Members of Council 2006 - 2009 triennium

Chair of Council

Professor Michael Good AO

Professor Michael Good is the Director of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research; the past President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes; and the past Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology.  Before being appointed Chair of the Council of the NHMRC, he was a panel member of the 2004 Grant Review into investment in health and medical research. 

Professor Good graduated MD PhD DSc from the University of Queensland and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne.  His professional experience includes postdoctoral training as a Visiting Scientist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland USA.  His interests are in the field of immunity and immunopathogenesis to malaria and group A streptococcus/ rheumatic fever, with particular relevance to the development of vaccines.

Chair of the National Health Committee

Professor Colin Masters

Professor Masters has held many senior scientific research positions, mainly in the area of Alzheimer's disease. His current appointments include Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne; Chief of Neuropathology and chair of the Senior Scientists' Council at the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria; consultant in pathology at the Royal Melbourne Hospital; and Chief Scientific Advisor for Neuroscience Australia.

Chair of Research Committee

Professor James Best

Professor Best has nearly 30 years in biomedical research. His main area of interest has been glucose metabolism and diabetes, and he has also been studying ways of promoting translation of research findings into clinical practice to improve management of type 2 diabetes. As Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne, he has vast experience in management.

Chair of the Australian Health Ethics Committee

Professor Colin Thomson

Professor Colin Thomson is a solicitor and barrister in the Supreme Courts of NSW and the ACT, and was most recently a consultant to the NHMRC on health ethics. He has been a member of AHEC in two previous NHMRC terms, including as deputy chair from 2000-03. Professor Thomson's major interests include the intersections of law, ethics, medical and life sciences and health care. His current appointments are Professorial Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Wollongong and Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law, Macquarie University.

Chair of the Licensing Committee

Professor John 'Jock' Findlay AM AO

Professor Findlay is an NH&MRC Senior Principal Research Fellow at Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research, Victoria, and Chair of the Victorian Infertility Treatment Authority. He is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) received in 2008 for services to medical research. Professor Findlay was awarded the 2006 Dale Medal from the UK Society for Endocrinology, the highest accolade bestowed by that Society. His research achievements have also been recognised by the UK-based Society of Reproduction and Fertility, who named him as the 2006 recipient of their Distinguished Scientist Award.

Chair of the Human Genetics Advisory Committee

Professor Ron Trent

Professor Ron Trent is Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Sydney and Head of the Department of Molecular & Clinical Genetics at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. His involvement in molecular genetics includes research into gene environment interactions in complex traits and the provision of a State-wide based DNA diagnostic service. Professor Trent is the Executive Director of SUPAMAC, the University of Sydney's molecular analysis service. Professor Trent has been Chair of the NHMRC Gene and related Therapies Research Advisory Panel (1994-2006), and a member of the NHMRC Research Committee (1997-2006). Since 1998 Professor Trent has been on the Board of Directors for the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney.

Commonwealth and State/Territory Representatives

Dr Charles Guest (ACT representative)

Charles Guest has worked in government and academic public health in Australia and elsewhere, following graduation from Melbourne, Deakin and Harvard Universities.  He joined the Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with appointment to the New York City Department of Health in 1984.  Subsequently, he undertook research on chronic disease in Australian Aborigines, communicable disease and environmental health.  He has been a Councillor of the Australasian Epidemiological Association, the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, and the Public Health Association of Australia.  Dr Guest is currently Chief Health Officer, ACT Health; and Visiting Fellow, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Australian National University.  Publications include the Oxford Handbook of Public Health Practice (co-editor, 2001 and 2006).

Professor John Horvath AO (Commonwealth representative)

Professor Horvath was appointed as the Australian Government Chief Medical Officer on 22 September 2003.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and is a distinguished practitioner, researcher and teacher.  Professor Horvath was previously Clinical Professor of Medicine at Sydney University and a specialist renal physician at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (RPAH) and area director of renal services for the RPAH and Concord Repatriation General Hospitals.

