Dietary Guidelines Working Committee

The Dietary Guidelines Working Committee has been established to oversee the revision of Dietary Guidelines. The committee comprises experts in a variety of nutrition fields.

Each member has documented their interests and involvement (financial and non-financial) in activities regarding the Dietary Guidelines as part of their involvement in the Committee. The members have been asked to consider perceived conflict of interest as well as real interests. Conflict of interest information on each member can be found here.

As part of their role on the Committee, all members have relevant flights and accommodation paid for by NHMRC to allow them to participate in committee activities. Sitting fees are paid for all non-government employees. Any presentations and speaking roles that referred to NHMRC and/or the revision of the Dietary Guidelines are cleared by senior NHMRC staff prior to public presentation.Committee members.

Members are subject to Confidentiality. All communication with the committee must be directed through the Secretariat.

Professor Amanda Lee


PhD, BSc (Nutr), PostGrad Dip Diet, Cert Bus Mgmt, APD

Amanda Lee is currently Professor, School of Public Health and Social Work and School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Queensland University of Technology. Until recently she was Director of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Unit in Queensland Health, where she led the development of a strategic approach to the nutrition, healthy weight and chronic disease prevention agenda. She is also Adjunct Professor within the Centre for Environment and Population Health at Griffith University.

Professor Lee has worked for over 30 years in population health policy, practice and research, in Indigenous health, and as a nutrition consultant in Australia and internationally. She has served on numerous public health and nutrition advisory groups, currently including the Expert Committee on Obesity for the Australian National Preventive Health Agency. Recently she was Conjoint Associate Professor (Nutrition) at the University of Queensland, and has held visiting positions at Deakin and Melbourne Universities.

Previous work for the NHMRC includes membership of the working committee that reviewed the Australian dietary guidelines in 2003 and of the Indigenous nutrition working party in the mid 1990s.

Professor Colin Binns

(Deputy Chair)


Professor Binns is based at Curtin University of Technology where he is Professor (Professorial Staff), Co Director of the Western Australian Centre for Health Promotion Research, Professor of Public Health (Public Health) and Professor of Public Health (Health Sciences). He is also a Visiting Professor of Kagawa Nutrition University, Tokyo, Japan, and Visiting Professor of Inje University School of Public Health, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Professor Binns has been a visiting professor at University of Washington, Harvard University and at the Medical Research Council at Cambridge University.

For two decades Professor Binns has been involved in national nutrition and public health policies through the NHMRC and other national bodies. Current research includes projects on cancer and diet in China, diarrhoeal disease in Korea and Australia and breastfeeding in Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations.

Professor Sandra Capra, AM

BSc(Hons)DipNutrandDiet, MSocSc, PhD, FDAA

Professor Capra is Professor of Nutrition at the University of QLD. She is a Fellow and Life Member of the Dietitians Association of Australia and is the current President of the International Confederation of Dietetic Associations, (2004-2008). She has represented the nutrition profession nationally and internationally on a variety of committees over the years.

After more than 15 years in professional practice in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and New Zealand she entered academia full time and built on her practice interests in her teaching, research and writing on nutrition and dietetics education and practice, food and nutrition policy and service provision and quality, with over 150 published works in these fields. She has held academic positions at the University of the South Pacific, Queensland University of Technology and the University of Newcastle prior to taking up her current position early in 2008. Previous work for the NHandMRC has included membership of the working party which developed the Nutrient Reference Values and grant reviewer.

Professor Capra has been recognised for her contribution to nutrition and dietetics by being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.

Professor Peter Davies

BSc (Hons), MPhil, PhD

Professor Peter Davies is currently the Director of Research at the School of Medicine, University of Queensland and Director the Children’s Nutrition Research Centre (CNRC) Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Queensland, Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane.

Professor Davies has published over 250 articles and papers in the field of nutrition, growth, energy metabolism and body composition in both health and disease in infants and children over a number of years.

