Members of Council 2012 - 2015 triennium

Chair of Council

The Hon Justice Annabelle Bennett AO

Justice of the Federal Court of Australia

Justice Bennett practised as a barrister, later specialising in intellectual property. She was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia in May 2003 and as Senior Counsel in 1994. Justice Bennett is an additional Judge of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory, President of the Copyright Tribunal of Australia, and a Presidential Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Justice Bennett has been involved in a number of committees, including the Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee, the Biotechnology Task Force and the Gene Patenting Advisory Committee of the Australian Law Reform Commission. She has also served as Pro-Chancellor of the Australian National University, Director of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation, member of the Eastern Sydney Area Health Board, a Director of Neuroscience Research Australia and President of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Chair of Research Committee

Professor Kathryn North AM

Director, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

David Danks Professor of Child Health Research, University of Melbourne

Professor North is trained as a paediatric physician, neurologist and clinical geneticist. Her laboratory research interests focus on the molecular basis of inherited muscle disorders, as well as genes that influence normal skeletal muscle function and elite athletic performance. Her clinical research focuses on clinical trials of therapies for muscular dystrophy as well as the development of interventions for children with learning disabilities.

Professor North is on the Executive of TREAT-NMD (international consortium for neuromuscular disorders), is Chair of the Neurocognitive Committee of the International Neurofibromatosis Consortium and Vice Chair of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health.

Chair of Australian Health Ethics Committee

Clinical Professor Ian Olver AM

Director, Sansom Institute for Health Research

Professor Olver is a medical oncologist and chairs the Ethics Committee of the Medical Oncology Group of Australia. He serves on a number of advisory committees including the Advisory Board to Cancer Australia and sits on the Board of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia and the Multinational Association for Supportive Care in Cancer

Chair of Human Genetics Advisory Committee

Professor Robyn Ward

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Vice President (Research), The University of Queenslandreplacement photo to be added at design stage

Professor Robyn Ward joined the University of Queensland as Deputy-Vice-Chancellor (Research), after working in hospitals and academic settings in New South Wales, including roles as Director of the Prince of Wales Cancer Centre and Clinical Associate Dean at UNSW. She is Director of the Translational Cancer Research Network, a multi-institutional group based in NSW and supported by the Cancer Institute NSW. She chairs the Medical Services Advisory Committee and is a member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

Professor Ward has shown a sustained capacity for innovative research into the range of issues that underlie the problem of human cancer. As Head of the Adult Cancer Program at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre UNSW and a clinician researcher at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, she has made several important contributions to translational cancer research in the area of bowel cancer. She has used her expertise as a medical oncologist and clinical cancer geneticist to better define population-based screening strategies for hereditary bowel cancer

Chair of Health Care Committee

Professor Claire Wainwright

Head of Cystic Fibrosis Services, Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane
Acting Director, Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute

Professor Wainwright is a paediatric respiratory physician. She currently holds a Queensland Health Research Fellowship and has developed an international track record in the design and implementation of paediatric clinical trials.

Her areas of expertise include paediatric respiratory medicine with a special interest in the development of early lung disease in cystic fibrosis (CF) and CF microbiology, metabolic complications of CF, acute viral bronchiolitis, and asthma.

Chair of Prevention and Community Health Committee

Professor David Roder AM

Health Committee Professor of Cancer Epidemiology and Population
Health, School of Population Health, University of South Australia

Professor Roder is also working under contract with Cancer Australia, the Cancer Institute of New South Wales and the Cancer Council of South Australia. He was previously Director of Epidemiology in South Australia, board member of the International Association of Cancer Registries, and World Health Organization consultant on cancer registration in Penang, Sarawak and Mongolia.

He is a member of the National Quality Management Committee of BreastScreen Australia and Cervical Screening National Safety Monitoring Committee, and chairs the Advisory Board of the Biostatistics Collaboration of Australia. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2000 for contributions to cancer epidemiology.

Commonwealth and state/territory Chief Medical/Health Officers

Professor Chris Baggoley AO (Commonwealth CMO)

Professor Baggoley is Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Government and is the principal medical adviser to the Minister and the Department of Health. Professor Baggoley also holds direct responsibility for the Department of Health’s Office of Health Protection.

