Dr Ian J Watt AO has had a long career as one of Australia's most distinguished public servants, with nearly 20 years at the highest levels of the public service. His most recent and most senior appointment was as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and head of the Australian Public Service, a position he held from 2011 until the end of 2014. Prior to that, he was Secretary of the Departments of Defence; Finance; and Communications, Information Technology and the Arts between 2001 and 2011. Before that, he was Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Dr Watt serves on the Boards of Citigroup Pty Ltd, Smartgroup Corporation, the Grattan Institute (University of Melbourne) and O'Connell Street Associates Pty Ltd, and is a Member of the Male Champions of Change. He is also Chair of the National Innovation and Science Agenda Implementation Committee and Chair of the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships.
CEO & FOUNDER
Kathlene Jones is mother to a beautiful young girl with Prader-Willi Syndrome and is establishing PWRFA to develop breakthrough treatments that will enable people with Prader-Willi Syndrome to live independent lives. She has extensive experience in management and strategy, having previously worked as General Manager, Strategy at Australia Post and a consultant at McKinsey & Company. Prior to this she worked around the world (London, Beijing, Hong Kong, Sydney) in marketing strategy and research, business development and as an economist. She has an MBA (Dean’s Honours List) from Melbourne Business School and Columbia Graduate School of Business and graduated first in class with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Economics) from the University of Queensland. She is now a freelance management consultant and has been working in the health technology area.
Amy Brennan is a barrister and practices extensively in the criminal and employment law jurisdictions, including occupational health and safety work. She completed her articles and initially practiced as an employment lawyer at Maddocks. Amy then took up a position as Associate to Justice Teague at the Supreme Court of Victoria. Immediately prior to signing the Bar Roll, Amy worked at Victoria Legal Aid. In 2012, Amy was chosen by the Victorian Bar Council to represent the Victorian Bar at a nine week internship program in Paris called the Stage Internationale du Barreau de Paris. She is currently the secretary of the Equality & Diversity Committee at the Bar.
Amy has a sister with cerebral palsy giving her a personal understanding of the challenges and needs of families living with disability.
Professor Ian Cooke
Prof Ian Cooke is CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre for Mental Health, a 19-party consortium that was established in 2011 under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Program. The CRC for Mental Health aims to develop biomarker-based clinical decision tools for use in the diagnosis and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, psychoses and mood disorders.
Prof Cooke’s previous roles include appointments as a Professorial Fellow in the Asia Pacific Centre for Science and Wealth Creation at Monash University, CEO of Foursight Associates, a science and technology advisory company based in Melbourne, CEO of CNSBio, a clinical-stage venture capital-backed company spun out of Monash University to commercialise novel therapies for the treatment of severe pain and Associate Director (R&D) of the Burnet Institute in Melbourne. He has held academic and research appointments at Deakin University, Princeton University, Bell Laboratories and the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory.
Prof Cooke holds BSc (Hons), PhD and M IP Law degrees from the University of Melbourne and an MBA degree from Monash University.
Rebecca Cross PSM
Rebecca Cross joined Bupa at the end of February 2016 to undertake a 12 month secondment as Head of Government, Policy and Regulatory Affairs. Her responsibilities include supporting Bupa's interactions with governments, industry stakeholders and regulators on private health insurance and aged care, as well as Bupa's other health and care services.
Rebecca was previously a Deputy Secretary heading up Domestic Policy at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), where she was responsible for social policy (including health, education, social and health services), the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), regulatory reform, and the Office for Women.
Prior to joining PM&C in 2009 Rebecca spent over 16 years in the education, training and employment portfolio in the Commonwealth government. During this time she worked on policy and programs in schools, vocational education and training, youth transitions, international education, and employment, including a period as Senior Advisor to the then Minister for Employment, Education and Training, the Hon. David Kemp MP.