I am pleased, in this first edition for the year, to warmly welcome a number of new friends, as well as some who are taking on new roles.

I am delighted to let you know of the appointment of three new members to our Board, each appointed as the nominee of our Minister, Senator the Hon. Kay Patterson.

Those members are:

  • Associate Professor Heather Gardner, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, LaTrobe University, Melbourne
  • Mr Ian Spicer, AM, who has made a significant contribution during his career both to Australian Industry and to the NGO sector—including currently as Chairman of the National Disability Advisory Council; and
  • Dr Kerry Kirke, Executive Director, The Cancer Council South Australia.

We look forward to their support and guidance.

A further welcome is to an old friend of the Institute, Dr David Filby, who has recently been appointed by the Community Services Ministers’ Advisory Council (CSMAC) as Chair of the National Community Services Information Management Group. David, Executive Director, Strategic Planning and Population Health of the South Australian Department of Human Services, has previously chaired the National Health Information Management Group, and has made a significant contribution to the cause of high quality, nationally consistent information across the health and community services sectors.

Peter McLaughlin is our new Head of Business Planning and Management. Peter’s background is health-based; his most recent role was with NSW Health as Director of Corporate Services for the Greater Murray Area Health Service.

We also welcome back Ms Lynelle Moon. Lynelle has spent the last two years working with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris on the Ageing-related Diseases project. (A report on this project also appears in this edition of Access.) She now takes up the role of Head of the Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Risk Factor Monitoring Unit.

A special delight this year was seeing our former Chair (1992–95), Professor Fiona Stanley, named as the 2003 Australian of the Year. Fiona was recognised for her dedication to research on the causes of major childhood illnesses and birth defects. Fiona wrote to me and staff of the Institute to say:

‘… I see this honour as recognising the importance of what I represent rather than an individual accolade. I am very excited about the opportunity this presents to really raise the profile of important issues regarding the health and wellbeing of Australian children.

I, along with many colleagues, am committed to finding real solutions to the very complex problems that are faced by many of our young people. I believe we must tackle these issues with a sense of urgency to ensure a brighter future for them, and for our nation as a whole.

We have a very big job ahead and I appreciate your continued support.’