Prior to his appointment Professor Baggoley was the Chief Executive of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. He was a former Chief Medical Officer and Executive Director with the South Australian Department of Health. His clinical career has been in emergency medicine.

Dr Kerry Chant (NSW CHO)

Dr Chant is a Public Health physician, Chief Health Officer for New South Wales and Deputy Director-General, Population and Public 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 New South Wales 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 PSM (VIC CHO)

Dr Lester is a medical graduate of the University of Melbourne, has a Master of Public Health from Monash University and a Master of Science (Epidemiology) from the University of California Los Angeles. She is a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, and has worked in the Department and its predecessors since 1989.

She has held various positions in the Department but has worked predominantly in Immunisation and Communicable Disease Prevention and Control. She is Victoria’s representative on the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.  Dr Lester was awarded the Public Service Medal in the Australia Day Honours in January 2014.

* Dr Lester retired in February 2015 – since that time Prof Ackland has been acting CHO.

Dr Jeannette Young (QLD CHO)

Dr Young has been the Chief Health Officer for Queensland since August 2005. Prior to this she held the position of Executive Director of Medical Services at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane and previously worked in a range of positions in Queensland and Sydney. Her clinical background is in emergency medicine.

Dr Young has specialist qualifications as a Fellow by Distinction of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom. She is an adjunct professor at Queensland University of Technology and at Griffith University.

Dr Young is a member of numerous state and national committees and boards, including the Council of the QIMR Berghoffer Medical Research Institute, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and the Australian National Preventive Health Agency Advisory Council.

Professor Paddy Phillips PSM (SA CMO)

Professor Phillips is Chief Medical Officer for South Australia. He was previously Chair of the South Australian Clinical Senate, Chair of the South Australian State-wide Clinical Network in Cardiology, and Professor and Head of Medicine, Flinders University, Flinders Medical Centre and Repatriation General Hospital, Adelaide.

Before that Professor Phillips 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.

Professor Tarun Weeramanthri (WA CHO)

Professor Weeramanthri is Assistant Director General, Public Health Division, Western Australian Department of Health. He is also Chair of the Health Program Board of the Cooperative Research Centre in Spatial Information. He has served as Chief Health Officer in two jurisdictions (Northern Territory from 2004 to 2007 and Western Australia since 2008).

Professor Weeramanthri has a PhD in social medicine and is a Fellow of Leadership WA. His interests are in the contribution public health can make to Indigenous health improvement, health disaster planning and response, and use of new technologies in public health (spatial tools, genomics and social media).

Dr Craig White (TAS CMO)

Dr White was the Chief Medical Officer of the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services until February 2015. He was previously Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Hobart Hospital, affiliated with the University of Tasmania and the Menzies Research Institute.

His former positions include Executive Director of Medical Services at Southern Health (now Monash Health) in Victoria, and Acting Chief Executive, Executive Director Clinical Services and Chief Medical Officer at Austin Health. He is a member of the Medical Training Review Panel, and the boards of the Cancer Council Tasmania the Royal Hobart Hospital Research Foundation, and the Postgraduate Medical Education Council Tasmania.
*Dr White’s appointment as CMO ceased in February 2015 – awaiting details of replacement.

Dr Paul Kelly (ACT CHO)

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 an adjunct professor at the Australian National University and at the University of Canberra. He has worked in government and academic public health in four Australian jurisdictions and in several other countries. He is a member of two World Health Organization committees.

Dr Kelly has a particular research interest and expertise in respiratory infectious diseases, including tuberculosis and influenza, health services research and systems approaches to chronic disease prevention.

Professor Dinesh Arya (NT CHO)

Professor Arya is the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Health Officer for the Northern Territory and Professorial Fellow with Flinders University and Charles Darwin University.

Dr Arya is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators, Australian College of Health Service Management and Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. He has a Masters in Business, Masters in Bioethics and Health Law and an Executive Masters in Public Administration.

Previously Professor Arya has held a variety of senior executive roles in the health sector in New Zealand, Western Australia (WA) and New South Wales (NSW). He is an accreditation surveyor with the Australian Council of Health Care Standards and has held statutory roles as a Member of Mental Health Review Tribunals in New Zealand and in NSW.

Professor Arya has remained a practicing psychiatrist, academic and researcher with past adjunct and conjoint appointments in Psychiatry, Health Management and Business Management with the University of Otago and Massey University in New Zealand, the University of WA and Curtin University in WA and the University of Newcastle and Department of Project Management, School of Engineering with University of Sydney in NSW.

