Governance

NeuRA is established as an independent not-for-profit company, Neuroscience Research Australia.

Board
The Neuroscience Research Australia Board exercises overall governance of the entire company’s range of activities, NeuRA, NeuRA Foundation and the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network. The Board’s current focus is the development of the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network, therefore the Board established the NeuRA Governing Council in 2018 to oversee all NeuRA and NeuRA Foundation activities.
 
Governing Council
The NeuRA Governing Council has delegated powers to oversee the operations and functions of NeuRA, including setting and monitoring the strategic direction, use of resources, budget, and performance.
 
Foundation
The NeuRA Foundation Board is the corporate trustee of the NeuRA Foundation trust fund. The Foundation’s sole objective is to raise donations to enhance the development of NeuRA through financial support of its research programs, infrastructure, and facilities. 


Governing Council

The Hon Justice Anna Katzmann - Chairperson

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. BA (Hons) LLB (UNSW)

Alice Kase - Deputy Chairperson

Alice is a Private Client Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and specialises in advising families and senior corporate executives. Key areas of focus relate to her clients’ personal wealth, tax, retirement, superannuation, estate planning and philanthropic activities. She has over 20 years experience and has a particular interest in superannuation as well as diversity and flexibility in the workplace. Alice is regularly involved with discussions and liaison between PwC and the ATO and regularly presents to the market on topics related to her areas of expertise. Alice is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia & New Zealand and a Chartered Tax Adviser. BBus FCA FTIA CTA

Dr Julian Adler

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 5 countries and which was sold to a listed private equity company in late 2016. MBBS (Hons) FRANZCR

A/Prof Munjed Al Muderis

A/Prof Al Muderis is an Australian trained Orthopaedic Surgeon and a Squadron Leader in the Australian Air Force Reserve. Born in Baghdad, Munjed had to flee Iraq as a young Doctor having refused the orders of Saddam Hussein to mutilate army deserters’ ears. Munjed endured a life-threatening journey to Australia by boat. After spending 10 months in Curtin Detention Centre, upon his release, he embarked on a mission to become an Orthopaedic Surgeon.  Munjed’s day-to-day work involves hip and knee arthroplasty and reconstructive surgery. He is a leading surgeon in the revolutionary technology known as Osseointegration. Munjed has helped hundreds of amputees world-wide to improve mobility, reduce pain and overall enhance their quality of life.   Munjed holds several academic titles including Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University Of Notre Dame Australia School Of Medicine Sydney,  Honorary Associate of the School of AMME/Faculty of Engineering and IT at the University of Sydney, Clinical Lecturer at Macquarie University and the Australian School of Advanced Medicine.   Munjed teaches at Notre Dame and Macquarie Universities, trains local and international surgeons, registrars and medical students.   Apart from his academic and clinical roles, Munjed is heavily involved in humanitarian work.  Munjed is a Patron of the Asylum Seekers Centre, Sanctuary Australia Foundation and the New South Wales Amputee Association and an Ambassador of the Australian Red Cross, Amnesty International Australia and Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association.  MB ChB FRACS FAOrthA

Clyde McConaghy

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. BBus MBA FIoD-UK FAICD

Kirsten O’Doherty

Kirsten is the ANZ General Manager of biopharmaceutical company AbbVie. Originally qualified and working as a hospital pharmacist, Kirsten’s career has subsequently spanned more than 25 years in the Australian pharmaceutical industry, moving from initial clinical research and medical roles to commercial roles, and finally into senior leadership roles.  She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and has undertaken residential senior leadership programs at the London Business School, and at IMD in Switzerland. Kirsten is on the Board of Medicines Australia, the industry association for the pharmaceutical industry. In this capacity, she is also the Chair of the Nominations Committee and is the Co-Founder of the Pharma Australia Gender Equity (PAGE) Group. In recognition of her commitment to advancing workplace gender equality, Kirsten is listed as a Pay Equity Ambassador with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

Prof Peter Schofield AO

Appointed head of Neuroscience Research Australia in 2004, Peter graduated from the University of Sydney with the University Medal and was awarded a PhD in genetics from The Australian National University in 1985. He undertook postdoctoral positions in biotechnology in the US and the University of Heidelberg. Peter was appointed a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at the Garvan Institute in 1993, becoming head of the Neurobiology Research Program in 1999. His research interests focus on identifying genes that lead to mental illness and to dementia. BScAgr (Hons) FAAHMS PhD DSc

