Members of Council 2009 - 2012 triennium

Chair of Council

Professor Michael Good AO

Professor Michael Good is a NHMRC Australia Fellow at Griffith University, the past Director of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, a past President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes, and a past Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology. In 2006 he was appointed as Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. In 2008 he was a Steering Committee member and Co-Chair of the “long-term national health strategy” of the 2020 Summit. Also in 2008 he was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to medical research and contributions to education. In 2009 he won the Australian Museum CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science. In 2010 he was named a “Queensland Great” by the Queensland Premier. He graduated MD PhD DSc from the University of Queensland and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. He undertook postdoctoral training as a Visiting Scientist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. 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 Research Committee

Professor James Best

Professor Best is Head of the School of Medicine at the University of Melbourne. He has taught extensively during his career, especially on the topic of diabetes and metabolism. His research has involved physiological and molecular studies of glucose disposal, as well as studies of lipid biochemistry and epidemiological and clinical studies of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in diabetes.

Chair of Australian Health Ethics Committee

Dr Sandra Hacker AO

Dr Hacker chairs the board of Northern Health, Melbourne. She is a psychiatrist in private practice and her primary area of clinical interest is in severe trauma. Her clinical work involves mostly long-term psychotherapy with adults affected by severe childhood sexual assault. Dr Hacker was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2005 for her services to the medical profession.

Chair of Human Genetics Advisory Committee

Professor Ron Trent

Professor Trent is Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Sydney and Director of the Department of Molecular and Clinical Genetics at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He is a nationally recognised leader in the field of human molecular genetics who has pioneered many developments in this area, including DNA testing facilities and education of postgraduates in laboratory genetics.

Chair of Health Care Committee

Professor John Horvath AO

Professor Horvath is currently Principal Medical Consultant for the Australian Department of Health and Ageing and was formerly Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer (CMO) from 2003-2009. Prior to his appointment as CMO, Professor Horvath was Professor of Renal Medicine at the University of Sydney and a specialist renal physician at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2001 for his services to medicine.

Chair of Prevention and Community Health Committee

Professor Kerin O’Dea AO

Professor O’Dea is Director of the Sansom Institute for Health Research at the University of South Australia. She is a nutrition scientist and public health researcher who has made major contributions to understanding the relationship between diet and chronic diseases. She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2004 for ‘service in the areas of medical and nutrition research, to the development of public health policy, and to the community, particularly Indigenous Australians’.

Commonwealth and state/territory Chief Medical/Health Officers

Professor Chris Baggoley (Commonwealth representative)

Professor Chris Baggoley is currently acting as the Australian Goverment's Chief Medical Officer and is responsible for a range of professional health issues, including health and medical research, public health, medical workforce, quality of care and evidence based medicine. In addition, Professor Baggoley holds direct responsibility for the Department of Health and Ageing’s Office of Health Protection. Professor Baggoley’s previous role was that of Chief Executive, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, since August 2007. Previous medical positions include Professor/Director of Emergency Medicine at the University of Adelaide/Royal Adelaide Hospital; Director of Emergency Medicine at Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide; Censor-In-Chief and President of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, Chair of the Committee of Presidents of Medical Colleges; and Chair of the Board of the National Institute of Clinical Studies.  Professfor Baggoley holds an Honours degree in Veterinary Science from Melbourne University, a degree in Social Administration, FUSA, and has been awarded the Order of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine.

Dr Kerry Chant (NSW representative)

Dr Chant is a public health physician, Chief Health Officer for NSW and Deputy Director-General, Population Health, NSW Health. Prior to this she was Director, Health Protection and Deputy Chief Health Officer, NSW Health. Dr Chant has extensive public health experience, having held a range of senior positions in NSW public health units since 1991. She has a particular interest in blood-borne virus infections, communicable disease prevention and control, and Indigenous health.

Dr Rosemary Lester (VIC representative)

Dr Lester is the Chief Health Oficer at the Victorian Government Department of Health. She is a public health physician who has worked in the department and its predecessors since1989. Her previous position was Assistant Director, Communicable Disease Prevention and Control, and Deputy Chief Health Oficer. Dr Lester is Victoria’s representative on the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, and is currently Chair of the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA). She recently served as the CDNA representative on the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. She has a special interest in immunisation and vaccinepreventable diseases.

