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Public Health and Health Promotion Advisory Board

The Public Health and Health Advisory Board is comprised of external experts from these fields, as well as academic members of staff. The board provides critical guidance for our undergraduate and postgraduate courses in public health and health promotion, ensuring students are informed by the latest research and industry practices.

Industry members

David Towl (Chair)

General Manager, Health Promotion and Engagement

David has more than 15 years’ experience in health promotion, health policy and community development. He is a qualified paramedic having formerly held senior clinical, training and risk management roles with St John Ambulance in both New Zealand and Australia.

David is a previous State President and National Treasurer of the Australian Health Promotion Association. He currently serves as Secretary of Chalk Circle, an independent not-for-profit, creating conversations around gender literacy to empower the next generation. David is passionate about raising the profile of prevention and health promotion within the health sector, as well as about gender and health, and the role that men play within the health promotion profession.

Olive Aumann

Olive Aumann is a General Manager at healthAbility, a community health service in the inner and northeast of metropolitan Melbourne. Olive’s professional background as a registered nurse includes experience in acute, aged care, community health and Aboriginal health in remote area settings.

In her current role she has responsibility for mental health and youth services, primary prevention and health promotion including the Baby Makes 3 state-wide gender equity initiative, the Men’s Shed program and the Eastern Region Needle and Syringe Program. During the COVID pandemic responsibilities also included the High-Risk Accommodation Response pandemic preparedness and support program and the Inner East Vaccination program which provided tailored access for vulnerable community members.

Olive is strongly committed to equity and reducing health inequalities, working with local communities, and improving the status of women through action to promote gender equity. She is past President of both the Victorian Community Health Nurses Special Interest Group and the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central and currently an Assistant Governor, and the outgoing Chair of the Deakin University Health Advisory Board.

Todd Harper

CEO Cancer Council Victoria

For three decades, Todd Harper has led organisations dedicated to global public health and prevention, including Cancer Council Victoria, Quit Victoria and VicHealth. Todd is President of the NCD Alliance. Since 2011, as Cancer Council Victoria’s Chief Executive Officer, Todd has led the organisation’s important work in cancer research, prevention, support, and advocacy.

During this time Cancer Council has led research initiatives in tobacco plain packaging, screening campaigns, obesity prevention, been at the forefront of bans on solariums and campaigns on junk food, alcohol, and smoking.

Todd has a bachelors degree in economics, a postgraduate diploma in health promotion, a masters degree in health economics, and was recently awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Deakin University for ‘outstanding contributions and commitment to public health and for willingness to be innovative and brave in advocating for public health’.

Aileen Thoms

As Director of Primary Health and Innovation at Kooweerup Regional Health Service, Aileen has extensive experience in public health care for over 35 years. Aileen has a background in primary health including health promotion prevention-based roles and project management, emergency nursing, mental health, and aged care. She has worked in clinical and leadership roles in metropolitan and rural health services.

Aileen has developed and delivered social and community-based initiatives that improve health and wellbeing for the community and enabled the development of KRHS as a Health Promoting Health Service over 14 years. As an experienced leader in the complex health environment, Aileen has built strong partnerships with community and other agencies to strengthen collaboration and achieve positive outcomes.

Aileen has interest in how the ecological determinants of health effect the liveability of the environments in which we live and the impacts on those who have the poorest health outcomes.

Deakin members

Dr Erik Martin, Lecturer, Public Health

Professor Jennifer Watts, Head of School, Health and Social Development

Dr Matthew Dunn, Lead, Public Health and Health Promotion

Teresa Capetola, Director, Postgraduate Health Promotion

Dr Shane Kavanagh, Director, Postgraduate Public Health

Associate Professor Lisa Gold, Director, Postgraduate Health Economics

Dr Hayley McKenzie, Co-director, Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion

Dr Julie Abimanyi-Ochom, Director, Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion

Dr Trish Taylor, Co-director, Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion

Graduate representatives

Ms Elise Tulloch

Student representatives

Mr Nick Pascual, Master of Public Health

Ms Katherine Coghlan, Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion

Ms Meagan Forder, Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion

Contact us

Get in touch or visit us at our Melbourne Burwood, Geelong Waterfront or Warrnambool Campuses.
+61 3 9251 7777

Email Deakin School of Health and Social Development