Members of the NHMRC Council, 2018 - 2021 triennium.

Professor Bruce Robinson

Robinson AM


Professor Bruce Robinson is an endocrinologist. He is Chair of the Australian Government’s Taskforce of expert clinicians charged with reviewing the Medicare Benefits Schedule and in 2015 was appointed as Chair of the Council of NHMRC.

Professor Robinson’s research has focused on identifying genetic changes which either predispose or directly cause endocrine tumours. Other highlights include the formation of an international consortium of families from around the world to study medullary thyroid carcinoma and phaeochromocytoma. He has been head of the Cancer Genetics Unit at the Kolling Institute of Medical Research, Royal North Shore Hospital, since 1989. He continues to practise at Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital.

Professor Robinson was the Dean of Sydney Medical School from 2007 until 2016. Since 2001, he has been Chairman of Hoc Mai Foundation, a major program in medical and health education and exchange with Vietnam.

Professor Robinson has supervised 37 PhD students and has more than 300 research publications.

Professor Sharon Lewin


Chair – Health Translation Advisory Committee

Professor Sharon Lewin is the inaugural director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital; consultant infectious diseases physician, Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia; and an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow. She is an infectious diseases physician and basic scientist. She leads a large multi-disciplinary research team that focuses on understanding why HIV persists on treatment and developing clinical trials aimed at ultimately finding a cure for HIV infection.

In 2014, Professor Lewin was named Melbournian of the Year, an annual award from the City of Melbourne to an inspirational role model who has made an outstanding contribution to the city in their chosen field.

She is active internationally in advocating for increased investment from the public and private sector in HIV cure research and is on the leadership team of the International AIDS Society’s Strategy Towards an HIV Cure. Professor Lewin is a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Infections, which is the peak advisory body on HIV infection to the Australian Minister of Health.

Professor Lewin is a current member of NHMRC’s Council and Chair of its Health Translation Advisory Committee. 

Dr Katherine Woodthorpe

Woodthorpe AO

Chair – Health Innovation Advisory Committee

Dr Katherine Woodthorpe is a professional company director on a number of government, corporate and not-for-profit boards. Prior to this she was the Chief Executive of AVCAL, the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association for seven years. Prior to AVCAL, she held a broad range of management and board positions, in Australia and overseas.

She has deep knowledge of the private equity industry and the superannuation industry in the financial sector and a strong track record in a broad range of technology orientated industries including mining and healthcare.  Dr Woodthorpe has considerable experience, expertise and a long track record in public affairs including government relations. She has deep knowledge of the private equity and superannuation industries in the financial sector and a strong track record in a broad range of technology orientated industries including mining and healthcare. Katherine has a strong background in commercialisation and R&D.

Dr Woodthorpe has a BSc (1st Class Hons) from Manchester University and PhD in Chemistry. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (and sits on their NSW Council) and was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Technology Sydney.

Professor Ingrid Winship


Chair - Australian Health Ethics Committee

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.

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 Winship is a current member of NHMRC’s Australian Health Ethics Committee.

Professor Steve  Wesselingh


Chair – Research Committee

Professor Steve Wesselingh is the inaugural Executive Director of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). Prior to that appointment, he was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University, from 2007-2011. Prior to taking up the Deanship, he was Director of the Burnet Institute.

Professor Wesselingh is an Infectious Diseases Physician and researcher in Neurovirology, HIV and vaccine development.  Professor Wesselingh has consistently worked towards the integration of high quality medical research with health-care delivery, leading to improved health outcomes for Australia and the poorly resourced countries of the region. Professor Wesselingh is a current member of NHMRC’s Health Translation Advisory Committee and also Chaired the Expert Advisory Group on the development of the New Grant Program.

Professor Sandra Eades


Expertise in the health needs of Aboriginal persons and Torres Strait Islanders

Professor Sandra Eades is Associate Dean (Indigenous), Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, at University of Melbourne. Sandra is a Noongar woman from Mount Barker, Western Australia, and is Australia's first Aboriginal medical doctor to be awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy (2003).

