Professor Sharon Lewin is the inaugural Director of the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health (Royal Melbourne Hospital). Professor Lewin is an Infectious Diseases Physician and basic scientist; she is also an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Infectious Diseases, Monash University and Alfred Hospital, and with the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne. Sharon’s main research focus is on understanding why HIV and hepatitis B virus persist and evade the immune system with the goal of finding a cure for HIV.



Professor Michael Nilsson, MD PhD FAFRM (RACP), is Director of the Centre for Rehab Innovations (CRI) and Global Innovation Chair of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Newcastle.  He is a specialist in Rehabilitation Medicine, Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, The Royal Australasian College of Physicians; Visiting Professor at the LKC School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore; La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia; University of Gothenburg, Sweden; and Honorary Professor at the Florey Institute, Melbourne.  Formerly Director of the Neuro Division, and Director of Research and Development at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden and Director of Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Newcastle, Australia.

Professor Nilsson and collaborators recently founded CRI, developing interdisciplinary technology-supported solutions for individually-tailored health and rehabilitation programs in the home settings, community and aged care environments, and within rehabilitation centers. During the course of his career, Professor Nilsson has developed and implemented new models of care in private and public sector.

As clinician and neuroscientist, Michael is internationally renowned for his research in the fields of astrocyte biology, neuroprotection, brain plasticity and neural recovery after stroke. He is currently a CI and co-lead on an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in stroke rehabilitation and brain recovery.



Professor Sandy Middleton is Professor of Nursing and Director of the Nursing Research Institute, St Vincent’s Health Australia (Sydney) and Australian Catholic University. She has obtained 80 grants totalling over $37 million. Professor Middleton was the lead investigator on the landmark National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded Quality in Acute Stroke Care (QASC) cluster trial demonstrating decreased death and dependency following implementation of nurse-initiated protocols to manage fever, hyperglycaemia and swallowing post-stroke, winning multiple international awards. Subsequently, Professor Middleton successfully translated this intervention into all 36 New South Wales (NSW) stroke units, winning the 2014 NSW Premier’s Public Sector Award for Improving Performance and Accountability, and the 2014 NSW Health Nursing and Midwifery Award for Excellence in Innovation Research – the highest NSW accolade for a nurse researcher. These protocols have now been translated into 12 languages and are being implemented in up to 300 hospitals in 12 European countries. Professor Middleton has published in high impact journals including Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Stroke, Implementation Science, and International Journal of Stroke. She is leading the implementation science component of the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE), one of Australia’s 9 Advanced Health Research and Translation Centres. Professor Middleton sits on the board of directors for the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation and the Clinical Excellence Commission. Her areas of research interest are implementation research, stroke, and cluster randomised controlled trials.


Associate Professor

Associate Professor Clara Gaff is Executive Director of the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance. Clara has influenced the use of genetics and genomics in health care 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.

A/Professor Gaff is a member of the Australian Genomics Health Alliance National Steering Committee and co-leads their Education and Workforce Development Program.

A/Professor Gaff is a member of the Genomics Health Futures Mission Ethics, Legal and Social Issues Working Group and the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health Regulatory and Ethics Working Group.

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.

A/Professor Gaff was awarded the inaugural International Leadership Award by the National Society of Genetic Counselors (USA).



Professor Jonathan Craig is an internationally recognised clinician and scientist and holds the position of Vice President and Executive Dean of the College of Medicine & Public Health at Flinders University.

Professor Craig has made a significant contribution to the clinical research landscape in the prevention, identification, management and treatment of chronic kidney disease, particularly in relation to children and in Indigenous communities.

He has led the formation of state, national and international networks to conduct high-quality, relevant trials in children and has been instrumental to the development and implementation of best-practice methods and guidelines relating to chronic kidney disease in Australia and globally.

Professor Craig holds a large number of board and advisory panel positions, including as a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Advisory Group on the Synthesis and Translation of Research Evidence, a member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, a member of the Medicare Services Advisory Committee, a member of the International Advisory Panel for Singapore’s Agency for Care Effectiveness, and President of the Australia-NZ Society of Nephrology.

He is a past member of the WHO expert review panel for global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property, a past chairman of the Steering Group of the Cochrane Collaboration, and a past member of the Expert Advisory Group for the Structural Review of NHMRC’s Grant Program.



Consumer Representative, Ms

Ms Philippa Kirkpatrick (BSc, GradDipEd, MBA) is the Deputy Director of Future Capability at ACT Health. Philippa has 10 years’ experience in senior roles in the health sector, with her career history spanning laboratory science, clinical research, non-government organisations, state and Commonwealth government.

She was a founding Director of the Immune Deficiency Foundation of Australia and was a representative on the Close the Gap Steering Committee. Philippa established the National Blood Sector Research and Development Program and was a member of the Australian Red Cross Blood Service Research Advisory Committee.

Philippa is passionate about improving care at the end of life and was integral in the development of the Dying to Talk Discussion Starter, for which she was awarded the Marion Seal award in 2016.


Associate Professor

Melissa Baysari is Associate Professor in Digital Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences, the University of Sydney. She is a Human Factors researcher with expertise in the evaluation of health information technologies. Her research is focused on understanding and preventing medication errors, with a particular focus on the design and evaluation of computerised decision support. A/Prof Baysari has published widely in the areas of medication safety, decision support and human factors and her research has resulted in a number of significant changes being made to hospital clinical information systems, and well as to hospital policy and work practices. 

