Board

The Australian Self-Care Alliance is a collaboration between healthcare consumers, health promotion charities, policy experts and industry partners.

We promote self-care as a key component of good health and advocates for the adoption of self-care support as a core element of health service delivery and health policy design in Australia. We are incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and registered as a health promotion charity.

John Bell, AM
Practitioner/Teacher
Graduate School of Health
University of Technology Sydney

John Bell, AM – Chair

John Bell is a community pharmacist who has a distinguished record of leadership in the pharmacy profession in Australia and internationally. In addition to operating John Bell Pharmacist Advice, John is a Practitioner/Teacher in Primary Health Care and Professional Services at the University of Technology Sydney and Corporate Relations Consultant to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. He is a former Vice President of the Federation Internationale Pharmaceutique (FIP) and Secretary of the Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) and president of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA). He is the recipient of numerous international and Australian honours recognising his contribution to pharmacy including the Andre Bedat Award for services to international pharmacy practice (FIP), Albert Howells Award for services to pharmacy in the Commonwealth (CPA) and a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the pharmacy profession and the community in Australia and internationally (PSA). John is one of the pioneers of self-care in Australia having created the PSA ‘Pharmacy Self-Care Program’ to optimise pharmacy services in Australia. For over 35 years, he hosted his own talk-back radio program The Friendly Pharmacist and wrote a weekly newspaper column dispensing self-care advice.

Professor Sharon Lawn – Director

Professor Sharon Lawn is a lived experience researcher at Flinders University and is Executive Director of Lived Experience Australia. Her research has included a focus on the service system interface, self-management, physical health and mental health, peer work, service user and family perspectives, and addictions. She is a former SA Mental Health Commissioner and Director of Flinders University’s Psychiatry Research Unit. Prior to academia, Sharon worked in mental health, aged care, and disability services. She has led many research projects examining the involvement of service users and their families in shared care, with a particular focus on the person’s expertise and experience in self-care. Sharon is a passionate advocate who believes that human rights sit at the core of self-care.

Professor Sharon Lawn
College of Medicine and Public Health
Flinders University

Russell McGowan
Health Care Consumer Advocate

Russell McGowan – Director

Russell McGowan is a bone marrow transplant survivor who has been active in the health care consumer movement since the early 1990s. Russell is a Fellow of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and the longest standing member of the Consumers Advisory Group of the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC). He brings significant board experience to the Alliance having served as President of the ACT Health Care Consumers Association and deputy chair of the Consumer Health Forum and the ACT Health Council. He has also served on the boards of ACSQHC, Cancer Council Australia, the National Blood Authority, and the Australian General Practice Network. Russell sees optimal health outcomes being driven by collaboration between providers and users of healthcare services and since 2014 has been advocating for self-care by contributing to much of the work which preceded the establishment of the Australian Self-Care Alliance.

Michele Goldman – Director

Michele Goldman is a strategic thinker who is passionate about driving collaborative approaches to tackle complex social problems. Michele is currently the CEO of Asthma Australia which has set a bold goal of halving avoidable asthma hospitalisations by 2030. She is committed to codesigning and piloting novel approaches to change the trajectory for people with asthma. Michele brings considerable governance expertise to the Australian Self-Care Alliance having played a key role in the merger of the Asthma Foundations to form a stronger, national body. She serves on the board of JewishCare and has held board positions with The Housing Connection and the Royal Hospital for Women Foundation. Michele is attracted to self-care because of her focus on the lived experience of consumers in the health system.
Michele Goldman
CEO
Asthma Australia
Dr Deon Schoombie
CEO
Consumer Healthcare Products Australia

Dr Deon Schoombie – Director

Dr Deon Schoombie is a qualified medical practitioner whose career journey has taken him through clinical practice, hospital management, private business, healthcare advertising and the pharmaceutical industry. Deon has been the CEO of Consumer Healthcare Products Australia, the peak body for the non-prescription medicines industry, since 2010. He is also a member of the board of the world body of the industry, the Global Self Care Federation, based in Geneva. Deon is one of the first and strongest advocates for the adoption of self-care in national health and care policy in Australia. As CEO of CHP Australia, he has supported the development of an Australian Self-Care Alliance over many years. He believes responsible self-care is vital in improving individual and public health outcomes and contributing towards creating a sustainable health and care system.

Karen Booth – Director

Karen Booth is a Registered Nurse with a keen interest in health policy, workforce development and advocating for the role of the nurse in primary care. Karen is currently the President of the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association (APNA), a position which she has held for the past six years. She has worked as a manager in general practice and has set up systems to support a team approach to care, including nurse clinics for preventative health and supporting people with chronic health conditions. Karen is currently a member of the Primary Health Reform Steering Group advising the Commonwealth on the National Ten-Year Primary Health Plan and the primary care committees of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care. Karen is passionate about self-care because prevention is a key role for nurses.

Karen Booth
President
Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association
Rob Anderson
CEO
Musculoskeletal Australia

Rob Anderson - Director

Rob Anderson is the CEO of Musculoskeletal Australia, the consumer organisation working with, and advocating on behalf of, people with arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, gout and over 150 other musculoskeletal conditions. Rob is passionate about self-care because it puts the voice of the healthcare consumer at the centre of healthcare. With a background in professional sports, Rob was the CEO of Professional Footballers’ Australia. He combined his background in athletics with a keen interest in disability and went on to lead Disability, Sport and Recreation. Rob also serves in an advisory capacity to several organisations that share an interest in self-care including, the Australian Ethical Health Alliance, the OPUS TJR Centre for Research Excellence and the Victorian Government Seniors Advisory Committee.

Dr Andrew Cottrill - Director

Dr Andrew Cottrill is Chief Medical Officer for HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit private health insurer. He joined HCF in 2004 and during that time he has been responsible for chronic disease management programs, clinical governance, doctor networks and utilisation review (analytics). Andrew is a pioneer of self-care having initiated Australia’s largest chronic disease management program which has supported 51,000 people with chronic conditions to reduce complications leading to hospitalisation. He is a reviewer for the HCF Research Foundation, a fellow of the International Federation of Health Plans and is a member of their Expert Panel on Clinical Effectiveness and High-Cost Drugs. Since 2017 he has been a member of the Research Advisory Committee for the National Foundation of Medical Research and Innovation.

Dr Andrew Cottrill
Chief Medical Officer
HCF
Professor Rosemary Calder, AM
Professor of Health Policy
Mitchell Institute of Health Victoria University

Professor Rosemary Calder, AM – Policy Advisor

Professor Rosemary Calder is a respected health and social policy expert. She is Professor of Health Policy at the Mitchell Institute of Health at Victoria University in Melbourne, Victoria. She is also director of the highly successful Australian Health Policy Collaboration after which the Australian Self-Care Alliance is modelled. Rosemary has extensive experience working in and with peak non-government organisations in health and social issues. She has held positions as a senior executive in health policy and administration in both state and Australian departments of health and was head of the Office for the Status of Women in the Australian Government and served as Chief of Staff to a state minister for Health. Rosemary and her team at the Mitchell Institute have conducted the foundational research into self-care in Australia including the 2017 literature review, The State of Self-Care in Australia, and most recently, our landmark 2020 report, Self-Care for all: A national policy blueprint. Rosemary is committed to self-care because she believes it is important that consumers and clinicians ‘listen to one another’. She says, ‘the best way to change healthcare is to change how we support people to navigate their way through the system’.

Randall Pearce – Company Secretary

Randall Pearce is one of Australia’s foremost experts in not-for-profit management. A former association CEO, management consultant, board chair and executive coach, Randall has worked to maximise the performance and governance of some of the nation’s top peak bodies, associations, NGOs and government agencies. He is managing director of THINK: Insight & Advice, a consultancy that works with leaders in the not-for-profit sector and government. Randall brings a background in politics and policy from his native Canada where he advised a former Canadian Prime Minister and led several successful business and social justice campaigns. Randall made Sydney his permanent home in 2003 and started THINK: Insight & Advice in 2006. He has worked to support the development of the Australian Self-Care Alliance since 2015. In addition to his Board role as Company Secretary, Randall also serves as the Public Officer of the Alliance.
Randall Pearce
Managing Director
THINK: Insight & Advice Pty Ltd
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