Dr Jeannette Young (QLD representative)

Dr Young is Chief Health Officer for Queensland. She was previously Executive Director of Medical Services at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital and Director of Medical Services at Rockhampton Base Hospital. She is a member of the Medical Board of Queensland, the Queensland Institute of Medical Research Council, the Queensland Emergency Medical System Advisory Committee and the Queensland Blood Advisory Committee. She is also Queensland’s representative on the Australian Health Protection Committee, the Clinical, Technical and Ethical Principal Committee and the newly formed Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Principal Committee.

Professor Paddy Phillips (SA representative)

Professor Phillips is Chief Medical Officer for South Australia, Chair of the South Australian Clinical Senate and Chair of the South Australian Statewide Clinical Network in Cardiology. He was previously Professor and Head of Medicine, Flinders University, Flinders Medical Centre and Repatriation General Hospital in Adelaide. Before that he held senior clinical academic posts at the University of Melbourne followed by Oxford University. His interests are in building a better health system through innovation, collaboration and leadership. He remains clinically active in acute general medicine.

Dr Simon Towler (WA representative)

Dr Towler is Chief Medical Officer for Western Australia, a member of the Western Australian State Health Executive Forum and a senior clinician who continues to practise in intensive care. He is a Fellow of the Joint Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (JFICM), the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (FANZCA) and the Australian Medical Association (FAMA). Dr Towler has responsibility for the research portfolio in the WA Department of Health and is an enthusiastic supporter of the ongoing development of the role of the National Institute of Clinical Studies within the NHMRC.

Dr Craig White (TAS representative)

Dr White is Chief Health Officer for Tasmania. He is responsible for optimising the health of Tasmanians, supporting the medical profession, developing the health system and providing expert advice. He was previously Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Hobart Hospital, which is affiliated with the University of Tasmania and the Menzies Research Institute. His former positions include Executive Director of Medical Services at Southern Health in Victoria; and Acting Chief Executive, Executive Director Clinical Services and Chief Medical Officer at Austin Health in Melbourne.

Dr Paul Kelly (ACT representative)

Dr Kelly is a public health physician, Chief Health Officer for the ACT and Executive Director of Population Health, ACT Government Health Directorate. He is also an Associate Professor, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment at the Australian National University and holds several other honorary academic appointments. He has worked in government and academic public health in four Australian jurisdictions and in several other countries. Dr Kelly has a particular research interest and expertise in respiratory infectious diseases. He is currently chair of the advisory board of TEPHINET, the global grouping of field epidemiology training programs.

Dr Barbara Paterson (NT representative)

Dr Paterson is Chief Health Officer for the Northern Territory and Executive Director, Health Protection Division of the Territory’s Department of Health and Families. She is a medical graduate of the University of Manchester, has a background in general practice and is a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine. Having worked in the Northern Territory for almost 20 years, she has experience in Aboriginal Health and in a range of roles including service provision and policy and program development.

Members with specific expertise/experience

Professor Cindy Shannon

Professor Shannon is Professor of Indigenous Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Queensland, senior policy advisor for the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council and director of the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health. She is also director of Shannon Consulting, a company specialising in providing management, policy and workforce services and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. She brings experience in the health needs of Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders to the NHMRC Council.

Ms Anne Cahill Lambert AM

Ms Cahill Lambert is a member of the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority’s Advisory Council (ministerial appointee) and the Consumer Health Forum. She is also a past Chief Executive Office of Women’s Hospitals Australasia. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2005 for ‘service to health care administration, particularly through contributions to improve hospital services for women and children’. She brings expertise in consumer issues to the NHMRC Council.

Dr Andrew Cuthbertson

Dr Cuthbertson is R&D Director and Chief Scientific Officer of biopharmaceutical company CSL Limited. He has a keen interest in biotechnology drug development, particularly in the emerging field of immunotherapy for infectious diseases and cancer. He brings high level business expertise to the NHMRC Council.

Ms Rosemary Bryant

Ms Bryant is the Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer. She is a health industry executive and registered nurse with experience in major hospitals, community health, State Government, health consultancy, a health membership organisation and Commonwealth Government. She brings expertise in the nursing professions to the NHMRC Council.