ACTA announces new Board: productive diversity

At the AGM, we welcomed three new Directors and celebrated a breadth of expertise that represents productive diversity

We are delighted to welcome Associate Professor Rachael Morton and Ms Leonie Wilcox as our two newest elected Board Directors, and Ms Anne McKenzie AM, who was appointed as an Independent Director.

Please join us in welcoming our newest board members. We would also like to thank our outgoing Directors, Ms Rebecca James, Prof Vlad Perkovic and Prof John Simes. We gratefully acknowledge the substantial time and dedication they have contributed to ACTA and the sector.

A/Prof Rachael Morton is the Director of Health Economics at the NHMRC Clinical Trial Centre, University of Sydney. She specialises in trial-based and modelled economic evaluation; elicitation of patient preferences using discrete choice experiments, and patient reported outcome measures (PROMs). A/Prof Morton has been an active member of ACTA since 2015, and a Co-chair of the ‘Research Prioritisation: Tools and criteria’ Reference Group since 2016.

Ms Leonie Wilcox brings her experience to the ACTA Board of Directors both as a trained nurse, and as the current manager of the Australasian Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient Registry. Prior to joining the registry, Ms Wilcox worked in the statistics department at Macquarie University for 12 years, teaching and consulting.

Ms Anne McKenzie, AM has a stellar reputation as a consumer advocate. She developed and implemented a joint program with the University of Western Australia and the Telethon Kids Institute to increase consumer and community involvement in health research. In 2015, Ms McKenzie was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to community health through consumer advocacy roles and strategic policy research and development. Currently, Ms McKenzie is the Manager of Community Engagement at the Telethon Kids Institute.

We also very sadly farewell Ms Rebecca James, Professor Vlado Perkovic and Professor John Simes from our Board of Directors.

Prof John Simes will continue to support ACTA and its projects—we won’t let him get away that easily! Prof Simes has been an integral part of ACTA since its inception, as one of the founding Directors, and has been a loyal and dedicated executive member ever since. His expertise as a leading international researcher in clinical trials, particularly in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and neonatal medicine, has been critical to the success of ACTA in its role as the peak body for investigator-initiated clinical trials in Australia. We look forward to Prof Simes continuing his commitment to ACTA through his work on our Reference Groups and Committees.

Ms Rebecca James joined ACTA as a Director in 2016. She has been an active member of our Strengthening Consumer Engagement and Efficient and Effective CTNs Reference Groups. As the former CEO of Research Australia and a consumer representative, Ms James has provided her expertise to this project around the role of a consumer and the complexities of research conducted from a national and researcher-level perspective. ACTA has benefitted enormously from Ms James’ expertise and knowledge of the research sector, and she was a major contributor to the Consumer Involvement and Engagement Toolkit, produced by ACTA in collaboration with CT:IQ.

Prof Vlado Perkovic is stepping down from his role as Director following his appointment as the Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of New South Wales. Prof Perkovic leads several international clinical trials and has been involved in developing Australian and global treatment guidelines. Please join us in both congratulating and bidding farewell to Prof Perkovic.