Community Involvement Project Coordination Committee.

Ms Cahill was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2020 for significant service to people living with arthritis, and to community health groups.

Declaration

  • Institutional affiliations as noted in profile.
Professor Afaf Girgis

Professor
Afaf
Girgis
AM

Professor Afaf Girgis is an Honorary Professor with the South Western Sydney Clinical Campuses, University of NSW.

Professor Girgis has worked for over 32 years as a behavioural scientist in cancer control and psycho-oncology. Her national and international standing in behavioural science and psycho-oncology have been acknowledged with numerous awards.

She has extensively researched and published in areas including prevention and early detection of cancer, development and psychometric testing of measures to assess cancer patients', caregivers' and health care professionals' unmet needs, developed and evaluated strategies for improving psychosocial outcomes in clinical practice using rigorous research designs, and undertaken research and teaching in communication skills of health professionals.

Professor Girgis' broad research interests include the measurement of health-related behaviours, modification of the psychosocial outcomes of people affected by cancer, research with people of culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, modification of the behaviour of health care providers, evaluation of the quality of medical care, including efficient systems to support adoption of evidence-based practice and the translation of research into policy and practice.

Professor Girgis was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2019 for her significant service to medicine, and to medical education, in the field of cancer control and psycho-oncology.

Declaration

  • Provision of gratis consultancies on behalf of institutional affiliations
  • Recipient of NHMRC research funding, including salary support for team
  • Institutional affiliations as noted in profile
Ms Christine Gunson

Ms
Christine
Gunson

Ms Christine Gunson has over 30 years' professional experience as a human resource adviser at senior levels across the mining, manufacturing and higher education sectors. Since 2000, until her recent retirement, Ms Gunson held the position of Manager of Strategic Human Resources for Edith Cowan University with a focus on workforce planning, workforce metrics and performance measurement reporting and development.

From 2009, Ms Gunson worked on a select number of health sector strategic consultancy projects with Dr Norman Swan, which provided insight into the sector and its challenges as it responded to state and Commonwealth reform agendas. Subsequently, she was approached to be involved in consumer representation related in particular to government initiatives around hospital performance measurement, reporting and accountability. This involved two years with the National Hospital Performance Authority on two consecutive advisory groups.

Ms Gunson has served as a member of both the NHMRC’s Research Committee (RC) and Consumer and Community Advisory Group (CCAG) since 2018. Since 2016, she has served as the consumer representative on a number of NHMRC Peer Review panels and 'Relative to Opportunity' working parties. She was also a member and consumer representative for Consumer Health Forum Australia and served as a member of their Research and Data special interest group.

Declaration

  • Institutional affiliations as noted in profile
Dr Yvonne Ho

Dr
Yvonne
Ho
AM

Dr Yvonne Ho is a general radiologist who has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors.

As a medical doctor in her field of specialty, Dr Ho diagnoses and treats diseases via cutting-edge, non-invasive imaging techniques to ensure patient quality of life is maintained. She has international medical research experience, cartilage imaging in particular and was also pivotal in introducing PET-CT imaging to Singapore.

Dr Ho is the first Victorian and first Australian woman of Asian heritage to be dually qualified as a radiologist and nuclear medicine specialist, both male-dominated medical specialties. She is also the first female director of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists.

Dr Ho serves on many boards, councils and committees and is co-founder of an international marketing firm. Some of Dr Ho's passions include inspiring our next generation, particularly women and minority groups and equal workforce participation. Her accolades include induction to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women for her ground-breaking accomplishments.

Dr Ho was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to radiology and nuclear medicine, as a practitioner and educator and through professional organisations.

Declaration

  • Provision of fee for service and gratis consultancies on behalf of institutional affiliations
  • Recipient of, and likely future applicant to, NHMRC for research funding, including salary support for self and/or team
  • Institutional affiliations, as noted in profile
  • Senior Medical Advisor at Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
  • Representative of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) as Committee Member, Australian Ethical Health Alliance (AEHA)
Mr Harry Iles-Mann

Mr
Harry
Iles-Mann

Harry Iles-Mann has been living with complex chronic physical and mental ill health since early childhood. He had his first major surgery at 16, and has undergone three more to date – including 2 full liver transplants in 2020 and 2021 (spending more than 30 weeks admitted to hospital in 2021 alone).

