NeuRA is established as an independent not-for-profit company, Neuroscience Research Australia. Mr Paul Brassil, BEc LLB, is Chairman of the Board. He is a partner of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia. The Board of NeuRA are all honorary members and include nominees of the Area Health Service, the University of New South Wales, the NHMRC and the NSW Minister for Health as well as a majority of independent directors.

Board Members

paul.brassil's picture
Independent Director, 1997 - present
Chairman of the Board, 2004 - present
Chairman, Nominations Committee, 2010 - present
Chairman, Investment Committee, 2007 - 2010

Paul Brassil is a partner in Private Client Services at PricewaterhouseCoopers, specialising in advising local and international clients on income tax and related matters. A Chartered Accountant with degrees in Economics and Law, he is a Fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia. Paul is the firm’s representative on the Commissioner of Taxation’s High Wealth Consultancy Group, and a regular speaker at the firm’s client seminars. He also assists the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia in technical submissions for changes to tax legislation.

jennifer.alexander's picture
Nominee UNSW, 2013 - present
Director, 2013 - present
Chair, Finance Risk Audit & Compliance Committee, 2013 - present

Dr Jennifer Alexander is a registered medical practitioner, with specialist qualifications in medical administration and public health medicine. She has over 30 years’ experience in the health industry in various roles including medical administration, general management and management development, and has also worked outside health in management education and training and has held numerous Non Executive roles. From 2009 to early 2014, she was the Chief Executive Officer of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Jennifer has been appointed Pro Chancellor of The University of New South Wales and a member of the UNSW Council with effect from 1 July 2014.'s picture
BSc BE(Hons) Hon DEng
Independent Director, 2010 - present
Deputy Chairman of the Board, 2014 - present

John Grill is Chairman of WorleyParsons Ltd, Australia’s largest engineering consultancy and a leading ASX-listed company operating in 40 countries. John has personal expertise in every aspect of project delivery in the resources and energy industries. He is very well respected in engineering circles and was named Engineers Australia Professional Engineer of the Year 2007. 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 and his wife, Rosanne Williams, sponsor a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Aboriginal Healthy Ageing.

anna.katzmann's picture
Independent Director, 2013 - present

The Hon Justice Anna Katzmann is a judge of the Federal Court of Australia. At the time of her appointment in 2009 she was a Senior Counsel for New South Wales and the President of the NSW Bar Association, an elected office, only the second woman in the history of the Association to hold that position. She was a practising barrister for nearly 30 years. Justice Katzmann is a former member of the Council of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences. She has a long-standing interest in mental illness and mental well-being. For several years she was an Official Visitor at Gladesville Hospital and the Chair of the Mental Health Tribunal for Cumberland Hospital. As President of the NSW Bar she spearheaded a campaign to raise awareness of mental ill-health and to promote the mental well-being of barristers. She has been a director of the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation since its inception in 2008. The Foundation has been at the forefront of efforts to increase awareness of depression and anxiety amongst the legal fraternity and is concerned to reduce distress and disability by encouraging the promotion of good mental health and the elimination of unnecessary study and work practices that may contribute to depression, anxiety and related disorders.

richard.matthews's picture
Nominee SESLHD, 2011 - present
Director, 2011 - present
Member, Building Committee, 2012 - present

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, Drug and Alcohol and many other significant areas.

clyde.mcconaghy's picture
Independent Director, 2013 - present
Chairman, Investment Committee, 2014 - present

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 an ASX listed international software company and a public unlisted company in the cancer research sector. 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.

lisa.pettigrew's picture
Nominee NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, 2011 - present
Director, 2011 - present

Lisa Pettigrew is the National Director for Health Services at CSC, a global leader in providing technology enabled business solutions. Lisa joined CSC in 2009 and was previously a Partner at Accenture leading the Asia Pacific Public Sector Healthcare practice. With 18 years experience in public sector management and IT consulting, her roles have included oversight of health industry consulting operations throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific which necessitated an understanding of healthcare, systems and models internationally. Her role at CSC encompasses leading strategy and operations and being part of CSC's global leadership team for healthcare. In 2010, she was named one of 25 “Women to Watch” in the Australian Financial Review’s Boss Magazine.

rodney.phillips's picture
FMedSci MA (Oxon) MD (Melb) FRCP FRACP
Nominee UNSW, 2015 - present
Director, 2015 - present

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.

Jon Roberts's picture
Nominee SESLHD, 2013 - present
Director, 2013 - present

Jon Roberts was appointed Director of Operations, Prince of Wales Hospital and Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital in April 2013. During his 16 years in Queensland’s public health system at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH), he served as Financial Controller (1997-2002), Executive Director Corporate Services (2002-2006) and, most recently, as Executive Director (2006-2013). Jon has been involved in managing two major Hospital capital developments. Prior to his employment with TPCH, Jon held positions in the Private Sector including Financial Controller, Group Accountant and as a Senior Auditor.

peter.schofield's picture
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, 2004 - present
Member, Building Committee, 2008 - present
Member, Nominations Committee, 2010 - present
Member, Investment Committee, 2014 - present
norbert.schweizer's picture
Independent Director, 2015 - present
Member, Nominations Committee, 2015 - present

Norbert Schweizer is the founding partner of Schweizer Kobras, Lawyers and Notaries and is an accredited business law specialist. He has extensive experience in corporate and business law, property development and inter-generational corporate and personal succession planning. Norbert has been a long-time advisor to local and overseas businesses and investors in Australia. He is chairman of the Schizophrenia Research Institute and deputy chairman of B’nai B’rith Retirement Villages. Norbert is a former chairman of the Silver Committee of the Royal NSW Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, a former president of Emanuel Synagogue (of which he is a life governor) and a non-executive director of a number of companies in the electrical transmission and distribution and building services industries. In 2010, Norbert was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for services to the German community in NSW.

barry.shepherd's picture
Independent Director, 2010 - present
Former Nominee SESLHD, 2005 - 2010
Former Nominee UNSW, 1991 - 1996
Chairman, Building Committee, 2008 - present

Barry Shepherd is the former Deputy Chief Executive Officer of SESIAHS, Director of Corporate Services for SESIAHS and Director, Capital Redevelopment and Executive Director, Corporate Services for Western Health Service, Melbourne. He served as a NeuRA Director during the institute's formative years and was re-nominated to the Board by the Area Health Service. Barry has extensive expertise in the health and medical research sector and the delivery of major projects.

nikki.williams's picture
BA(Hons) PhD
Director, 2014 - present
Chair, Foundation Board, 2014 - present
Member, Nominations Committee, 2014 - present

Dr Nikki Williams is MD of EnergyLogica, a Non-Executive Director of Tellus Holdings, an Ambassador of the Australian Indigenous Education Foundation and Patron of Women in Mining (NSW). Previous roles include CEO and Company Secretary of the ACA, ACALET, the NSW Minerals Council and PACIA. Dr Williams has served as the coal industry shareholder representative and a Trustee of the AusCoal Superannuation Fund. Prior to her return to Australia, she was a senior marketing and business development manager working the African, Asian and European geographies with Shell International. She has expertise in climate change, energy and industry policy, political advocacy and trade negotiations. Dr Williams has held an array of memberships throughout her career. She was an accredited energy expert with the UN's Economic Commission for Europe, Chair of the Federal Government’s Industry Advisory Board for Chemicals and holds a PhD in International Relations in the field of Terrorism.