John Grill AO

Governance

NeuRA is established as an independent not-for-profit company, Neuroscience Research Australia. Mr John Grill, AO, is Chairman of the Board. He is Chairman of WorleyParsonsLtd, Australia’s largest engineering consultancy and a leading ASX-listed company operating in 40 countries. 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.

Click here for Foundation Board members

John Grill AO BSc BE (Hons) Hon DEng
Independent Director, 2010 – present
Chairman of the Board, 2016 – 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.

Dr Jennifer Alexander MCom MB BS MHP FRACMA FAFPHM (RACP) FAICD FAIM FACHSM
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.

Alice Kase BBus FCA FTIA CTA
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.

The Hon Justice Anna Katzmann BA (Hons) LLB (UNSW)
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.

Assoc Prof Richard Matthews AM MB BS
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 BBus MBA FIoD-UK MAICD
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 BA(Hons-Econ)
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.

Prof Rodney Phillips 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.

Prof Peter Schofield 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 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.

Barry Shepherd 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.

Dr Nikki Williams 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.


Foundation Board

The Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) Foundation is responsible for all fundraising and sponsorships associated with NeuRA. Dr Nikki Williams is Chairman of the NeuRA Foundation Board and Prof Peter Schofield, CEO and Executive Director of NeuRA, is a member. All positions on the NeuRA Board and the NeuRA Foundation Board are honorary. Grant Simpson is Foundation Director.

Foundation Board Members

Dr Nikki Williams BA(Hon) PhD
Director, June 2014 – present
Chairman of the Board, June 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.

Chad Barton 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.

Stephen Blackman MBA FFin AAusIMM AGIA
Director, 2014 – present
Member, Finance Risk Audit & Compliance Committee, 2014 – present
Mr 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).

Graeme Bradshaw BEc FFIA CFRE
Director, September 2007 – present
Graeme founded the Sydney office of fundraising consultancy DVA Navion (formerly Downes Venn and Associates) in 1984. Graeme retired from DVA Navion in 2009 and now works as a consultant. Graeme is a qualified accountant and has a background in marketing research, advertising and public relations. He is a past president and Fellow Emeritus of the Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) and was a member until recent years of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (USA). Graeme serves as an honorary member of the Board of the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children and Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) Foundation.

Christine Cameron BA (Hons-Econ) GradDipAppFin GAICD
Director, August 2014 – Present
Member, 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.

Ian Harris 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.

David Karpin AM BCom (Hons) MBA LLD (Hon) FCPA FAICD FAIM FFin MACS (Senior)
Director, June 2011 – present
After a long executive career with the Rio Tinto Group David Karpin had an extensive period as a non-Executive Director of private and listed public companies in Australia and overseas. Roles he has held include Chief Financial Officer of CRA, Managing Director of Argyle Diamonds, Chairman of Melbourne Health, Chairman of Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, and Director of Placer Dome Inc., Coates Hire Ltd., bio21 Ltd. and Melbourne Business School. David was formerly an Adjunct Professor of Management at ANU for ten years, and led the Australian Government Task Force on Leadership and Management Skills from 1992 to 1995. In 1996 David was made a Member of the Order of Australia.

Ian Kennedy OAM
Director, May 2009 – present
Ian has had a 40-year career in direct marketing and was the founder in 1972 of what was the largest independent direct marketing agency in Australia, Bond International. Ian is an inductee in the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame. As Director of Marketing at advertising agency George Patterson, he was the architect of the Sydney Olympics 2000 ticketing campaign and the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Ian is the currently Marketing Director and part owner of Australian Natural Care Products and Subscribe-HR. He is the National President of The Starlight Children’s Foundation and was the Chairman for seven years.

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 BScAgr(Hons) FAAHMS PhD DSc
Director, September 2007 – present
Member, 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.