Board of Trustees

The Board comprises a number of doctors who are specialists in their field and business and social sector leaders who kindly donate their time to help manage The Foundation.

The Board of Trustees currently comprises of the following members:


Mr J Harkness (Chairman)

John is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He was a partner of KPMG for 24 years and National Executive Chairman for five years. Since leaving KPMG in June 2000, John has held a number of non-executive director roles. He is currently a Director of the Goodman Group and has been since 2004, as well as Chairman of Charter Hall Retail Management Limited (director since August 2003), the management company of Charter Hall Retail REIT. He is also Chairman of the Reliance Rail group (since 2011). He was formerly a director of Sinclair Knight Merz Management Pty Limited (from 2010 to December 2013). John is a member of the Territorial Headquarters and Sydney Advisory Board of the Salvation Army and also the Chairman of the National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation. He has been the Chairman of the Foundation since 2000, after joining the Board of Trustees in 1984.

John Dixon Hughes

Dr J Dixon Hughes OAM

John Dixon Hughes OAM has been a member of the Board of Trustees and Research Advisory Committee since 1977. He became Chairman of the Research Advisory Committee in 2000. John is an active consultant general surgeon with over 55 years experience. From 1984 to 1996 John was the initial Chairman of the Medical Services Committee NSW, a statutory Committee to provide advice to the Government and the Ministry. He has been the Administrator since 1996. He is an Approved Medical Specialist for the Workers Compensation Commission NSW for disputes and appeals. John is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and was awarded the College Medal in 1990 and the NSW State Committee Merit Award in 2008 for distinguished service to surgery. John is also a foundation member of the Australian Association of Surgeons, Distinguished Councillor from 1982 and has served as President, Secretary and Councillor over many years. He is a Member of the Australian Medical Association and was appointed Fellow in 1985 and received the NSW President’s Award in1990, for distinguished services to medicine in NSW. John was formerly Chairman of Infection Control Advisory Group for NSW Health. He was also a Board Member for over 14 years and had served as Senior Vice President, Chairman of Medical Staff Council and Chairman of the Surgical Research and Ethics Committees at Sydney Hospital and was actively involved in surgical research. John was awarded an OAM in 2010 for services to medicine.

Dr V Cowlishaw Shortell

Vivienne Cowlishaw Shortell joined the board of the Sydney Hospital in 1985 and the Foundation as a Trustee in 1987. Vivienne Cowlishaw Shortell, currently an oral health consultant, has worked as a clinician in hospitals and private practice since 1957, in city and regional Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Dr K Hellestrand

Kevin Hellestrand has been a member of the Board of Trustees in since 2001. Kevin Hellestrand has been in private practice as a Cardiologist and Cardiac Electrophysiologist for 25 years. He has been a co-author of more than 50 journal articles, reviews and book chapters. Kevin is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, American College of Cardiology, Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand, Heart Rhythm Society, European Society of Cardiology. He is also a member of the North Shore Heart Research Foundation.


A/Prof R Garrick AM

Raymond Garrick has been a member of the Board of Trustees and Research Advisory Committee since 2002. He is Associate Professor of Medicine (Neurology) at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney Campus. Ray is a Neurologist with over 35 years experience. His areas of interest include neuro oncology, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis. He is currently the Head of St Vincent ‘s & Mater Hospital sub-school of Notre Dame University Medical School. He is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and a member of the Australian & New Zealand Association of Neurologists. He is a fellow and faculty board member Faculty of Pain Medicine ANZCA, as well as Deputy Chairman of the Education Committee. Ray is also Senior investigator at Sydney Hospital/Sydney Eye Hospital for the RENEW clinical trial in optic neuritis. In 2015, Ray was recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to medicine in the field of chronic pain management, and to medical education as an academic.


Dr J Graham OAM

John Graham has been a Trustee of the Foundation since 2002. John Graham graduated in Medicine from the University of Sydney in 1969, having obtained an honours degree in Medical Science three years earlier. He then practised as a consultant physician in Macquarie Street, Sydney from 1973 to 2010. He remains an Emeritus Honorary Consultant Physician at Sydney Hospital, an institution with which he has had an uninterrupted association since 1965. Positions held have included Chairman of the Medical Staff Council and Chairman of the Department of Medicine. In 1991-1992 he was President of the NSW Council of Professions. Since retiring from medical practice at the end of 2010 John Graham has retained an interest in healthcare, especially as it pertains to medical research, tort law reform, national health security and CBD resilience in Australia’s capital cities. In 2017, John was awarded a Medal of the order of Australia for his service to medicine as a gastroenterologist.