A/Professor Baysari is Chair of the Healthcare Ergonomics Special Interest Group of the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society of Australia (HFESA) and Co-Chair of the Healthcare Ergonomics Technical Committee of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA). She is passionate about integrating Human Factors methods and approaches, particularly user-centred design, into healthcare. She has partnered with clinicians, health services, and government agencies to ensure that clinical information systems are both effective in improving safety and are compatible with the needs, preferences and established workflow of users.


Baum AO

Professor Fran Baum is Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Foundation Director of the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. She was named in the Queen’s Birthday 2016 Honours List as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to higher education as an academic and public health researcher, as an advocate for improved access to community health care, and to professional organisations”. From 2009-2014 she held a prestigious Australia Research Council Federation Fellowship. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and of the Australian Health Promotion Association.  She is a past National President and Life Member of the Public Health Association of Australia. She is a member and past Chair of the Global Steering Council of the People’s Health Movement – a global network of health activist (www. She also served as a Commissioner on the World Health Organisation’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health from 2005-08.

Professor Baum is one of Australia's leading researchers on the social and economic determinants of health. She holds grants from the National Health & Medical Research Council and the Australia Research Council which are considering a wide range of aspects of health inequities and social determinants of health.  These grants include an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence on Policies for Health Equity of which she is one of the two co-Directors. Her book, The New Public Health (4th ed. published January 2016 Oxford University Press), is widely cited and used in many public health courses.  Her new book Governing for Health (Oxford University Press, New York, December, 2019) examines how a society can be organised to best promote health.



Scientia Professor Helen Christensen is Director and Chief Scientist at the Black Dog Institute. One of only two National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) John Cade Research Fellows, Helen is also a member of the newly formed Million Minds Research Mission Advisory Panel.

A knowledge translation expert in using technology to deliver evidence-based interventions for the prevention and treatment of depression, anxiety, suicide, and self-harm, Helen currently leads four landmark translational mental health research projects, including:

  • LifeSpan, Australia’s largest scientific suicide prevention research trial;
  • The Future Proofing Trial, a large randomized controlled trial involving 20,000 young people to determine the effectiveness of smartphone apps to prevent depression; and
  • Two new Centres for Research Excellence in suicide and mental health prevention.

A published author in the top 1% of international scientific researchers, Helen is a leader in international research initiatives, including ImpleMentAll and Optimising Suicide Prevention Programs and Their Implementation in Europe.



Ms Annette Panzera is the Director of Health Policy at Catholic Health Australia. Prior to this appointment she spent five years working in north Queensland both for Queensland Health (based at Cairns Hospital) and for the Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening at James Cook University. During that time her research focus has been on health workforce innovation, in particular with regard to regional and rural Australian workforce shortages and how teaching and training programs can be adapted to deliver flexible solutions for present and future health professionals. She has also undertaken several clinical redesign projects as a consultant for QH including improving patient flow within hospital, decreasing emergency department waiting times and fostering better relationships between the health service and general practice.

Prior to her return to Australia in 2010, Annette worked at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris for ten years concentrating on international health, education and social policy development. She has also worked as a consultant at the World Bank.



Professor James Vickers is the Director of the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre. He has previously held the roles of Deputy Dean of the UTAS Faculty of Health (2012–15), Head of the UTAS School of Medicine (2010–13) and Chair of Pathology (2003-2018). Professor Vickers has had several national leadership roles, such as President of the Australasian Neuroscience Society (2014–2016) and Chair of the Scientific Panel of the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation (2014-2016). His main research areas are neurodegenerative conditions, particularly Alzheimer’s disease, as well as traumatic brain injury. This has included laboratory-based neuroscience research, from human brain research through to in vivo and in vitro experimental models, as well as interventional studies on dementia risk reduction, and cognitive, neurogenetics, medical ethics and health services research.

Professor Vickers has previously held National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Research, RD Wright and CJ Martin Fellowships. He has had a substantial leadership role in health workforce development, including new courses at UTAS, including the Bachelor of Dementia Care (national online degree), Bachelor of Medical Research, Bachelor of Paramedic Practice (in Hobart and Sydney) and the Master of Public Health, and had a major role in implementing the new 5 year UTAS medical degree from 2010. Professor Vickers developed the concept for the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on dementia (Understanding Dementia, from 2013), as well as a second MOOC (Preventing Dementia, 2016) on the evidence for risk factors for dementia. He is a board member of Glenview Community Services (provider of aged care services) and the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation.


Adjunct Professor

Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward has more than two decades of experience as a celebrated Nurse Leader, and a respected, senior level Health and Aged Care executive. Intimately aware of the significant contribution nurse leaders make to health and aged care, community outcomes, individualised care and patient experiences, Professor Ward also brings an innate passion for people, professionalism, service and leadership to the Australian College of Nursing (ACN).

Her varied career has included nursing, with a clinical background in intensive care and aged care, Monash University lecturer and more recently as an expert in transformational leadership, culture and change management.  In 2009 Professor Ward was awarded a Wharton Fellowship from the University of Pennsylvania. 


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Representative - Associate Professor

Associate Professor Dan 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 post graduate qualifications. He has a strong 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 Director of the Centre for Improving Health Services for Aboriginal Children (ISAC). He also runs his own consulting company (Dan McAullay Consulting) and is a Director with the majority Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned and managed communication consulting company, Mode Black.