Black Dog Institute, Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD) and UNSW Sydney (UNSW), signed the Mindgardens Alliance Establishment Agreement on 22 December 2017. The inaugural Board meeting was held on 8 February 2018 under Chairman Mr John Grill AO.
John Grill was a founder and is currently the Chairman of WorleyParsons Ltd, Australia’s largest engineering and project management firm and a leading ASX-listed company operating in 51 countries. John has personal expertise in every aspect of project delivery in the resources and energy industries. In 2010, John was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Sydney in recognition of his contribution to the engineering profession. His influence on Australian society was acknowledged in the 2014 round of Australia Day Honours with the receipt of an Officer in the Order of Australia award. John has been Chairman of the Growth Centres Advisory Committee for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science since 2015, a Director of Neuroscience Research Australia since 2010 and Chairman since 2016.
Prof Rodney Phillips is an immunologist whose research has impacted the world’s understanding of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. A native Australian and graduate of the University of Melbourne, he worked for 35 years in the United Kingdom, primarily at Oxford University. He is best known for describing, for the first time, how the HIV virus evades the body’s immune defences. He has conducted many years of bedside research in communities across Asia and Africa and has an enduring interest in the significant health challenges of the third world, such as malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS. As a medical administrator, Prof Phillips has held numerous influential roles including Vice-Dean of Medical Sciences at Oxford University and Director of the Peter Medawar Building for Pathogen Research. He took up his appointment as Dean of UNSW Medicine in mid-2015.
Prof Emma Johnston is the Dean of Science at the University of New South Wales. She is an authority in marine ecology and a former Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at UNSW. She is Head of the Applied Marine and Estuarine Ecology Lab at UNSW and has led major projects for industry, government, the Australian Research Council and the Australian Antarctic Science Program. As President of Science and Technology Australia (STA), Prof Johnston is a national representative for the STEM sector and a passionate advocate for diversity in STEM. Prof Johnston is also a professional science communicator who presents for BBC/Foxtel and ABC television.
Michael Still has enjoyed a 30-year career in corporate leadership, investment banking, equity and debt markets and infrastructure within Australia and globally. Michael has engaged broadly in banking and business roles including financing, strategy, M&A, private and sovereign capital management and corporate and institutional advisory. Michael is Chairman of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, a past board member of the Northern Sydney Local Health District, board member of the New South Wales Cancer Institute and is a Committee Member of the Medical Devices Fund Expert Panel (NSW Govt). He is also a director of the Silverchain Group and the Silverchain Foundation. He holds a Master’s in business administration from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management.
NSW MINISTERIAL NOMINEE
Tobi Wilson was appointed to the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District Chief Executive position in April 2019. Tobi brings a wealth of experience to the role, having held various executive positions, most recently spending two and a half years as General Manager of Prince of Wales Hospital and Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospitals. His extensive experience in executive and senior management roles also includes two years as Chief Operating Officer at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Acting Chief Executive Officer, Southern Adelaide Local Health Network. In these roles, Tobi has demonstrated a proven ability to drive clinical change through redesign, including the delivery of several capital redevelopments. Tobi began his career as a physiotherapist, before completing a Masters of Health Science Management at the University of South Australia.
Dr Jennifer Alexander is a registered medical practitioner, with specialist qualifications in medical administration and public health medicine. She has extensive experience in the health industry in various CEO roles, and has also worked outside health in management education and training. She has held numerous public, private, government and not-for-profit Non-Executive appointments, which have included guiding organisations through restructuring, capital raising and listing on the ASX. Jennifer’s current portfolio includes appointment as an Independent Medical Advisor to the Medibank Private Board; Independent Member, Audit and Risk Committee, NSW State Emergency Service (SES) and non-executive Director roles with Doctors Health Services Pty Limited; Relationships Australia (NSW) and the UNSW Council.
Dr Julian Adler is a radiologist with subspecialty training in neuroradiology. He is CEO of Castlereagh Imaging and Illawarra Radiology Group, which are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Sonic Healthcare Ltd, providing radiology services across Sydney and the Illawarra. He represents Sonic in its joint venture radiology business in Melbourne, partnering with Epworth HealthCare, Victoria’s largest not-for-profit hospital operator and, in addition, he continues to practise as a clinical radiologist in Sydney. Prior to his involvement with Sonic, he was Co-founder of an international tele-radiology business that now operates in five countries and which was sold to a listed private equity company in late 2016.
Peter has been in investment banking and business for over 40 years, much of that time as part of the Bankers Trust Australia group. He has been a Director and/or Chairman of many public and private companies including BT Australia, Dominion Mining, Bridge Oil, The GPT Group and Helitech Industries (Bell Helicopters). He has run a private family investment business through most of that time. As well as pursuing his own business interests, Peter continues his ‘second career’ of over 30 years in the not-for-profit sector. He was formerly Chairman, St Vincent’s Hospital (Sydney) Ltd and subsequently appointed inaugural Chairman of St Vincent’s and Mater Health Sydney. He was the inaugural Chairman of the Riverview College Council. He remains Chairman of the Black Dog Institute, The Ethics Centre and The Health-Science Alliance, UNSW Campus.
