Australian Government - Department of Health

Health Technology Assessment

Consumer Consultative Committee (CCC) Members – Biographies

The biographies of the Consumer Consultative Committee (CCC) members who act as a reference group for the Department of Health on Health Technology Assessment matters.

Ms Jo Watson (Chair)
Jo Watson has been the Chair of the HTA Consumer Consultative Committee within the Office of Health Technology Assessment in the Australian Government Department of Health, since it was established in February 2017. Areas of interest include developing model pathways for patient engagement in health technology assessment, and capacity building for patient representatives.

Jo is the inaugural Deputy Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and has been a consumer nominee on the PBAC since 2013. She was also the consumer nominee on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority (PBPA) from 2002 to 2012.

She is the current Deputy Chair of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia, the peak national health consumer organisation in Australia, and has been a Board Director since 2012.

Jo has been a community representative and patient advocate in the Australian HIV response since the early nineties, including as the Executive Director of the National Association of People living with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) from 1998 to 2014.

Ms Eileen Jerga AM
Eileen Jerga is a consumer representative on the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC), the Department of Health Vascular Prostheses Advisory Group (VPCAG) and Cardiac Prostheses Advisory Group (CCAG). She served on the PICO Advisory Sub-committee of MSAC for several years and has been a member of several MBS Review Clinical Committees, Working Groups and Implementation Groups, as well as PBAC Post Market Reviews.

Eileen is currently a Community member on the Medical Board of Australia and the ACT Nursing and Midwifery Board. She is a past Community Director of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Australian Medical Council. Eileen holds qualifications in the Arts and Business Administration and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Eileen has held executive roles in health administration and health promotion for more than 20 years. She was CEO of the National Heart Foundation ACT for seven years and has been the National Marketing Manager for Diabetes Australia and President and Vice President of the Stroke Association. Eileen was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1996 for her contribution to social welfare and advocacy.

Dr Henry Ko
Henry Ko is a member of the Australian Government Department of Health's Prostheses List Advisory Committee. Henry’s background in consumer health advocacy comes from his involvement in the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) community health advocacy, cancer consumer groups, and working with the Consumers Health Forum of Australia since 2008 on various committees (including the inaugural 2018 Youth Health Forum).

Henry has technical expertise in evaluating clinical research, specifically in clinical trials methodologies and health technology assessment methods. He has training in biomedical engineering, specifically in cellular therapies / tissue engineering and medical devices.

Ms Alison Marcus
Alison Marcus is currently a member of the Advisory Committee on Medicines for the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Alison has been active as a consumer representative since becoming an Associate Member of Consumers Health Forum in 2003. She has served as a consumer representative for a range projects for the MBS Review, the National Immunisation Committee, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, Medicines Australia, the Heart Foundation, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and the National Prescribing Service.

Alison has a background in nursing and midwifery and has specialized in critical care, infection control and stomal therapy, and has worked in a number of states in tertiary, metropolitan and regional hospitals, general practice and in remote Aboriginal communities.

Ms Gillian Mason
Gillian Mason is a healthcare consumer and disability advocate who lives with Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy and Ehler's Danlos Syndrome. She is also a physiotherapist, clinician-researcher and science communicator working in stroke and rehabilitation research with the Centre for Rehab Innovations and the Priority Research Centre for Stroke and Brain Injury (University of Newcastle) at Hunter Medical Research Institute, in Newcastle, NSW.

Her research interests, her involvement as a consumer representative in research & policy planning and her advocacy work centres around improving access and inclusion in research and healthcare, centring the patient experience, meaningful involvement of consumers in health and medical research, and innovating solutions for individualised, precision-rehabilitation medicine.

Gillian is a member of the PICO Advisory Sub Committee (PASC) of MSAC.

Dr Susannah Morris
Susannah Morris is a consumer representative on the PBAC.

She is a social policy expert by profession who now works to improve the experiences and outcomes of person-centred and person-led health care following her own diagnosis with cancer. As a social scientist Dr Morris is committed to evidence-based policy and as a health consumer she advocates for, and presents the perspectives of, those who may not have a voice.

Susannah is a representative with the Health Consumers’ Council in WA and works with the WA Department of Health in various cancer related roles. Nationally she is active with Breast Cancer Network Australia and Consumers’ Health Forum.

She is also a member of All.CAN International, a multi-stakeholder not-for-profit organisation working to improve the efficiency of cancer care by focussing on what matters to consumers whose experiences and outcomes are central to the provision of sustainable and value-based health care.

Mr Jack Nunn
Jack Nunn is the founder and Director of the not-for-profit education organisation ‘Science for All’, working to involve people in doing research by building partnerships between the public and researchers. This work includes creating standardised ways of reporting data about initiatives.

Jack’s research area is in creating and evaluating equitable and ethical ways for people to get involved in all aspects of research and science, including public health and environmental research. Jack is a PhD researcher in the department of Public Health at La Trobe University, where he is currently exploring genomic research and how people can be involved in shaping the future of this research.

He has recently worked on projects with Cochrane Australia, the World Health Organisation, the Australian Department of Health, the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and the UK's National Institute of Health Research. Jack worked for a large UK health charity (Macmillan Cancer Support) for 5 years, working to involve the public in research and improving services.

Jack is a consumer representative on the Evaluation Sub Committee (ESC) of MSAC.

He is also on the editorial board for ‘Research Involvement and Engagement’, the ‘WikiJournal of Science’ and the ‘WikiJournal of Humanities’. Jack is on the Cochrane Advocacy Advisory Group and is the Strategy Liaison for the Wikimedia Foundation WikiJournals.

Ms Jan Saunders
Jan Saunders represents consumers on health issues in relation to medical devices and is a member of the Advisory Committee on Medical Devices for the TGA.

She began her career in South Australia as a registered nurse / midwife before relocating to the Northern territory. Jan was employed by the Asthma Foundation of NT as an asthma educator for several years. In collaboration with her colleagues, Jan was instrumental in developing culturally appropriate resources for Indigenous people with respiratory disease, known collectively as the “Short Wind” resources. These resources were widely distributed across Australia.

Jan was appointed Executive Officer of Asthma Foundation NT in 2005 until her retirement in 2018. She maintains contact with Asthma Foundation NT and is currently a member of the Board.

Dr Christine Walker
Christine Walker is currently CEO of the Chronic Illness Alliance Inc., a peak body representing fifty consumer and advocacy organisations for people with chronic illness. The aim of the Alliance is to build a better focus in health policy and health services for all people with chronic illness.

The Chronic Illness Alliance collaborates with a number of other organisations, including universities and hospitals, in research that improves the lives of people with chronic illnesses. The Alliance also consults with consumers and consumer groups to establish what is important to them and to provide a voice for them.

Christine completed a PhD thesis in 1995 which explored the growth of government intervention in the hospital system in Victoria. She has experience in qualitative and quantitative social research, and has published a book on chronic illness as well as many journal articles. Her two most recent edited books are on social issues in epilepsy.

She is a board member of the Epilepsy Foundation, a Board member of Consumers Health Forum, a member of Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance Community Advisory Group, and is on the Advisory Group of UNSW Research Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity.

Christine is a consumer representative on the Evaluation Sub Committee (ESC) of MSAC. Her role on ESC is to contribute the consumer viewpoint to health technologies under review and to consider them in terms of their risks and benefits including cost, access and the contributions new technologies may make to the health and wellbeing of the consumers they are intended for.

Page currency, Latest update: 12 October, 2021