The first board of Health Workforce Australia (HWA) has been appointed, with the Hon Jim McGinty being appointed to the position of chairman of the Board.

The 12 other Members of the Board have experience across a broad cross section of health professionals - including doctors, nursing and allied health - as well as people with knowledge and expertise in teaching, training and running our vital health services.

Mark Cormack, the new CEO of HWA will work closely with members of the board on the Government’s health reform agenda.  Mr Cormack has taken up this position after running the ACT health service for 3 years.

This is another major step forward in building the health workforce for the future - planning properly for growing demand in an area that has been neglected by past governments.

Establishing Health Workforce Australia is part of the historic 2008 COAG partnership which is delivering a record $1.6 billion in workforce investments.  The Rudd Government has committed $1.1 billion to the partnership, with $500m dedicated to clinical subsidies, and the States have committed $500 million.

I look forward to HWA improving the integration of our workforce planning across public and private settings and across Commonwealth and State investments.

Board Members (note further information is provided below):

The Hon James McGinty (Chair)  Dr Peggy Brown Professor Jim Bishop
Professor Simon Willcock     Dr Brendan Murphy     Mr Peter Boyce
Professor Elizabeth Chiarella   Dr Felicity Jefferies   Dr Nigel Lyons
Professor Sandra Capra Dr Tony Sherbon Mr David Roberts Professor Andrew Wilson

For all media inquiries, please contact the Minister’s Office on 02 6277 7220.

Health Workforce Australia Board Appointments:

The Hon James McGinty

Mr McGinty brings significant skills and experience to the important job of chairman of the HWA Board.  His previous experience as the Western Australian Minister for Health and Western Australian Attorney General will provide valuable knowledge including the changing demands on the health system and the expectations and views of consumers.

Professor Sandra Capra AM

Professor Capra’s extensive career in nutrition and dietetics, encompassing clinical, community, food service, management, research and teaching roles, will be an advantage to the HWA board. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003 for her contribution to community health, nutrition and dietetics education. At present, she is Professor of Nutrition at the University of Queensland, and has always been actively involved in the professional associations, having served as president of the Dietitians Association of Australia as well as a member of the Board of International Confederation of Dietetic Associations.

Professor Elizabeth Chiarella

Mary Chiarella is Professor of Clinical Practice Development and Policy Research at the University of Technology, Sydney.  Her previous experience as a registered nurse, midwife, author, academic and Chief Nurse, where she was responsible for the entire nursing workforce of NSW, has provided her with exceptional clinical and planning skills which will be valuable to HWA.  As well as holding qualifications in nursing, education and law, she has been a key player in a host of nursing, education and health planning committees and has lectured and published extensively both nationally and internationally.

Professor Simon Willcock

Professor Willcock has a strong background in medical education and training which will be a benefit to HWA.  He is a professor at the Academic Unit of General Practice at the University of Sydney, a senior examiner for the Australian Medical Council, a practicing GP and a councillor of the Australian Postgraduate Federation in Medicine.
Professor Willcock also brings to the board a wealth of governance experience, having held several board positions, including as current Chair of the GP Education and Training Board, NSW Institute of Medical Education and Training and the NSW Rural Doctors Network.

Professor James Bishop AO

Professor Bishop is currently the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer and brings significant health workforce experience and expertise to the HWA.
Professor Bishop was awarded an Order of Australia for his service to medicine, particularly in the field of cancer treatment and research.
He has considerable industry experience including working as a consultant medical oncologist, director of the Sydney Cancer Centre at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Concord Hospital in Sydney and director of the Cancer Service for the Central Sydney Area Health Service.

Mr Peter Boyce

Mr Boyce’s extensive experience in the public sector will be of great value to HWA.  He was named the Australian Institute of Management Northern Territory 2009 Public Sector Professional Manager of the Year.
His current position as HR group manager for CSG Services Pty Ltd and previous roles as acting executive director of NT Families and Children Division in the Department of Health and Families NT, director of People and Organisational Learning in the Department of Health and Community Services and as Ombudsman for the Northern Territory has given him valuable experience in issues concerning workforce management and retention and recruitment issues, in particular in rural and remote areas.