Professor Eades has recently been appointed an Initiating Fellow of the new Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. Her research career has focussed on the epidemiology of Indigenous child health in Australia. Over the past decade, Professor Eades has made substantial contributions to the area of Aboriginal health and has provided leadership at a national level in Aboriginal research.

Professor Eades is a current member of NHMRC’s Council and Chairs its Principal Committee Indigenous Caucus.

The Hon Judi Moylan AO

The Hon
Moylan AO

Expertise in Consumer Issues

Hon Judi Moylan AO GAICD, was elected to the federal Seat of Pearce in 1993 and served as the Member for Pearce until her retirement in 2013. Portfolios included, Minister for Family Services and Minister for the Status of Women.

In 2013 she was appointed Independent President and Chair of the Board of Diabetes Australia.

From 2013-2015 Mrs. Moylan was co-chair of the National Diabetes Strategy Advisory Group (NDSAG) and is currently co-chair of the Implementation Reference Group.

In January 2018 Mrs. Moylan was appointed to the Advisory Board of Access Care Network Australia (ACNA), a subsidiary company of the Silver Chain Group.

Awards include: an Order of Australia  (AO) in 2016, the Sir Kempson Maddox award, Diabetes Australia Outstanding Services award, the Alan Missen Medal for “serving democracy with integrity” 2013, and lifetime achievement awards from Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Novo Nordisk.

Professor Brendan Crabb

Crabb AC

Expertise in Medical Research Issues

Professor Brendan Crabb is the Director and CEO of Burnet Institute and Immediate-Past President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes. Professor Crabb is a molecular biologist with a particular interest in infectious diseases and in health issues of the developing world. His personal research is the development of a malaria vaccine and the identification of new treatments for this disease. He is the current Chair of the US-based Malaria Vaccine Science Portfolio Advisory Committee, the oversight group for the major malaria vaccines under development.

Professor Crabb was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2015 for eminent service to medical science as a prominent researcher of infectious diseases, particularly malaria, and their impact on population health in developing nations, as an advocate, mentor and administrator, and through fostering medical research nationally and internationally.

Professor Crabb is a current member of NHMRC’s Council. 

Professor Ian Frazer AC

Frazer AC

Expertise in Medical Research

Professor Ian Frazer is a clinician scientist, trained as a clinical immunologist in Scotland. As a professor at the University of Queensland, he leads a research group working at the Translational Research Institute in Brisbane on the immunobiology of epithelial cancers. He is recognised as co-inventor of the technology enabling the HPV vaccines, currently used worldwide to help prevent cervical cancer. He heads a biotechnology company, Admedus Vaccines, working on new vaccine technologies, and is a board member of several companies and not-for-profit organisations. He is current president of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, a member of the Commonwealth Science Council and Chair of the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board advising the Minister for Health on disbursement of the Medical Research Future Fund.

He was recognised as Australian of the Year in 2006. He was recipient of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science, and of the Balzan Prize, in 2008, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2012. Professor Frazer was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia in 2013.

Dr Michael Gannon


Professional medical standards

Dr Gannon is Head of Department, Obstetrics & Gynaecology at St John of God Subiaco Hospital in Perth. He is an Obstetrician & Gynaecologist specialising in medical problems in pregnancy. He works in the Perinatal Loss Service at King Edward Memorial Hospital and sits on the WA Perinatal and Infant Mortality Committee.

Dr Gannon graduated from the University of Western Australia, before training at Royal Perth Hospital, KEMH, the Rotunda Hospital Dublin and St Mary’s Hospital London.

Dr Gannon was President of the Australian Medical Association from 2016 to 2018. Between 2014 and 2016 he was President of AMA (WA) and Chair of the Federal AMA Ethics & Medicolegal Committee.

Dr Gannon is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Board Member of MDA National Insurance.

