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NOFASD Australia Ambassadors

Sue Miers

Sue Miers

Founder - NOFASD Australia

Sue is the founder and past Chair of the Board of the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Australia (NOFASD Australia). NOFASD Australia was founded in 1999 as The National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome & Related Disorders (NOFASARD). She has been caring and supporting her now adult foster daughter who has partial fetal alcohol syndrome (pFAS) for the past 34 years. Sue became acutely aware of FASD as she has advocated and supported her daughter through the challenges of FASD across the lifespan.

During her time on the Board of NOFASD Sue lobbied extensively on both a state and national level to raise awareness about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) and was an invited member of, and reported to, various national and state government agencies in Australia, as a recognised parent authority in this area.

In this voluntary role Sue also provided one-on-one support to many parents /carers and individuals living with FASD and also delivered FASD presentations/workshops to foster carers, teachers, drug and alcohol workers, disability workers, mental health workers, midwives and many other community organisations throughout Australia. She has significant expertise and knowledge around the secondary conditions which develop for people affected by FASD.

In June 2006 Sue was awarded the Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia for service to the community through the establishment of the National Organisation for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Community Education and Reconciliation. She has been widely acknowledged as a significant contributor to knowledge and awareness of FASD in Australia. This has encouraged the development of clinical expertise and recognition at a national level that Australia requires a serious commitment to the prevention, diagnosis and development of effective interventions for FASD.

Sue retired from NOFASD Australia in an official capacity in 2015 but continues to provide voluntary support to the organisation in various roles.  In addition Sue’s practice based wisdom as the Parent & Family Support Co-ordinator ensures that NOFASD is able to develop staff, support clients and upskill those working to enhance the lives of individuals and families affected by FASD.


Dame Quentin Bryce - Our Patron

Dame Quentin Bryce - Our Patron

The Honourable Quentin Bryce AD CVO

Quentin Bryce has enjoyed a rich and distinguished career as an academic, lawyer, community and human rights advocate, senior public officer, university college principal, and vice-regal representative in Queensland  and for Australia.

Quentin Bryce’s contribution to advancing human rights and equality, the rights of women and children, and the welfare of the family was recognised in her appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988 and a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2003. Also in 2003, she was invested as a Dame of Grace of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. On 25 March 2014, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that Ms Bryce had become a Dame in the Order of Australia.

In her civic role as Governor of Queensland, Ms Bryce continued her work with women, families and young people while extending her influence across the State’s broad and diverse spectrum, including the rural, regional, aged, indigenous, migrant, and disability sectors.

On 5 September 2008 Quentin Bryce was sworn in as Australia’s twenty-fifth Governor-General. As the first woman to take up the office, she was a pioneer in contemporary Australian society, and yet one who brought more than 40 years of experience in reform, community building and leadership to the role. Her term concluded in March 2014.  In August 2014 she was appointed by the former Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman to chair a Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence. Ms Bryce presented the report of the Taskforce, Not Now, Not Ever, to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on 28 February, 2015. 


Anne Russell

Anne Russell

Mother of two adult children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder [FASD].

Anne is the mother of two adult children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder [FASD]. In 2000, Anne first identified that it was possible her youngest son had FASD. As she learned more about the condition she identified traits in her oldest son. Both her children have been diagnosed and both are now adults. Anne has worked solidly for the last 15 years to help raise awareness of the condition and to help families living with FASD.

For the first 12 years, she worked with NOFASD as the birth mother contact and in 2011 successfully lobbied the government for funding for NOFASD to continue its work. In 2007, Anne established her own charity the Russell Family Fetal Alcohol Disorders Association (rffada) to pay homage to her children and the family that supported her in her work with FASD.

Anne has attended and presented at national and international conferences and workshops in New Zealand, Canada, the United States, and every state and territory in Australia. On the way to learning about FASD in the early years, Anne realised there were no books, no resources and very little knowledge in Australia about this ubiquitous condition. In 2005, Anne published her first book ‘Alcohol and Pregnancy: A Mother’s Responsible Disturbance’. Because there is so much more interest in the condition now, Anne will release a second edition of an amalgamation of her first and second books in 2016.

