Executive Board Membership

The WAHTN Executive Board provides strategic direction and oversite of WAHTN.Total membership of the Executive Board is nine individuals: an independent Chair; four members representing all contributing partners; a consumer advocate representative; the WA Chief Scientist; and a representative from the WA Aboriginal Health Council.

Malcolm McCusker

Malcolm McCusker AC

Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC is a Western Australian Barrister and Philanthropist.  After completing an LLB degree at the University of Western Australia he practiced as a barrister for over 50 years, chaired the WA Legal Aid Commission for 27 of those years, and was the inaugural chairman of the Advisory Board of the WA Constitutional Centre.  In 1982 he was appointed Queens Counsel.  

From July 2011 – June 2014 he served as Governor of Western Australia.  He has always had a strong interest in medical research.  He was the inaugural Chairman and is now Patron of the McCusker Foundation for Alzheimer’s Research; chaired one of the fundraising committees that helped establish WAIMR (now Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research) and is co-patron of the Ear Science Institute of WA. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Western Australia, Murdoch University and John Curtin University.


Ms Pip Brennan

Pip Brennan is the Executive Director of the Health Consumers’ Council of WA. She began her paid career as a health consumer advocate ten years ago at the Health Consumers’ Council, and has worked at the Office of Health Review (now the Health and Disability Services Complaints Office), Community Midwifery WA and WACOSS. She returned to the Health Consumers’ Council in 2015 to take up the position of Executive Director and apply her knowledge of community service organisation management, outcomes based contracting, consumer representation and advocacy to continue the work of this unique and important organisation. This is her third career; Pip has also been a museum curator in Perth and London and an English Language teacher in Greece and London.  


Professor John Fogarty

Professor John Fogarty

Professor John Fogarty Dip App Sc, B Bus (Bus Admin), MBA, Grad Cert LCC, GAICD is the Executive Director WA Hospitals and St John of God Health Care.

John was appointed Executive Director WA Hospitals in January 2017 which incorporates over 1800 beds across seven hospitals located in Bunbury, Geraldton, Murdoch, Midland, Mt Lawley and Subiaco.

John has over 28 years’ experience in the Australian health care system across public, and mostly private for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals and the aged and community care industry. Having relocated to Perth from Victoria to commence in the role of Executive Director Perth Southern Hospitals (inc CEO Murdoch Hospital) role in September 2013, John’s previous experience includes Chief Operating Officer at Mercy Health in Melbourne, and Chief Executive Officer of St John of God Ballarat Hospital.


Professor Gary Geelhoed

Professor Gary Geelhoed

Professor Gary Geelhoed MBBS, FRACP, FACEM, MD is the Chief Medical Officer and Assistant Director General – Clinical Services and Research at the Western Australian Department of Health. Professor Geelhoed is a passionate advocate and practitioner in child health and emergency department management, having been the Director of the Emergency Department at Princess Margaret Hospital for over 20 years. He has a keen interest in health reform and finding innovative solutions to meeting the ever-increasing demands on our health system.


Professor Peter Klinken AC

Professor Klinken AC is a leading Western Australian medical research scientist, highly regarded for his work in advancing the understanding of genes involved in leukaemia, cancer and anaemia. His many research achievements include the discovery of a gene that supresses the growth of tumours.

After obtaining his PhD from The University of Western Australia, he undertook research at the US National Institutes of Health in Washington and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne.

His previous roles have included Professor in Clinical Biochemistry at The University of Western Australia; Director of Research at the Royal Perth Hospital; and the Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (previously the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research).

Under his stewardship, the Perkins Institute attracted world-class national and international researchers to the State and made numerous acclaimed medical discoveries. He also spear-headed the development of two new state-of-the-art medical research facilities, Perkins North in Nedlands (QEII Medical Centre) and Perkins South in Murdoch (Fiona Stanley Hospital).

Professor Klinken brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role of Chief Scientist. His input will support the Government in growing the State’s science industries to achieve future prosperity for Western Australians. 


 Professor Peter Leedman

Professor Leedman is an internationally recognized physician-scientist who was trained at Royal Melbourne Hospital, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Harvard Medical School. He is currently the Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Perth, where he heads of up the Laboratory for Cancer Medicine. His research has focused on devising new ways to treat cancer based on targeting the RNA in the cell and the field of RNA-therapeutics, with commercialization of some of these discoveries. He is also Chairman of Linear Clinical Research Ltd, a world-class company specializing in early phase clinical trials, with a focus on cancer, and which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Harry Perkins Institute.



Professor Eeva Leinonen

Professor Eeva Leinonen joined Murdoch University as Vice Chancellor and President in April 2016, after three years of service as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Wollongong.
Professor Leinonen has an academic background in linguistics and psychology and has extensive experience in higher education in the United Kingdom, Europe and internationally. Her academic research focuses on pragmatic deficits of children with autistic spectrum disorders as well as higher education topics relating to curriculum and use of technology in learning.
Prior to moving to Australia in 2012, Professor Leinonen held the position of Vice-President (Education) and Professor of Clinical Linguistics at King’s College, University of London. 
Professor Leinonen has been actively involved in national and international higher education debates and advisory groups. Which have included: Chair of the UK Higher Education Funding Council/Quality Assurance Agency advisory group into Employer Engagement in Learning, Trustee of IntoUni Charitable Trust, Member of the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group in Australia; Director and Board Member of Future Directions International; Forrest Research Foundation Governors Committee.


Professor Bryant Stokes

Professor Bryant Stokes AM

Professor Bryant Stokes, RFD KSJ MB BS HON D.Sc (Curtin) HON DM (WA) FRACS FRCS, a graduate from the University of Western Australia, is an eminent Professor of Neurosurgery, with significant professional clinical and management profiles at both the executive and operational levels of WA Health.

Professor Stokes has acted in the role of Commissioner for    Health, in which time he assisted in the development of CTEC (2000); he has been a Senior Examiner in Neurosurgery for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He was President of the Neurosurgical Services of Australasia, past Chairperson of the WA Council on Safety and Quality in HealthCare and has carried out numerous noteworthy investigative reviews across State and Commonwealth jurisdictions.

From 2012 he held the position of inaugural Chair of the Governing Council for the South Metropolitan Health Service prior to acting as the Director General of Health from April 2013, a position he held until August 2015.

With the establishment of the five (5) Health Service boards on 1 July 2016, Professor Stokes became the Chair of the North Metropolitan Health Service Board. In 2016 Professor Stokes became the Chair of the Board of Healthway.

From April 2016 Professor Stokes has held the position of Chair of the South Regional TAFE. 



Professor John Challis 

Professor John Challis PhD CBiol DSc FRSB FRCOG FCAHS FRSC is the Executive Director of WAHTN and ex officio on the WAHTN Executive Board. He has held the position of Pro Vice-Chancellor for Health and Medical Research, UWA, since February 2014. John completed his training at the Universities of Cambridge, University of California, San Diego and Harvard Medical School and held a junior research fellowship at Wolfson College, University of Oxford and McGill University, Montreal, Canada. More recently he served as Chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Toronto, and as Vice President Research and Associate Provost of that University. He was the inaugural Scientific Director of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Institute of Human Development, Child and Youth Health and served as President and CEO of the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research in Vancouver BC. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Institute of Biology, the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and the Royal Society of Canada. John also holds the title of University Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto and Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and Curtin University. He is Principal of LHC, Life Health Consulting, based in Vancouver BC.