Members of Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC) 2015 - 2018 triennium

Chair of Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC)

Professor Ian Olver AM

Professor Ian Olver AM is Director at the Sansom Institute of Health Research. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of Cancer Council Australia, head of the Royal Adelaide Hospital Cancer Centre, and a former Chair of the Medical Oncology Group of Australia and of Cancer Council Australia's Medical and Scientific Committee. He is a member of the Advisory Council for Cancer Australia (the Federal Government's cancer control agency) and the Board of the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, a number of grants and ethics committees and holds several honorary academic and clinical posts.

Professor Olver was a member of the 2009-2012 triennium of AHEC and was chair of AHEC during the 2012-2015 triennium.

Members of Australian Health Ethics (AHEC) Committee

Professor Ingrid Winship

Professor Ingrid Winship is the inaugural Chair of Adult Clinical Genetics at the University of Melbourne and Executive Director of Research for Melbourne Health.

A medical graduate of the University of Cape Town, she completed postgraduate training in genetics and dermatology before combining an academic position at the university with a clinical position. In 1994, Professor Winship took up an academic position at the University of Auckland where she later became Professor of Clinical Genetics, Clinical Director of the Northern Regional Genetic Service and Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (2000-2004).

She is currently Chair of the Victorian Cooperative Oncology Group and a Member of the Victorian Cancer Action Plan Implementation Committee. She is on the steering committee for the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative and the clinical advisory panel for the Australian Synchrotron.


Professor Dianne Nicol

Dianne Nicol is a Professor at the Law Faculty at the University of Tasmania in Australia and Director of the Centre for Law and Genetics (CLG), which is housed in the Law Faculty. The broad theme of the CLG’s research is the regulation of biotechnology, human genetics and stem cell technology. Dianne’s research particularly focuses on the legal and social issues associated with the commercialisation of genetic knowledge and patenting of genetic inventions. She is currently the lead chief investigator on two Australian Research Council funded projects, one on the role of law in regulating personalised medicine and the other on material transfer agreements in the era of open science. Dianne’s previous research includes a recently completed project on patenting biotechnological inventions, aimed at understanding the changing roles patenting, licensing and collaboration in innovation in complex areas of technology like biotechnology. In 2012 Dianne was appointed to a three member expert panel to review pharmaceutical patenting in Australia. Dianne also currently holds the role of Chair of Academic Senate at the University of Tasmania. She has served on the University’s Social Sciences Human Research Ethics Committee, and held the role of Chair of the University’s Animal Research Ethics Committee for 5 years.

Dr Sarah Winch

Dr Sarah Winch is a healthcare ethicist employed at the School of Medicine, The University of Queensland where she teaches ethics and law to medical students and conducts research on futile treatment and compassion in healthcare. Sarah consults to clinicians on issues of ethical concern, most commonly, on end of life matters and resource allocation. She has published over 60 academic journal articles and book chapters in ethics, the history of ideas, evidence based practice and research capacity building, and has acquitted over $3 million in competitive research funding. In her spare time she is the CEO of Health Ethics Australia, a not for profit charity that focuses on improving death literacy for Australians and compassion safety for clinicians. Her most recent book, Best Death Possible: A Guide for Dying Australians (2013) is written for a lay audience. Sarah was recently listed as an “Australian Activist” category “death”. This is likely to be in response to her extensive work to improve death literacy in the community via death cafes, death over dinner and the forthcoming (2016) Brisbane Death Festival in partnership with Metro Arts Queensland.

Reverend Kevin McGovern

Reverend McGovern is a Roman Catholic priest. A former optometrist, he was ordained in 1988. Since August 2007, he has been the Director of the Caroline Chisholm Centre for Health Ethics, which is sponsored by the Catholic Hospitals of Victoria.

From 1997 to 2006, he lectured in Christian ethics and moral theology at the Brisbane College of Theology, where he taught units in fundamental moral theology, sex and sexuality, marriage and family, bioethics, and Catholic social teaching. He is a member of the Department of Moral Theology and Canon Law at Catholic Theological College in the Melbourne University of Divinity. He is an Adjunct Lecturer at Australian Catholic University. In 2011, he was a member of the Heerey Review of Australia’s cloning and embryo research laws.

