1.3 Biographies of members of the National Blood Authority Board

Garry Richardson

Mr Garry Richardson, Chair

Mr Garry Richardson is a professional independent company director with extensive experience in the health and financial services sectors. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Before his retirement from his executive career at the end of 1997, Mr Richardson was Managing Director of National Mutual Health Insurance Pty Ltd (now known as BUPA Australia), Australia’s third-largest private health insurer for seven years. He was, concurrently, Vice President of the Australian Health Insurance Industry and Board member of the International Federation of Health Funds (based in the United Kingdom).

Since then, Mr Richardson has been appointed to a number of boards, mostly in the position of Chair. These included appointments by both Labor and Coalition governments at State and Commonwealth level:

  • Commissioner, Private Health Insurance Administration Council (1998–2007)
  • Director, Dental Health Services Victoria (1997–2000)
  • Chair, Southern Health — Victoria’s largest public health network (1998–2003)
  • Chair, Housing Guarantee Fund (2002–07)
  • Director, Victorian and National Boards of Australian Red Cross (2005–07)
  • Chair, Little Company of Mary Health Care Ltd (2007–08)

Mr Richardson’s current appointments include:

  • Chair — Health Super Pty Ltd (January 2001 to date)
  • Independent Chair — Audit Committee, City of Stonnington (2000 to date)

Mr Richardson was appointed Chair of the NBA Board in May 2007.


Ken Barker

Mr Ken Barker, Financial expert

Mr Ken Barker is currently Chief Financial Officer with New South Wales Health and is responsible for:

  • controlling and monitoring recurrent expenditure ($12.5 billion, 2007–08) and revenue ($1.7 billion 2007–08)
  • establishing New South Wales Health financial management policy and strategy
  • overseeing the business management services involving insurance, risk management, taxation, benchmarking of public hospital support services and independent financial review of public and private sector initiatives.

Mr Barker has worked for New South Wales Health for 23 years and, before his present role, was involved in the financial and accounting area of the Department. He has 40 years of experience in the New South Wales Government, previously working for the Police Department, Public Works and Corrective Services.

In respect of the Australian blood service, he has been involved in the government’s financial perspectives in:

  • the former New South Wales Blood Transfusion Service
  • the nationalisation and establishment of the ARCBS
  • providing leadership in establishing the national indemnity arrangement for blood and blood products
  • providing executive input (including providing evidence) in defending claims for the blood-acquired HIV virus in New South Wales
  • providing input into the Stephen Review of the Australian Blood Banking and Plasma Product Sector
  • establishing the NBA.

Mr Barker was appointed to the NBA Interim Board and has served as a full Board member since the inception of the NBA. He served as Chair of the National Blood Authority Audit Committee from 2003–07.


Mr Rob Christie, Community representative

Mr Rob Christie, Community representative

Mr Rob Christie has a long history of community service and experience as a health consumer representative in Australia on blood and blood-related product issues and the needs of patients and families with bleeding disorders. His son, Scott, has haemophilia A and is HCV positive.

Mr Christie’s commitment to the blood sector has resulted in appointments as:

  • Life Governor and Board member of the Haemophilia Foundation Australia (HFA) Board member since 1997, including four years as National President
  • Vice President of the Haemophilia Foundation, South Australia; Board member since 1994
  • Committee member of the Coagulation User and Advisory Group with the Australian Red Cross – South Australia; member since 1995
  • Vice President, Finance, World Federation of Hemophilia, Montreal, Canada, since 2004.

In his professional life, Mr Christie has strong business and management experience in the agricultural sector and is a business consultant with Proforma Business Communications.

His community service also includes life membership of the Apex Club in Happy Valley.

Mr Christie was appointed Community Representative on the NBA Board in May 2007.


Associate Professor David Cooper, Public health expert

Associate Professor David Cooper, Public health expert

Associate Professor David Cooper is the Director of Emergency Services for the central coast of New South Wales, incorporating Gosford and Wyong emergency departments. These two departments constitute one of the largest emergency services in Australia, with a substantial critical care and trauma case load (95 000 presentations per year).

Associate Professor Cooper is also a member of the Australian Health Protection Committee, which manages health emergencies at a national level. He teaches in the field of disaster medicine at a number of Australian universities, including Sydney, Monash, Charles Darwin and Queensland. He also lectures in disaster medicine to medical students in Indonesia and Turkey.

