The PHRN Board is chaired by Professor Ian Smith and is comprised of up to six members. The primary role of the PHRN Board is to provide oversight and strategic direction for the PHRN.

The PHRN Board's Charter outlines the purpose, structure and conduct of the Board.

PHRN Board Membership

Professor Ian Smith

Ian is Vice-Provost (Research & Research Infrastructure) at Monash University, playing a University-wide leadership role.

Previously at Monash University, Professor Smith was a National Health and Medical Research Council-funded Professorial Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Deputy Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Ian is an accomplished medical researcher and is recognized as a leader in his field. This research has resulted in over 250 publications and many patents. Ian receives regular invitations to speak at international meetings, many as a plenary speaker. His research has had a direct impact on human health and has led to changes in clinical practice. Ian was a co-founder of a proteomics-based, publicly listed, biotechnology company and he continues to collaborate and consult widely with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Ian serves on six international editorial boards and over the years he has held office-bearing positions in a number of national and international societies and has had an active involvement in the organisation of numerous national and international scientific meetings. Finally, he has held and continues to hold, a variety of national and international senior government and non- government advisory board/committee memberships.

Professor Tim Colmer

Professor Tim Colmer is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and has responsibility for research policy development and leadership of the University's research activities, postgraduate education, industry liaison, intellectual property and commercialisation. 

Professor Colmer is a plant physiologist and enjoys working across various academic disciplines to support research at UWA, including research infrastructure initiatives. His substantive position is as a Teaching and Research academic in the School of Agriculture and Environment, the Faculty of Science. His contributions to coursework teaching have been recognised by two national awards. He has supervised 35 PhD students to completion.

His research is on abiotic stress tolerance (salinity, flooding, and drought) in grain crops, forages, turfgrass and halophytes. He has long-standing collaborations with key scientists in various countries (e.g. Argentina, Denmark, England, India and Japan) and success in winning competitive grants, publishing in well-ranked journals, and engaging with industry.  He has a strong service record (e.g. degree coordinator; postgraduate coordinator; editor of scientific journals; organising conferences/workshops; President of Australian Society of Plant Scientists) and successful leadership experience, as Associate Dean for Teaching & Learning; Head of School; Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research); and currently interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).

Professor Colmer is a Board member of the Integrated Marine Observing System, Microscopy Australia and the Population Health Research Network.

Ms Lindley Edwards 

Ms Edwards is a specialist adviser in merger, acquisition, divestments, fund raising, strategic consulting and licensing for growth in public and private companies. She is the Group CEO of AFG Venture Group a corporate advisory group specialising in Australia, Asia and International cross border transactions.
She has a track record of successful advising to private and public companies. Previously Lindley worked with international and local banks as well as has worked on a secondment basis for Boston Consulting Group.

Ms Edwards is an accountant and a Senior Fellow of FINSIA. She holds two undergraduate degrees, one in Accounting and the other in Banking and Finance. She also holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Governance of ASX Listed Companies and is currently undertaking a Doctorate. Ms Edwards is a non-executive Director and Advisory Board member of various organisations  and Government bodies.

Ms Edwards has been a state finalist in the Telstra Businesswomen’s awards for Private Sector with less than 100 employees. In the year 2000 she was admitted to the Australian Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame.

Ms Elizabeth Foley 

Elizabeth Foley is an experienced CEO and non-executive director with a proven track record of developing businesses and leading transformational change. She is a leader with demonstrated ability to develop strategy, set direction and deliver solid growth with a focus on the customer in both health and financial services. 

Ms Foley was CEO of Research Australia, from 2011 to 2015, where she proved herself to be a highly successful advocate at both State and Federal levels of government. Here she worked intensely and effectively with, and on behalf of over 160 universities, medical research institutes, philanthropic foundations, government agencies, pharmaceuticals, med-tech, bio-tech, health services and consumer health advocacy organisations across Australia to realise their mission and ongoing viability.

Ms Foley is currently consulting in the digital health arena, with the Capital Markets CRC where she is leading the development of a bid to establish a Cooperative Research Centre in digital health. In January 2017 she became Chair of Rare Voices Australia, the national organisation for representing people who live with a rare disease.

With over 14 years board membership experience, including 6 on AXA’s unit trust company board (FUM of $12B), over 20 years in senior management in financial services and being a Fellow of the AICD, Foley brings strong commercial acumen and governance to the PHRN Board.

She has a Bachelors of Business, (marketing) and a Masters of Commerce (finance), and is also a Fellow of Finsia.

Ms Stephanie Miller 

Ms Miller has worked for 25 years as a senior executive in the not for profit and public sectors leading consumer focussed housing, health, mental health and disability organisations in Australia and the UK. Her last role was CEO at the Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service (STTARS) which is an organisation that assists people from a refugee and migrant background who have experienced torture or been traumatised prior to arrival in Australia. Prior to joining STTARS she was the Executive Director of the Health Consumers' Alliance of South Australia (2009-2014).

While in the UK, Ms Miller gained a Masters Degree in Management and Social Responsibility from Bristol University.

Ms Miller is a trained IAP2 practitioner and has completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement with Fielding Graduate University in the United States.

Ms Miller brings with her a wealth of experience in the area of consumer and community participation and will be a valuable member of the Board as the PHRN moves into its next phase.



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PHRN is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and has taken steps to mitigate the risk of transmission to our staff. In line with advice on social distancing, all staff at PHRN program office have moved to work from home. Staff are currently all working in line with our usual work patterns and our landline numbers are being diverted to staff at home, so will either be answered, or it will be possible to leave a voicemail. Please bear with us as we move to this new way of working. We will be participating in any meetings we need to attend remotely via Zoom. We are reviewing our work plans in light of the current situation and will make changes as required to ensure we are serving our network, researchers and community in this changing situation.

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WA Department of Health is seeking to establish a contract for the provision of an expert resource which will provide consultation to the Department of Health and the Department of Jobs, Tourism and Industry on a joint initiative. The ‘Strategic Linkage Advisor’, will provide strategic linkage advice, research, analysis, stakeholder management and inter-governmental coordination on matters relating to data linkage.