The Mindgardens Neuroscience Network, launched in early 2019, brings together the strengths of four founding partner organisations:

Black Dog Institute Logo

The Black Dog Institute, undertakes research into depression, conducts clinical research in its clinics, and develops and implements suicide prevention strategies.

NeuRA Logo

Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), which conducts research to prevent, treat and cure brain and nervous system diseases, disorders and injuries.


South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, which runs the world-leading Prince of Wales Hospital as well as local community-based services.

UNSW Sydney Logo

UNSW Sydney, one of Australia’s Group of Eight leading universities, with an especially strong reputation in life sciences and medicine.

Together the partners’ specialist clinicians and researchers form a unique and highly concentrated hub of expertise across multiple disciplines relating to mental and neurological health.

The Management Team

Jackie Curtis_profile


Associate Professor Jackie Curtis


A/Prof Jackie Curtis was appointed inaugural Executive Director in April 2020. She is a psychiatrist and was previously the Clinical Director of Youth Mental Health at the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. Her research and clinical work over several decades has focused on early psychosis and youth mental health, including improving the cardiometabolic health of people living with serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia, with the aim of reducing health inequalities and increasing life expectancy. Jackie developed and implemented the internationally recognised Keeping the Body in Mind program, demonstrating that antipsychotic-induced weight gain can be prevented with lifestyle intervention, and is the co-founder and Co-Chair of the iphYs international working group advocating for improved physical health for youth experiencing psychosis. An invited committee member of the World Health Organisation working group for the international guidelines: management of physical health conditions in adults with severe mental disorders, Dr Curtis is also a Conjoint Associate Professor in the School of Psychiatry at UNSW Sydney.

The Board



John Grill AO

BSc BE(Hons) Hon DEng

John Grill was a founder and is currently the Chairman of Worley 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.



Dr Julian Adler


CEO, Castlereagh Imaging & Illawarra Radiology Group

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.



Dr Jennifer Alexander


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.



Professor Emma Johnston AO BSc (Hons), PhD Marine Ecology (Melb)

Dean of Science, UNSW Sydney

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.



Peter Joseph AM

BComm, MBA

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.



Associate Professor Richard Matthews AM


A/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


Managing Director of Optima Boards

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.



Dr Mark Nelson

BSc, MPhil, PhD

Chairman, Caledonia Investments Group

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.

Vlado Perkovic 074


Professor Vlado Perkovic 


Dean of Medicine, UNSW Sydney

Prof Vlado Perkovic is Dean of Medicine and Health, Scientia Professor at UNSW, a Professorial Fellow at The George Institute, and an active clinician in his role a Staff Specialist in Nephrology at the Royal North Shore Hospital. He was previously Executive Director of The George Institute, Australia. He has published more than 350 papers and led international clinical trials focused on preventing the progression of kidney disease and its complications, and has been involved in developing Australian and global guidelines in kidney disease, cardiovascular risk assessment and blood pressure management. Vlado holds a PhD from the University of Melbourne and completed his undergraduate training at The Royal Melbourne Hospital. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and the American Society of Nephrology. He serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine.



Michael Still


Chairman, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District

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 of Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Management at Macquarie University.



Kristin Stubbins

B Com, BA

Partner, Assurance Innovation & Disruption Lead, PwC

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.



Tobi Wilson

CEO, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District

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.