Dr Peggy Brown

Dr Brown is well placed to assist the broad of HWA from her wealth of understanding in the field of mental health.  Dr Brown is Director of Mental Health and Chief Psychiatrist of ACT Health and has previously been the Acting Director of the Mental Health Centre at Royal Brisbane Hospital, Chief Psychiatrist and Director of Mental Health Queensland Health and National Health Service International Fellow in United Kingdom. She has held multiple roles on professional bodies including chairing committees of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, and as a member of the National Mental Health Working Group, Member of the Psychiatry Workforce Working Group for AMWAC (Australian Medical Workforce Advisory Committee).

Dr Felicity Jeffries

As the Executive Director of the Clinical and Workforce Reform section of the Western Australian Country Health Service, Dr Jeffries has extensive knowledge of workforce issues vital to the HWA. Dr Jeffries has previously held the position of Executive Director of Western Australian Centre for Rural and Remote Medicine and member of the Medical Board of WA.  As a doctor with clinical experience and as an administrator she brings with her crucial knowledge in providing innovative solutions to rural and remote workforce challenges.

Dr Nigel Lyons

Dr Lyons has had extensive experience is managing change and reform and is most suited to assisting the HWA in developing and implementing workforce reform initiatives. Dr Lyons has 20 years experience as a health service manager in both metropolitan and rural service settings, including his current position of CEO of Hunter New England Area Health Service.  He has been responsible for managing several acute hospitals and has been at the forefront of reform and change strategies.  His understanding of health workforce issues and clinical experience has seen him previously appointed on the Postgraduate Medical Council of NSW and also on the NSW Rural Doctors Medical Board.

Dr Brendan Murphy

Dr Brendan Murphy brings an excellent breadth of knowledge to the HWA as current CEO of Austin Health in Victoria.  Before this, he was Chief Medical Officer and Medical Program Director at St. Vincent’s Health, Melbourne, Professor/Director of Nephrology at St. Vincent’s from
1992-2005 and till recently a clinical physician.  Dr Murphy was previously a board member of the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, a director of Kidney Health Australia and president of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology and is also chairman of the Victorian Health Department Management Innovation Council.

Dr Anthony Sherbon

Dr Tony Sherbon brings to the HWA Board several years of experience in clinical and administrative management across Australian health systems.
Dr Sherbon is currently the CE of the South Australian Department of Health and has led health services in rural and regional areas, including the Northern Rivers Area Health Service, Illawarra Area Health Service of NSW and St Vincent’s teaching hospital.  Dr Sherbon has skills both as a senior administrator and doctor and experience in implementing structural change, establishment of clinical structures, and the design of a new public health plans and strategies as a past chairman of the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council.

David Roberts

Mr Roberts’ current position as the Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services Tasmania, chairman of the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council’s Health Workforce Principal Committee, and chairman of the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council’s National Registration Governance Committee will provide invaluable skills and knowledge to the HWA. Mr Roberts has in-depth understanding on issue of health workforce after having served as CEO of University Hospitals in Conventry, Warwickshire and Birmingham.  His successful background with reform and innovation in healthcare system and hospitals will be assisting the HWA in exploring innovative solutions.

Professor Donald Andrew Wilson

Professor Andrew Wilson is currently the Executive Dean, Health Sciences, Queensland University of Technology and was previously the Deputy Director General, Policy, Strategy and Resourcing, Queensland Health.  He provides the HWA with expertise and skills including planning aspects of health workforce, funding, and health care services as well as overall policy co-ordination.  Professor Wilson is a member of the Repatriation Medical Authority and a member of the Medical Services Advisory Committee and was previously a member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.  Being a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and a Fellow of the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine as well as having clinical experience Professor Wilson is well suited to assisting the HWA.