Primary Health Research Plan Expert Advisory Panel

The Primary Health Research Plan Expert Advisory Panel (EAP) advised on primary health care research investments under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

The Australian Government has committed $50 million over 4 years from 2024-2025 under the MRFF to drive innovation in primary care. Funding is from the MRFF’s:

The EAP developed a primary health research plan that identifies short (1-2 years) and medium (3-4 years) term priorities that:

  • identify and evaluate models of primary care in which patents receive care from GPs and other health professionals
  • apply research findings in primary care settings and spread knowledge to improve person-centred care
  • better use data and digital technology to evaluate models of primary care and support health system planning.

Find out from EAP members how the plan will support all Australians to be healthy through affordable, person-centred primary healthcare


The EAP was independently chaired and included members with expertise or experience in primary health care research or service delivery. It ceased in August 2023. The following information, including declarations of interest was current until the EAP ceased.


Background and experience

Declarations of interest

Professor Jane Gunn (Chair)

Professor Jane Gunn is Dean of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Professor Gunn is a distinguished academic general practitioner and an internationally recognised leader in primary care research, health services research and applied clinical research in the primary care setting.

  • Director, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.
  • Director, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.
  • Director, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
  • Director, Melbourne Health.
  • Director, Doherty Institute Council
  • Chair, Melbourne Academic Centre for Health Board.
  • Member of NHMRC council.

Scientia Professor Mark Harris

Professor Mark Harris is the Executive Director of the Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity, at the University of New South Wales.

Professor Harris is highly regarded for his research into:

  • the prevention and management of chronic disease in general practice and community health services
  • vulnerable populations
  • access to primary health care.
  • Executive Director, Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity at UNSW.
  • Board member, Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network.

Ms Kate Loxton

Ms Kate Loxton is the Chair of the Sydney North Health Network.

Ms Loxton is an occupational therapist working in the areas of neurology and aged care, including dementia. She founded Rehab on the Move, a multidisciplinary allied health service company. She also developed Child First Therapy which  specialises in the needs of children with complex care and health needs.

Chair, Sydney North Health Network.

Ms Karen Booth

Ms Karen Booth is President of the Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association.

Ms Booth has worked as a primary healthcare nurse and manager in general practice since 1998. Her interests are in:

  • preventative health care
  • utilising surveillance and health checks to identify health problems early
  • intervention to prevent damage to a person’s health and wellbeing.
  • President, Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association.
  • Board member, Australian Health Care Alliance.
  • Member, National Nursing Workforce Strategy Advisory Group.

Ms Angela Ljubic

Ms Angela Ljubic is a Board member of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA).

Ms Ljubic is a psychologist and the Regional Chair for FECCA. This role involves raising issues of concern to, and advocating on behalf of, CALD communities at FECCA, and convening national policy networks.


Professor Richard Hobbs

Professor Richard Hobbs is Nuffield Professor of Primary Care and Head of the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

Professor Hobbs is one of the world’s most referenced academic leaders in primary care and at Oxford. He has developed one of most highly ranked centres for academic primary care globally and currently chairs the European Primary Care Cardiovascular Society.

  • Trustee and Director, University of Oxford.
  • Director, Primary Care Consulting Ltd.
  • Trustee and Director, PCRT (UK medical charity)

Professor Mark Nelson

Professor Mark Nelson is Head of Discipline, General Practice at the University of Tasmania.

Professor Nelson’s research interests are around large-scale clinical trials of cardiovascular disease prevention in primary care. He is a principal investigator on the ASPREE study, which investigated the effectiveness of aspirin as a preventative therapy.

Member, Lipids Advisory Boards for Novartis in 2020.

Professor Jennifer May

Professor Jennifer May is Betty Fyffe Chair of Rural Health and Director, University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health.

Professor May is a practising GP in regional New South Wales. Her clinical interests relate to women’s health and palliative care. Professor May holds fellowships for both the Royal Australian College of General Practice and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. She is also the Rural Doctors Association of Australia representative on the National Rural Health Alliance.

  • Director, University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health.
  • Director, P and J May Pty Ltd.
  • Co-Chair, Medical Workforce Reform Advisory Committee.
  • Chief lnvestigator on MRFF grant (MRFF1200481).
  • Member, FRAME Policy Group.

Declarations are accurate as of 19 June 2023.

No conflicts of interest required action beyond ‘register’ as defined in the MRFF Declaration of Interest Policy Statement.

Related committees and groups

The Primary Health Research Plan EAP reported to the Minister for Health and Aged Care.

The Health and Medical Research Office provided secretariat support to the panel.


Primary Health Research Plan Expert Advisory Panel contact 

The Primary Health Research Plan Expert Advisory Panel (EAP) advised on primary health care research investments under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

Date last updated: