The annual Mentorship Workshop supports participants in the Academy’s Mentorship Program, which nurtures and supports Australia’s emerging health and medical research leaders, and a small number of invited guests from our partners. Our program in 2020 will provide insights into how scientists can successfully engage with the world of policy and advocacy – to equip this next generation of research leaders with the tools and confidence to support evidence informed policy making.

The workshop starts at 10.15 am (AEST) and will be live-streamed from Sydney (finishing at 12.45 pm). 

Associate Members will have received invitations to the workshop, but should contact the Academy office if they are unsure of the arrangements. 

The workshop will be chaired by Professor Louise Baur AM FAHMS and Professor Maree Teesson AC FAHMS. We are pleased to welcome the Chief Scientist of South Australia, Professor Caroline McMillen AO FAHMS to the workshop as well as our speakers and panellists Professor Simon Chapman AO FASSA, Professor Louisa Jorm FAHMS, Professor Don Nutbeam FAHMS, Professor Tania Sorrell AM FAHMS and Professor Andrew Wilson. 

Topics to be covered

  • The policy landscape and opportunities to engage 
  • Policymakers perspectives: a conversation with South Australia’s Chief Scientist
  • Panel discussion: Science policy – experiences of engagement and advocacy


Professor Simon Chapman AO FASSA
Emeritus Professor Public Health, School of Public Health, University of Sydney

Professor Chapman is Emeritus Professor in Public Health at the University of Sydney where his public health advocacy course ran for 20 years. He has published over 530 papers in peer reviewed journals and 22 books and major reports on tobacco control, gun control, voluntary euthanasia, wind farms and public health advocacy.

In 1997 he won the World Health Organisation’s World No Tobacco Day Medal, and in 2003 was awarded the American Cancer Society’s Luther Terry Award for outstanding individual leadership in global tobacco control. In 2008 he won NSW Premier’s Cancer Researcher of the Year award and the Public Health Association of Australia’s  Sidney Sax medal. In 2013 he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for his contributions to public health and named Australian Skeptic of the Year. His Conversation column has been read 3.356m times, his open access books accessed 194,000 times and his Twitter feed has had 19m impressions since 2015. He blogs at

Professor Louisa Jorm FAHMS
Director, Centre for Big Data Research in Health, University of New South Wales

Professor Louisa Jorm is the Foundation Director of the Centre for Big Data Research in Health at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, Australia. She has spent equal periods (more than 10 years each) in senior leadership roles in government and academia, giving her unique opportunities for translational research impacts.

Professor Jorm is an international leader in health “big data” research and specifically in applying advanced analytic methods to large-scale routinely collected data, including hospital inpatient and medical and pharmaceutical claims data. She has made major scientific contributions to research in the areas of health system performance, health surveillance, data linkage and Aboriginal health.  

Professor Jorm has played a leading role in the establishment of policy, infrastructure and capacity for “big data” health research in Australia, including through membership of the Australian Health Ethics Committee, and participation in the development of a framework for secondary use of My Health Record data. She led the development of the new UNSW Master of Science in Health Data Science, the first such program in the southern hemisphere. She heads the Australian chapter of MDEpiNet, a global real-world evidence (RWE) collaborative for health technologies.

Professor Jorm has published >160 scientific papers and been awarded >$38 million in research grants. She is a high-profile advocate for more and better use of routinely collected health data for research.

Professor Caroline McMillen AO FAHMS
Chief Scientist of South Australia

Professor Caroline McMillen commenced in the role as Chief Scientist for South Australia in October 2018 after serving as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle for 7 years from 2011.

She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales and a Bragg Member of the Royal Institution, Australia. She holds a BA (Honours) and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and completed her medical training graduating with an MB, BChir from the University of Cambridge. She has served in academic leadership positions at Monash University, the University of Adelaide and at the University of South Australia where she held the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation prior to her move to Newcastle.

Professor McMillen’s research focusses on the role of the environment in early development in determining the metabolic and cardiovascular health of the offspring in later life. Her research group was funded for two decades by both the ARC and the NHMRC, she was a member of the PMSEIC Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health focusing on maternal, foetal and post-natal health and she has been a chair and member of international and national research policy, review and assessment panels. She has also served on a range of industry boards including the National Automotive Industry Innovation Council, Cooperative Research Centre for Advanced Automotive Technology, Cooperative Research Centre for Rail Innovation, the South Australian Premier’s Climate Change Council, the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council as well as a range of state industry and government leadership groups.

Professor Don Nutbeam FAHMS
Professor of Public Health, University of Sydney

Professor Nutbeam’s career has spanned senior leadership positions in universities, government, health services and international organisations including WHO and the World Bank. He was formerly Vice-Chancellor of the University of Southampton, Provost of the University of Sydney, and Head of Public Health for the UK Government. He is a public health scientist with research interests in the social and behavioural determinants of health, and in the development and evaluation of public health interventions. His current research focusses on the development and testing of interventions to improve health literacy in different populations.

Professor Tania Sorrell  AM FAHMS
Director, Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, University of Sydney

Professor Sorrell is Professor of Clinical Infectious Diseases, Director of the Marie Bashir Institute for infectious Diseases and Biosecurity and Deputy Dean, Sydney Medical School, the University of Sydney, Australia; Director of the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Westmead, NSW; and Service Director, Infectious Diseases and Sexual Health, Western Sydney Local Health District. She has had a longstanding clinical interest in mycology and infections in the immunocompromised host and a more recent interest in emerging infectious diseases. Her research has focussed on the pathogenesis of fungal infections, emerging fungal diseases, new antifungal drug development, new diagnostics and clinical trials of antifungal diagnostic and treatment strategies. She has served on state and national advisory committees in Infectious Diseases and therapeutics and the Research and Human Ethics Committees of NHMRC.

Professor Andrew Wilson
Professor and Director, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, School of Public Health, University of Sydney

Professor Wilson is the Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee for the Australian Government. He is the Co-Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, and Professor of Public Health in the Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney and Director of the NHMRC Australian Prevention Partnership Centre (Sax Institute). He has specialist qualifications in public health and clinical medicine, and a PhD in epidemiology.

His research interests concern the application of epidemiology to informing decision making in clinical medicine, public health, and health service policy and planning. His papers and reports include aspects of prevention and management of chronic disease, evaluation of the effectiveness and responsiveness of health care and the impact of social and physical environment on health.


Professor Louise Baur AM FAHMS
Professor and Head of Child and Adolescent Health, University of Sydney

Professor Louise Baur is a paediatrician and an internationally renowned childhood obesity researcher. She has a special interest in the prevention and management of child and adolescent obesity and has for over 25 years also studied various aspects of adult obesity. Professor Baur has been instrumental in raising the profile of childhood obesity as an issue of clinical and public health importance, in Australia and internationally. Her body of research has helped define management efforts around childhood obesity and improved our understanding of the factors that help prevent obesity in the first few years of life. Her work also has helped define predictors of obesity and the metabolic syndrome in young people, and the complications of obesity.

Professor Maree Teesson AC FASSA FAHMS
Director, The Matilda Centre, University of Sydney

Professor Maree Teesson AC is Director of the Matilda Centre, Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Prevention and Early Intervention in Mental Illness and Substance Use (PREMISE), and an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow at the University of Sydney. Maree is a National Mental Health Commissioner, an Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences Fellow, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and a member of the National Health and Medical Research Council. Maree was announced as a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day 2018 Honours List, awarded a Westpac/Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence (Innovation) in 2015, and awarded an Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers in 2014. Maree has made a major contribution to Australia’s health and medical research effort in the field of mental health and substance use. In particular, she is known nationally and internationally for her research on the comorbidity between mental health and substance use disorders.