Research has revolutionised the lives of people with asthma


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Professional Advisory Council

Asthma Australia is the nation’s peak consumer asthma body. Our staff and volunteers are leaders in their fields and together we strive to deliver excellence every day for people with asthma.

Asthma Australia has recently appointed a Professional Advisory Council (PAC) as a formal mechanism to engage with the professional asthma community.

The purpose of the PAC is to support Asthma Australia to better meet the diverse needs of people with asthma and those who care for them by:

  • providing expert advice on medical, research and other technical or professional matters
  • assisting with advocacy and policy development
  • facilitating Asthma Australia’s achievement of its strategic priorities in relation to medical, scientific and health related matters
  • advising Asthma Australia on relevant medical and health related developments
  • advising and support Asthma Australia in the translation of research outcomes to policy and practice.

Who are our Professional Advisory Councillors?

Prof Alex Brown - PAC web

Professor Alex Brown

Program Leader, Aboriginal Research at SAHMRI, based in Adelaide. He is also the inaugural Chair in Aboriginal Health at UniSA. 

Professor Brown is an Aboriginal doctor and researcher with one of the strongest track records nationally in Indigenous health research in urban, rural and remote communities. He received his PhD in 2010, and in addition to his medical training has an MPH, is a Fellow of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand and an honorary fellow of the RACP. He has established an extensive and unique research program focused on chronic disease in vulnerable communities, with a particular focus on defining and overcoming health disparities.

He leads projects encompassing epidemiology, psychosocial determinants of chronic disease, mixed methods health services research in Aboriginal primary care and hospital settings, and randomised controlled trials of pharmacological and non-pharmacological chronic disease interventions.


Rosemary Calder - cropped web

Rosemary Calder

Rosemary Calder is the director of the Australian Health Policy Collaboration, an independent national health policy ‘think tank’ established by Victoria University, Melbourne. Rosemary is a leading health and social policy expert.  She has held positions as a senior executive in health policy and administration in both State and Commonwealth Departments of Health and was head of the Office for the Status of Women in the Commonwealth Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2000 to 2003.  

Rosemary has held the position of Chief of Staff to a former Victorian Minister for Health and has extensive experience in policy and organisational management and board governance in the not for profit sector. She is a sociologist and began her career as a journalist with The Age.

Prof Kingsley Coulthard - PAC web

Professor Kingsley Coulthard

Professor Coulthard commenced his pharmacy career at the Adelaide Children's Hospital in 1971 and has always worked in the area of paediatrics in Australia and overseas until his retirement as Director of Pharmacy at the Adelaide Women's and Children's Hospital in 2010.

He continues to be a strong advocate for equity of access, for children, to safe and effective medicines and for which he has received national recognition. His major interests have been respiratory disease especially asthma and cystic fibrosis.

He is still involved with the practice of pharmacy by doing country locums and also in teaching undergraduate and post graduate health professionals. He has a long standing relationships with Asthma Australia and also delivers asthma updates on behalf of National Asthma Council and Pharmacy organisations. 

Prof Anne- Marie Feyer - PAC web

Professor Anne-Marie Feyer

Anne-Marie is a senior professional, an expert in health and social care research, practice and policy. She brings a strong senior, international and commercial track record in the health sector. Her career has successfully spanned senior academic and private sector roles, including a range of senior advisory posts, working closely with policy makers and service providers, both in Australia and internationally. As a senior academic, Anne-Marie successfully established a nationally and internationally recognised centre of excellence in research and its sustainable funding base. 

As a senior partner in a global professional services firm, Anne-Marie successfully led the development of a national health advisory business and became the first Asia Pacific based member of the Board of its global thought leadership arm. As a non-executive director, Anne-Marie chairs the Governance and Nominations Committee for a metropolitan Primary Health Network. As an independent consultant, Anne-Marie has provided expert advice to a range of national and jurisdictional health and social care reform initiatives. 

Dr Juliet Foster - PAC cropped 3

Dr Juliet Foster

Dr Juliet Foster is a Research Psychologist with a special interest in the patient’s perspective on chronic disease and self-management. Her research interests include the disease beliefs, treatment attitudes and lived experience of people with asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis. Juliet also has publications on medication adherence, on treatment side effects, health professional management of asthma and health professional-patient communication.

Dr Foster is an experienced crisis counsellor and a training specialist in health communication skills for facilitating disease self-management. Juliet has been an invited speaker at a number of international conferences; she is outgoing convener for the Primary Care Special Interest Group for the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) and serves on the scientific and education committees of the European Society for Patient Adherence, Compliance and Persistence.

Prof Peter Gibson - PAC - 2

Professor Peter Gibson

Peter Gibson works as a doctor who cares for people with respiratory diseases and as a clinical scientist investigating the mechanisms and treatment of asthma, COPD, cough, and other airway disorders.

