Executive Profiles


Prof Esther May - ACDHS CHAIR

Dean, Clinical Education and Equity
Division of Health Sciences
University of South Australia (UniSA), Adelaide

Esther mayEsther May’s role as Dean, Clinical Education and Equity has a strategic focus on the student experience and quality of teaching and learning in the context of the future healthcare workforce, clinical education, equity and excellence and partnerships.

Originally trained as an occupational therapist, Esther obtained a PhD in medical sciences from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) in 1992. Since then, she has been an active educator and researcher with achievements that include 18 PhD and Masters by Research student completions. Esther has been the Australian delegate to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists and is an honorary and founding member of the Australian Hand Therapy Association.

Esther has a keen interest in health workforce matters and the role of education in producing the health workforce of the future. She oversees government funded grants which target improved clinical training, simulated learning and clinical supervision. Her portfolio includes the UniSA Department of Rural Health (DRH), which oversees rural placements and education for students outside metro Adelaide.

Esther’s experience in management and leadership is extensive, including seven years leading the UniSA School of Health Sciences, and before that seven years leading the School of Occupational Therapy. She is currently a member of the Australian Collaborative Education Network and has been an executive member of the Australian Council of Deans of Health Sciences since 2011.


MBBS(Monash), DipRACOG, DTMH(Liverpool), MPH[Health Policy and Management](Harvard), SM[Epidemiology](Harvard), FAFPHM, FACTM, FACRRM, FAICD.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor
Division Tropical Medicine and Health
James Cook University (JCU), Townsville

Ian WronskiIan Wronski’s primary focus is health workforce maldistribution, particularly in rural, Indigenous, and tropical populations. During the 20 years Ian has worked with JCU he founded the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM), and has moved to establish the Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre.

Ian chairs the Australian Council of Deans of Health Sciences. He is a board member of the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority – Teaching, Training and Research Committee, the Townsville Health and Hospital Board and Executive Committee, and the Health Professions Education Standing Group of Universities Australia, and chaired the Queensland Clinical Education and Training Council.

Throughout his career, Ian has held leadership and policy roles at national and state level in several sectors, including health workforce development in public and Indigenous health, rural and regional development, and education. He is also extending his policy activity internationally, through AITHM and as a board member of the APEC-Life Sciences Innovation Forum (LSIF). He is focussed on providing intellectual leadership in health systems and workforce development and innovation to meet the growing and changing demands on healthcare, both in Australia and abroad.

Ian was recently appointed to the Order of Australia for ‘distinguished service to tertiary education, particularly through leadership and research roles in Indigenous, rural and remote health, and to medicine in the field of tropical health.


Prof Kathryn Refshauge OAM FAHMS

DipPhty, GradDipManipTher(Cumb), MBiomedE(UNSW), PhD(UNSW)

Kathryn RefshaugeKathryn Refshauge is Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney. She is a member of several boards and committees in the NSW health sector, as well as various professional and research bodies. She has also served on the executive of the Australian Physiotherapy Association and human research ethics committees, and was involved in the Excellence in Research for Australia initiative.

Kathryn’s research focuses on integrating her physiotherapy, biomedical engineering and physiology backgrounds to improve health outcomes, particularly for musculoskeletal conditions. She is currently a chief investigator for two Centres for Research Excellence, one targeting neuromuscular disorders (Transforming the management of neuromuscular disorders from compassionate assistance to targeted therapy and prevention) and the other in recovery following road traffic injuries. She has published extensively in the area of musculoskeletal health, and developed guidelines and position statements for best practice in diagnosis and management of various musculoskeletal conditions.

Kathryn was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2016, and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. In 2011, she received the UniSA Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Student Supervision and a national award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. She holds several honorary professorial appointments and is a member of editorial board of international journals.

Prof Gregory Kolt

Dean, Science and Health
Professor of Health Science
Lead Dean, Workforce Development
Western Sydney University (WSU), Sydney

Gregory KoltPrior to joining WSU in 2006, Gregory Kolt was Associate Dean (Research), Professor of Health Science, and Founder and Director of the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.

Gregory has an academic background that spans several disciplines, including physiotherapy, psychology, sport and exercise science, and education. He holds a PhD in Psychology, and has worked extensively in psychology and physiotherapy in academic, research, and practice settings in Australia and New Zealand. His research is recognised internationally. He has been successful in securing $5.65 million in research grant funding, and has published several books and book chapters, and around 150 journal publications. He is a recognised senior academic leader and manager with extensive experience in university settings, including achievements in significant change processes. His leadership across the broad science, human science, and health science disciplines has led to the significant expansion, growth, and strengthening of these areas in his current role at WSU, and in his prior role in Auckland.

