Rural Research Development Committee

The Rural Research Development Committee provide the executive management for the Alliance. The main functions of the committee are to:

  • Provide expert advice to the Chief Executives and the Program Manager
  • Provide input into the development and implementation of strategic and operational plans for the Alliance
  • Identify and engage key stakeholders for the NSW Rural Health Research Alliance
  • Act as an advocate for the Alliance and rural health research
  • Establish working groups for specific projects to support the delivery of key projects, as required.

The members are:

  • Marianne Warren

    Marianne Warren

    Director of Strategy and Planning , Murrumbidgee Local Health District

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    Marianne Warren is the Director of Strategy and Planning at Murrumbidgee Local Health District. Marianne has had an extensive career in public health and aged care.

    Marianne has held a number of positions in health management including base hospital to small rural hospital management, as well as executive positions in health and in the private and not for profit aged care sector.

    Marianne has a Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences and a Masters in Policy and Planning. Marianne is committed to rural health, and is particular interested in ensuring health services are provided to vulnerable populations.

  • Julie Mooney

    Julie Mooney

    Executive Director Nursing, Midwifery and Clinical Governance , Southern NSW Local Health District

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    Julie Mooney has worked in the Health field for the past 38 years having commenced nurse training in 1979. Julie has worked in a number of clinical and managerial positions across general and mental health settings.

    Julie is currently in the position of Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Clinical Governance.

  • Tony Lower

    Tony Lower

    Director of Research and Knowledge Translation, Mid North Coast Local Health District

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    Tony Lower is the Director of Research and Knowledge Translation at the Mid North Coast Local Health District. He has a strong interest in chronic disease, injury and health service development. Since the early 1990’s, Tony has worked in senior public health/research and consulting roles across rural Australia and the Pacific region.

    Most recently, Tony has been based in Moree as Director of the Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety (University of Sydney). With a national portfolio, this position focused on providing robust practical evidence to support interventions that reduce injury and improve health status for farming communities.

    In his current role, Tony is involved in working with local practitioners, university partners, other organisations and the community, to support the conduct of high quality research and ensure this information is used in a practical way to improve health outcomes.

  • Professor John Wiggers

    Professor John Wiggers

    Director – Health Research and Translation Centre and Population Health , Hunter New England Local Health District

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    Professor Wiggers is the Director - Health Research and Translation and Population Health, Hunter New England Local Health District, responsible for enhancing health service research and research translation by health service providers and the provision of Population Health services.

    In his Health Research and Translation role Professor Wiggers is responsible for building the systems and processes within the Local Health District to enhance the conduct of health services research for the benefit of patients and clients.

    In his Population Health service delivery role Professor Wiggers is a health services researcher and practitioner with a focus on the prevention of obesity, smoking and alcohol-related harms, and the promotion of physical activity and healthy nutrition. This work has a primary focus on identifying strategies to increase the delivery of care addressing such risks by health care and other professionals as part of routine service delivery.

    Professor Wiggers is also the Director of the University of Newcastle Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour, and Co-Director of the Hunter Institute of Medical Research Public Health Program.

    Professor Wiggers has published 273 peer reviewed papers, been awarded $50.69M research funds and has supervised 26 PhD students to completion.

  • Richard Cheney

    Richard Cheney

    Executive Director Allied Health & Innovation , Western NSW Local Health District

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    Richard has held many roles in his 24 years in rural health: as a clinician, a manager, an Allied Health discipline senior and advisor. He has worked as a rural health planner, a patient safety officer and a manager of a clinical risk management unit as well as being chair of many State and National Advisory Groups and Steering Committees.

    Richard has worked in both private and public health systems in rural and regional NSW.  Currently Richard is the Executive Director of Allied Health and Innovation for WNSWLHD. In this role he provides advice and strategic direction on issues, innovations and models of care for rural, remote and regional practice to LHD Directors and the Chief Executive, with representation and chairing roles on NSW Ministry of Health network and committees, along with work with the Pillars of NSW Health. Richard is currently co-chair on the ACI Rural Health Network Executive.

  • Professor David Lyle

    Professor David Lyle

    Director Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health, Representative for Far West Local Health District

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    Professor David Lyle is Head of the Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health – University of Sydney. The BHUDRH is a multi-professional academic unit located in far western NSW that is focused on expanding and enhancing the rural and remote heath workforce through multidisciplinary education and training, research, professional support and service development.

    David has a strong health service development background and research record in public health and health services evaluation. His work includes service and policy –relevant research and evaluation in lead and child health, primary health care, mental health, and most recently, palliative care for rural and remote populations.

    David has served on a number of governance boards involved in rural health education, research and service provision over many years, including directorships on the Boards of the Far West Local Health District, Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern Section, Australian Rural Health Research Collaboration, Australian Rural Health Education Network and Australian Primary Health Research Institute.

  • Dr Alex Stephens

    Dr Alex Stephens

    Director of Research, Northern NSW Local Health District

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    Alex Stephens is the Director of Research at Northern NSW Local Health District. Alex has a background in both molecular bioscience and biostatistics/epidemiology, and has research interests at the interface between the two.

    In his role as the Director of Research, Alex is involved in developing and coordinating a curriculum of research education for clinical and health services staff. Alex is also involved in establishing an ongoing program of support and resources for research in the District.

  • Lauren Weller

    Lauren Weller

    Program Manager, NSW Rural Health Research Alliance

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    Lauren has worked as a clinician in a range of health service delivery models from specialist units within large tertiary hospitals to small remote health clinics. Her experience working in rural and remote Australia ignited her passion for public health and influenced a change in career.

    Specialising in public health programs, Lauren has managed a range of projects that have focussed on systems development in areas such as disaster management/ public health emergencies including pandemics, health service delivery, workforce development and training.

    Building on her broad professional background Lauren commenced working in the field of research in late 2015. Lauren is currently managing the NSW Rural Health Research Alliance.