Advisory Group members

Please see below for a full list of the current National Best Practice Unit for Tackling Indigenous Smoking (NBPU TIS) Advisory Group members.

Mr Bradley Brown (Chair)

Aboriginal Prevention Program Manager, Cancer Council Victoria

Bradley’s blood line is Gunditjmara, which is located in Western Victoria. He is proud of his Aboriginal and Irish descent and has strong family, community and cultural values.

He has over 30 years’ experience in Aboriginal health, including working within the Melbourne Aboriginal community as an Aboriginal Health Worker for 22 years. For the last ten years he has worked with the Aboriginal community on preventing the impacts that tobacco has on their health, and has represented the community at state and national levels. He currently works at Cancer Council Victoria with Quit Victoria and on cancer prevention, as a key path for Aboriginal communities to better health outcomes.

Bradley is passionate about sharing his knowledge with younger Aboriginal people, including his children and grandchildren, and building strong relationships to secure future generations.

Professor Tom Calma AO

National Coordinator, Tackling Indigenous Smoking

Professor Tom Calma AO is the National Coordinator for Tackling Indigenous Smoking, providing leadership and support to the organisations delivering the TIS Programme and to the NBPU TIS.

Professor Calma has been involved in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs at a local, community, state, national and international level for 40 years. He served as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2004 to 2010. In his 2005 Social justice report, Professor Calma called for the life expectancy gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous people to be closed within a generation and advocated embedding a social determinants philosophy into public policy on health, education and employment. This spearheaded the Close the Gap for Indigenous Health Equality Campaign.

Professor Calma has been instrumental in establishment of the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, development of the inaugural National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide prevention strategy, and promotion of Justice Reinvestment. He was awarded an Order of Australia for distinguished service to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in 2012.

Dr Kristin Carson

Senior Medical Research Scientist, Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Dr Kristin Carson has a strong track record of conducting successful evidence based research that has led to improvements in policy, practice and patient care on an international level.

She is the Founding Chair of the Indigenous Lung Health Working Party for the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ), past chair of the Tobacco and Addictive Substances Special Interest Group and current primary Chair of the Evidence Based Medicine special interest group for the TSANZ, where she has informed national policies on plain packaging, tobacco prevention resources for youth and informed government officials on tobacco product content disclosure legislation.

Kristin has been commissioned by the Australian and New Zealand School of Government to write policy documents for smoking cessation and tobacco prevention among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and has received National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) funding to support the training of health professionals in smoking cessation and evidence translation for Aboriginal Australians. She was 2015 Young Australian of the Year for South Australia.

Ms Piumee Bandara

Cultural and Indigenous Research Centre Australia (CIRCA)

Dr Ray Lovett

Research Fellow, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University

Dr Ray Lovett, a Wongaibon (Ngiyampaa) man from far west New South Wales, is a social epidemiologist based at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra. He is the first Aboriginal person to graduate with a PhD from the ANU in the field of epidemiology.

Ray’s research focus is on finding out how Aboriginal culture relates to improvements in health and wellbeing. This has included running a longitudinal cohort study of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing in a collaborative and ongoing relationship with the University of Oxford.

He has provided policy advice to government, particularly on tobacco, alcohol and other drug use by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and has also worked in the private sector on business improvement, evaluation and health service planning and health service standards auditing. He is extensively involved with the local community including as a volunteer working with young Aboriginal people.

Ms Louise Lyons

Director of Public Health and Research, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO)

VACCHO is funded to deliver Tackling Indigenous Smoking activities in Victoria as well as being the state peak Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation for the State. Louise brings a grant recipient perspective to the Advisory Group.

Ms Patricia Pearce

Regional Tobacco Coordinator, Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia (AHCWA)

ACHWA is funded to deliver Tackling Indigenous Smoking activities in Western Australia as well as being the state peak Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation for the State. Patricia brings a grant recipient perspective to the Advisory Group.

Mr Andrew Perusco

Assistant Director, Preventative Health, Department of Health

Andrew Perusco has worked in health promotion and population health for over 20 years. Throughout this time, tobacco control project implementation, evaluation and policy development has been a large focus of his work.