His previous appointments included:

  • Foundation Chair of Disaster Response and Preparedness, Charles Darwin University/National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre, Royal Darwin Hospital
  • Acting Deputy Chief Health Officer, NSW Health
  • Director, New South Wales Health Counter Disaster Unit.

Operationally, his experience includes the health response to both of the Bali bombings, the tsunami disaster and the Yogyakarta earthquake, where he led the first AusAID disaster medical team. He also has substantial experience in mass gathering planning including the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Rugby World Cup and, more recently, World Youth Day 2008.

His interest in the blood sector relates to the safe management of blood and blood-related products in critical care and emergency medicine as well as in disaster settings.

Associate Professor Cooper was appointed the Public Health Expert member of the NBA Board in May 2007.


David Kalisch

Mr David Kalisch, Australian Government representative

Mr David Kalisch was appointed Deputy Secretary in the Department of Health and Ageing in June 2006. He is a member of the department’s executive, with responsibility for Portfolio Strategies Division, Acute Care Division, the Mental Health and Workforce Division and the South Australian and Western Australian state offices of the Department.

Since the early 1990s, he has been in the Australian Government Senior Executive Service in the Departments of Social Security, Prime Minister and Cabinet, Family and Community Services, and now in Health and Ageing.

Mr Kalisch is an economist who has worked in a range of social-policy areas of government since the early 1980s. This has included policy advising and program management in diverse areas such as labour markets and employment policy, retirement incomes, family assistance, children’s services, welfare reform and, more recently, health services. Aside from these social policy and program management experiences, he has an interest in enhancing organisational capability.

In addition to these appointments, he was Principal Adviser to a former Minister for Social Security and has worked at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris in their employment programs division (1990) and social policy division (1997–98) and at the Australian Delegation to the OECD (1998–99).

Mr Kalisch was appointed the Australian Government Representative to the NBA Board in November 2006.


Peter Lewis-Hughes

Dr Peter Lewis-Hughes, State/territory representative

Dr Peter Lewis-Hughes began his distinguished career in 1986 with the public health care sector in the Australian Government health department. He assisted in structuring policy development for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Interventional Radiology, and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Dr Lewis-Hughes then served as Private Secretary to the then Health Minister, Dr Neal Blewett AC. Key areas of responsibility included Medicare, pharmaceuticals, health insurance and hospitals.

Dr Lewis-Hughes was appointed to Executive Director of ACT Pathology in 1988.

In 1990, Dr Lewis-Hughes took the position of Business Manager for the Commonwealth Medical Services (Queensland) and successfully helped to develop a user-pays funding mechanism for Commonwealth medical officers. During this period he was also seconded by the then Commonwealth Department of Community Services and Health to co-author, with Dr John Deeble, the National Pathology Directions for the Macklin Review.

He was appointed Director of Strategic Management at the Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital in 1991, where he was responsible for assisting in the preparation and implementation of a blueprint for the privatisation of the hospital.

Dr Lewis-Hughes was recruited by Queensland Health in 1995 to implement structural reform agendas in key services such as pathology, biomedical engineering services and public health and forensic laboratory sciences. Following the Forster review of Queensland Health in 2005, he was appointed Executive Director of Clinical and Statewide Services with responsibility for development and reform of the Queensland Health blood program, radiology services, medication services and the oral health program. With wide-ranging experience in the health care industry at Australian Government and state levels, Dr Lewis-Hughes is especially interested in contemporary health issues as they relate to strategic and business planning for clinical services across Queensland.

Dr Lewis-Hughes was appointed to the NBA Board as the Public Health Expert in 2003 and appointed State/territory Representative in 2007.


Robin Michael

Mr Robin Michael, State/territory representative

Mr Robin Michael is a health care professional with 28 years experience. He was General Manager of the Royal Darwin Hospital, Northern Territory, until December 2007 and has returned to Adelaide where he is Chief Executive Officer of Radiology Resources Pty Ltd.

Mr Michael has qualifications in pure mathematics and statistics, computing science and public health. He has managed public and private health services and worked in the government sector. His experience includes:

  • management — he has been head of the Metropolitan Health Service for the South Australian Health Commission and Executive Director, Corporate Resources for the South Australian Department of Human Services
  • consulting — he has been a Director of KPMG, a partner in Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) and a partner in Deloitte Consulting.

He has worked in both Australia and New Zealand in health care and enterprise resource planning implementation.

Mr Michael was appointed to the NBA Board in 2005 and he resigned in June 2008.


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