He is a past recipient of the British Nutrition Society medal for scientific excellence and has been nominated for the Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research. Professor Davies is also President of Nutrition Australia.

Associate Professor Sharon Friel

MSc, PhD

A/Professor Friel is a social and nutritional epidemiologist who has worked in the area of public health nutrition and inequalities in health since 1992. She was recently awarded an inaugural Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (October 2009) and continues to have a part-time appointment with University College London. Prior to this award she held a joint appointment as Director of the Global Health Equity Group in the International Institute for Society and Health, University College London and a Fellow at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH), Australian National University, Canberra. Between 2005 and 2008 she was Head of the Secretariat (UCL) of the global World Health Organization Commission on Social Determinants of Health.

A/Professor Friel has worked closely with the World Health Organization and as a consultant to the World Cancer Research Fund. Prior to coming to Australia she worked for many years in the Department of Health Promotion, National University of Ireland, Galway. She has undertaken extensive policy-related research in the areas of social determinants of health inequalities, climate change and health, socio-environmental determinants of dietary habits, food security, obesity, and nutrition surveillance. Relevant committee membership includes UCL Lancet Commission Health Effects of Climate Change; International New Nutrition Science project; Nutrition Sub-Committee of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

Ms Clare Hughes

BSc (Nutrition), MPH, GradCert (Public Policy)

Ms Hughes in the Nutrition Program Manager at the Cancer Council NSW. With a vision to defeat cancer, Cancer Council recognises the importance of healthy weight, a nutritious diet and physical activity in reducing the risk of certain cancers. Ms Hughes manages a team of dietitians and nutritionists responsible for the organisation’s nutrition-related cancer prevention projects, including program delivery, strategic research and advocacy to promote a healthy lifestyle and create an environment that supports and encourages Australians to make healthy choices to reduce their cancer risk.

Prior to this, Ms Hughes spent eight years as the Senior Food Policy Officer at Australia’s leading consumer organisation CHOICE, where she was responsible for ensuring that the interests of consumers are considered during the food policy and regulatory processes, During this time she led CHOICE’s policy and advocacy projects on issues such as obesity, food labelling, junk food marketing, organic foods, genetic modification and food safety.

Ms Hughes has graduate and postgraduate qualifications in nutrition, public health, health administration and public policy.

A/Professor Mark Lawrence

BSc(Hons), GradDip NutrandDiet, GradDip EpidemandBiostats, MSc, PhD, APD, RPHNut

Mark is an Associate Professor in Public Health Nutrition at Deakin University. He has over 25 years experience working in food policy at the local, state, national and international levels.

A/ Professor Lawrence’s research involves analysing policies to protect and promote the nutritional health of populations taking into account environmental, social, political, biological and economic perspectives. With colleagues he is mapping the food system and investigating policy approaches for obesity prevention and responding to environmental change. He is also investigating the use of evidence in policy-making and is actively involved in monitoring and evaluating policies related to climate change, food fortification and food labelling.

A/ Professor Lawrence is the coordinator of the Public Health Nutrition teaching program at Deakin University. He has published extensively, including co-editing the reference book, ‘Public Health Nutrition: from Principles to Practice’. Previous work for the NHMRC has included membership of the former Food and Health committee. He is a member of a number of national and international professional committees, including: the Council of the World Public Health Nutrition Association; and Advisory Committees for Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

Professor Dorothy Mackerras


Dorothy Mackerras obtained her PhD in epidemiology in the United States and is well known in Australia for her expertise in nutritional epidemiology and dietary methods. After returning to Australia, she lectured in the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney for some years. During her 10 years at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, she became one of the Chief Investigators of the Aboriginal Birth Cohort Study, the longest running Indigenous cohort in the world. This study was the first to show that iodine deficiency existed in populations living in northern Australia prior to mandatory fortification of bread with iodine; previously iodine deficiency was thought to affect only those living in the south-east of the Australian continent. Five years ago, Professor Mackerras moved to Canberra to take up the newly created position of Chief Public Health Nutrition Advisor at Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

