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. Since 2010, Lara has been General Manager at Presbyterian Care Tasmania, an aged and community care organisation. 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 was recently elected Chair of that Board.
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 Donovan was appointed to the CHF Board in 2014 and reappointed in 2017.
Jan is an advocate for consumers nationally and internationally. She has substantial experience in governance matters at Board level through her nine years as a member of the Board of the National Prescribing Service (NPS Medicines Wise) and on other boards related to health.
She has an arts degree from the University of Western Australia and a graduate diploma in Public Policy from the University of Melbourne. Her relevant work experience has included undertaking for over six years the role of National Policy Officer with Council on the Ageing Australia.
Jan's recent appointments as a health consumer representative include to the Community Council of the South East Melbourne Primary Health Network, the Health Technologies Assessment Consumer Consultative Committee, 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.
Jan is a passionate advocate for addressing the social determinants of health to improve the health status of all Australians including the most disadvantaged Australians. She also has recent experience in living and working as a secondary school teacher in a developing country, Timor Leste.
Paul Murdoch was elected to the Board in 2015.
Paul has been the Vice President of the Australian Pain Management Association Inc. since its establishment in 2009 and has held a statutory appointment as a community representative on Queensland's Health Practitioners Tribunal and various AHPRA health professional conduct review panels for more than 12 years.
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 had extensive leadership and management experience in a range of 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 advocacy body for rural 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.
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 an accreditation surveyor with the Australian Council on Health Care Standards, AGPAL (QIP) and understands the importance of consumer engagement in decision making at all levels.
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.