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Executive Members


Tony is a consultant in strategic planning and consumer/community engagement with wide experience in the Australian health and community sectors. He is currently Chair of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance. Previously he has been the CEO of the Health Issues Centre (consumer-focussed policy, research and advocacy centre) and also worked in community development, disability, primary health, local government, academia, and the health bureaucracy (Commonwealth). He is a Board member of Inner North West Melbourne Medicare Local, a member of the NHMRC’s Prevention and Community Health Committee, the National Standing Committee on Quality Care of RACGP, and Victorian Branch Executive of PHAA.




Vice President of the Doctors Reform Society and has been involved in AHCRA since its first summit, and has been on the Executive since its formation. The Doctors Reform Society is a collection of doctors and medical students whose prime purpose is to support health care reorms which ‘ensure justice, equity and quality care for all regardless of social or economic status’. It formed to advocate for universal health care when the introduction of Medibank, the forerunner of Medicare, was being vigorously opposed by the Australian branch of the British Medical Society, now the AMA.

Dr Woodruff is a Tasmanian born and bred specialist physician working in private practice in the field of rheumatology in Melbourne. He is the father of two girls and husband of one.




Theresa `Terry` Swanson was endorsed in 2004 as a nurse practitioner in wound management as one of the first in her state and specialty. She has been an active member in the Australian Wound Management Association (AWMA) state and national by holding positions of responsibility and working on subcommittees. Terry was admitted as a Fellow of AWMA in 2010 for her significant contribution to wound management at a state, national and international level. She is the current Nursing Representative for AWMA and Chair of the International Wound Infection Institute.

Terry is an inaugural member of the Australian College of Nurse Practitioner (Vic Branch) and has experience in presenting at local, state, national, and international levels. Terry currently manages an outpatient wound management clinic and provides consultations and education to south west Victoria. She has published articles and book chapters and her most recent project was co-editing a book that will be published in Australia this year by IP Communications titled: Wound Management for the Advanced Practitioner.



Tessa Boyd-CaineTessa joined ACOSS in 2009 with policy responsibility for community services, health and the not-for-profit sector. She has participated extensively in policy processes with government, the community sector and the business community. She was appointed by the Minister for Health to the National Advisory Council on Dental Health in 2011; and in 2013 she was awarded the inaugural Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership, to work with American nonprofit and philanthropic organisations.

Prior to joining ACOSS, Tessa worked in the areas of human rights, mental health law and criminal justice, both domestically and internationally. In 2007 she coordinated the biennial human rights report to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Uganda, 2007) where she was based in New Delhi working across the Commonwealth of Nations.

Tessa’s PhD from the London School of Economics examined executive discretion and the public protection agenda in decisions about the release of mentally disordered offenders. Her book, Protecting the public? Detention and release of mentally disordered offenders was published by Routledge in 2010.



Bruce Simmons is currently a ‘Dentist Manager’ with the Northern Territory Oral Health Service, supervising James Cook University final year dental students in placements in Alice Springs.

Appointed positions:

  • Member of AHCRA Executive Committee
  • National Convenor of Oral Health SIG of PHAA
  • Member of the Oral Health Working Group of the World Federation of Public Health Associations
  • Member of the Strategic Advisory Committee of the Australian Dental Council
  • Member of the Clinical Care Standards Committee of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care




Richard is an Associate Professor within the School of Medical Sciences at Edith Cowan University. He has previously been a long-standing director and until recently was the national Vice President of Paramedics Australasia (PA). His professional activities and work have shown a strong commitment to the AHCRA principles of health care delivery. He is a strong advocate of expanding access to community and out-of hospital allied health and paramedic services and their capacity to relieve some of the bottlenecks in healthcare.

Richard is widely experienced in policy development and advocacy within local, state and national environments and at all levels from Ministers down to area administration and individual practitioner engagement. He has worked closely with consumer advocacy groups (principally in WA). His research has provided the opportunity to study the Australian health care system, its strengths and weaknesses, and the political realities that make reform a challenging objective.





