The Institute for Health Transformation welcomed its new Advisory Board at the first official board meeting in September.

The Institute’s Director, Professor Anna Peeters, said the board’s role was to review and advise on the strategic direction and performance of the Institute, and to support its purpose in advancing the 21st century’s most compelling and complex health challenges through excellence in collaborative research that transforms the design and delivery of prevention and care.

“Our board members are industry and research leaders and bring a wealth of experience and expertise from across the health sector to support the strategic development of the Institute,” Professor Peeters said.

“The collective knowledge of these health sector leaders will further develop our capacity to impact health and wellbeing outcomes for all Australian through our excellence in partnership research.”

Appointed by Deakin University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Professor Julie Owens, who is also Board Chair, the Board members are:

Professor Julie Owens, Deputy Vice Chancellor Research (DVCR) Deakin University

Julie is an Alfred Deakin Professor whose research focuses on pregnancy and early development and how exposures such as parental obesity can programme the lifelong health of offspring. Her role as DVCR is to provide academic leadership to advance Deakin’s distinctive research and research training both nationally and internationally.  




Frances Diver, CEO Barwon Health

Frances is a well-known and respected healthcare leader in Victoria, having held senior leadership roles for more than 15 years. A trained nurse and midwife, she has worked in a clinical setting in several metropolitan and regional hospitals across New Zealand and Australia.





Todd Harper, CEO Cancer Council Victoria

For three decades, Todd has led organisations dedicated to global public health and prevention, including Cancer Council Victoria, Quit Victoria and VicHealth. Todd is President of the NCD Alliance. Todd has a Master’s Degree in Health Economics, a Postgraduate Diploma in Health Promotion and was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Deakin University for ‘outstanding contributions and commitment to public health and for willingness to be innovative and brave in advocating for public health’.




Matiu Bush, Founder One Good Street and recently appointed as the Clinical Lead of Mandatory Quarantine at the Department of Justice and Community Safety, Victoria

Matiu was this year named one of the top 25 most influential people in the Australian Social Sector by Probono. He has a Master’s degree in Public Health and broad clinical and managerial nursing experience, including working in Tijuana, Mexico with Nobel Prize Laureate Mother Teresa in international border aid.




Robyn Batten, Board Chair Western Health Victoria

Robyn has held CEO and Executive Director roles in local government, health and aged care across four Australian states and the Northern Territory. Customer centred service delivery and major organisational transformation have been a key feature of her work over the past 10 years.





Adjunct Associate Professor Ann Maree Keenan, Deputy CEO and Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer, Safer Care Victoria

Ann Maree has over three decades of healthcare experience, including as a senior healthcare executive where she combined nursing leadership with operational accountability. She has experience in health service capital programs and has led the development and implementation of patient models of care.





Professor Brendan Crabb, Director and CEO Burnet Institute

Brendan Crabb AC PhD FAHMS FASM is an infectious disease researcher with a special interest in malaria. Although a molecular scientist by training, Brendan’s interests include addressing technical and non-technical barriers to maternal, newborn and child health in the developing world. In 2015, he was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia for contributions to better understanding infectious diseases and their impact on poor and vulnerable communities, and for fostering medical research as an advocate, mentor and administrator.



Professor Rachel Huxley, Executive Dean Faculty of Health Deakin University

Rachel’s research focuses on the determination of and quantification of major and modifiable risk factors for chronic disease, and the evaluation of the health impacts of climate change and air pollution. She currently holds several competitive National Health and Medical Research Council research grants as Principal or Co-Investigator in areas related to obesity, diabetes and women’s health.




Professor Anna Peeters, Director Institute for Health Transformation

Anna is Professor of Epidemiology and Equity in Public Health at Deakin University. She is a Board Member for the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) and Obesity Australia, and Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society. In 2014 she was awarded the prestigious World Obesity Federation Andre Mayer Award for research excellence in obesity and a Churchill Award for innovative work in equity and population prevention.



Learn more about the Institute for Health Transformation Board.