* Prof Arya was appointed at CHO NT in January 2015, Dr Steven Skov acted in this position prior to this appointment.

Members with specific expertise/experience

Associate Professor Noel Hayman (Expertise in the health needs of Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders)

Clinical Director of the Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care, Metro South Health

Associate Professor Hayman works closely with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations at a national level, at a state level (Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council) and at a service level (Aboriginal and Islander Community Health Service Brisbane, Yulu-Burri-Ba, Kambu and Kulwan in South East Queensland) to help close the gap in health outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Ms Carol Bennett (Expertise in consumer issues)

Chief Executive Officer, Alzheimer's Australia

Ms Bennett is the Chief Executive Officer of the  Alzheimer’s Australia, the peak body and charity for all types of dementia.  It provides advocacy, support services, education and training.

Prior to this role, Carol was CEO of the Hunter Medicare local – one of the largest not for profit primary health care organisations in Australia and CEO of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) – the peak national organisation for health consumers in Australia. She led CHF’s work to ensure a strong consumer voice and consumer participation in health reform through advocacy, policy development and consumer research.

She has worked at the executive level in health organisations for more than 15 years, including as CEO of peak national and state health bodies, and major consultancy roles with organisations including beyondblue the national depression initiative. She is a member of key international and national advisory bodies including the International Alliance of Patients Organisations. She works collaboratively with those at the most senior levels of government, as well as representatives from key health industry, professional and consumer groups and is committed to the role of non-government organisations as drivers of improved outcomes for their communities.

Mr John Brown (Expertise in business)

Non-executive Director, Sydney Water

Mr Brown was previously a partner with KPMG for over 26 years and since then has been appointed as chair or member of the audit committee of a number of New South Wales and federal public sector entities. He is Director of Charities Aid Foundation and The Gift of Life Foundation Ltd.

Mr Brown is also a member of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Australian Tax Office.

* Mr Brown resigned as a member of Council in March 2015.

Ms Rosemary Bryant (Expertise in the nursing profession)

Commonwealth Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer (Retired end May 2015)

Dr Bryant is a health industry executive and registered nurse with experience in major hospitals, community health, state government, health consultancy, a health membership organisation and the Commonwealth Government. She brings expertise in the nursing profession to the NHMRC Council.

Dr Bryant was awarded the degree of Doctor of the University by Queensland Institute of Technology in 2010 and by Flinders University in 2012. Dr Bryant became an Officer in the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours 2014 for distinguished service to the profession of nursing.


Professor Greg Dore

Head of Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program, Kirby Institute, UNSW Australia
Infectious Disease Physician, St Vincent’s Hospital, New South Wales

Professor Dore is an infectious diseases physician and clinical epidemiologist with a clinical and research background in HIV and viral hepatitis. His major research interests include natural history and therapeutic strategies for acute and chronic hepatitis C virus infection, including co-infection with HIV. He is an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow and member of an NHMRC Program Grant team researching HCV immunopathogenesis and therapeutic interventions.

The Hon Michael Egan AO

Chair, Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology
Chancellor, Macquarie University

Mr Egan is currently also Chairman of the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group Pty Ltd and was a governor of the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.

Mr Egan was the longest serving Treasurer of New South Wales (1995 to 2005) and was also Minister for State Development, Minister for Energy and Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council. He was Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee between 1981 and 1984. He was a member of the New South Wales Parliament between 1978 and 1984 and 1986 and 2005.

Professor Anthony Shakeshaft

Deputy Director, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW

Professor Shakeshaft’s principal research interests are embedding the evaluation of interventions into the delivery of routine clinical health services and into the implementation of population-level interventions, with a particular interest in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. He is Conjoint Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health and Medicine at the University of Newcastle and a member of the International Network on Brief Interventions for Alcohol and Other Drugs

Professor Anne Kelso AO

Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza

Professor Kelso is also an honorary professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne, where she undertakes research on immunity to influenza. She was previously a senior principal research fellow at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and Director/CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology.

Professor Kelso is currently a member of the Board of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the Board of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research and a number of committees advising the World Health Organization and the Australian Government on influenza.

*Prof Kelso resigned as a member of Council in March 2015 upon appointment as NHMRC CEO.