One of the Institute’s key strengths is the expertise of its staff. Our senior management team’s breadth of experience and depth of knowledge continue to drive us in new directions. They are supported by committed and talented staff members across each of our divisions.
Professor Sally Redman AO, CEO
Sally is an international leader in increasing the impact of research in policy, programs and service delivery. A social scientist with a lifelong commitment to improving health and health services through better use of research, she has three decades of experience in leading respected not-for-profit organisations.
Sally holds academic appointments at the University of Sydney, University of Newcastle and University of NSW and has published over 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals. In 2013, she was appointed an Officer in the Order of Australia for her distinguished service to public health and the promotion of relationships between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. She received the President’s Award from the National Heart Foundation in 2017.
Dr Martin McNamara, Deputy CEO
Martin was appointed Deputy CEO in 2018. He is also the Head of the Research Assets Division, responsible for the 45 and Up Study, the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH) and the delivery of the Secure Unified Research Environment (SURE).
Martin has extensive experience in senior leadership roles from strategy and research to policy development and performance. Prior to joining the Institute, Martin was Executive Director, Hospitals and Healthy Communities at the National Health Performance Authority (NHPA). Martin has a PhD from the University of Sydney.
Adam Cresswell, Head, Public Affairs
Adam heads the Institute’s Communications and Engagement Division and plays a key role in managing its strategic public affairs. He joined the Sax Institute in March 2018 after more than five years leading communications teams in two Australian Government health agencies. Before that, Adam spent many years as a health journalist in the UK and Australia, culminating in an eight-year stint as Health Editor of The Australian newspaper, reporting on the key health policy developments over that time.
Adam has a Master of Health Policy from the University of Sydney, a Graduate Certificate in reporter journalism and a BA (Hons) in English and Related Literature.
Justin Eccleston, Head, Business Services Transformation
Justin has over 20 years’ experience working in the research and not-for-profit sectors in the UK and Australia, including senior roles at the King’s Fund in London and at national health charities in both countries. He has expertise in business transformation, strategic planning and organisational development. Justin joined the Institute in July 2021 and leads the corporate functions spanning human resources, IT, commercial and facilities.
He has a BSc (Hons) in Business Administration from the University of Bath.
Melinda Ewell, Head, FInance
Melinda leads the Institute’s Finance team and provides financial and regulatory guidance to the Institute’s CEO and Board to support delivery of the Institute’s Strategic Plan, as well as ensuring sustainability of the Institute’s operations. After early career roles across the IT and merchant banking sectors, Melinda has worked as a finance executive in the not-for-profit sector for more than a decade, focusing on program innovation, technology integration and effective governance.
Melinda is a Certified Practising Accountant and has a Master of Commerce from Western Sydney University.
Sian Rudge, Head, Evidence for Action Division
Sian works in the nexus between research and decision making, and in connecting decision makers with research and researchers. She leads and coordinates the Institute’s Evaluate, Knowledge Exchange and Decision Analytics programs, which support the use of decision making in health and social services. This support takes a number of forms, including providing tailored summaries of evidence, evaluating policies and programs, and developing decision-support tools using dynamic simulation modelling.
Before joining the Institute in 2011, Sian worked with the Centre for Aboriginal Health in the NSW Ministry of Health. She was previously a paediatric physiotherapist (B App Sc (Physio)) and holds a Master of International Public Health.
PROFESSOR LUCIE RYCHETNIK, CO-DIRECTOR, THE AUSTRALIAN PREVENTION PARTNERSHIP CENTRE
As Co-Director of the Prevention Centre, Lucie provides the executive-level bridge between the Prevention Centre and the Institute. She contributes to the Institute’s strategic direction, while also managing the Prevention Centre’s strategy and day-to-day operations as a national partnership focused on chronic disease prevention research, knowledge mobilisation and capacity building.
Lucie holds academic appointments at the University of Sydney and University of Notre Dame Australia, and is a Board Director with the Australian Climate and Health Alliance. Over her 30-year career she has worked in population health and clinical research, research translation for policy and practice, health promotion, migrant health, community nutrition and clinical dietetics.
Dr Anna Williamson, Head, Innovation
Anna leads the Sax Institute’s innovation function, developing new assets and services to further the Institute’s mission of supporting the use of evidence in policies, programs and services. She has led many of the Sax Institute’s most innovative programs of work, including the Centre for Informing Policy in Health with Evidence from Research (CIPHER) and Australia’s most comprehensive body of research into Aboriginal child and adolescent social and emotional wellbeing (SEARCH). Before joining the Institute, Anna was National Manager, Research and Evidence at a national mental health NGO.
