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  

Up until the end of last year, Ian Smith was Vice-Provost (Research & Research Infrastructure) at Monash University, where he played a university-wide leadership role, with responsibility for research strategy, infrastructure and alliances. A major focus was building linkages to industry and encouraging large companies and SMEs to use the university’s globally-recognised research capabilities and tools to innovate, capture new opportunities and solve problems. 

Ian has a background in both industry and research. He is a leader in his field of medical research, which has resulted in over 260 publications and many patents. Ian receives regular invitations to speak at international meetings and his research has had a direct impact on human health and led to changes in clinical practice. Ian also co-founded a proteomics-based, publicly listed, biotechnology company, which he helped build to IPO and trade sale and he continues to collaborate and consult widely with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. 

Ian is now Professor Emeritus at Monash and as well as consulting for Monash and other organisations, Ian is a board director and chair of a number of national and international senior government and non-government advisory boards as well as serving on a number of national and international committees, many with a strong industry focus. He also serves on a number of international editorial boards and held office-bearing positions in national and international societies, helping organise numerous national and international scientific meetings.

Ian’s unique background in business and research drives his passion to get entrepreneurs and industry collaborating and using university research capabilities to innovate. He believes that Australia lags behind many countries in utilising this enormous asset and is passionate about finding ways to make the collaborative process as efficient and effective as possible for industry, sharing outcomes and success stories to build awareness.

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.

 Tim Colmer PHRN Board Member
Professor John McNeil  

After graduating in medicine from the University of Adelaide Professor McNeil undertook specialist training to become qualified as a consultant in internal medicine and clinical pharmacology.  He completed a PhD in Clinical Pharmacology at Melbourne University and   was awarded a National Heart Foundation overseas postgraduate research scholarship to study epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. In subsequent years he has held clinical appointments as a visiting specialist physician at the Austin, Alfred and Monash Health.

In 1986 he was appointed directly to the Monash Chair of Social & Preventive Medicine based at the Alfred Hospital.  Over subsequent years the department (now a School) evolved around a core of methodological skills in epidemiology, clinical medicine, biostatistics & data-management to become prominent  in clinical, public health and health services research. Much of his work centred around large scale clinical trials and clinical registries.

His broader leadership roles have included service on the Boards of Management of the Alfred and Austin Hospitals,  Ambulance Victoria, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare The Victorian Managed Insurance Authority, Orygen Youth Mental Health Research Institute,  Dunlop Medical Research Foundation, , the Colonial Foundation, the, Victorian Public Health Research and Education Consortium and Water Quality Australia. He has also served on a range of Ministerial Committees advising on issues ranging from renal failure services to medical staff salaries, location of organ transplantation services and patent safety. He has also served on a broad range of committees of the NHMRC, TGA, Victorian Department of Health, Food Authority for Australia & New Zealand, Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, National Blood Authority and various charities and NGOs. He also  spent 10 years as Secretary of the International Society of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy.

John McNeil PHRN Board Member

Ms Leanne Wells  

Leanne has held executive positions in federal government and non-government organisations.  Leanne is the Chief Executive Officer of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia and previously served as CEO of national peak and local service delivery organisations in the primary care sector. She is a health advocate and service executive with over thirty years’ experience in health and social policy, program and service development.  Leanne has broad governance experience and is currently Board Director of Coordinare (South East New South Wales’ Primary Health Network), the Ozhelp Foundation, and the Australian Pharmacy Council, Independent Chair of Coordinare’s Community Advisory Committee and a member of the Healthdirect Clinical Governance Advisory Committee.  She has several advisory appointments including the Commonwealth’s Primary Health Care Advisory Group, the National Preventative Strategy Advisory Committee and the OECD PaRIS Patient Advisory Panel.  Leanne has tertiary qualifications in communications and business. She is a member of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management. 

Adjunct Professor John Bancroft  

Adjunct Professor Bancroft has over 20 years’ experience in industry and 20 more in academia and government, working across Australia, NZ, the UK & EU, Canada & The USA, India, East Asia & the Pacific Rim. He has led sales & marketing, investment generation, knowledge exchange, innovation, impact generation, IP exploitation and business growth teams, and overseen the winning of over $200M of revenue and investment income. He is currently CEO of QCIF (the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation).

He is a graduate Chemist, a Fellow of the UK’s Institute of Sales and Marketing Management, a Visiting Professor in Science and Innovation at the University of Huddersfield and an Adjunct Professor in Research and Innovation at the University of the Sunshine Coast. He has experience in many sectors, territories and business models, and has worked in companies ranging from SMEs to global multinationals. He has successfully won multiple $multi-million orders and helped to create $multi-million businesses. He produced and delivered Graduate and Staff Training Schemes for four major organisations that were aimed at helping technical and business development colleagues to better support one another.

Adj. Prof. Bancroft has served on a number of Boards including the Science Data Processor (SDP) Management Board of the SKA (the Square Kilometre Array), the International Advisory Board of the “ARCHIE-WeST” HPC Centre at Strathclyde University, and the Industry Advisory Board of the “N8” (The Universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York) HPC Service. He was also a Director of the GTMA, the UK’s Trade Association for Manufacturing Companies.

He has been an invited Speaker at innovation and entrepreneurship conferences, describing how to win investment into and promote economic growth from, HPC and e-infrastructure technologies and resources, in London, Paris, Manchester, Strasbourg, Dresden, Toronto, Seoul, Singapore and Beijing. He has personally been instrumental in researching, developing and exploiting new materials, devices, processes and systems, and is a named inventor on three materials patents.

John Bancroft Board Member