The Discretionary Foods and Drinks Expert Working Group was established to guide consistent use of the definition and classification of discretionary foods and drinks.

Members of the committee were selected to ensure appropriate expertise including food and nutrition experts from a variety of settings, including clinical and community, industry, consumer and communication settings.

Terms of reference

Members were appointed to the committee from 25 October 2018 to 30 June 2020. The terms of reference specified the committee would:

  1. Advise on a review of the evidence on the classification and articulation of discretionary foods and drinks in varying settings and formats including consideration of the existing Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADGs)
  2. Using this review, provide advice to NHMRC to consider on a fit-for-purpose definition of discretionary foods and drinks that could be practically applied to a range of policy and program contexts
  3. Consider the need and implications, including limitations, for nutrient 'cut-points' as part of any definition advice
  4. Review and provide comment on draft project deliverables
  5. Advise on submissions received through any consultation process/es
  6. Advise on any other relevant issue as requested by the NHMRC Chief Executive Officer.


Deputy CEO and Company Secretary – Australian Food and Grocery Council


  • Background in technical and management roles in food industry, academia and public policy
  • Adjunct Professor the University of Queensland (2016–present)
  • Director of Poultry Cooperative Research Centre (2010–2017)
  • Director for Food Innovation Australia Ltd (2013–2014)
  • Commonwealth Government Food, Beverage and Pharmaceutical Industry Representative Council (2016–present)
  • Co-Chair Portion Size Working Group (Healthy Food Partnership Working Group (2016–2018))
  • Member National Food Waste Strategy steering committee
  • Small share holdings in two food manufacturing companies
  • Member NHMRC’s Australian Dietary Guidelines Working Committee (2010–2012)


Senior Journalist and Content Producer, CHOICE Magazine


•    Recipient DAA journalism award 2016 and 2017
•    Parents' Voice Steering Committee, Parent Member (2017–present)


Discipline Leader for Dietetics in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University


  • Fellow of Dietitians Association of Australia
  • NHMRC Career Development Fellow (2016–2019)
  • Recipient of research grants from government, academia and industry funders including NHMRC, ARC, Heart Foundation, Lottery Health Research, Medibank, Nutricia Research Foundation and Deakin University 
  • Member, Heart Foundation Expert Reference Group, Position Statement on Meat, Eggs and Dairy Products (2018–2019) 
  • Member, Board of Directors, Nutrition Australia Victorian Division (2017–present) 
  • Member, Council of Deans of Nutrition and Dietetics (CDND) (Australia and New Zealand) (2017–present)
  • Member, Victorian Healthy Eating Enterprise (VHEE) – Department of Health and Human Services: Strategic Leadership Group (2015 – present)
  • Corporate Sponsorship Reference Group (Consultation group), Dietitians Association of Australia (2017–2018) 
  • Member, Victorian Healthy Eating Enterprise (VHEE) – Department of Health and Human Services: Fruit & Vegetable Promotion Working Group (2015 – 2016)
  • Member, Editorial Board, International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity (2007 – present)
  • Consultant to National Heart Foundation of Australia, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, and World Health Organisation


Head, Prevention Division, Cancer Council Victoria; Adjunct Associate Professor, Queensland University of Technology; Director, WHO Collaborative Centre for UV radiation.


  • Head of Prevention Division, Cancer Council Victoria. The Prevention Division includes programs such as the Obesity Policy Coalition, LiveLighter, Rethink Sugary Drink and other healthy lifestyle public education campaigns
  • Member, Peter Mac Hospital Primary Care and Population Health Advisory Committee (2009–present)
  • Chair, Public Health Committee, Cancer Council Australia (2010–2018)
  • Recipient of research grants from state and commonwealth governments
  • Parents' Voice Steering Committee, Member (2008–present)  
  • Public spokesperson with the 'Rethink the sugary drink' campaign and other Cancer Council related public health campaigns


Visiting Fellow, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales; Independent Nutrition Consultant.


  • Consumer and Public Health Dialogue, Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Public Health Association of Australia representative (2010–2015; reappointment 2015 and 2017)
  • Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Global Burden of Disease Study. Expert Advisory Group (2015–present)
  • Scientific Committee for Doctors for the Environment Australia (2010–present) 
  • Member NHMRC's Australian Dietary Guidelines Working Committee & Infant Feeding Guidelines Working Committee (2008–2012)
  • Member Technical Design Working Group, Front of Pack Labelling, Department of Health and Ageing (2012–2014)
  • Expert witness for Australian Competition and Consumer Commission case against Heinz (2018)
  • Reviewer for various journals