In 2010 her employer My Pathway, asked Anne to develop FASD training which could be used to train staff, jobseekers and service providers. My Pathway delivers employment services to remote Indigenous communities across the top of Australia. This training was the first publicly available FASD training modules in Australia. Anne was a Queensland finalist in the Australian of the Year 2010 Awards.

Facebook has provided the rffada with the ability to support parents and carers and raise awareness through social media. These groups have been utilised beyond expectations. Additionally Anne was a Senior Consultant with the FASD Consortium, a group of health professionals, researchers, and community members formed to develop Australian diagnostic guidelines for FASD. Currently she is a member of the NOFASD Parent Advisory Group, the FASD Consortium and the Collaboration for Alcohol Related Developmental Disorders at the University of Queensland.


Carmela Pestell

Carmela Pestell

Associate Professor

Associate Professor Carmela Pestell is a Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist with over 25 years' experience working with children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders, neurological conditions and acquired brain injury. She has also worked in private practice for many years assessing children and young adults with FASD, particularly within the justice system. More recently this has included working for 'Patches Paediatrics' participating in multi-disciplinary child assessment clinics in remote North West locations, as well as metropolitan justice and child protection services. 

Carmela is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society, including Full Membership of the College of Clinical Neuropsychologists (being the inaugural WA chairperson between 2007 and 2010). She is based at the University of WA (School of Psychology) and is an Honorary Research Fellow with the Telethon Kids Institute (FASD Research Group), a member of the Australian National FASD Network and had input into the new Australian FASD Diagnostic Guidelines. 

Dr Pestell was the Director of the state-wide Neurosciences Unit (WA Health Department) for over 14 years, and was involved in setting up their paediatric programme. Since 2013 Dr Pestell has had a position at UWA as the Director of the Robin Winkler Clinic (RWC) which includes coordinating clinical services at RWC, as well as a postgraduate neuropsychology and clinical psychology training clinic, supervising interventions and collaborating with the Patches Paediatric team who provide multidisciplinary child development (FASD and Autism) clinics at RWC. 

Carmela is also actively involved in clinical post-graduate supervision, teaching and research in areas that include brain injury, concussion, ADHD and FASD. She has a record of successful research collaboration, as evidenced by numerous co-authored publications and research funding (over $5 million to date). Additionally, Carmela understands firsthand the challenges families face when they have a child with a disability, as she has a younger brother with a severe intellectual disability.


Dr Doug Shelton

Dr Doug Shelton

Director for Children’s & Women’s Health, Gold Coast Health (2000-2013)

Doug is a paediatrician who qualified in 1994 and who has sub-specialised in community paediatrics and child development.  He is the Medical Director for Children’s & Women’s Health, Gold Coast Health (2000-2013), comprising Community Child Health providing community based child health nursing, school health and child development services; the Paediatric Unit, Gold Coast University Hospital providing acute inpatient and outpatient services; and Women’s Health Services, providing birthing, inpatient and outpatient services.

Doug’s special interest areas are Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) for which he achieved a Churchill Fellowship 2013-14 to investigate how to build a comprehensive assessment and intervention service for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder; Indigenous child health; child development and learning problems; obesity; and leadership versus management and how to do both better.

Doug is a current member on the Expert Panel on Childhood Obesity and Food Taxation, Griffith University, 2013; the Child Development Sub-Network, Queensland Health (2000-2013) and chaired this network from 2008-2010. He is a member of the Queensland State Committee, Royal Australasian College of Physicians (Deputy chair, 2007 – 2008 and Chair 2009 – 2010). He is on the Specialist Advisory Committee, Community Child Health (Oversight of paediatric trainees) as a Member (2003- 2008) and Chair (2006 – 2008); involved in curriculum development for paediatric training in community child health, RACP (Chair, curriculum writing committee, 2003-2007); a member of the child development special interest group (Deputy chair 2003 – 2006 and Chair 2007 – 2008) and served as a member of the Chapter of Community Child Health from 1996 – 2013.

