On 3 December 2009, the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, the Hon Jenny Macklin MP, and the former Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Children's Services, the Hon Bill Shorten MP, announced that Mr John Walsh will serve as Associate Commissioner to the Productivity Commission in its Inquiry into long-term care and support for people with disability in Australia.
The members of the Independent Panel were also announced.
Mr John Walsh is a Partner in the Advisory Practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he has worked for nearly 18 years. He is also part of the PricewaterhouseCoopers National Health practice, with consulting responsibilities in the industries of health, disability and accident compensation - particularly lifetime care and support.
In the early 1980s, Mr Walsh was motivated by his own disability (quadriplegia) and profession (actuary) to gain a keener understanding of the planning processes and materials behind Australia's health and welfare systems.
He initiated a data collection system which led to the Australian Registry of Spinal Cord Injury, an experience which began a long term fascination with the links between policy, planning, funding and service delivery in welfare systems. In particular, Mr Walsh has sought to achieve a recognition that a continuum of outcomes need to be monitored and measured in welfare systems, from financial right through to health outcomes and satisfaction of both consumers and workforce.
Mr Walsh has been a Board member of the New South Wales Motor Accident Authority and the New South Wales HomeCare Service and statutory actuary to workers compensation authorities of both New South Wales and South Australia. He is Chair of the Independent Panel overseeing Caring Together: The Health Action Plan for NSW. In 2001 he was named Actuary of the Year by the Institute of Actuaries of Australia.
Mr Walsh was also a member of the Disability Investment Group, which recommended a national lifetime care and support scheme based on an insurance model.
The Government has appointed eight people with relevant expertise and experience of disability to its Independent Panel which will advise the Government and the Productivity Commission during the Inquiry into long-term care and support for Australians with disability.
Mr Bruce Bonyhady AM
Mr Bruce Bonyhady AM is President of Philanthropy Australia. Other community positions held by Bruce are: Chairman of Yooralla and Chairman of the Advisory Panel to Solve! at the Royal Children's Hospital.
Mr Bonyhady is also Chairman of Acadian Asset Management Australia Limited, a Director of Dexus Wholesale Property Limited and a Member of the UniSuper Investment Committee. He was a Member of the Disability Investment Group and the Reference Group for the Pension Review.
Prior to becoming a full-time Non Executive Director, he held a number of senior positions in the funds management industry, including Managing Director of ANZ Investments and Executive Vice President at BT Funds Management. His earlier career was as an economist and econometrician in the private sector and the Commonwealth Treasury.
Mr Bonyhady is convenor of the Independent Panel.
Mr David Bowen
Mr David Bowen is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Lifetime Care and Support Authority in New South Wales. Mr Bowen was previously the General Manager of the New South Wales Motor Accidents Authority (MAA).
Mr Bowen has also held positions within the New South Wales Attorney-General's Department as Assistant Director of Policy and Legislation and Director of Community Relations.
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Dr Rhonda Galbally AO
Dr Rhonda Galbally AO is currently the Chair of the National People with Disabilities and Carer Council. Dr Galbally has made unique contributions to Australian and international social development by establishing new organisations and programs for Australia and the world from concept to operational success. These include our community website the hub of resources and support for Australia's 700,000 community organisations.
She founded, as inaugural managing director, the Australian International Health Institute - now the Nossal Institute (Faculty of Medicine, University of Melbourne). In this role Dr Galbally initiated the Sir Gustav Nossal Fellowship for Leadership in Health Reform and the Australian hub for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Child Vaccination Program. As foundation CEO, Dr Galbally established and sustained the world's first organisation to use the dedicated tobacco tax for health promotion, the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth). She was the founding CEO of the Australian Commission for the Future, which among other areas such as biotechnology, information technology, the future of work and education, began the movement to establish Greenhouse emissions as a vital issue for Australia.
Other positions held by Dr Galbally include the Executive Director of the Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Foundation, Chair of Philanthropy Australia (then the Australian Association of Philanthropy), the Chair of the Royal Women's Hospital, the Independent Chair of the competition policy review of medicines, poisons and chemicals. In all of her positions - executive and non-executive, on boards and reviews, she has successfully ridden the boundary between the commercial and non-profit worlds, forging productive and practical linkages for the better development of both sectors with beneficial outcomes for the wider community. She was awarded an Order of Australia in 1990, the Award of the Degree Doctor of Science (honoris causa) from La Trobe University in 1998, the Award of the Degree Doctor of Social Science (honoris causa) from RMIT University in 2006 and the Centenary Medal in 2003, in recognition of her service to the community.
Mr Phil Grano OAM
Mr Philip (Phil) Grano OAM was admitted to practice as a solicitor in Victoria on 1 May 1981. He has been a member of the Law Institute of Victoria since 9 September 1981. The Law Institute of Victoria is a constituent body of the Law Council.
Mr Grano is a lawyer currently employed as the Legal Officer in the Office of the Public Advocate. He is highly respected in the disability advocacy sector as a committed and vigorous advocate for people with a disability. Mr Grano has been the facilitator of the Victorian Disability Advocacy Network Co-ordinating Committee. Previously, Mr Grano held the position of Policy Officer and then Co-ordinator of Villamanta Legal Service, an advocacy organisation for people with a disability based in Geelong.