As a professional he is a health consumer advocate, lived-experience engagement and co-design consultant, youth mental health ambassador, speaker, and committee member. He pairs his lived-experience of the Australian health and medical sector with professional expertise in advocacy and health strategy to provide insight into lived-experience driven reform and innovation of health care system and service design and delivery in strategy, policy, and decision-making.

Mr Iles-Mann holds membership, and some chairing responsibilities, of multiple state, territory and Commonwealth health advisory steering and consumer committees. He draws on his skills in communication, co-design and health consumer engagement to develop and apply effective strategic and policy reform in health and facilitates dialogue and co-design between stakeholders in health administration, service provision and consumers.

Healthcare management, health strategy and policy reform, digital transformation, mental health and youth mental health advocacy, chronic and disability health advocacy, and applying patient experience to reform service provision, policy, and strategic decision making in multiple care environments.

Declaration

  • Provision of fee for service and gratis consultancies on behalf of institutional affiliations
  • Institutional affiliations as noted in profile
Mrs Lillia Leigh

Mrs
Lillian
Leigh

Mrs Lillian Leigh is an experienced consumer advocate, who draws on her personal experience and her training as a practicing lawyer with over a decade's experience providing legal services to disadvantaged people in Australia. She is currently a corporate legal counsel of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority.

She is a member of the Cancer Australia Advisory Council and a consumer member of Cancer Australia's Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme Grant Review Committee, Cancer Voices NSW's Executive Committee, and Rare Cancers Australia's Patient Advisory Board.

In 2016, Mrs Leigh received a Patient Advocacy Award at the 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Vienna.

Declaration

  • Director (non-executive): Thoracic Oncology Group of Australasia Ltd
  • Institutional employment and professional affiliations as noted in profile
Mr Andrew Mosley

Mr
Andrew
Mosley

Mr Andrew Mosley is Head of Policy and Advocacy at the Health Issues Centre, Victoria's peak health consumer organisation. He also Co-Chairs the Consumer Health Forum of Australia's national Digital Health Special Interest Group and is a member of its Research Group.

Mr Mosley's work in advocacy builds on nearly two decades of experience in the Australian and Victorian governments, charities and not-for-profit health organisations, and consulting. This has included work on mental health education, pandemic disease management, clinical trials advocacy, and medical and food policy research.

His diverse experience in the not-for-profit health sector, includes time at the Heart Foundation as Advocacy Manager (Victoria/ Tasmania) and working with mental health service, Beyond Blue. As a former Director of Policy at life science industry organisation, AusBiotech, Mr Mosley strengthened his understanding of the importance of consumer-centric research translation and commercialisation.

Mr Mosley is a passionate health consumer advocate, driven by his lived mental health experience, rural family background, and having been a grateful beneficiary of cutting-edge medical research and development as a child. He is a Graduate of the AICD and a Board Director on community health and education-related Boards.

Declaration

  • Employer is a likely future applicant to MRFF grants, including possible salary support for self and/or team
  • Institutional affiliations as noted in profile
Associate Professor Monica Moran

Associate Professor
Monica
Moran

Associate Professor Monica Moran is a registered occupational therapist and Associate Professor with the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health.

In her current role, she works directly to support the development of rural health workforce through the creation of authentic student learning experiences, the development of support strategies for rural health teams, and research and evaluation of integrated team programs for some of Australia's most vulnerable communities.

Associate Professor Moran holds Adjunct Professorial appointments at Queensland University of Technology, Central Queensland University and the University of Derby in the United Kingdom.

Associate Professor Moran is Immediate Past President of the Australia and New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators, a peak organisation providing mentorship and professional development to health professional educators in academic or clinical settings.

She was a contributor to the WHO Framework for Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice (WHO, 2010) and participates in interprofessional projects and research activities at local, national and international levels including longitudinal evaluation studies. She is currently a member of a nationally funded project team tasked with developing a national governance structure to secure the development and sustainability of interprofessional education and collaborative practice across Australia.

Over the past 10 years she has been a director of the HealthFusion Team Challenge in Australia, growing the project from a local event involving one university to an international event involving students and staff from many universities across Australia and internationally.

Declaration

  • Provision of fee for service and gratis consultancies on behalf of institutional affiliations
  • Recipient of, and likely future applicant to, NHMRC for research funding, including salary support for self and/or team
  • Institutional affiliations as noted in profile
Adjunct Professor Darryl O'Donnell

Adjunct Professor
Darryl
O'Donnell

Adjunct Professor Darryl O'Donnell is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO). AFAO leads Australia's national effort to end HIV and supports stronger civil society responses to HIV in Asia and the Pacific.