Anna has a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) from the University of Sydney and a PhD in Public Health and Community Medicine from the University of NSW.
Professor Emily Banks AM, Senior Adviser
Professor Banks is an epidemiologist and public health physician with expertise in large-scale cohort studies, including the Sax Institute’s 45 and Up Study, as well as expertise in women’s health, healthy ageing and pharmacoepidemiology. She is also Head of Chronic Disease Epidemiology at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health.
Professor Fiona Blyth AM, Senior Adviser, Knowledge Exchange
Professor Blyth is an epidemiologist with a special research interest in chronic pain. She is Coordinator of Medical Education at The University of Sydney’s Concord Clinical School.
Professor Cate D’Este, Senior Advisor
Professor D’Este is a biostatistician with over 30 years of experience in health and medical research. She has previously held positions as Chair in Biostatistics at the Australian National University and The University of Newcastle, and currently has honorary appointments at both of those institutions. Cate has extensive experience in the design and analysis of a wide array of research projects in population health, covering a variety of study designs and methods such as cross-sectional studies and surveys, cohort studies, audits, analysis of routinely collected administrative health data and disease register data (including linked data), and experimental designs such as individual and cluster randomised controlled trials and stepped-wedge cluster randomised trials.
Dr Michael Frommer AM, Senior Adviser
Dr Frommer is a public health physician with extensive experience in government, NGO and academic roles. His contributions have been in injury epidemiology, perinatal health and data linkage systems, cancer services, and medical education. Michael designed and implemented the NSW Government’s research infrastructure funding program (now Medical Research Support Program). A former head of the University of Sydney’s medical program, he is an Adjunct Professor in the university’s Faculty of Medicine and Health, and is helping to develop the university’s satellite Dubbo medical program.
Professor Mary Haines, Senior Adviser
Professor Haines has 20 years of senior experience across the government, corporate, academic and not-for-profit sectors, with expertise in health research, evaluation and translational initiatives. Mary has held senior executive service and Board positions in the NSW Government, and serves as board member of Sydney Local Health District. Mary is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney, Sydney School of Public Health, Menzies Centre for Health Policy and Economics.
Dr Karin Lines PSM, Senior Adviser, Mental Health
Dr Lines has extensive expertise and leadership in the mental health sector, having worked in many key roles including four years from 2015 to 2019 as Executive Director of the NSW Health Mental Health Branch.
Over the course of her career, her roles have spanned clinical work, academic teaching, policy development and analysis, service development and planning and leadership. Karin was awarded the Public Service Medal for services to mental health in 2018. She has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Sydney, a Master’s degree in Nursing (Mental Health) from the University of Western Sydney and an Honours degree from Macquarie University.
Dr Jo Mitchell PSM
Jo Mitchell is a Senior Adviser with the Prevention Centre focusing on policy engagement. Her professional expertise is in policy and the delivery of statewide services and programs for prevention. Her most recent government experience was as a senior executive with responsibility for population health in NSW and in 2018 she was awarded a public service medal for her contribution to population health policy in NSW. She originally trained as a dietitian and has a Master of Public Health from the University of Sydney, and a doctorate in public health from Flinders University.
PROFESSOR ANDREW WILSON, CO-DIRECTOR, THE AUSTRALIAN PREVENTION PARTNERSHIP CENTRE
Professor Wilson’s research and teaching interests include all aspects of health policy but especially in the area of chronic disease. In addition to his academic career, he has been Deputy Director General, Policy, Planning and Resourcing, Queensland Health, and Chief Health Officer, and Deputy Director General, Public Health, NSW Health. He leads the Solutions domain in the University of Sydney Charles Perkins Centre.
Program and team leads
Anthony Ashton, Director, IT
Anthony leads the Institute’s information technology (IT) function, and has responsibility for providing effective business systems and ensuring the ongoing security of the information held by the Institute, including study participant information. Prior to joining the Institute, Anthony performed a senior IT role with Cancer Council NSW, where he gained key experience in protecting research data and knowledge in a not-for-profit sector setting.
With over 20 years’ prior experience working in technical and senior leadership roles in information technology departments, Anthony has significant experience in both global and national organisations delivering mission-critical digital services.