Doug’s publications and presentations on FASD and related issues include “The Science & Evidence for Early Intervention in Child Development, 2012, General Practice Gold Coast Scientific Meeting; FASD Awareness Day Panel Discussion, 2012, University of Queensland, Royal Brisbane & Womens Hospital, 2012; FASD Intervention Strategies, University of Queensland, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, 2012; FASD in Queensland, Gold Coast Infant Mental Health Conference, 2012; Dean L Biron, Doug Shelton (2007) Functional time limit and onset of symptoms in infant abusive head trauma. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 43 (1-2), 60–65; C Wright, D Shelton, M Wright. A contemporary review of the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties 14 (2), 199-214; and Reid, N., Dawe, S., Shelton, D., Harnett, P., Warner, J., Armstrong, E., LeGros, K., & O'Callaghan, F. (2015) Systematic review of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder interventions across the lifespan. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (Accepted for publication).  

Doug received an Out-Standing Child Abuse Research Award (OSCAR), 23rd Annual San Diego International Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment, January 2008.


Dr James Fitzpatrick

Dr James Fitzpatrick

Consultant Paediatrician, Researcher and Entrepreneur

James Fitzpatrick is a consultant paediatrician, researcher and entrepreneur. He established PATCHES Paediatrics to harness the creativity of social enterprise and the precision of science to address seemingly intractable health problems in Aboriginal communities. James was awarded Young Australian of the Year in 2001 for his work in Aboriginal health, rural health workforce improvement and youth suicide prevention. Having completed his PhD through the University of Sydney, and as a former Infantry soldier, James combines a scientific approach with a reputation for getting things done.

He recently led a federally funded project aimed at improving the lives of children living in remote Indigenous communities in the WA Kimberley, in partnership with local community organisations and national research institutes. The work involved estimating for the first time in Australia the prevalence of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in the 40 remote communities of the Fitzroy Valley. Having documented the prevalence of FASD, James is now working with health and education partners to develop a child health clinic run in schools to help young people to reach their educational potential.

In partnership with Aboriginal leaders in the Fitzroy Valley, he leads a community-based FASD prevention strategy. This strategy has seen rates of drinking in pregnancy reduce from 60% in 2009 to <20% in 2015. The bold goal of this strategy is to ‘Make FASD History’ and reduce rates of drinking in pregnancy to below 10% by 2018.

James is the founder of True Blue Dreaming, an Outback Youth Mentoring Program working with communities in the WA heat-belt and Kimberley regions, with a vision to expand the program throughout Western Australia and then nationally. He currently sits on the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs.

James has been a rabble-rouser and activist for some time. As the chairman of the National Rural Health Students Network in 2000, James shifted the focus of this organisation of 5000 medical and allied health students to deliver community service activities to some of Australia's most remote communities. In that year he helped to establish the Carnarvon Children's Festival in Western Australia in response to alarming rates of youth suicide. Through the Children's Festival members of the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities were encouraged to come together around their most precious resource… their children.


Dr Janet Hammill

Dr Janet Hammill

Honorary Research Fellow

AM, PhD, MTH, RN is an Honorary Research Fellow with the Perinatal Research Group, University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research and coordinates the Collaboration for Alcohol Related Developmental Disorders (CARDD).  Having a shared ancestry with the Gomeroi people of the NSW Pilliga Scrub and of the first convicts into the area, Jan’s is a powerful advocate and consistently raises awareness especially among policy makers to alcohol and substance abuse harm and the pressing need for cross-disciplinary, evidence-based interventions. 

An ethnographer by profession, Jan weaves narratives of family history of health and life experiences into a biological framework that better illustrates the epigenetic and developmental burden placed on families. Of particular interest is the neurobiology of stress and other teratogenic exposures that have influenced negative trajectories especially for Indigenous families and their children. Those exposed to alcohol in utero represent the most vulnerable individuals in Australia and the effects are transgenerational.


