Tony Lawson - Chair
Tony has been a member of the CHF Board since 2010 and Chair since 2014. He was re-elected as Chair at the November 2017 Board meeting.
Tony strives to operate at strategic levels in policy forums and meetings conducted by and with CHF, always promoting enhanced consumer participation and engagement in every encounter.
Tony continues to ensure the development and maintenance of sound, respectful and productive relationships with key stakeholders. Tony also seeks to make strong contributions to health consumer matters in other settings, including as a Board member of the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards. Tony is also a member of the Private Health Ministerial Advisory Committee.
Tony has managed not for profit organisations and was Chair of the SA peak consumer health body for six years. He has undertaken many health consumer participation projects and produced many reports and published articles on health issues including two co- authored articles in Heart Lung Circulation relating to equitable standards for cardiovascular care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People.
Tony has extensive experience in managing and implementing governance frameworks in a diverse range of organisations both as a leader and independent adviser. Overall, he has been involved at the highest levels in consumer health for over a decade and continues to strive to provide decisive and strategic leadership to CHF representing the interests of Australian healthcare consumers.
Jo Watson - Deputy Chair
Jo Watson was appointed to the CHF Board in 2012 and has been Deputy Chair since 2014. She was re-elected Deputy Chair at the November 2017 meeting.
Jo was the Executive Director for the National Association of People living with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) from 1998 to 2014. Over the past several decades she has been a community advocate actively engaged in the areas of health policy, especially access to medicines, and optimal public health interventions.
She was the consumer nominee of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority (PBPA) from 2002 to 2012, and has been a consumer nominee to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) since December 2012. Jo was appointed the first Deputy Chair of PBAC in 2017. She is also the CHF nominated Director on the Board of the Australian GP Accreditation Ltd group (AGPAL).
Jo was the consumer representative to the Independent Panel for the Commonwealth Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation which concluded its work in 2017.
Lara Alexander was elected to the CHF Board in 2017.
Lara is a Certified Practising Accountant with almost 20 years working in the not-for-profit sector at the Senior Management or Executive Management level. Lara is currently the Chief Executive Officer of St Vincent de Paul Society Tasmania. Previously, Lara has worked for eight years in the Aged Care sector as General Manager with Presbyterian Care Tasmania. Other organisations that Lara has worked for include St John Ambulance WA, Cancer Council WA, Save the Children and Bethesda Hospital.
Since 2008, Lara has been a Board Director with the Immune Deficiencies Foundation Australia, and is also chair of that Board since 2017.
Lara has worked closely with consumers in these various roles, understands their frustrations and has assisted consumers to find their way through what is at times a difficult regulatory path. Lara has a strong understanding of regulatory compliance in many areas of the health sector and the impact of these regulations on consumers, and has worked with a number of Boards in developing policies and procedures around finance, investments, internal control, delegations, compliance, etc.
Rowan Cockerell was elected to the CHF Board in 2014 and re-elected in 2017.
Rowan has worked across healthcare and community services, aged care and service development projects for 38 years. Over this time she has held executive positions across the private, not-for-profit and public sector. As Chief Executive Officer of the Continence Foundation of Australia, Rowan is an advocate for the interests of Australians affected by, or at risk of, bladder and bowel control problems and pelvic floor dysfunction. Rowan has a Masters in Business and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Jan was appointed to the CHF Board in 2014 and reappointed in 2017. She Chairs the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee of the Board.
She has substantial experience in public policy, strategy and governance matters at Board level through her nine years (1998-2007) as a member of the Board of the National Prescribing Service (NPS Medicines Wise) and five years (2005-2009) as a member of the Board of the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute at ANU.
Jan has participated in National Policy Forums at the strategic level for two decades including eight years with Council on the Ageing – six years in the role of National Policy Officer. Jan is a passionate advocate for addressing the social determinants of health with a focus on people with chronic illness, access to primary health care and quality use of medicines, mental health, aged care and indigenous health.
Jan also has secondary teaching qualifications and experience in education including in Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste. Her current appointments as a health consumer representative include to the Community Council of the South East Melbourne Primary Health Network, Deputy Chair- Health Technologies Assessment Consumer Consultative Committee, the Drug Utilization Sub Committee PBAC, the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare Primary Care Committee, the Evaluation Committee of Health Care Homes, and the Medicines Safety Committee for the Australian Digital Health Agency.
Paul Murdoch was elected to the Board in 2015.
Paul has been the Deputy Chair/Vice President of the Australian Pain Management Association Ltd since its establishment in 2009. Paul is a statutory appointee as a community representative on Queensland's Health Practitioners Tribunal and has been a member of the various AHPRA health professional conduct review panels for more than 14 years. He is also the non-practitioner member of the PSR Determining Authority and has extensive experience as a senior consumer representative.
Paul has teaching/training qualifications and experience, has published and presented academically and had 15 years’ experience as a union official. He is employed in the Australian Public Service, responsible for managing the secretariat of an independent statutory authority. Paul has wide experience in a range of management roles and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. His areas of interest include chronic disease, self-management, health technology assessment and preventative health initiatives.
Christine Walker was elected to the CHF Board in 2017. Christine has 20 years’ experience as a Director on Boards, and in governance, strategic planning, and building an evidence base around the needs of people with chronic illnesses in the health system through research and consultancies. Christine works to include consumers and the community in all levels of health service and policy development. Currently Christine is Executive Officer of the Chronic Illness Alliance Inc, a Board member of the Epilepsy Foundation Victoria, and member of the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance Community Advisory Group, the Executive of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance, the RACGP National Standing Committee on Quality Care, and the Independent Advisory Committee on Medicinal Cannabis for the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria. Past Board memberships have included NPS Medicinewise and the Western Health Service in Victoria.
Mark holds a post-graduate degree in Social Work and has extensive experience in the management of public sector community services and health organisations in four state and territory jurisdictions over a period of 30 years. He is currently Chief Executive Officer of the National Rural Health Alliance – the national peak body for rural, regional and remote health.
Mark has been responsible for leading the redevelopment of public community mental health services in the Adelaide metropolitan area, and more recently the establishment of a new not-for-profit aged and community services provider in the Northern Territory – ARRCS Ltd. Since this time, he has operated his own health consultancy business out of Adelaide.
Mark has skills and experience in hospital, health service and aged care management in metropolitan, regional and isolated rural areas, and has skills in leadership, project management, change management and service redesign. He has a strong interest in rural and remote health, mental health, Indigenous health, primary health care and aged care. He is a Fellow, Board Director and life member of the Australasian College of Health Service Management and a Board Director with Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia. He is also an accreditation surveyor with the Australian Council on Health Care Standards and AGPAL (QIP).
Ros has over 40 years' experience working in the healthcare field in the public and private sector. Responsibilities include managerial, clinical and administrative roles at corporate and clinical levels. Ros has managed the Safety, Quality and Risk Management Unit in the acute hospital setting and has been able to implement change in staff practices arising from the feedback that consumers provided to the unit.
Ros had extensive experience with the Consumer Advisory Council at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and enjoys the exchange of ideas and input from consumers from a broad range of backgrounds. Ros has been a Board member of Health Consumers Alliance (HCA), SA since 2013 and Acting President of the Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM). She is a Registered Nurse and Midwife and has completed a Law degree and a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology). She is currently undertaking a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and working part-time as an Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) Surveyor, whilst also caring and advocating for her palliative mother.