Role

The Traumatic Brain Injury Mission Expert Working Group has been assembled to provide the Minister for Health with advice on the strategic priorities for research investment through this mission. Its role is to define evidence and knowledge gaps that should be addressed through mission research funding to assist in transforming health care and health outcomes for individuals and communities. This role includes the definition of key research questions that, if answered, will deliver meaningful change to patients through the translation of research.

Expert Working Group members will consult and engage with other researchers, industry and consumer/patient groups and participate in media and public activities to build awareness of and facilitate interaction with the mission and with other MRFF-funded research.

Further information on the roles and responsibilities of MRFF Expert Advisory Panels including the Traumatic Brain Injury Expert Working Group can be found in the MRFF Mission Governance resource.

The Traumatic Brain Injury Mission will seek to:

  • better predict recovery outcomes after a traumatic brain injury
  • develop new technologies
  • identify the most effective care and treatments.

Members

The Expert Working Group is independently chaired with two co-deputy chairs and includes members appointed for their expertise in research, clinical, commercial or community aspects of traumatic brain injury medicine.

Member Background and experience Declarations of interest

Professor Melinda Fitzgerald
(Chair)

Professor Fitzgerald is a Professor of Neurotrauma at Curtin University and the Perron Institute.

Chief Executive Officer of Connectivity Traumatic Brain Injury Australia, a not-for-profit organisation.

NHMRC and MRFF grant funding recipient.

Associate Professor Dinesh Varma
(Co-Deputy Chair)

Associate Professor Varma is the Deputy Director of Radiology and Head of Emergency & Trauma Radiology at The Alfred Health and Honorary Researcher at National Trauma Research Institute, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Consultant for research funding applications.

MRFF grant funding recipient.

Emeritus Professor Robert Vink AM
(Co- Deputy Chair)

Retired Emeritus Professor and former Pro Vice Chancellor (Health Sciences) at the University of South Australia.

Member of the Board, Connectivity Traumatic Brain Injury Australia.

Consultant for research funding applications.

Shareholder in an Australian neuro pharmaceutical company.

Associate Professor Jennifer Cullen

Associate Professor Cullen is the Chief Executive Officer of Synapse – Australia’s Brain Injury Organisation.

Department of Social Services and MRFF grant funding recipient.

Professor Mark Fitzgerald

Professor Fitzgerald is the Director of Trauma Services at The Alfred Health and Director of the National Trauma Research Institute at Monash University.

Co-Chair of Australian Government funded Australian New Zealand Trauma Registry.

Shareholder in the Intellectual Property from related software development.

NHMRC and MRFF grant funding recipient.

Professor Belinda Gabbe

Professor Gabbe is the Head of the Prehospital, Emergency and Trauma Research Unit at Monash University.

Lead of state and national Australian clinical registries including trauma, burns and transport related injuries.

NHMRC and MRFF grant funding recipient.

Ms Kate King

Ms King is a Clinical Nurse Consultant at the John Hunter Trauma Service and Hunter New England Health.

Nil.

Professor Skye McDonald

Professor McDonald is a professor of Psychology at UNSW Sydney.

ARC, NHMRC and MRFF grant funding recipient.

Associate Professor Cliff Pollard AM

Associate Professor Pollard is a former research ambassador at the Jamieson Trauma Institute and a former Director of Trauma Services at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

Philanthropic and research organisation grant funding recipient.

Associate Professor Adam Scheinberg

Associate Professor Scheinberg is the Statewide Medical Director for the Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service and Head of rehabilitation at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

MRFF, state government and philanthropic grant funding recipient.

Professor James Vickers

Professor Vickers is Director of the Wicking Dementia Centre at the University of Tasmania.

Member of the Board for an aged and community care provider.

Member of the Board – Dementia Australia Research Foundation.

Philanthropic, NHMRC and MRFF grant funding recipient.

Ms Janet Wagland

Ms Wagland is the General Manager, Community at the Brightwater Care Group Ltd.

Provides consulting advice to a research team.

Dr Jodie-Kate Williams

Dr Williams is a general surgeon and the Director of Trauma at the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre at the Royal Darwin Hospital.

MRFF grant funding recipient.

Terms of reference

Purpose of the Working Group

The Mission Expert Working Group will provide the Minister for Health with advice on the strategic priorities for research investment through this Mission.

The role of the Expert Working Group is to define evidence and knowledge gaps that should be addressed through Mission research funding to assist in transforming health care and health outcomes for individuals and communities.

Expert Working Group Members will consult and engage with other researchers, industry and consumer/patient groups and participate in media and public activities to build awareness of and facilitate interaction with the Mission and with other MRFF funded research.

Membership

The Expert Working Group will be chaired by Professor Melinda Fitzgerald and co-Deputy Chaired by Associate Professor Dinesh Varma and Professor Robert Vink.

Key deliverables

The Expert Working Group will provide advice on priorities for research investment through the Mission by developing a Roadmap and Implementation Plan, including 2–3 questions/goals that investment through the Mission will support and be evaluated against.

Roadmap

A two page high level strategic document for the Mission which will include:

  • the aim, vision and goals for the Mission
  • possible themes and priorities for investment.

Implementation plan

To support implementation of the Roadmap, the Expert Working Group will develop an Implementation Plan to outline:

  • 2–3 questions/goals that will outline specifically how the Mission will benefit Australian patients, guide the investment priorities that will achieve this objective, and will be used to evaluate the ongoing progress of the Mission
  • priorities for investment, particularly defining research questions and outcomes for short, medium and long term investment
  • opportunities for leveraging additional investment through philanthropy and other sector, to support achievement of the Mission’s outcomes
  • activities required to support the Mission’s outcomes, and facilitate their longer term implementation, including community and industry engagement.

Public consultation

A public consultation on the Roadmap and Implementation Plan was undertaken between 14 December 2020 and 23 April 2021 to enable broad engagement on the priority setting process. The themes of feedback provided on the Roadmap and Implementation Plan, and how the feedback has been incorporated will be published on the Mission website.

Meetings

The Expert Working Group meets up to two times a year, with additional meetings held as required. 

Related committees and groups

The Traumatic Brain Injury Mission Expert Working Group reports to the Minister for Health.

The Health and Medical Research Office provides secretariat support to the group.

Contact

Traumatic Brain Injury Mission Expert Working Group contact

Contact for further information on the Traumatic Brain Injury Mission Expert Working Group. This mission is funded by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

MRFF [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
7 April 2022