Marg lives on a property in the SA Mallee producing fat lambs and grain.
Lameroo, the nearest town, has a hospital, but does not have procedural or obstetric services. The hospital has an aged care section, which is always in high demand. and a hostel close by. Three visiting GPs cover the General Practice weekly.

Her background is entirely as a community representative and not in an employed position. She has a very strong passion in respect to consumer participation and representing rural and remote consumers, whenever and wherever possible.

Marg received an Order of Australia in 2006,” For services to the community through advocacy roles representing the interests of health consumers in rural and remote areas and for contributions to policy development.”

Some current memberships and committees are:
National Advisory Committee for the Centre of Research Excellence in Rural & Remote Primary Health Care, PCEHR Independent Advisory Council, Chair Health Consumers of Rural & Remote Australia, Deputy Chair Health Consumers Alliance SA, Community & Student Liaison Flinders University Rural Clinical School PRCCs, Director NT General Practice Education & Training Ltd. Board, Breast Screen SA, SA Dental and AHMAC National Oral Health Plan Monitoring Group.





Vanessa Lee, an Indigenous woman from the Torres Strait, has qualifications in education and public health and is Senior Lecturer, Indigenous Health, at the University of Sydney. Vanessa has been involved in both national and international research within the public health arena for a number of years, including researching overseas trained doctors in rural and remote Australia.

In 2008 she became a member of the National Indigenous Curriculum Network and was involved with discussions and implementation of the Indigenous health curriculum content for the masters of public health degree and continues to implement this work Australia wide. Vanessa is also a member of the Project Steering Committee of the Indigenous Public Health Capacity Building Project 2009-2013, and the International Network of Indigenous Health Professionals (INIHPP).
Vanessa is also the co-chair of the Public Health Association Australia – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Special Interest Group. Vanessa is due to submit her PhD in Aboriginal community controlled health services in 2012.

All of the teaching, research, networking, and program development Ms Lee is involved in are directed toward the overarching goal of improving the efficacy and linkage of health services for Indigenous Australians. On the ground, this means empowering Indigenous Australians for improved health outcomes.





I was a public servant for 16 years, working in health in both state and federal governments. I was then Deputy CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia from 2005-2009, assisting in the publication of the seminal Not for Service report (2005) as well as other reports. I am Senior Lecturer at the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney. I also work as a consultant and am on the board of Social Firms Australia. From 2009-2012 I was a member of the NHMRC’s Prevention and Community Health Committee. I am also a member of the Sydney University’s Health Policy Network and the Health and Work Research Network.




RayRay Bange is a widely experienced policy consultant, corporate strategist and communicator
 with an abiding interest in healthcare policy and community engagement. Ray’s career has encompassed senior executive roles in academia and in the public and private sectors in Australia and Hong Kong. A former Vice President of the Council of Professions, Queensland, 
he has had a long association with educational and professional activities at local, 
state and national levels.

Ray’s policy views and powerful advocacy have been shaped by his in-depth research of healthcare issues, broad operational experience and the input provided by his close relationship with individual consumers, health practitioners and their professional societies. Ray currently holds an appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor within the School of Medical and Applied Sciences at the Central Queensland University.




RUSSELL-McGOWANRussell is a bone marrow transplant survivor who has been active in the healthcare consumer movement since the early 1990s and is now retired from the workforce on health grounds. His working life had included teaching, field work, program management and policy development, mainly involving employment, education and training programs for indigenous people.

Having grown up in Adelaide and rural South Australia, Russell now lives in Canberra and participates in numerous community and consumer healthcare organisations in the ACT. He served as President of the Health Care Consumers Association of the ACT for ten years and as Deputy Chair of the ACT Health Council. As well as acting as a Consumer Lead within the ACT Health Directorate on national standards he continues to advise the Safety and Quality Commission on standards for pricing safety and quality, utilising ehealth and partnering with consumers. He is also Chair of the NSW/ACT State Advisory Committee of the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards.

At the national level, as well as being a member of Friends of the National Rural Health Alliance Committee, he serves on the Board of the Public Health Association of Australia and as Secretary of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance. He has recently been appointed as Honorary Adviser to the Board of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua)

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