Revd McGovern was a member of the 2012-2015 triennium of AHEC.

Professor Louisa Jorm

Louisa Jorm is the Foundation Director of the Centre for Big Data Research in Health at UNSW. She is an Australian leader in epidemiological research using linked administrative health data, including hospital inpatient, mortality and Medicare data.

From 2007 until November 2014, she was Foundation Professor of Population Health and Director of the Centre for Health Research at the University of Western Sydney, and Senior Advisor at the Sax Institute. Prior to this, she spent more than 15 years in senior positions in public health policy and service roles. She has played a leading role in the establishment of major infrastructure and capacity for health big data research in Australia, including the Centre for Health Record Linkage, the 45 and Up Study and the Secure Unified Research Environment (SURE) data laboratory. In the last 5 years Professor Jorm has published more than 60 scientific papers, been awarded almost $10M in research funding and given invited plenary presentations at five international and 11 national conferences.

She represents the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) on the international Public Health Research Data Forum convened by the Wellcome Trust and chairs the NHMRC’s Data Reference Group.

Emeritus Professor Anne Edwards

Professor Anne Edwards has spent her career in universities, first in England and then in Australia. She held the position of Vice=Chancellor of Flinders University in Adelaide from January 2001 to December 2007, following a period as Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Previously she was at Monash University in Melbourne for many years.

Professor Edwards holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a PhD in sociology from the University of London and is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Professor Edwards has authored a number of journal articles, research papers, reports and conference papers and has produced three books. Her research interests cover social policy, the state, power and social control, social inequality, gender and women’s issues, ageing and youth and she has been a consultant in the human services sector.

Professor Edwards has served on various boards of not-for-profit and government organisations, including the Council of the Ageing, The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, Flinders Medical Centre and the Southern Adelaide Health Service, and the South Australian Premier’s Council for Women. In 2013 she took up the position of inaugural Chair of Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) established as part of the National Plan to reduce violence against women and their children 2012-2022.

Professor Helen Edwards

Professor Helen Edwards is Assistant Dean, International and Engagement, at Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and a member of the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation. Helen is a Program Leader for the Australian Wound Management Innovation Cooperative Research Centre and leads the Clinical Application program. She has worked in education and research for 33 years and was the Head of School of Nursing at QUT for 16 years.

Helen is internationally recognised for her work in ageing, chronic disease and wound management. She leads the wound management research team at QUT and works with multi-disciplinary teams and in partnership with industry. She commenced a patient centered Wound Healing Community Outreach Service at QUT in 2009. Helen has been an editor for 4 editions of a medical surgical textbook and has published over 110 articles and book chapters. Since 2005 she has secured $40M AUD of research funding from national and international funding sources. She also served as the Director of the Queensland Dementia and Training Study Centre for 3 years. Helen has supervised 14 higher degree students to completion and 3 of these students were granted an Outstanding Thesis Award.

Helen has been a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing since 1980. In 2011, she received an Order of Australia Medal in recognition of her service to nursing education and research and in 2012 she was inducted into the STTI, International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame. In 2014 she was awarded Fellowship of the American Academy of Nursing. Currently Helen is a Board Member of Metro North Hospital and Health Service, the largest health service in Queensland, and a Board Member of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.

Professor Peter Procopis

Professor Procopis is a Paediatric Neurologist at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney. He was a member of the New South Wales Medical Board from 1999 to 2010 and was Chair of its Conduct Committee until appointed President in 2005. In August 2009, he was appointed to the Medical Board of Australia. He became President of the NSW Medical Council when it replaced the NSW Medical Board in 2010.

From 2005, Professor Procopis was a member of the Australian Medical Council and a Director of the Council from 2008 to 2010. He was Chair of the Joint Medical Boards Advisory Committee from 2008-2010. As President of the Australian College of Paediatrics from 1993-1995, he has been active in College affairs.