Millie Au, Director, Corporate Services
Millie is responsible for commercial and contractual matters within the Institute. Her mandate includes compliance, risk management, and corporate and research governance. She has over 25 years’ experience in senior management positions in a complex, large-scale industry as well as other mutual organisations. Some of her previous roles include seven years as the CEO of a mutual life insurance company as well as a founding director of a successful start-up.
Millie has sound understanding of legislative and regulatory requirement and strong compliance skills. She has qualifications from the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (UK) and is an associate member of the Governance Institute of Australia.
Dr Kerrin Bleicher, Director, Research Assets
Kerrin leads the Institute’s 45 and Up Study and its teams. She is responsible for the ongoing development of this national research resource, building engagement with participants, partners, policy makers and researchers, and fostering collaborations to support translation of knowledge from research into policy and practice.
Her previous role was as head of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Primary Health Network and Primary Health Care Reporting Unit, where she worked to fill data gaps and support organisations to meet community health needs. Kerrin worked as a clinician for over 20 years and has a PhD from the University of Sydney.
Bethany Brett, Director, People & Culture, Corporate Services
Bethany is responsible for providing comprehensive human resources (HR) advice and support to the Institute. Her focus includes employee engagement, HR strategic development, recruitment and talent management, and staff development.
A committed and passionate HR professional, Bethany worked at a global law firm as the National HR Manager for over a decade before joining the Institute. In that role, she led the HR team to provide support to staff within Australia and New Zealand. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (HRM & Management) from the University of Wollongong and has gained experience across a number of industries, including legal and not-for-profit organisations, since graduating.
Matthew Gorringe, Director, SURE, Research Assets Division
Matt is responsible for the Secure Unified Research Environment (SURE) that provides a secure workspace to over 450 researchers accessing data from more than 25 data custodians. In this role, Matt regularly explores and implements new opportunities for delivering significant improvements in capacity and processing power that will improve the experience for researchers and data custodians.
Matt has extensive experience in survey research, including in data management and analysis, and management of large-scale research operations. Matt has senior executive experience in a human services delivery agency, and has a Graduate Certificate in Survey and Market Research Methods, and a Masters of International Relations.
Dr Sumithra Muthayya, Study Director, SEARCH
Sumi is the Director of the Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH) at the Institute and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Public Health, University of Sydney. She is responsible for managing SEARCH and its community partnerships and a program of research on childhood obesity and food insecurity in urban Aboriginal communities.
An experienced nutritional epidemiologist, Sumi was previously the global coordinator of a public-private alliance promoting efforts to tackle vitamin and mineral deficiency in lower- and middle-income countries. She has worked for over 20 years on the identification and implementation of strategies to improve nutrition and health for women and children. Sumi has a PhD in Nutrition from the University of Bangalore, India.
Cindy Peng, Manager, Decision Analytics
Cindy Peng leads the Institute’s program of work building dynamic simulation models that inform strategic and operational decisions, particularly in complex environments in which there may be multiple and competing influencing factors. She provides oversight in project delivery and builds partnerships to drive the innovative use of evidence and simulation as decision-support tools.
Before joining Sax Institute, Cindy was responsible for reviewing evidence and providing advice for the Australian Government’s National Immunisation Program. She has strong skills and experience in translating evidence into policies and practices in the not-for-profit sector, research institutes, and government organisations. She has an honours degree in dietetics and a Master of Public Health.
Anne Redman, Director, Evaluate
Anne joined the Sax Institute in 2016 as the inaugural Director of the Evaluate program, and oversees and leads a range of evaluation projects in the health and human services sectors.
Before joining the Institute, Anne was National Director of the Cultural and Indigenous Research Centre Australia, managing the research and evaluation program. She has more than 25 years’ experience managing large-scale research and evaluation projects for a wide range of government and non-government organisations, with expertise in managing complex evaluation projects across a diverse portfolio, including health, mental health and wellbeing, suicide prevention, and human services. She has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of NSW and Graduate Diploma in Market Research.
Hugo Wilcken, Media and Editorial Manager
Hugo manages the Sax Institute’s media activities and relationships, ensuring that the Institute maintains and raises its national and international profile. More broadly, he is involved in writing and editing content and managing editorial projects aimed at the Institute’s various audiences.
Before joining the Institute in 2018, Hugo had a career in medical and health journalism in both France and Australia. His most recent roles were as online editor with the Australasian Medical Publishing Company, which publishes the Medical Journal of Australia, and features writer with Australian Doctor. He is the author of three novels.