The Board of HMRI is responsible for the strategic direction and management of HMRI. The Directors of the Board include nominees from Hunter New England Local Health Network, the University of Newcastle and the community. Collectively, the Directors bring a wealth of business, academic and research experience to the Board.
Mr Robert Kennedy
Chair, HMRI Board
Mr Kennedy is a former Managing Director of Masterfoods Australia with experience in major corporations in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. With his wife Terry, Mr Kennedy runs Beyond Broke Vineyard in the Hunter Valley, which recently completed its fourteenth vintage. He also serves on the trustee board of the Masterfoods Superannuation Fund. From March 2006 to October 2007 Mr Kennedy chaired the HMRI Foundation, HMRI's marketing and fundraising arm.
Mr Hilton Grugeon AM
Investor and Company Director
Hilton Grugeon is a prominent Hunter business identity, probably best-known for his involvement with Hunter Land, a local development company responsible for industrial, commercial and residential developments. The sheer scope of Mr Grugeon's business interests means he is involved with a variety of industries and organisations. He is vocal in his support of local business and enterprise as a driver for local employment.
Mr Neville Sawyer AM
Mr Sawyer is a company director who joined the HMRI Board in October 2007. He established Ampcontrol P/L in 1968, which was recognised with regional, state and national awards in “business, engineering, innovation and export” in 1993, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004, and 2005. In 1996 He was recognised as the Engineers Australia National Engineering Associate of the Year, and was awarded Australian Honours AM Award in 2006. He is also a NSW Business Chamber Past President and Life Governor. Mr Sawyer is Chairman, Smart Digital Optics, and is Director for Percutaneous Cardiovascular Solutions. He is a member of Engineers Australia, and is a Fellow of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management.
HNE Local Health District Representatives
Mr Michael DiRienzo
Chief Executive, Hunter New England Local Health District
Mr Michael DiRienzo is Chief Executive of Hunter New England Local Health District, and is responsible for all health services across more than 120 sites, comprising more than 15,000 staff delivering services to a community of more than 840,000 people. Following an 18-year career in accounting, supply and logistics in the industrial sector, Mr DiRienzo joined Hunter New England Local Health District (then Hunter Health) in 1998 as a Senior Management Accountant. He has since held various General Management positions throughout the Health Service, and has been a member of the Area Executive Team since 2002. He was Director Operations – Acute Networks from 2005 until his appointment to Chief Executive in 2011. Mr DiRienzo holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Newcastle, and currently represents Hunter New England Local Health District at The Health Roundtable, and sits on the Advisory Board for the University of Newcastle Priority research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition.
Dr Nigel Lyons
Chief Operating Officer, Local Health Networks Clinical Support Cluster (Northern)
Dr Nigel Lyons was appointed Chief Operating Officer, Clinical Support Cluster (Northern) in November 2010 and is responsible for providing support across five Local Health Networks servicing 2.4 million people. He is also a Member of the NSW Health National Health Reform Steering Group responsible for implementing structural change within the NSW Health system. Dr Lyons has over 20 years experience as a Clinician and health service manager across metropolitan and rural service settings. He has a strong commitment to postgraduate education and training, as well as addressing the challenges in delivering health services to rural communities. Dr Lyons is also a Director of a number of other Boards including Hunter Valley Research Foundation, New South Wales Rural Doctors Network and Health Workforce Australia.
Ms Tracey McCosker
Director, Clinical Service Support, Hunter New England Local Health District
Ms McCosker has been a Director of the HMRI Board since 2004. With a background in accounting and the private health sector, Tracey joined Hunter Health in August 1992 (to May 1995) as Business Manager for the Hunter Area Pathology Service. She was appointed as Director of Finance in November 1998. Her role expanded in 1999 to incorporate responsibilities for Aged Care and Rehabilitation Services (ACARS). Tracey's role further expanded in 2003 with the integration of ACARS and Community Health. With the amalgamation of Area Health Services in 2006, Tracey was appointed Director of Corporate Services for Hunter New England Health, and in 2007 was appointed Director of Clinical Operations. Tracey is also on the Board of Life Without Barriers, a non government organisation that assists people in the community with disabilities.
University of Newcastle Representatives
Professor Mike Calford
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), the University of Newcastle
Professor Calford is an internationally acclaimed Neuroscientist. He is also Chair of Human Physiology and Head of the Faculty of Health's School of Biomedical Sciences. Professor Calford's degree qualifications, a Bachelor of Science (with Honours) and a Doctor of Philosophy, are from Monash University. He has a number of awards including a Queen Elizabeth ll Fellowship, the inaugural Australian Medical Research Award of the Australian Society for Medical Research and an NHMRC Research Fellowship.
Professor Caroline McMillen
Vice-Chancellor & President, the University of Newcastle
Professor Caroline McMillen joined the University of Newcastle as Vice-Chancellor in October 2011. Professor McMillen has dedicated almost 30 years to the higher education sector, holding leadership roles across research, innovation and teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and Doctor of Philosophy from Oxford University, and completed her medical training at the University of Cambridge In 2005, she accepted the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President: Research and Innovation at the University of South Australia, a position she held until her move to Newcastle.
As a biomedical researcher, Professor McMillen is internationally recognised for her work into the impact of the nutritional environment before birth on the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and obesity in adult life. Professor McMillen is also currently the Chair of the Endocrinology, Reproduction and Development Commission of the International Union of Physiological Societies - the only Australian Chair on this international body. She has served on state government groups focused on: building innovation, climate change, manufacturing and the resources industry. Professor McMillen was a member of the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders focusing on maternal and peri-natal health. She has served as Chair of the Australian Research Council and National Health and Medical Research Council's grant review panels.
Professor Nicholas Talley
Pro-Vice Chancellor (Health), the University of Newcastle
Professor Talley is Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Health at the University of Newcastle. He has published over 700 original and review articles in the peer-reviewed literature, and he is considered one of the world’s leading authorities in clinical research on the stomach. Professor Talley was formerly Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida where he held the rank of Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and was the Foundation Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney, Nepean Hospital. Professor Talley serves on a number of prominent editorial boards, and currently holds adjunct research appointments as Professor at Mayo Clinic, University of North Carolina and the Karolinska Institute. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Royal College of Physicians (both London and Edinburgh), and the American College of Physicians.
Professor Michael Nilsson MD PhD
Director, Hunter Medical Research Institute
Burges Professor of Medical Science
Professor Nilsson is a neuroscientist with two decades experience in brain and stroke recovery research. His globally recognised research includes studies of brain plasticity and repair and how the results can be translated into novel strategies for stroke rehabilitation. In addition to his research achievements he has a proven track record in team and relationship building, and managing innovation and change. Professor Nilsson was previously Director of Research, Development and Education at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden - northern Europe’s largest university hospital - where he was responsible for the strategic planning and support of clinical sciences. Professor Nilsson is also appointed to the University of Newcastle as the Burges Professor of Medical Science.
HMRI Foundation Chair
Mr Glenn Turner
Chair, HMRI Foundation
Mr Turner had a thirty-year career at senior executive level in the mining services, manufacturing, engineering and contracting sectors in Australia, as well as USA, China, South American, South Africa and India. He occupies non executive roles in public and private companies in a variety of industries and the services sector.
Mr Brad Webb
Chief Operating Officer, HMRI