Bob Mansfield has a varied background in business across a wide range of industries and held the CEO position with McDonald’s Australia Limited, Wormald International Limited, Optus Communications and John Fairfax. In more recent years he has filled a number of roles for the Federal Government and pursued his own business interests. He reviewed the Operating Charter of the ABC, was the Major Projects Facilitator on a consultancy basis reporting directly to the Prime Minister and was appointed Strategic Investment Co-ordinator within the Prime Minister’s Office. In November 1999 Bob completed his Federal Government roles and was appointed Director of Telstra Corporation Limited. On 1 January 2000, he became Telstra’s Non-Executive Chairman and served until April 2004. On 26 January 2000 Bob was honoured with an Order of Australia award for his contribution to Australian business and economic development and to the telecommunications industry. On 15 December 2014 Bob received a Doctor of Business degree, honoris causa, from The University of New South Wales in recognition of his business achievements, service to the community and to the University. Bob is currently a Non-Executive Director at Vocus Group Limited, as well as serving as Chairman at the George Gregan Foundation, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, the Telco Together Foundation Advisory Board, and the Board of Governors of the Steve Waugh Foundation.
Dr Mark Nelson is Chairman, and Co-Founder of the Caledonia Investments Group. Prior to the establishment of Caledonia Investments in 1992, he was a Senior Investment Analyst and Institutional Advisor at Prudential-Bache Securities (Australia) Limited. Dr Nelson is also a Director of The Caledonia Foundation. He is currently Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of The Art Gallery of New South Wales, and a former Trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation. He is also the Deputy Chairman of Art Exhibitions Australia Limited, a Director of Kaldor Public Art Projects, and a Trustee of the Sydney Swans Foundation. He was formerly a Director of the Howard Florey Institute of Experimental Physiology and Medicine, and still serves as a Governor of the Florey Neuroscience Institutes, as well as being a Non-Executive Director of Telix Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Dr Nelson has considerable experience working in Australian and international investment and equity markets. He earned a PhD in Neuropharmacology from the University of Melbourne in 1986, an M. Phil from Cambridge University, and a BSc (Hons) degree from the University of Melbourne.
Kristin is a Senior Partner at PwC who is passionate about innovation, and plays a leading role as a “bridge” between new innovative approaches within PwC and more traditional service approaches. This involves understanding the needs of large clients and considering the right technologies and approaches to deliver process, reporting and assurance outcomes. She is the lead audit signing partner on some of PwC’s largest ASX listed clients. She has recently led the creation of a new venture between PwC, the University of Sydney and the Federal Government to commercialise technology enabled mental health solutions. Kristin is a member of PwC’s leadership team and also provides assurance and advisory services to clients across the private and public sector. She has been an adviser to some of Australia’s largest companies and government agencies and departments. Kristin’s community activities are broad and include several large not for profit and government boards and ventures. She was a member of the Board of the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District and Chair of the Finance and Performance Committee from 2013 to 2016. She currently works with a small group of senior female business leaders (Women for Change) supporting education in developing nations to empower women.
Assoc Prof Richard Matthews worked in private practice for 20 years followed by 14 years at Justice Health (formerly Corrections Health Service) including as CEO from 1999-2007. Richard joined NSW Health in 2003 and served eight years as Deputy Director-General, Strategic Development. Key responsibilities were to direct, plan and oversee the Strategic Development Division of NSW Health to ensure that a strong policy framework was provided for the NSW health system. He assumed strategic planning responsibility for Statewide and Rural Health Services and Capital Planning, Primary Health and Community Partnerships, Maternity, Children and Young People’s Health, Mental Health, and Drug and Alcohol.
Clyde McConaghy is the founding Managing Director of Optima Boards, an international board and corporate advisory firm, acting as an independent director and providing strategic counsel to companies, NGOs, and founders and families. Until 2013 he was Group Managing Director and advisor of one of Australia’s most successful technology entrepreneurs. He directed a portfolio of publicly listed, private and venture capital investments as well as significant international funds management and philanthropic interests. Clyde had a successful international career in publishing, media and technology. He is currently a director of ASX and NZX listed international software companies, has served on biotech and medical instruments company boards, and is Chairman of a Sydney-based Accountancy firm. He was founding President and CEO of the United Nations-endorsed Global Peace Index (GPI) and has presented the GPI to media and institutions worldwide including the United Nations, the OECD, CSIS, SIPRI and the Washington DC Press Club. He is a published author with an established track record of success in business and philanthropy on a global scale.
Interim Joint CEO Mindgardens Prof Helen Christensen AO, BA, MPsychol, PhD, FASSA, FAHMS, MAPS Director and Chief Scientist, Black Dog Institute
Scientia Professor Helen Christensen is Director and Chief Scientist at the Black Dog Institute and a Professor of Mental Health at UNSW. She is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Elizabeth Blackburn Fellow in Public Health and Chief Investigator for the Centre for Research Excellence in Suicide Prevention. She is also on the Million Minds panel, a government initiative that has brought together the most distinguished academics and mental health professionals to reduce the prevalence of mental illness and suicide. Professor Christensen is a leading expert on using technology to deliver evidence-based interventions for the prevention and treatment of depression, anxiety, suicide, and self-harm. Her research also encompasses prevention of mental health problems in young people through school-based research programs. These programs are aimed at prevention of depression and suicide risk through eMental Health interventions.
Interim Joint CEO Mindgardens Prof Peter R Schofield AO, BScAgr (Hons), PhD, DSc, FAHMS CEO, Neuroscience Research Australia
Professor Peter Schofield is CEO of Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), one of Australia’s leading medical research institutes. He is also a Professor of Medicine at UNSW Sydney. He has worked in both the biotechnology industry and in medical research institutes in the US, Germany and Australia including the Garvan Institute where he held multiple NHMRC Research Fellowships and was Director of the Neurobiology Program. In 2004, he commenced his current role as CEO at NeuRA. His research interests focus on understanding genetic contributions to neurodegenerative such as Alzheimer’s and psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and has served on many scientific and advocacy bodies, most recently including the NHMRC National Institute of Dementia Research and Schizophrenia Research Institute. In the 2019 Australia Day Awards he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to medical and scientific research in the field of neuroscience, and to professional institutions.