Adjunct Professor O'Donnell  has 25 years' experience working in HIV community, research and public sector roles. From 1999 to 2013, he worked for the NSW Government, including as the Director responsible for state-wide HIV, sexually transmitted infections and viral hepatitis policy and programs. He joined AFAO in early 2016. In addition to his community roles, he holds an Adjunct appointment as Professor at the University of NSW.

Declaration

  • Provision of fee for service and gratis consultancies on behalf of institutional affiliations
  • Recipient of, and likely future applicant to, NHMRC for research funding
  • Institutional affiliations as noted in profile
Ms Yvonne Parnell

Ms
Yvonne
Parnell

Member-in-Common with Health Research Impact Committee

Ms Yvonne Parnell is the CEO of Future Living, a not-for-profit entity in the disability sector providing education, advocacy, planning and trustee services to people with developmental disability and their families.

She serves as the Consumer Representative Board Member of the South Metropolitan Health Service in Western Australia and more recently appointed as a Member to the WA Health Sustainable Health Review Recommendation 4 Steering Group. Ms Parnell also served as the Consumer Member on the National Goals of Care Collaborative Steering Committee for WA Health and the Thoracic Surgery Committee for the Medicare Benefits Schedule Review Taskforce.

Prior to this she was a Consumer Representative Member on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency WA Dental Committee and sat as a Member on the North Metropolitan Health Service Governing Council. Ms Parnell holds a post graduate qualification in disability.

Declaration

  • Directorships with Aqumen Pty Ltd and Yogazeit Ltd
  • Board Member: South Metropolitan Health Service (WA)
  • Provides consumer input/advice to the Harry Perkins Medical Institute
  • Institutional affiliations as noted in profile
Dr Sanchia Shibasaki

Dr
Sanchia
Shibasaki

Dr Sanchia Shibasaki is Executive Manager of Research and Knowledge Translation at the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM).

Dr Shibasaki was born and raised on Waibene (Thursday Island) and is of Torres Strait Islander and Asian descent.

Dr Shibasaki  has over 25 years' experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, primary health care policy and practice, research and knowledge translation to impact, and continuous quality improvement. 

Dr Shibasaki has successfully held roles in organisational governance, executive management, physiotherapy, research and knowledge translation, training and development, project leadership and management, and consultancy.

She has lived and worked in urban, rural, and remote communities in Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia. She has and continues to work with representatives from government departments;  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled health affiliates, peak organisations, and services;  research institutes; consultants; not for profit community organisations and various community groups.

Declaration

  • Provision of fee for service and gratis consultancies on behalf of institutional affiliations
  • Recipient of, and likely future applicant to, NHMRC for research funding, including salary support for self and/or team
  • Institutional affiliations as noted in profile
Dr Sean Taylor

Dr
Sean
Taylor

Member-in-Common with Principal Committee Indigenous Caucus

Dr Sean Taylor is descendent of the Dauareb Tribe, one of the eight tribes of Mer Island in the Eastern Torres Strait region. Sean has over twenty years of clinical experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health working at different levels across Australia in range of academic and research interest, as well as clinical practice. He started his career as an Indigenous Health Worker in his home community of Mer (Murray) Island in the mid-1990's and then became a registered nurse.

Dr Taylor completed a Graduate Certificate in Health: Diabetes Management & Education, Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) and a Doctor of Public Health (Research) focusing on Diabetes Care and Management in remote communities. The overall aim of his doctorate was to provide epidemiological evidence to support the development of community level interventions to address some of the most important risk factors associated with the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in the remote regions with Type 2 diabetes.

Previously, Dr Taylor held positions at Aboriginal Health Council of Australia, the Centre for Kidney Research - University of Sydney, Sansom Institute for Health Research – University of South Australia, Centre for Research Excellence in Chronic Disease Prevention in Rural and Remote Communities – University of South Australia, Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention – Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine, James Cook University and Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service. Dr Taylor is currently the Executive Director Aboriginal Health Practitioner for Top End Health Service, Darwin, Northern Territory Government.

Dr Taylor has served as a member of the NHMRC Principal Committee Indigenous Caucus (PCIC) since 2018.

Declaration

  • Provision of fee for service and gratis consultancies on behalf of institutional affiliations
  • Recipient of, and likely future applicant to, NHMRC for research funding, including salary support for self and/or team
  • Institutional affiliations as noted in profile