Dr Kerryn Bagley

Dr Kerryn Bagley

Clinical Social Worker, FASD consultant.

Dr Kerryn Bagley is an accredited clinical social worker who specialises in support for children and young people with FASD, and FASD education and training for professionals. Kerryn first became aware of FASD while working in primary mental health care as a child and adolescent counsellor, when a birth mother of a child thought to be affected by FASD bought the condition to her attention.  With a background working in traumatic brain injury, alongside her experience in child development, trauma and mental health, Kerryn began to investigate the condition further, but found that little information or resources were available in New Zealand or Australia for professionals who encountered clients with pre-natal alcohol exposure. This prompted her to undertake her doctoral research (University of Otago, New Zealand) investigated the ways in which health, allied health and social services in New Zealand respond to FASD, and proposed strategies to enhance understanding of FASD across these sectors.

Kerryn has undertaken further training in the USA and Canada with organisations that specialise in FASD training and care, including intervention training with FASCETS USA and diagnostic training at The Asante Centre, Canada.  In 2015 She was awarded a Creswick Fellowship to undertake further training in the Families Moving Forward Program, an evidence-based FASD intervention program at the Seattle Children's Research Institute.

Kerryn now maintains a private practice as a trainer and counselor in association with the Better Life Centre (Brisbane), where she has facilitated the development of Australia’s first independent, interdisciplinary diagnostic clinic for FASD. She is active as a public presenter and commentator on FASD in forums that range from academic conferences through to ABC television, and maintains links to a range of community organisations. She is also the inaugural co-chair (with Dr James Fitzpatrick) of the Australian FASD Clinical Network.


Dr Marcel Zimmet

Dr Marcel Zimmet

MBBS BA(Hons) FRACP

Dr Marcel Zimmet is a paediatrician specialising in developmental and behavioural disorders. He works at the at the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network (Westmead) in the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Clinic. This is part of the new CICADA (Care and Intervention for Children and Adolescents affected by Drugs and Alcohol) Centre NSW. The centre is the first in Australia with a lifecourse approach to addressing alcohol and drug related harm from birth to adolescence. Marcel also works at Royal Far West in Manly where he has developed a Telecare program providing on-line developmental-behavioural paediatric care and parent therapy to children in rural and remote New South Wales, as well as face-to-face consultations. 

Marcel has been awarded a Fulbright professional scholarship to study FASD clinical assessment, support and intervention programs, research, teaching and advocacy in the USA. He will observe and meet with FASD pioneers and world leaders in San Diego, Seattle and Washington DC, in order to translate their knowledge and best practice models into his work in New South Wales and on a national level.

Marcel is a member of the Expert Panel developing the Australian FASD Diagnostic Instrument, including national diagnostic guidelines and online training modules. He is a chief investigator for national FASD case surveillance through the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit, and for research into the impact of FASD on children and families.

Marcel’s paediatric training began at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, and continued in Alice Springs and then Darwin, where he became a consultant paediatrician and established a private practice which included a clinic for children in out-of-home care.

Marcel’s passion for his work in FASD stems from the fact that is an entirely preventable developmental disability, and the widespread misunderstanding and under-detection of FASD. In addition to his clinical work, Marcel is committed to enhancing awareness of the risks and effects of drinking in pregnancy and FASD in the wider community, as well as within health, education, child protection and legal professions.


Dr Sharman Stone

Dr Sharman Stone

Federal Member for Murray

The Hon Dr Sharman Stone has been the Federal Member for Murray since 1996.

In 2011 Dr Sharman Stone successfully gained bipartisan support for her motion on FAS/FASD in the House of Representatives.  

Dr Stone established the National Inquiry into FAS/FASD as a member of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs. This evolved into the National strategy.

As the chair of the House of Representatives Indigenous Affairs committee she recently tabled a report on the impacts of alcohol on indigenous communities, in particular its FAS/FASD impact.