Norbert Schweizer OAM

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. BA LLB

Barry Shepherd PSM

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. GradDip

The Hon. John Watkins AM

John has had a rewarding and successful career with extensive experience in senior leadership roles including Deputy Premier, Minister, CEO, University Chancellor, Board Director and Chair. In October 2017 John retired as CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW after nine years in the role, when the company moved from a State based federation to a unified national entity, Dementia Australia.   At Alzheimer’s Australia NSW John was involved in the major ageing and dementia challenges facing our community.  John was, therefore, pleased to accept in June 2018 an appointment as a Dementia Australia Ambassador. In November 2016 John was appointed to the Board of Catholic Professional Standards Ltd, an independent company tasked with establishing and auditing standards regarding professional behavior towards children and vulnerable people, for employees of Catholic Church entities throughout Australia. The new company was the result of recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Since November 2010 John has also been Chair of the Board of the Little Company of Mary Health Care Ltd, (Calvary Healthcare) one of Australia’s largest not for profit Catholic health providers.  The company has over 11,000 employees and a turnover of more than $1B per year and is responsible for over twenty public and private hospitals, aged care institutions and extensive community care services through most Australian States and Territories.   John is the Calvary representative on the Board of Catholic Health Australia. John is also Chair of Mary MacKillop Today, a company of the Sisters of St Joseph that provides overseas aid and assistance to communities in East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Peru, support to indigenous tertiary students throughout Australia and no interest loans to the community of Western NSW.  He was originally appointed to this role in June 2012. In August 2018 John was appointed to the Governing Council of Neurological Research Australia (NeuRA) and John is also a member of the Advisory Committee for the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University.   In 2013 John was awarded an honorary doctorate by Macquarie University for his services to the community. Between October 2011 and October 2018 John also Chaired the McKell Institute, a progressive independent think tank based in NSW and designed to encourage community debate with practical, thought provoking ideas through commissioned research. In 2011 John served as the Chair of the NSW Centenary of Anzac Commemoration Committee and in June 2014 the Premier of NSW appointed John as a member of an independent expert panel to consider political donation reform in NSW.  John has been an Australia Day Ambassador since 2011. John was announced as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List  in 2015 for his significant service to the community through leadership in health, education and to the Parliament of NSW. Prior to his appointment at Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, John was a member of the NSW Parliament between 1995 and 2008. He was sworn in as Deputy Premier in August 2005 and was also the NSW Transport Minister and Minister for Finance when he resigned from politics in September 2008. Previously he had held six other Ministerial appointments including the portfolios of State Development, Police (twice), Education and Training, Corrective Services, Fair Trading and Sport and Recreation. He was also Minister responsible for World Youth Day 2008, the APEC Conference in 2007 and other major events.  He also served as the Legislative Assembly representative on the Macquarie University Council for six years. John graduated in Arts and Law from the University of NSW. He also holds a Master of Arts from Macquarie University and a Diploma of Education from Sydney Teachers College. He worked as a teacher for 16 years until his election to Parliament in 1995. He is married to Deborah and they have five children – three girls and two boys and four grandchildren. LLB MA DipEd HonDLitt Macq


Foundation Board

Norbert Schweizer OAM - Chairperson

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. BA LLB

Chad Barton

Chad Barton is a Chartered Accountant and has been Group Chief Financial Officer at The Star Entertainment Group Limited (ASX: SGR) since joining in June 2014. His responsibilities include finance, treasury, investor relations, property development, procurement and the company-wide efficiency program. Prior to his current role, Chad was CFO of Salmat Limited and CFO of the Australian and New Zealand business of Electronic Data Systems (EDS). Chad lives in Sydney with his wife and two children. BBus CA

Stephen Blackman

Member, Finance Risk Audit & Compliance Committee, 2014 – presentMr Stephen Blackman is the inaugural Managing Director of Oresome Resources Pty Ltd. He has over 35 years of “Natural Resources” experience, spread between working within international mining companies in UK and Australia and providing financial and management services to international mining, oil and gas and forestry industries. His professional qualifications include Associate of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries & Administrators (1968); Fellow of the Financial Services of Institute of Australasia (1973); Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Australia (1983) and Victorian Councillor (1984-85); Associate of the Institute of Corporate Managers (1989); Associate of Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (1974) and Sydney Branch Committee Member (2001-06); Professional Member of Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc (2010); Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors (2013); and Member of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia (1990). MBA FFin AAusIMM AGIA

Christine Cameron

Christine is the Head of Institutional and Strategic Relationships at Maple-Brown Abbott Investment Managers. Christine has 30 years of management and leadership experience in the financial services industry across some of Australia’s foremost financial services brands and globally recognised institutions. She has held senior positions in institutional sales and service, consulting, product management and strategy development. BA (Hons-Econ) GradDipAppFin GAICD

Ian Harris

Ian is the General Manager of Health Haus Communications, a healthcare PR and strategy consultancy. In this role, Ian combines his experience in pharmaceutical marketing with excellence in creative consumer PR, promotions and communications. Ian has spent 20 years working across marketing and strategy in senior management roles in the pharmaceutical sector. He has a wealth of experience in strategy development, communications, marketing, public relations and working with the not-for-profit sector. BSc MComm (Mkting) GAICD