Professor Ingrid Scheffer

Scheffer AO

Medical research & other appropriate expertise

Professor Ingrid Scheffer is a paediatric neurologist and professor at the University of Melbourne and Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. Professor Scheffer is helping to transform the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. She is a founding fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and its current Vice-President.

Among many other awards, Professor Scheffer received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science in 2014 with her collaborator Professor Sam Berkovic AC for their work on the genetics of epilepsy.

Professor Scheffer is a current member of NHMRC’s Council. 

Professor Caroline Homer AO

Homer AO

Expertise in the nursing profession

Caroline is Co-Program Director of Women and Children’s Health at the Burnet Institute in Melbourne and Visiting Distinguished Professor of Midwifery at the University of Technology Sydney. She is the immediate Past President of the Australian College of Midwives.

Caroline has more than 25 years of experience as a midwife in clinical practice, research, education and international development. She has been involved in the development and evaluation of maternity services in Australia and other countries, including Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Cambodia and Timor Leste. She has held grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council, and the Wellcome Trust (UK). She has more than 220 publications in peer reviewed journals and has supervised to completion more than 40 PhD, Masters by Research and Honours students.

Caroline has previously been a member of NHMRC’s Research Committee and has chaired more than 20 grant review panels for NHMRC. She is a member of the Women and Health Science Committee and was a member of NHMRC Track Record Working Party.

Professor Maree Teesson

Teesson AC

Other appropriate expertise – mental health

Professor Maree Teesson is the Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use (CREMS) and NHMRC Principal Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), Professorial Fellow at the Black Dog Institute, UNSW, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

Her vision is to build the world’s leading dedicated translational research program for the prevention and treatment of comorbid mental health and substance abuse.

Professor Teesson has made a substantial contribution to medical research with over 280 research articles, reviews, book chapters and books. The innovation of her research has been recognised through leadership of over 87 grants totalling over $32 million. 

Professor Alison Venn


Expertise in Public Health

Alison Venn is the Director of the Menzies Institute for Medical Research and a Professor of Epidemiology. She has a diverse background including immunology and epidemiology. Her breadth of experience from lab to policy has seen her take on a number of leadership roles, identifying multidisciplinary approaches to solving complex problems. Professor Venn's current research interests are in the causes, prevention and management of chronic disease. She has a particular focus on the factors that lead to the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes later in life. Professor Venn holds positions on a number of committees including Director of the Tasmanian Data Linkage Unit and the Tasmanian Cancer Registry, both based at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research.

Professor Carol Pollock


Expertise in medical profession and postgraduate medical training

Professor Carol Pollock trained as a specialist in renal medicine, and gained her PhD in renal physiology in 1992. She was appointed to the Professorial Chair of Medicine, University of Sydney, Royal North Shore Hospital in 2000. She is inaugural Chairman of the Board of the Northern Sydney Local Health District, which has oversight of 6 hospitals and the health of 1.7 million people in New South Wales.

Professor Pollock is the immediate past Chair, and up until April 2016 served as a board member on the Boards of the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission and the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation. She has published over 220 papers in the scientific literature. She was twice awarded the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology (ANZSN) Young Investigator Award and in 2001 was awarded the highest scientific recognition of the ANZSN, the TJ Neale award

Professor Pollock has previously been a member of the NSW Ministerial Advisory Council for Science and Medical Research and regularly serves on NHMRC Committees, both as a member and panel chair. She has been a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society of Nephrology and was the Scientific Chairman of the World Congress of Nephrology meeting held in Hong Kong in 2013. She serves on the Board of several not-for-profit organisations in the health and medical research sector. In March 2015 Professor Pollock was inducted as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Professor Brendan Murphy


Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer

Professor Brendan Murphy is the Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Government and is the principal medical adviser to the Minister and the Department of Health. He also holds direct responsibility for the Department of Health’s Office of Health Protection. Apart from the many committees he chairs, co-chairs and participates, he is the Australian Member on the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Governing Committee and represents Australia at the World Health Assembly.

Prior to his appointment Professor Murphy was the Chief Executive Officer of Austin Health in Victoria.