He is also known as a leader in a range of medical training and workforce organisations.  He is current chair of the Australian Medical Workforce Advisory Committee and a member of the Commonwealth’s Medical Training Review Panel.  He is also a former president of the Australian Medical Council and the NSW Medical Board.

Dr John Carnie (VIC representative)

Dr John Carnie is the chief health officer for Human Services Victoria. Prior to this he held the position of director Disease Control & Research of the same department. He has expertise and experience in a range of public health issues including emerging community risks, pandemics, communicable diseases, biotechnology and ethics. He has been a member of numerous public health, scientific and research advisory committees and is a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine.

Dr Jeannette Young (QLD representative)

Dr Jeannette Young is the Chief Health Officer, Qld Health Department and Executive Director of Medical Services, Princess Alexandra Hospital.  She is also Chair of the Australian Medical Workforce Advisory Committee, a Director of Australians Donate, a Member of the Australian Medical Council and a member of the SARS Action Group.

Professor Paddy Phillips (SA representative)

Professor Phillips was raised in South Australia and attended the University of Adelaide after an education at Adelaide Boys High School. He was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University in 1983 and the Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians soon after. He is also currently a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American Heart Association and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. He is also Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Duke University, North Carolina, and was awarded the Charles E Putnam Distinguished Visiting Professor at Duke University in 2003.He will continue to undertake a clinical role in acute general medicine, and in research into better chronic disease management, care of older people, and evidence based practice.

Dr Simon Towler (WA representative)

Dr Simon Towler is currently on secondment from his positions as head of Royal Perth Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit and Director, Division of Critical Care, RPH and in August 2005 took up the newly created position of Executive Director, Health Policy and Clinical Reform within WA Health.  Since taking up this role Dr Towler has guided the establishment of clinical networks to develop strategic health policy and assist in planning for the delivery of health services across Western Australia.

In his current position Dr Towler has lead the development of clinical networks to meet the changing needs of the clinical and community sectors.  In doing so he has paved the way for policy makers to work closely with clinicians throughout the WA health system.

Dr Towler has a passion for health reform to meet the ever increasing demands our health system faces. Dr Towler has been actively involved with the Reid Review and the Health Administrative Review Committee and continues to contribute to the Clinical Senate and various other clinical reference groups.

His past roles include President of the Australian Medical Association (WA Branch) and he has a broad range of experience and training in the critical care field.

Dr David Boadle (TAS representative)

Dr Boadle is the Chief Health Officer in the Department of Health and Human Services in Tasmania.  He graduated in Medicine from the University of Tasmania in 1980, and undertook the majority of his specialty training in Tasmanian hospitals.  Dr Boadle then practised as a Consultant Physician specialising in Medical Oncology and Palliative Care in the north and north-west of Tasmania from 1988 until 2000.  He was appointed as the inaugural Medical Director of the Hospice in Launceston, and served as an examiner for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians from 1991 until 1997.  In 1993, Dr Boadle was appointed as the Director of the Medical Services at St Vincent’s Hospital Launceston.  As part of the leadership’s team, Dr Boadle supervised the commissioning of the first private Emergency Department in Launceston.

Other Members

Professor Cindy Shannon

Professor Shannon has extensive expertise in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research. She is the director of Shannon Consulting Services, a company specialising in providing management, policy and workforce services and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Her primary interest is in health services research.

Professor Timothy ‘Tim’ Davis

Professor Davis is an academic general physician with specialty interest in diabetes and tropical diseases.  He is principal investigator of a long term, large scale natural history study of diabetes in an urban Australian community setting.  He is currently vice-president of the Australian Diabetes Society.  Professor Davis has a special research interest in the treatment of malaria in children and adults.

Dr Colin Sutton

Dr Sutton has extensive experience in business.  He is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Ventracor Limited, an international medical device company focused on commercialising a leading implantable ‘artificial heart’ device.  Dr Sutton was responsible for commercialising a new treatment for liver cancer.