NeuRA is established as an independent not-for-profit company, Neuroscience Research Australia.
The NeuRA Advisory Council are all honorary members, with The Hon Justice Anna Katzmann the Chairperson.
The Hon Justice Anna Katzmann
BA (Hons) LLB (UNSW) (Chairperson) 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.
BBus FCA FTIA CTA (Deputy Chairperson) Independent Director, 2016 – present 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 MBA FIoD-UK FAICD 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.
PSM GradDipPSM 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.
Prof Peter Schofield AO
BScAgr (Hons) FAAHMS PhD DSc 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 OAM
BA LLB 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.
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.
Dr Julian Adler
MBBS (Hons) FRANZCR 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 5 countries and which was sold to a listed private equity company in late 2016.
The Hon John Watkins AM
LLB MA DipEd HonDLitt
Foundation Board Members
Norbert Schweizer OAM
BA LLB (Chairman) Independent Director, 2015 – presentMember, 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.
BBus CA Director, 2016 – present 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.
MBA FFin AAusIMM AGIA Director, 2014 – present 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).
BA (Hons-Econ) GradDipAppFin GAICD Director, August 2014 – PresentMember, Investment Committee, 2014 – present 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.
BSc MComm (Mkting) GAICD Director, June 2011 – present 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.
BCom, CA, FIPA Director, March 2019 - present 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.
Dr Paul Nicolarakis
MBBS BSc(Hons) Director, May 2014 – present Paul is Chief Executive Officer of Lorica Health Pty Limited and Principal Advisor to Capital Cooperative Research Centre. After completing degrees in medicine and neuroscience at Sydney University and his residency at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Paul began exploring 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 analytics clinical lead, engaging with senior health leaders across the Asia Pacific and Middle East. Prior to his current role, Paul served as a Senior Adviser to Federal Health Minister The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP.
Prof Peter Schofield AO
BScAgr(Hons) FAAHMS PhD DSc Director, September 2007 – presentMember, Building Committee, 2008 – present Member, Investment Committee, 2014 – present 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.
MBMSc Director, May 2017 – present 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.