Tony Lawson - Chair

Tony has been a member of the CHF Board since 2010 and Chair since 2014

Tony takes a strategic focus in policy forums and meetings conducted by and with CHF, promoting enhanced consumer participation and engagement in every encounter.

Tony works 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. Tony was re-elected as Chair in November 2020.

Jo Watson - Deputy Chair

Jo Watson was appointed to the CHF Board in 2012 and has been Deputy Chair since 2014.

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.

Jo was re-elected Deputy Chair in November 2020. She Chairs the Governance Committee of the Board.

Rowan Cockerell

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. Rowan Cockerell was first elected to the CHF Board in 2014. She was re-elected in 2017 and in November 2020 and October 2023.

Jan Donovan

Jan 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. She 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.

Jan was first elected to the CHF Board in 2014 and was re-elected in 2017 and in 2020. She Chairs the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee of the Board.

Christine Walker

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. Christine Walker was elected to the CHF Board in 2017 and re-elected in November 2020 and October 2023.

Ros Chataway

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.

Allison  Willis

With over 30 years of experience in the health, community and disability sectors Allison’s focus has been in policy development, legislative reform and human rights.

She lectures in undergraduate nursing studies in law and ethics and works as a private consultant in consumer engagement and advocacy in South Australia. Until its closure in 2021, Allison was the Principal Adviser, Policy and Strategy at Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia. She continues to actively advocate and lobby for government funding and the reestablishment of a health consumer peak body in SA. Allison holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Natural Resource Management and Bachelor of Applied Science in Health, a Certificate in Management & Organisational Leadership, and a Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education.'

Allison was elected to the CHF Board in November 2021.

Adjunct Professor Darryl O'Donnell

Professor O'Donnell has extensive research, public health, political and other professional networks and is able to lead change and exercise influence while maintaining relationships. He is deeply committed to the consumer and community advocacy movement.

Professor O'Donnell is CEO of Health Equity Matters, the national federation for the HIV community response. Health Equity Matters is a long standing member and friend to CHF. He holds an Adjunct appointment as Professor with the Faculty of Medicine and Kirby Institute at the University of NSW.

He has a long record of achievement in health leadership roles in government and community settings at state, national and regional levels.

Through his role as CEO of Health Equity Matters and Adjunct appointment, he brings together researchers and community representatives to ensure a strong community voice in research agenda-setting, and brokers partnerships for competitive research bids. 

Darryl was elected to the CHF Board in October 2023.