Advisory Board

Professor Christine Bennett AO

Interim Chair of the Digital Health CRC, Christine is the Dean of the School of Medicine, at The University of Notre Dame in Sydney. Professor Bennett was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2014 recognising her distinguished service to medicine and health care leadership. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the former Chair of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission and the former Chief Medical Officer for Bupa Australia Group. Professor Bennett’s experience has included being Partner in Health and Life Sciences for KPMG Australia, CEO and later Chair of Research Australia, CEO of Westmead Hospital, General Manager for the Royal Hospital for Women and Head of Planning in NSW Health. She is currently Chair of The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in NSW; Among her many other distinctions, Professor Bennett was selected in 2013 as a Finalist in NSW for Australian of the Year.


Prof Michael Aitken AM

CEO of the CMCRC, Mike was a founder of the Securities Industry Research Centre of Asia Pacific ( in 1997 and the CMCRC in 2001. His business acumen led him to establish the SMARTS Group, an Australian company that achieved global success in real-time security market surveillance. SMARTS was acquired by NASDAQ-OMX in 2010. Mike also initiated the development of the Reuters Tick History Service, a service providing tick data to the world’s academic and financial markets communities. Mike has championed and been actively involved in CMCRC’s move into the health R&D and commercialisation. He also established an expert witness business providing specialist services for legal cases. Mike has a PhD from the University of New South Wales and first class honours and masters’ degrees from Massey University (New Zealand).

In 2010 Mike was named Ernst and Young (E&Y) ICT Entrepreneur of the Year for NSW and Prime Minister Exporter of the Year. In 2016 he was awarded the Prime Minister’s prize for Innovation in Science.

Dr Paul Nicolarakis

CEO and Managing Director of Lorica Health. Paul brings a breadth of expertise across business, medicine, health policy, clinical analytics and visualisation to Lorica Health. Since completing degrees in medicine and neuroscience at Sydney University and his residency at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Paul has explored the interface between health, data and policy seeing him lead an award winning aged care electronic medical record start up. Prior to this, Paul joined Microsoft as their clinical analytics lead, engaging with senior health leaders and policy makers across the Asia Pacific and Middle East. Paul served as a Senior Advisor to Federal Health Minister the Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP. He also holds an Adjunct Associate Professor title at the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, is a 2015 Multinational Program Eisenhower Fellow and sits on the Board of the NeuRA Foundation.

Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO

A distinguished educator, researcher and policy advisor, Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO is a leading light in Australian health and pharmacy. In 2004 the University of South Australia named the Sansom Institute for Health Research in his honour, recognising an illustrious career that has spanned five decades. An accomplished researcher with interests in pharmacokinetics, biopharmaceutics and the quality use of medicines, Professor Sansom has received more than 20 major grants and contributed to over 100 scientific publications.

He played a major role in the development of Australia’s National Medicines Policy and has sat on numerous government and industry advisory groups – including the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, which he has chaired from 2001-2012

In 2014 Lloyd been awarded the Fred J Boyd Award from The Society of Hospital Pharmacists Australia, for distinguished contribution to quality use of medicines.

Lloyd continues to contribute to Australian health care via his numerous current appointments to professional and scientific authorities; Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary and Handbook, Department of Health, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care; Australian Pharmacy Council; Bellberry Ltd; as a member of the Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research Editorial Advisory Board; and so much more.

David Jonas

The CEO Designate for the Digital Health CRC, and currently the Head of the Health Market Quality R&D program at the CMCRC. David was the founding CEO of Lorica Health and has a long history in developing technology businesses. David was the founder/CEO of electronic commerce advisory firm, ETC, which was acquired in 2000 by Securenet (now part of Verizon). He has led many national cross-government and cross-sector technology initiatives. David’s leadership in e-government and e-commerce led to appointments to a range of Australian and European Union Government bodies. David is a board member of Infoxchange ( a leading not-for-profit provider of technology solutions to Government and NGO social services organisations.

David’s academic qualifications cover technology, finance, economics and law. He served for 7 years as CTO of a large multi-national group.

Associate Professor Federico Girosi

The nominated Head of Research for the Digital Health CRC, Federico holds a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University and PhD in Physics from the University of Genoa, Italy. He conducted research for 10 years at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While at the RAND Corporation, Federico led the team that developed the COMPARE micro-simulation model for the analysis of the proposed ‘Obama Care’ health insurance reform. He is currently the Head of Research of the HMQ program at the CMCRC, and Associate Professor of Western Sydney University.

Elizabeth Foley

The Bid Manager, former CEO of Research Australia, the peak advocacy body for Health and Medical Research, for 5 years to 2015. Elizabeth has been a Director of the government agency for health and medical data linkage, the Population Health Research Network (PHRN) since 2015. With over 20 years in life insurance and financial services experience with ‘Blue Chip’ companies, and a Fellow of the AICD and FINSIA, Elizabeth also brings strong commercial acumen to the Bid Team.

Dr Steve Hambleton

Co-Sponsor Medicines Safety Program at Australian Digital Health Agency

As the Australian Medical Association’s former federal president, Dr Steve Hambleton’s face is one of the most recognised faces in Australia yet few know of him beyond medico-politics. Steve graduated from the University of Queensland in 1984 and commenced full-time general practice in Queensland in 1987. He has worked at the same general practice in suburban Brisbane since 1988. A father of four, he has particular interests in primary health care, Indigenous health, medical training and clinical engagement.

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