Dr Stone was instrumental in establishing the bi-partisan parliamentary group - Parliamentarians for the Prevention of FASD and is Co-Chair of the group.

She is currently a member of five parliamentary committees. She is Chair of the Indigenous Affairs Committee and Chair of the Foreign Affairs and Aid Sub-committee.

In the Howard Government Dr Stone held a number of portfolio positions including Minister for Workforce Participation, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance and Administration and Parliamentary secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage. She has also held Shadow portfolios for Immigration and Citizenship, Early Childhood Education and Childcare and the Status of Women 

Dr Stone holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Anthropology from Monash University, a Master of Arts in Sociology from La Trobe University, a Graduate Diploma in Tertiary Education and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Economics and Business from Monash University.

Dr Stone has authored or co-written a number of books, including Aborigines in White Australia: A Documentary History of the Attitudes Affecting Official Policy and the Australian Aborigines 1697-1973 and published journal articles and papers on environmental and rural issues, water law and conservation.


Michael Thorn

Michael Thorn

Chief Executive, Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE)

Michael Thorn is Chief Executive of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE), and has been responsible for leading FARE’s efforts to stop alcohol-related harm in Australia since January 2011.

FARE is an independent not-for-profit organisation, that has been working for over a decade with communities, governments, health professionals and police across the country to stop alcohol harms by supporting world-leading research, raising public awareness and advocating for changes to alcohol policy.

Michael previously worked for the federal government as a senior official in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He was a project director in the department’s strategy and delivery division.

Michael has a strong strategic policy background, with extensive experience in strategic social policy development and implementation, most recently in Canberra and previously as a policy director of the Western Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet from 2001 until 2008. He has also worked as a policy and management consultant in the fields of housing, Indigenous affairs, regional economic development and employment, and early in his career was a policy adviser and chief of staff to WA Government Ministers.


Ms June Oscar

Ms June Oscar

Chief Executive Officer

June Oscar is Chief Executive Officer of Marninwarntikura Women’s Resource Centre and a proud Bunuba woman from the remote town of Fitzroy Crossing.

She is a Bunuba language speaker and is considered one of the most outstanding Aboriginal leaders in the Fitzroy Valley, and across Australia. She is a strong advocate and activist for Indigenous Australian languages, social justice, women’s issues, and FASD. Her courage and determination to address the most complex and sensitive issues affecting the lives of Aboriginal Australians is inspirational. She does this with little regard for the immense personal toll that such actions necessitate.

Her focus on Aboriginal children, and her determination that we do not sacrifice the health of our children for the so-called ‘right’ to buy full strength take-away alcohol, makes her a role model for all Australia. In 2011, in an article appearing in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald (Weekend Magazines), June was named as one of the 50 most influential women in the world for her work in improving the lives of those living in remote Aboriginal communities. June has previously held the positions of Deputy Director of the Kimberley Land Council and the first woman to chair the Marra Worra Worra Resource Agency (Fitzroy Crossing).

She is a Director on the Boards of Bunuba Films Pty Ltd and Bunuba Pty Ltd. She is the former chair of the Kimberley Language Resource Centre and the Kimberley Interpreting Service. In 1990 June was an appointment of the Federal Government to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Business from the University of Notre Dame, Broome, Western Australia, and is currently writing her PHD.

June is a co-founder of the Yiramalay Wesley Studio School and is a Community member of the Fitzroy Valley Futures Governing Committee. In 2012 June was appointed as an Ambassador for Children and Young People by the Western Australian Commissioner for Children and Young People, Michelle Scott.  June is a Chief Investigator on the Lililwan Project. In June of 2013 June was awarded an Order of Australia. June was the winner of the Westpac and Financial Review 100 Women of Influence 2013 for Social Enterprise and Not for Profit Category. In 2014 June was awarded the Menzies School of Health Research Medallion for her work with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.