Mr Grano is a well recognised and valued member of the Law Institute of Victoria’s Administrative Law and Human Rights and Elder Law Sections. He is committed to the work of the Law Institute of Victoria, particularly in relation to issues involving persons with a disability, elder abuse, access to justice and general human rights issues.
Mr Grano brings a thoughtful approach to human issues underpinning law. He has been a prolific contributor to the work of the Law Institute of Victoria in a variety of areas including preparation of written submissions and case notes for Law Institute of Victoria newsletters, presenting at public Law Week events and organising speakers and meetings with representatives from external bodies to meet with members of the Disability Law Committee. In these ways, Mr Grano has significantly contributed to raising the profile of the Human Rights and Elder Law Sections and the Law Institute of Victoria.
In 2006, Mr Grano was awarded a certificate of service for his voluntary work and commitment to the Law Institute of Victoria Human Rights and Elder Law Section.
In 2010, Mr Grano was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in recognition of his advocacy work on behalf of the disabled and disadvantaged.
Ms Robyn McKay
Ms Robyn McKay has recently retired from a Deputy Secretary role in the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA), where she was responsible for strategic policy and research, budget policy, social security policy and governance and community programs. Most recently she led the team undertaking the review of pensions and FaHCSIA's input to the review of Australia's Future Tax System.
Ms McKay has more than 30 years experience in social policy, spanning public finance and governance, Commonwealth-State relations, families and income support policy and programs, employment programs, industrial relations and wages policy and higher education policy and program administration. Ms McKay has also served as Minister-Counsellor, Social Policy at the Australian Delegation to the OECD in Paris and as Group Manager, Families and Children, in FaHCSIA.
Ms McKay had previously served in Senior Executive positions in the Department of Employment, Education and Training and the Department of Finance and Administration. Ms McKay has honours degrees in Arts and Economics from the Australian National University.
Dr Andrew Pesce
Dr Andrew Pesce was elected Federal President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) in May 2009. The AMA represents the interests of more than 27,000 medical practitioners from all specialties and locations across Australia.
Dr Pesce is an obstetrician and gynaecologist who works both in private and public practice. He has been Clinical Director of Women's Health for Sydney West Area Health Service since 2006.
Dr Pesce's priorities as AMA President include engaging with government to influence national health policy debate for the benefit of patients, the medical profession and the broader community. He is also committed to increasing the AMA's membership base.
In 2003, he was awarded the AMA President's Award for his work representing the profession during the medical indemnity crisis. Dr Pesce was Chair of the AMA Medical Indemnity Taskforce from 2003 to 2007 and was appointed to the Federal Government's Medical Indemnity Advisory Panel in 2003 and to the Medical Indemnity Review Panel in 2006.
Dr Pesce was the Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Craft Group representative on AMA Federal Council from 2001 to 2007 and an AMA Executive Councillor from 2005 to 2007. He was Chair of the Ministerial Expert Advisory Committee on Pregnancy Counselling from 2007-2009 and Chair of the National Association of Specialist Obstetricians and Gynaecologists from 2006 to July 2009.
Dr Pesce graduated from the University of New South Wales in 1983 and became a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 1990. He was awarded the Chris Hudson Fellowship for 1991-92, which enabled him to train at Whips Cross and St Bartholomew Hospitals in London.
Dr Pesce is married with two teenage daughters.
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Ms Ann Sherry AO
Ms Ann Sherry AO has been the Chief Executive Officer of Carnival Australia since 2007. Prior to that she was the Chief Executive Officer, Westpac New Zealand and Group Executive, Westpac New Zealand and the Pacific.
Prior to Westpac, Ms Sherry was First Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Status of Women in Canberra. In this role she advised the Prime Minister on policies and programs to improve the status of women in Australia and was Australia's representative to the United Nations forums on human rights and women's rights.
Ms Sherry is a Fellow of the Institute of Banking & Finance and a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration. She is a Director of Indigenous Enterprise Partnerships, Wilson HTM Investment Group and Chair of the Queensland Public Service Commission. In 2003 she was awarded a Centenary Medal by the Australian Government for her work on providing banking services to disadvantaged communities.
In 2004 she was awarded an Order of Australia for her contribution to the Australian community through the promotion of corporate management policies and practices that embrace gender equity, social justice and work and family partnerships.
Mr Ian Silk
Mr Ian Silk is the Chief Executive of AustralianSuper - one of Australia's largest superannuation funds with over 1 million members, over 100,000 employers and $30 billion in assets.
Ian is a Director of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) and is the Chair of ASFA's Policy Committee; a Member of the Financial Services Advisory Council to the Treasurer and a member of the Federal Government's Financial Literacy Advisory Board. Ian was the Chair of the Disability Investment Group and is a Director of Yooralla.
Ian has worked in the finance industry for 14 years and prior to this he held a range of senior positions with the Victorian Government. He holds a Bachelor of Economics, a Postgraduate Diploma in Labor Relations Law and a Diploma of Financial Services.