Dr Rosemary Stanton, OAM

BSc, C Nutr/Diet, G Dip Admin, PhD (Hon), APD

Dr Rosemary Stanton OAM completed a science degree majoring in biochemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry and followed up with post-graduate qualifications in nutrition and dietetics and a graduate diploma in administration. Her career has focussed on public health nutrition and has included a consultancy business, private practice, research and lecturing in medical, school and community education programs. Her services to community health through education in nutrition was acknowledged with an Order of Australia Medal in 1998 and she has also been awarded an honorary doctorate for her accumulated scientific papers and work in public health nutrition.

Dr Stanton has authored many scientific papers, 32 books on food and nutrition (including several textbooks) and over 3500 articles for magazines and newspapers. Her independence makes her a popular choice for interviews on news and current affairs programs, has been a regular present on several top-rating TV programs and sits on many advisory committees.

Dr Stanton's aim is to encourage Australians towards healthier diets, with enjoyable foods which create minimal environmental damage.

Professor Linda Tapsell


Linda Tapsell is Professor in Nutrition and the Director of the Smart Foods Centre at the University of Wollongong. She has over 30 years experience in the food and nutrition area, covering clinical, public health and academic environments. Professor Tapsell has a personal research background in diet and metabolic syndrome, and has worked extensively in establishing links between science, practice and the commercial environment. She has a strong track record in research funding and scientific publications, with a focus on establishing the evidence for food intake patterns promoting positive health outcomes. Professor Tapsell works with a number of national and international nutrition organizations, contributing to peer review, strategic direction and policy formulation. Professor Tapsell is a fellow of the Dietitians Association of Australia, Editor of the journal, Nutrition and Dietetics and is on the Editorial Board of Nutrition Today.

Dr Geoffrey Annison

Dr Geoffrey Annison is Deputy Chief Executive of the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), which he joined in October 2007. He has wide experience in food regulation and innovation, having held a number of senior technical and management roles in industry in Australia and overseas, in academia, and in public policy.

His career has spanned a number of sectors including the fast moving consumer goods sector with Goodman Fielder and the AFGC, the rural sector with organisations such as Australian Pork Ltd and AWB Ltd. and research providers such as Massey University in New Zealand and the CSIRO, providing him with an extensive knowledge of current industry issues, particularly in the technical challenges in food science, nutrition and health.

Dr Annison has a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Food Technology, a PhD in Microbiology from the University of New South Wales, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Declarations of Conflict of Interest – Dietary Guidelines Expert Reviewers

Prior to Council approval, NHMRC sought independent expert review of the draft Australian Dietary Guidelines. The purpose of independent expert review is to evaluate the appropriateness of the recommendations based on the body of evidence available and within the context of population health outcomes.

Committee observers

Observer status on the Dietary Guidelines Working Committee has been granted to:

  • Ms Jacinta McDonald, Acting Director, Nutrition Section, Department of Health and Ageing
  • Ms Rosalind Knox, Nutrition Section, Department of Health and Ageing
  • Ms Fiona Styles, Nutrition Section, Department of Health and Ageing.

Terms of Reference

The Dietary Guidelines Working Committee will oversee and provide expertise for the revision of Dietary Guidelines including:

This will involve providing:

  • input to the development and conduct of necessary literature reviews
  • advice on the development of a consultation strategy
  • input to the development of appropriate documents including guidelines, which will take into account:
    • the best available scientific evidence
    • comments provided by the broader community through public consultation
    • the needs of health service providers
    • any other relevant matter.

Whilst the role of the Dietary Guidelines Working Committee is described in the above Terms of Reference, the Council of NHMRC has the responsibility to advise the CEO on the final documents. Council makes a recommendation to the CEO, who makes the decision to issue the final document.

Secretariat contact details

Dietary Guidelines Secretariat

Strategic Partnerships, Research Translation Canberra


GPO Box 1421

Canberra ACT 2601