George Kemp

George is Chairman of the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation. He has a passionate interest in neuroscience, psychology and the brain, in particular dementia, and schizophrenia. George is a chartered accountant setting up his own firm some 25 years in the CBD, specialising in international tax and entertainers, having previously worked at Coopers & Lybrand/PwC. He was awarded the NSW practice of the year in 2018 by the Institute of public accountants. George is a Director of the Doug Moran Art Foundation and has been involved with not for profits for some 15 years in the role of chairman or director. BCom, CA, FIPA

Dr Paul Nicolarakis

Paul is Chief Data Officer at the Commonwealth Department of Veterans’ Affairs, responsible for advancing the Department’s ambitions to become an outcome-focused, data-driven organisation. Since completing degrees in medicine and neuroscience at Sydney University and his residency at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Paul has explored the interface between health, data and policy, seeing him lead an award winning aged care electronic medical record start up prior to joining Microsoft as their clinical analytics lead, engaging with senior health leaders across the Asia Pacific and Middle East. Prior to his current role was Chief Executive Officer of Lorica Health Pty Limited. Paul was awarded an Eisenhower Fellowship in 2015 to examine his interests in the use of data to support population wellbeing and clinician performance feedback. He has been a NeuRA Foundation board director since 2014. MBBS BSc(Hons)

Prof Peter Schofield AO

Appointed head of Neuroscience Research Australia in 2004, Peter graduated from the University of Sydney with the University Medal and was awarded a PhD in genetics from The Australian National University in 1985. He undertook postdoctoral positions in biotechnology in the US and the University of Heidelberg. Peter was appointed a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow at the Garvan Institute in 1993, becoming head of the Neurobiology Research Program in 1999. His research interests focus on identifying genes that lead to mental illness and to dementia. BScAgr(Hons) FAAHMS PhD DSc

Lee Valentine

Lee Valentine is the Group Executive Director of Enigma, Australia’s largest regional advertising agency. During the course of his 30-year career, Lee has held leadership roles for companies such as George Patterson Bates, Foster’s, McGrath Estate Agents, and Hoyne. During this time he has built an impressive reputation as a property brand and marketing expert. For over 15 years, Lee has specialised in place and property branding. He has worked with major Australian and international developers along-side asset owners to create recognisable landmarks across Australia. Clients have included Mirvac, Lend Lease, Frasers Property, Investa and Dexus amongst many others. A frequent public speaker and lecturer; he has presented at Swinburne University of Technology, UTS, WorkTech Conference in Sydney and The International Urban Design Conference in Canberra. He has also appeared on SKY NEWS Real Estate and 2UE Talking Property, to discuss the future of placemaking and its social and economic benefits for both the community and developers. Lee has also authored a number of essays for The Place Economy. This comprehensive resource book discusses best practice placemaking from around the world, bringing together leading thinkers on the subjects of architecture, urban planning, property development, emotional and physical health, sustainability, philosophy and more. Lee is passionate about the role a brand can play in creating real destinations. He firmly believes in the increased value that organisations can achieve through a considered and strategic approach to placemaking, branding and marketing. His focus is on identifying an organisation’s or project’s unique angle, what it stands for, and bringing that to life in the market. As Lee notes, “the best place branding stories in the world are not generic, they’re specific.” Lee expects he can leverage this experience to help NeuRA find solutions to some of the key challenges the Foundation is facing such as donor events, funding research and donor focused digital marketing, along with corporate partnerships. He also has ideas about the use of the Randwick building to build awareness and strengthen the NeuRA brand. Lee holds a board position with 107 Projects. The organisation is focused on a broad range of arts and community cultural development activities that support artistic experimentation and improve access, affordability and audiences to empower artist development. 107 Projects’ philosophy and mission is to improve communities by encouraging people to live creatively. They are committed to the advancement of culture. With a social enterprise ethos, they aim to transform how the arts, business and education engage across industries, and with the wider community to create positive social change and connect emerging communities. 107 Projects is an Incorporated Association and a registered charity (DGR-1).

Sophie Wong

Sophie has enjoyed a varied career spanning marketing and sales director in hospitality through to being a partner in a private capital concern that invests and facilitates the coming together of companies and investors. Similarly, she has wide experience in philanthropic and mental health settings through her social work. She has a number of degrees relevant to those tasks, including qualifying as a psychotherapist and a Masters Degree in Brain and Mind Sciences from the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Medicine. Underpinning all of this is an educational background that was based in Hong Kong, Japan, and Australia allowing her fluency in several Asian languages. Sophie has worked in private practice and volunteered as a counsellor at the Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross amongst other not for profit organisations. Currently, she is undertaking a professional doctorate in management combining insights from the complexity sciences and theories of organising at the University of Hertfordshire, UK. MBMSc