Nick Rushworth

Nick Rushworth

Executive Officer of Brain Injury Australia

Nick Rushworth has been Executive Officer of Brain Injury Australia since 2008. He was also President of the Brain Injury Association of New South Wales between 2004 and 2008. In 1996, Nick sustained a severe traumatic brain injury as a result of a bicycle accident. Before joining Brain Injury Australia in 2008, Nick worked for the Northern Territory Government setting up their new Office of Disability. Formerly a producer with the Nine Television Network’s “Sunday” program and ABC Radio National, Nick’s journalism has won a number of awards, including a Silver World Medal at the New York Festival, a National Press Club and TV Week Logie Award.

Nick serves as a patient representative on: the Australian Trauma Quality Improvement Program Steering Committee; the Victorian Neurotrauma Advisory Council; the Neurotrauma Evidence Translation Steering Committee of the National Trauma Research Institute; the Executive of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Directorate of New South Wales Health; the Victorian Transport Accident Commission/ Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research Behaviours of Concern Working Group; Vocational Intervention Program Steering Committee of New South Wales Health; the Disability Advisory Committee of the Australian Electoral Commission; the Department of Social Services' Disability Employment Services Consumer Advisory Group and Telstra’s Disability Forum. Nick is also a Director of the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations.


Professor Carol Bower

Professor Carol Bower

Senior Principal Research Fellow

Professor Carol Bower is Senior Principal Research Fellow, Telethon Kids Institute, Perth WA, Professor, Centre for Child Health Research, The University of Western Australia and Medical Specialist and Head, WA Register of Developmental Anomalies

Carol is highly regarded nationally and internationally for her leadership in birth defects research, providing population-based evidence for prevention, diagnosis, management and development of policy and practice. She has academic qualifications in medicine, epidemiology and public health and is a passionate advocate for the primary prevention of birth defects, for monitoring and evaluation of preventive, screening and treatment interventions and for the involvement of consumers and community in research.

In 1980, Carol established and has, since then, maintained the internationally recognised Western Australian Register of Developmental Anomalies.  She has also contributed to the establishment, maintenance and expansion of internationally unique, linked databases of maternal and child health, intellectual disability and autism. Her research has a strong focus on investigating causes and effects of birth defects, on translating research findings into public health policy and practice and on evaluating the effectiveness of that translation.  Leading examples are her research and advocacy on the prevention of neural tube defects such as spina bifida (promoting folic acid supplement use and mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid) and research on prevention, diagnosis and management of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. She has served in an executive capacity for six years for the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research, the peak international body for birth defects research.  Carol was awarded the International Flour Fortification Initiative Leadership Award in 2007 for her work on folate and neural tube defects and Life Membership of the Australasian Epidemiological Association, in recognition of her significant contribution to epidemiology. She has a strong commitment to consumer and community engagement in research and its translation. Consumer reference groups guide her research and she mentors and supports students and staff in inclusion of consumers in research projects.  In 2006, Carol received a Health Consumers’ Council (WA) Inc. Certificate for Excellent Services to Consumers and, in 2012, the Program Grant on which she was a Chief Investigator was awarded a Consumer and Community participation Award in recognition of good practice initiatives.


Professor Elizabeth Elliott

Professor Elizabeth Elliott

Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health in the Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney

Elizabeth Elliott AM is a Distinguished Professor in Paediatrics and Child Health in the Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney; Consultant Paediatrician at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network at Westmead; a National Health and Medical Council of Australia (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellow; and Chair of the National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Technical Network, convened by the Australian Government Department of Health.  She has been involved in clinical services, research, advocacy and policy development regarding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) in children and alcohol use in pregnancy for over 20 years. She was a Deputy Chair of the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs Working Party on FASD; a Member of the NHMRC committee to develop Australian Alcohol guidelines (2009); Member of the group to develop World Health Organisation guidelines for identification and management of alcohol misuse during pregnancy (2014); and Member of the group to develop an International Charter for the Prevention of FASD.  