Dr Kerry Chant

Chant PSM

NSW Chief Health Officer

Dr Kerry 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

Professor Charles Guest


VIC Chief Health Officer

Professor Charles Guest is presently Chief Health Officer Victoria.  He has worked in government and academic public health medicine in Australia and overseas and as Chief Health Officer in the Australian Capital Territory in 2005 and 2007-11. He originally trained at the University of Melbourne.

He has academic appointments at University of Melbourne, Monash University and the Australian National University.

Dr Jeannette Young

Young PSM

QLD Chief Health Officer

Dr Jeannette 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 Berghofer Medical Research Institute, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and the Australian National Preventive Health Agency Advisory Council.

Professor Paddy Phillips PSM

Phillips PSM

SA Chief Medical Officer

Professor Paddy Phillips PSM is Chief Medical Officer and Chief Public Health Officer, as well as State Emergency Controller (Health) for South Australia.

Professor Phillips has responsibility for clinical advice to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing and the offices of public health services, communicable diseases control, emergency management, research, epidemiology and medical education and training.

Professor Phillips oversees the public presentation of medical advice, resolution of technical medical issues and the development of a medical profession within South Australia. He is the main media spokesperson for SA Health on public health and clinical issues.

Previously, Professor Phillips was Professor and Head of Medicine, Flinders University, Flinders Medical Centre and Repatriation General Hospital in Adelaide. He has also held senior clinical academic posts at the University of Melbourne followed by Oxford University and is Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Duke University, USA. 

He has chaired or been a member of a number of national committees and remains clinically active in Acute General Medicine.

His aim is to build a better health system through leadership, innovation, collaboration and governance.

Respected by colleagues, government, the media and South Australian community, in 2016 Professor Phillips was awarded a Public Service Medal for outstanding public service in the area of health services.

Dr James Williamson


Assistant Director General WA

James is Assistant Director General in Western Australia leading the Clinical Excellence Division of the Department of Health. After completing a PhD at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute he continued specialty training and post-doctoral research in Edinburgh and Sydney, where he was a Laboratory Head. He moved to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Perth where he became Medical Co-Director and also set up the Department of Medicine at Joondalup Health Campus. He established the WA Drug Evaluation Panel and was appointed Clinical Lead for the State eHealth Program and the Musculoskeletal Health Network. He has served the Royal Australasian College of Physicians as Chair of the Specialist Advisory Committee in General Medicine and as a member of the Committee for Physician Training.

Professor Anthony Lawler


TAS Chief Medical Officer

Anthony is the Chief Medical Officer with the Tasmanian Department of Health. He is also Professor in Health Services at the University of Tasmania and a member of the Australian Medical Council’s Special Education Accreditation Committee. He was previously the Medical Advisor to the Minister for Health, Deputy Head of the Tasmanian School of Medicine, Tasmanian Branch President of the Australian Medical Association and Director of HealthDirect Australia

Anthony is a Specialist Emergency Physician and is a Board Member and Immediate Past President of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine. He is a Director of the Postgraduate Medical Education Council of Tasmania.

Dr Paul Kelly


ACT Chief Health Officer

Dr Paul 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.

Dr Hugh Heggie


NT Chief Health Officer

Dr Hugh Heggie currently is the Chief Health Officer for the NT Department of Health and is a member of the Executive Leadership Team. He has representational roles in a number of national committees and advisory groups around public health, health protection and prevention as well as governance, safety and quality, indigenous health, digital health, health workforce and research to mention some. His current portfolio includes Centre for Disease Control, Environmental Health, the Medical Education and Training Centre and has been deeply involved in digital health reforms across the NT.  

Having been a pharmacologist previously Dr Heggie has been a rural generalist practitioner, with advanced skills in obstetrics and emergency medicine, since 1980 and has worked in remote settings in the Northern Territory as a resident Rural Medical Practitioner since 2002, in both Central Australia and the Top End, joining the NT Department of Health Remote Health branch in 2009 in the Chronic Disease portfolio.