Ms Pam Stronach

Director, Academic Quality and Strategy
Division of Tropical Health and Medicine
James Cook University
Queensland, Australia

Pamela StronachMs Pamela Stronach is a Registered Nurse who completed her training at the Townsville General Hospital before working in a variety of positions in north Queensland and overseas.  Throughout the 1990s she worked in a number of health research related positions associated with the University of Queensland and James Cook University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  During this time she completed a Masters of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, a Masters of Economics and the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

In her long history within the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Molecular Sciences (now the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine) since its inception in 1997, and in her current position as the Director, Academic Quality and Strategy, Pam has been involved in the expansion of health professional education at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels to address the maldistribution of health workforce in underserved populations, particularly in northern Australia. As well as undertaking planning and implementation functions, Pam has contributed to the curriculum design, teaching infrastructure, clinical education and training models across the degrees of occupational therapy, medical laboratory science, sport and exercise science, pharmacy, medicine, physiotherapy, speech pathology, veterinary sciences, clinical exercise physiology, midwifery and dentistry. She has represented the Division on a number of peak health policy and planning committees at a regional and national level.

Prof Lorna Rosenwax

Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Health Sciences at Curtin University

Lorna RosenwaxProfessor Lorna Rosenwax is the Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor, Health Sciences at Curtin University. For most of her academic career, which commenced in 2002, Lorna has taken leadership roles including the Head, School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work, Curtin University and Sub Dean (Health Sciences), Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Western Australia.

Her academic background is in occupational therapy and population health. She has been instrumental in setting up a global interprofessional student placement program; student-led interprofessional clinics in community, school, aged care and remote aboriginal settings; an interprofessional health sciences first year curriculum; and other initiatives. Lorna has been successful in securing over $6.35 million in grants and tenders. Her research has centred on the last year of life for people aged 20+ years who died of a condition potentially amenable to palliative care (six NH&MRC grants). Internationally, her team’s model for estimating a potential palliative care constituency from a population has been used by the WHO; Cancer Council of New Zealand; National Health Service in the UK; in Brussels; Nova Scotia; Switzerland and elsewhere. Through involvement in three national tenders, a palliative care curriculum has been rolled out to most health disciplines in the majority of universities in Australia (PCC4U). Other areas of interest include the evaluation of services in aged care, access to palliative care for vulnerable populations and the value of interprofessional practice.


Prof Terry Haines

Head of School, Primary Allied Health Care at Monash University

Professor Terry Haines is Head of the School of Primary and Allied Health Care at Monash University. In this role he is responsible for a school with 6 departments, over 150 staff, and over 180 research higher degree students.

He has a professional background in physiotherapy and health economics, and has worked in research roles imbedded within health services for over 15 years before commencing as the Head of School in 2017. He has previously worked for Eastern Health, the University of Queensland, the Princess Alexandra Hospital, and Monash Health.

His primary research interest is in improving the allocation of health care resources to better meet emerging community needs and reducing waste. He currently leads the NHMRC funded EviTAH project, which is focused on identifying the most effective and efficient ways of translating research evidence into practice. This work builds on recent collaborative work with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services developing the online Resource Allocation Decision Tool, designed to assist health service managers to incorporate research evidence into a broader decision making framework.

Professor Haines’s research has led to several advances in health outcomes. Notable examples include:

  • Leading the world’s first trial to demonstrate that falls amongst hospitalised adults could be prevented.
  • Developing a patient education program that led to a 50% reduction in falls and fall injuries when rolled out in a randomised trial amongst geriatric rehabilitation units in Western Australia.
  • Collaborating with allied health working in oncology services to develop a video-based exercise program that improved the health-related quality of life in women following treatment for breast cancer, and a telephone-based dietetic counselling intervention that improved nutrition and survival outcomes in people with upper gastrointestinal cancer.

He has also contributed to advances in research methodology. Notable examples include:

  • Development of a new randomised controlled trial research design for the context of disinvestment from a routinely provided service that has a relative absence of evidence examining its effectiveness or economic efficiency.
  • Development of a new statistical analysis approach for the evaluation of screening tool predictive accuracy where the outcome of interest is a recurrent event.
  • Identifying design-related bias in evaluations of screening tools that lead to a 20% overestimation of the accuracy individual tools.

He has received over $18 million in research funding, published over 230 peer-reviewed manuscripts including papers in journals the calibre of The Lancet, BMJ, JAMA Internal Medicine, PLoS Medicine, and BMC Medicine.  He has supervised 16 PhD, 1 DPsych, and 1 Research Masters student through to completion. He has twice been awarded the NHMRC Excellence Award and has received the SACS Consulting Award for leadership in the Victorian State Government Sector. He has previously served as President of the Australia New Zealand Falls Prevention Society, Chair of the Australian Physiotherapy Association – Physiotherapy Research Foundation Grant Review Committee, and convenor of the inaugural Victorian Allied Health Research Conference (2014) and convenor of the Australia New Zealand Falls Prevention Conference (2016).


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