Andrew is a former Vice-President and founding member of the Australian Association of Smoking Cessation Professionals. He has published tobacco control articles, presented evaluation findings at population health conferences in Australia, and has peer reviewed articles submitted to the NSW Public Health Bulletin (2007), Australian Journal of Smoking Cessation (2007), and the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health (2006).

Andrew has held a leadership role in tobacco control strategy and product regulation in the Tobacco Control Branch of the Commonwealth Department of Health since 2010. In April 2016, he joined the Preventive Health Section to support the roll out of the revised Tackling Indigenous Smoking Programme, and broader tobacco control policy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Associate Professor David Thomas

Head of Tobacco Control Research, Menzies School of Health Research

A/Professor David Thomas has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and health research for nearly 30 years including working as a doctor for three Aboriginal community controlled health services.

David established and has led the Tobacco Control Research Program at Menzies since 2007. He has completed research about many aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tobacco control, including the national Talking About The Smokes project, a randomised control trial, a Cochrane review, qualitative research (including the examination of historical tobacco industry documents), evaluations of local and national policies and projects, and monitoring trends in smoking. This work has been in collaboration with Australian and international researchers, including many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander researchers, and in close partnership with communities and organisations, especially Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services.

Ms Dawn Casey

Chief Operations Officer, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO)

Ms Marina Bowshall

Acting State Director, Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA)

Professor Rachel Davey

Director, Health Research Institute, University of Canberra

Professor Rachel Davey is the Director of the Centre for Research and Action in Public Health at the University of Canberra. She has extensive experience of conducting large-scale trials in both clinical and community settings in the area of physical activity, health and disease prevention. The Health Research Institute is a partner in the consortium delivering the NBPU TIS.

Recently, Rachel has focused on the use and development of ecological models that emphasize multiple levels of influence on health behaviours. She has designed and led large-scale community interventions that have resulted in sustained behaviour change and improved health.

She has led pioneering research, such as the United Kingdom Medical Research Council funded project An ecological approach to promoting health-enhancing physical activity in a deprived inner-city population that involved examining the relationship between environment, physical activity and health and health outcomes.

Professor Neil Drew

Director, Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, Edith Cowan University

Professor Neil Drew is Director of the Australia Indigenous HealthInfoNet, an internet resource that informs practice and policy in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health by making research and other knowledge readily accessible. The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet is a partner in the consortium delivering the NBPU TIS.

He has postgraduate qualifications in social psychology and over 30 years’ experience working with a diverse range of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and groups. Prior to joining the HealthInfoNet, Neil worked as a psychologist for the Department of Family Services and held positions at the University of Notre Dame Australia including Foundation Head of Behavioural Science, Dean of Arts and Sciences and Deputy Head of the Broome Campus of Reconciliation.

He is co-author of chapters in the text, Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health wellbeing principles and practice (2010/14) and co-author of the text Social psychology and everyday life (2010).

Mr Rod Reeve

Managing Director, Ninti One Ltd

Rod Reeve is Project Director, NBPU TIS. Ninti One leads the consortium delivering the NBPU TIS.

Rod is also the Managing Director of the 7-year Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation, which has the objective of ‘addressing the high levels of social, economic, health and education disadvantage experienced by people living in remote Australia, and in particular, the impact of social exclusion on Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people; by investigating and providing practical responses to the complex issues that drive economic participation in remote Australia’.

Prior to joining Ninti One in mid-2014, Rod spent 30 years working internationally and in Australia to become a leader in international development. He has been the General Manager of a publicly-listed Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) firm, responsible for the implementation of major aid programs for the governments of Australia, the UK, the US and the World Bank.

He has enjoyed many leadership roles for significant nation-building activities including as the Director of Australia’s 10-year program for the reconstruction of Iraq, the Director of a 10-year health program in eastern Indonesia that reduced maternal and infant mortality, the Director of the UK government’s main peace-building program in northern Pakistan; as well as being Director of several long-term employment programs in Nigeria, Indonesia and the Philippines.