She established Australia’s first clinic for the diagnosis and assessment of FASD with a grant from the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education and this service has now been funded by NSW Health. She was the Chief Investigator on the NHMRC Grant for the Lililwan Project, Australia’s first population-based prevalence study on FASD, which was also funded by the Australian Government Departments of Health and Ageing, and Families Community Housing and Indigenous Affairs. She is currently Chief Investigator on several NHMRC funded grants including birth cohort studies in Sydney and Melbourne; a Positive Parenting program for communities in the Fitzroy Valley WA; and development of a Screening tool for FASD in Cherbourg Community in Queensland. She jointly leads the Australian Government funded project to develop a Diagnostic tool for FASD in Australia; and is Chief Investigator on the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit study on FASD; and the Impacts on Families Study. With recent grant funding she is developing a National Register for FASD cases in Australia.

Other roles include membership of the NSW Health FASD Advisory Group; the NSW Health group to develop Indigenous Resources regarding alcohol in pregnancy and FASD; and the Royal Australasian College of Physician’s Alcohol Policy Advisory Group. She is a vocal advocate for families with FASD, including through the media has numerous publications in the field and is in demand for scientific and educational seminars on FASD nationally and internationally. In 2008 Elizabeth was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to paediatrics and child health.


Professor Heather Douglas

Professor Heather Douglas

ARC Future Fellow

Heather is a legal academic based at the T.C.Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland. She researches in the areas of criminal justice and domestic violence and has published regularly on FASD. In particular her work has focussed on sentencing and FASD and the education of judicial officers and legal practitioners about the relationship between FASD and criminal justice. Heather has also researched the relationship between Indigenous people and criminal law and her book  Indigenous Crime and Settler Law: White Sovereignty After Empire (written with Mark Finnane) was published by Palgrave in 2012. 

Heather has also published widely around legal responses to domestic violence. In 2014 she was awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to research the way in which women who have experienced domestic violence use the legal system to help them leave violence. From 2001-2007 she was a part-time commissioner with the Queensland Law Reform Commission where she worked on a number of references.

Previously Heather worked as a criminal lawyer in Melbourne and Alice Springs. She was appointed a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law in 2013.


Professor John Boulton

Professor John Boulton

Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics

John is an academic paediatrician, now retired from clinical practice. His undergraduate medical education was at Edinburgh University followed by post-grad training in the children’s hospitals of Perth, Melbourne, and Adelaide. He was appointed Foundation Professor at the University of Newcastle in 1980. His professional interests include growth and nutrition in childhood, population child health and the amelioration of the effects of social disadvantage on children’s health and wellbeing (Community Child Health). He holds an honorary professorial appointment within the Centre for Values, Ethics and Law at the University of Sydney with respect to his work in Medical Humanities; an adjunct professorial affiliation at the University of Notre Dame in Broome, WA, with respect to his collaborative work at the Nulungu Centre for Indigenous Research; and a professorial fellowship at the Telethon Kids Institute at UWA, Perth, WA, with respect to his role in Aboriginal child health research in the Kimberley. In 2011 he was awarded the Howard Williams Medal for his career contribution to Paediatrics by the Division of Paediatrics of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. In 2015 Rural Health West awarded him the prize for his “Outstanding contribution to regional and remote health services in Western Australia”.


Professor Steve Allsop

Professor Steve Allsop

Professor and Director of the National Drug Research Institute

Professor Steve Allsop has been involved in alcohol and drug policy, prevention and treatment research and practice, professional development and service management for more than 30 years, working in government and academic positions. He is Professor and Director of the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) at Curtin University and Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for the Prevention of Alcohol and Drug Abuse.  Professor Allsop is the current Deputy Chair, Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs; a Member, Child Death and Domestic Violence Advisory Panel, Ombudsman (WA); and Deputy Regional Editor for the international journal Addiction. He was a Member of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) working party on the Australian Guidelines for low risk drinking and until recently was Deputy Chair, Board of the Drug and Alcohol Office (WA). He has engaged in research examining the impact of parental alcohol and drug use on fetal and child development, led a national project reviewing the impact of alcohol container warning labels about drinking during pregnancy and was one of the leads on a national project to develop resources to facilitate the prevention of FASD among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.


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