Professor Procopis has also held many offices in the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, including Chair of the Committee for Examinations and Chair of the Board of Continuing Professional Development.

Ms Rebecca Davies

Rebecca Davies has been involved in health related organisations for over 22 years, since her now 24 year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She is a long standing board member at JDRF Australia, chairs its research committee and sits on the International Board. She is President of the Heart Foundation (NSW) and on its national board, and sits on the boards of other organisations in the health sector, including public and private hospitals, aged care and community care.

Her professional training is as a lawyer and she was a partner of a major law firm for many years. She has also been board member and chair at various financial services institutions.  Ms Davies is a current member of the NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee and the Community and Consumer Advisory Group, and is a previous member of Research Committee. Ms Davies has also been an observer for NHMRC grant reviews.

Associate Professor Clara Gaff

Clara Gaff is Executive Director of the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance. Clara has been involved in the use of genetics and genomics in health care for more than 20 years, through roles in genetic counselling, management of genetic services, health professional education, and strategic development in Australia and the UK. She has worked in public health, government, academic and not-for-profit sectors.

Clara was appointed to the NHMRC’s Australian Health Ethics Committee, Health Translation Advisory Committee and Genetics Working Committee. Clara is also a member of the Ethics and Social Issues Committee of the Human Genetics Society of Australia, the BioGrid Australia Scientific Advisory Committee, the Advisory Committee and the VCCC Personalised Medicine Committee.

An Honorary Principal Research Fellow at the Departments of Medicine and Paediatrics at The University of Melbourne, Clara holds a PhD in molecular genetics, certification in genetic counselling and postgraduate qualifications in health service research and evaluation.

Associate Professor Daniel McAullay

Dr McAullay has considerable experience in health research, policy and practice. He has worked in a number of senior positions in these areas as well as in tertiary education. He is a registered nurse with qualifications including a Doctor of Philosophy, a Master of Applied Epidemiology and a Bachelor of Science. He has provided advice to a number of Government departments and non – Government organisations, including large research institutes and has sat on a number of committees providing advice to State and Commonwealth Government in the area of health. He has a strong health research track record including presentations, publications and grants. His primary research areas of interest include maternal, infant and child health, primary health care and other health services research.

He currently works as Research Associate Professor at the Centre for Improving Health Services for Aboriginal Children (Princess Margaret Hospital / University of Western Australia) and as the Principal Research Consultant at Kurongkurl Katitjin, Centre for Indigenous Australian Education and Research at Edith Cowan University. He also runs his own consulting company (Dan McAullay Consulting) and consults with the wholly Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned and managed consulting company, DDMC Partners.

Associate Professor Karen Liu

Karen Liu is an occupational therapist who has practiced as a clinician in both Hong Kong and USA. She received the PhD in 2002 in rehabilitation sciences specializing in neurological rehabilitation. She worked as an academic at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University since 1999. In February 2012, Karen moved to Sydney and started to work at the Western Sydney University (Formerly known as University of Western Sydney).

Karen's focus of research includes use of mental imagery and self-regulation in rehabilitation, functional regain in neurological rehabilitation, memory strategies employed to enhance recall for elderly and people with mild cognitive impairments and dementia. She also conducts research in using various strategies to enhance learning for children with developmental disabilities. For the above areas of research, besides investigating the clinical efficacy of interventions, Karen also studies the behaviour and neural mechanism of individuals with the purpose of understanding how and why the intervention works.

Associate Professor Mark Arnold

Mark is the current Associate Dean and Head of School at the Sydney Medical School’s School of Rural Health, and is a practicing physician in the field of Rheumatology, with practices in Dubbo, Gloucester and Orange. At Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Mark held the positions of Visiting Medical Officer (1996-2013) and Clinical Assistant (1990-1996), having undertaken his clinical training in Rheumatology at Royal North Shore Hospital and at Guy’s Hospital in London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (1989) and received his MBBS from the University of Sydney (1983). He has served on Sydney University Human Research Ethics committees, and previously on the Clinical Ethics Committee at North Shore Private Hospital. He undertook a Masters of Bioethics at The University of Sydney’s Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM).