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
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
Asthma Australia
Dr Stephen Carbone
Founder and Executive Director
Prevention United

Dr Stephen Carbone – Director

Dr Stephen Carbone is a former general practitioner turned public health professional who has a passion for promoting people’s mental wellbeing. Stephen is the Founder and Executive Director of Prevention United a mental health charity that specialises in the promotion of mental wellbeing and the prevention of mental health conditions. He has extensive clinical experience in mental health having worked as a medical officer in Victoria’s specialist mental health services. In addition, Stephen has considerable experience in mental health policy, research and evaluation, and program and service development having held senior roles in the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Orygen Youth Health, headspace, and Beyond Blue. Stephen is interested in putting a self-care lens over mental health.

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
Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association
Dr John Litt, AM
Associate Professor
Flinders University

Dr John Litt, AM – Director

Dr John Litt is a retired academic GP and public health physician whose primary research interests are in prevention and its implementation. Previously, John was an Associate Professor in the Discipline of General Practice at Flinders University. His PhD thesis was the basis for the Green Book ‘Putting Prevention into Practice’ of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP), an evidence-based monograph on improving the delivery of preventative care in general practice. John has subsequently run counselling workshops on lifestyle change, motivational interviewing and brief behavioural intervention for GPs, Divisions and practice nurses in most Australian States and Ireland. He is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lung Foundation and the highest member award of RACGP, the Rose-Hunt Medal, for his contribution to general practice. John is passionate about self-care because he believes that patients are ‘experts in themselves’ and that adherence with health advice should be a ‘meeting of equals’.

Dr Kathleen Weaver – Director

Dr Kathleen Weaver is a trained medical practitioner who has pursued health care through consulting and corporate strategy work. Kathleen is the Co-CEO of Flip Insurance a wholly owned subsidiary of HCF Life, a division of Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund. She is also a member of the HCF Research Foundation’s Research Advisory Committee, a position which she has held for the past six years. Kathleen is proud to represent HCF on the board of the Australian Self-Care Alliance given the importance of self-care to helping members maintain their health and well-being.
Dr Kathleen Weaver
Flip Insurance
Dr Deon Schoombie
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.

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
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’.
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