Mr A McGrath

Tony McGrath, has been Honorary Secretary of the Foundation since 1997. Tony is Co-Chairman of McGrathNicol which had its foundation on 1 July 2004. Prior to this Tony was the head of the Sydney Corporate Recovery division of KPMG. He has over 30 years of restructuring and insolvency experience. In recent years Tony has acted as Liquidator of the HIH Insurance Group which has been one of the largest failures in Australian corporate history. Other key engagements have included acting as Liquidator of the Pan Pharmaceuticals Group and the Voluntary Administration of the Henry Walker Eltin Group, Allco and Lift Capital. Tony also acts as an independent expert witness in a range of disputes, including providing expert reports assessing the solvency of particular entities and assessing economic loss claims. Tony is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and Insolvency Practitioners Association of Australia. He is a registered and official liquidator. Tony is a Director of QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd and is also a Commissioner for the Australian Rugby League.


Ms J Schwager AO

Jane Schwager AO has been a Trustee since 2005. Jane has been the CEO of a number of non profit organisations including The Benevolent Society, Nonprofit Australia and the Olympic Parklands Foundation. Jane has also headed two NSW Government departments, as Director General of The Department of Ageing and Disability and as the Executive Director of the NSW Social Policy Directorate. Jane has extensive understanding of charities, social welfare at a national and global level, and of heading national reviews. She led the establishment of a number of new social initiatives including Nonprofit Australia, Sydney Leadership and Social Ventures Australia. Jane currently serves on the Boards of Campbell Page Ltd, Teachers TV, Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network and Maji Zima. She also serves as a member of the Defence Honours and Awards Appeals Tribunal and the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. In 2009 Jane was awarded an Order of Australia (AO) for her services to nonprofits and government and was a recipient of a 2003 Centenary Medal for Services to Australian Society in Business Leadership.


Mr K Drewery

Keith Drewery joined the Board of the Foundation in 2010 Keith has worked for more than 30 years with wealth owners in professional services practices to help those families achieve financial goals and preserve wealth. He consults to wealthy families on issues of succession, legacy and philanthropy and also works closely with KPMG’s private enterprise division in Sydney in the development of their services to families and family offices. Originally working inside accounting firms as a tax specialist, Mr Drewery left the profession to work within funds management and between 2006 and 2011 he established and ran Myer Family Company’s Sydney office, Australia’s largest independent multi-family office. Through the last 15 years Mr Drewery has worked closely with founders and trustees of some of Australia’s most significant foundations and private ancillary funds. He consults widely to the not-for-profit sector.

Ashley Bates

Dr Ashley Bates

Dr Ashley Bates joined the Board and Research Advisory Committee of the Foundation in 2014 and is currently Director of Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals for AusIndustry’s Entrepreneur’s Programme. Ashley obtained his PhD from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for around 25 years. Starting as a research scientist he has worked in the UK and USA before moving to Australia. Ashley has held positions in new product development, business development at The Upjohn Company (now Pfizer) and GlaxoSmithKline. At GSK he was responsible building their collaborative research program and new product licencing activities. Ashley was the National Executive for Pharma and Biotech with the Manufacturing Excellence Taskforce Australia and served on a number of advisory panels and boards including academic, Cooperative Research Centres and industry associations. 

Alison Choy Flannigan

Ms A Choy Flannigan

Alison Choy Flannigan joined the Foundation as a Company Secretary in 2014. Alison has over 20 years of corporate and commercial experience and leads the Holman Webb Health, Aged Care and Life Sciences Team. Alison has been nominated by her peers as one of Australia’s best lawyers in the areas of health and aged care and has been recognised for this in Best Lawyers International and the Australian Financial Review. She was previously General Counsel of Ramsay Health Care Limited, as well as a partner of a major national law firm and has acted for a number of research related matters involving a number of public hospitals and eminent health and medical research institutes.





Looking beyond the research and considering translational needs when funding research. How well are your expectations, application and review processes, measures of success and funding strategy aligned with the next steps for translation?

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