Professor Gary Geelhoed

Executive Director

Professor Gary Geelhoed MBBS, FRACP, FACEM, MD is Executive Director of WAHTN. Prior to commencing at WAHTN, Gary was Western Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and Assistant Director General of Clinical Services and Research, WA Department of Health. A UWA graduate, Gary worked as Director of the Emergency Department at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children for 22 years.

Gary has a keen interest in health reform, particularly in the area of clinical research and innovation.  A highlight of Gary’s career involves his ongoing work to forge closer ties between our hospitals and the research community to promote greater innovation and best practice in clinical care; and to establish and embed a robust framework for safety and quality along with teaching, training and research, into the day to day operations of the State’s hospitals and health services.

Gary’s past achievements include helping to introduce the Four Hour Rule Program to WA public hospitals, reducing delays in our emergency departments and streamlining hospital processes for admission and discharge.  Western Australia was the first jurisdiction to implement this important program.

Gary has held roles on numerous state and national committees including the National Health and Medical Research Council, President of the Australian Medical Association WA, and Federal and Western Australian AMA Council.

Ms Anne McKenzie AM

Head, Consumer and Community Health Research Network (CCHRN)

Ms Anne McKenzie AM is the Head of the WA Consumer and Community Health Research Network. Her task is to establish and implement a Strategic Framework and Program of Work for consumer and community involvement across the WAHTN’s partner organisations.

Anne McKenzie AM has worked as the Consumer Advocate at the University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute in Western Australia since 2004 where she developed and implemented an internationally recognised program to increase consumer and community involvement in health research.

Anne is a senior consumer representative for Consumers Health Forum of Australia and former Chair of Health Consumers Council WA. She currently serves on key state and national health committees for: the National Health and Medical Research Council: Department of Health: the National Prescribing Service; Medicines Australia; Silver Chain; and WA Health.

Anne was made an Honorary Life Member of the Health Consumers Council WA in 2012 in recognition of her outstanding service to the organisation. In January 2015, she was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to community health through consumer advocacy roles and strategic policy research and development.

Professor Peter Thompson AM

Deputy Director, Chair of the WAHTN Clinical Trials Advisory Group

Professor Peter Thompson AM, MBBS, MD, FRACP, FACP, FACC, MBA is an active clinical cardiologist as well as an internationally recognised clinical researcher in coronary heart disease. Peter completed his postgraduate degree in Medicine at the University of Western Australia and trained in cardiology at Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University in Boston. He is currently Consultant Cardiologist and Head of the Heart Research Institute at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Clinical Professor of Medicine, UWA. He is also Deputy Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. He has had extensive involvement over 30 years in the National Heart Foundation, and his research has been the basis for national education campaigns on the need for early action on heart attack.

Peter’s research interests are in cardiology clinical trials and atherosclerotic heart disease. He has been involved in the design, conduct and analysis of clinical trials for 30 years and has extensive experience in the design and management of significant clinical trials. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and has authored 270 research articles, reviews, book chapters and editorials.

In 2015, he and colleagues were awarded the Marshall and Warren Award for the most highly innovative and potentially transformative grant from among all the NHMRC grant applications for that year. In 2015 he was also awarded the Minister for Health Award for Excellence in Healthcare.

Associate Professor Rashmi Watson

Head, Research Education and Training Program (RETP)

Associate Professor Rashmi Watson EdD., MEd., BEd., leads the Research Education and Training Program (RETP) for the WA Health Translation Network (WAHTN) developing online research training courses available to all health researchers within the WAHTN. Her background in education as an education consultant and academic for more than 20 years has given her a depth of experience working with professionals across many sectors. She continues to provide pedagogical and leadership support to academic staff across the higher education sector and broader education sector. Rashmi has been the recipient of several teaching & research awards and has numerous testimonials which highlight her effective leadership.






Dr Debbie Turner

Chief Operating Officer, WAHTN

Dr Debra Turner BSc(Hons), PhD is the Chief Operating Officer of WAHTN. Debbie has an extensive background in medical research and government sectors. Prior to joining WAHTN in 2018, Debbie managed the Office of the Chief Medical Officer and the Assistant Director of Clinical Services and Research in the WA Department of Health. She has 10 years’ experience in public sector policy development and strategic planning within the health and disability sectors. Debbie trained at the University of WA and undertook postdoctoral studies at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She spent 20 years as a medical researcher based at Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Physiology Department at the University of WA and the Respiratory Department at Princess Margaret Hospital for Children. Her research focus has been on paediatric asthma, atopy and lung disease.

Dr Tanya Tuffrey

Manager, WAHTN

Dr Tanya Tuffrey BSc (Hons), PhD is the Manager at WAHTN.  She has over 13 years of experience in administrative and project management, successfully managing the technical, financial and administrative aspects of three large research organisations, as well as a number of contract research projects. Tanya managed two Centres of Excellence, one in the Humanities and one in Science and Engineering, prior to starting at WAHTN in September 2018. She is responsible for the business operations and day to day management of the WAHTN office.

Mrs Koshala Shanmugakumar

Administrative Officer, WAHTN

Koshala joined WAHTN in 2015 and is responsible for the administrative functions of the network. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from Curtin University.