He is a concept leader who has developed innovative approaches around inflammatory subtypes of asthma and cough; airway biomarkers; neurogenic mechanisms, laryngeal dysfunction and related treatments for refractory cough; multidimensional assessment and management of complex airway disorders such as severe asthma, airways diseases in the elderly, and asthma in pregnant women.

His peers have awarded Peter several research medals and elected him as the president of the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (2015-6).

His research and clinical practice serve to bring research developments into focus as effective health care interventions that improve the health of people suffering from breathing disorders

Melinda Gray - PAC web

Melinda Gray

Melinda has been employed as a paediatric registered nurse at Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick since 2000 and for the past 18 years she has been working in the position of Clinical Nurse Consultant, Paediatric Asthma. Her role has involved the co- coordination of the Aiming For Asthma Improvement in Children Program - a NSW state-wide program facilitating continuity and consistency of care for the child with asthma through collaboration with NSW Ministry of Health, peak asthma consumer and health professional organisations, other health professionals, education departments, childcare organisations, and families/carers.

Melinda has a diverse paediatric nursing background and has enjoyed working in Paediatric Tertiary Referral Hospitals within Australia and the United Kingdom. She has recently served on the NSW Network of Community Activities Board and continually contributes to a number of research and quality improvement projects.

She is passionate about working alongside clinicians to support policy change and promote the advocacy of children with asthma at both State and National level. 

Dr Tracy-Lea Laba web

Dr Tracey-Lea Laba

Dr Laba is Senior Research Fellow and NHMRC early career (Sidney Sax) Fellow from the University of Sydney, Australia, an Honorary Postdoctoral Fellow at University of British Columbia and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney Australia. 

She is a health systems researcher and registered pharmacist with expertise in health economics and drug utilisation and policy research. Her research broadly focuses on value and equity in access to medicines. She is passionate about improving health and wellness. Her ambition is to shape the way Australians with chronic diseases (such as asthma) can more readily and equitably access, high value, affordable healthcare that will help them live the best life they can.

She sees Asthma Australia as a gateway for Australians with asthma to access highly robust, evidence-based information and services that can help improve their quality of life.

Prof Sharyn Rundle-Thiele - PAC web

Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele

Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele is Director, Social Marketing @ Griffith and Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Social Marketing. Drawing on her commercial marketing background Sharyn’s research focuses on applying marketing tools and techniques to change behaviour for the better. 

She is currently working on projects delivering changes to the environment, people’s health and for the greater social good. Selected current projects include changing adolescent attitudes towards drinking alcohol, increasing healthy eating and physical activity to combat obesity, reducing food waste and delivering change in wide variety of settings.  Research partners in 2018 include Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Australian Defence Force, Queensland Catholic Education Commission, Redland City Council, and more. Sharyn’s research is published in more than 130 books, book chapters and journal papers.   

Dr Tim Senior - PAC web

Dr Tim Senior

Dr Senior works as a GP at the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service in South West Sydney, and is a clinical senior lecturer at Western Sydney University. He is the Medical Advisor of the RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and founded the Environmental Impacts in General Practice network in the RACGP NFSI.

He writes on General Practice, the social causes of ill health and successfully crowdfunded Wonky Health, a column on the Croakey health website, on the health effects of policy decisions. He won the Gavin Mooney memorial essay prize for an article on the language used in climate change campaigning.

Paul Sinclair

Paul Sinclair

Paul Sinclair is a community pharmacist who has owned and operated community pharmacies in Sydney and the NSW Southern Highlands for the past thirty-five years. Paul has served in a number of elected roles in industry, local government and not-for-profit engagements. These include Past President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, NSW Branch, Past National Vice President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and past board member of Asthma Foundation Qld & NSW.

Paul has had extensive dealings with both State and Commonwealth politicians and has been a strong advocate for professional services delivered via community pharmacy and for full utilisation of the pharmacist in primary health care delivery. 

He is also a Board Representative on the Professional Advisory Council.

Louisa Owens

Louisa Owens

Louisa is a Consultant Respiratory Paediatrician at Sydney Children’s Hospital with a special interest in asthma management and the epidemiology of respiratory health of children. She has completed her PhD entitled “The impact of early life factors versus lifestyle on the respiratory health of young adults” through the University of Western Australia, for which she was awarded scholarships from both the University and the Asthma Foundation of Western Australia.
Having attained her medical degree at Trinity College Dublin, Louisa completed her paediatric training in Ireland and then carried out a Fellowship in Respiratory medicine at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in Perth, Western Australia.


David Armstrong

David Armstrong is the Head of Respiratory Medicine at Monash Children’s Hospital and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at Monash University.

David received his MBChB from the University of Auckland School of Medicine in 1985, before obtaining his FRACP in paediatrics in 1992. He then trained in paediatric respiratory medicine at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and completed his MD thesis (Longitudinal Study of Lower Airway Infection and Inflammation in Cystic Fibrosis Infants) at the University of Melbourne in 1999.

His clinical interest is the management of children with severe asthma, and all aspects of cystic fibrosis. His research interest is the pathogenesis and treatment of early lung disease in cystic fibrosis.

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