Ethics Committee Biographies

Aunty Valda Keed 's Headshot

Aunty Valda Keed

HREC Chairperson

Aunty Val was born in Peak Hill, New South Wales and is a descendent from a long line of proud Wiradjuri people in this area. Aunty Val is the Chairperson of the AH&MRC Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), a position she has held since 2007. Aunty Val has generously shared her cultural knowledge and guidance with many researchers over the years and enjoys educating researchers on the most culturally appropriate ways to consult, engage and acknowledge the Aboriginal Community and their involvement in human research. Aunty Val is passionate about supporting her mob to be further involved in the human research space in New South Wales and continues to support the HREC to deliver high quality, transparent and informed ethical reviews of research.

Aunty Val was a founding member of the AH&MRC since its establishment (initially as the Aboriginal Health Resource Committee) in 1985. Aunty Val has held a number of positions on the AH&MRC Board of Directors over the years, representing the Lower Central West area on many occasions. Aunty Val is currently the Chairperson of the Peak Hill Aboriginal Medical Service and has also been involved in many community-based organisations in the region, including the Peak Hill Local Aboriginal Land Council, Warramunga Aboriginal Advancement Co-operative, Mid Lachlan Aboriginal Housing Management Association, Weigelli Drug and Alcohol Centre (Cowra), and the National Parks Peak Hill/Bogan River Aboriginal Joint Management Group.

Uncle Danny Kelly's Headshot

Uncle Danny Kelly

HREC Deputy Chairperson

Uncle Danny was born in Balranald, New South Wales and is a proud Wemba Wamna man on his fathers side and Mutthi Mutthi man on his mother's side. Uncle Danny is the male Aboriginal Elder on the Ethics Committee and is also the Deputy Chairperson, working closely with Aunty Val to provide cultural leadership and guidance on applications. Uncle Danny was motivated to join the HREC through his work on the AH&MRC Board of Directors.

Previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Balranald Aboriginal Health Service Incorporate, Uncle Danny was integral to the establishment of the service after recognising health services gaps within his community. Uncle Danny has also had significant involvement as a Board member for the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency and the NSW Department of Health Aboriginal Health Priority Taskforce. Uncle Danny is particularly passionate about ensuring that research in the out of home care space is conducted in a culturally appropriate way. Uncle Danny hopes to ensure Aboriginal people and communities are engaged in Aboriginal health research in meaningful and ethical ways.

Uncle Danny Jeffries's Headshot

Uncle Danny Jeffries

HREC ACCHS Representative

Uncle Danny Jeffries is a Muruwari man, born and raised in Brewarrina, New South Wales. Uncle Danny is an ABORIGINAL Representative on the AH&MRC Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), a position he has held since 2009. Uncle Danny is primarily interested in the provision of services that support children and others in need of support and assistance. Uncle Danny provides cultural and service delivery guidance on applications relating to alcohol and other drugs through his role on the HREC.

The Chief Executive Officer of Weigelli Centre Aboriginal Corporation since 1997, Uncle Danny commenced his career in health at the Brewarrina District Hospital as Wardsman Cleaner. In the late 1980’s Uncle Danny worked in Cowra with the Aboriginal Children’s Service undertaking assessment and placement of children at risk, placing them with suitable relatives in the Central and Upper West area of NSW. Uncle Danny is a graduate of the University of Technology Sydney with a Bachelor of Adult Education and Community Management and Development. In the past, Danny has also served on the committees of the Cowra Aboriginal Lands Council and the Mid Lachlan Housing Company Committee.

Aunty Rochelle Patten 's Headshot

Aunty Rochelle Patten

HREC Community Representative

Aunty Rochelle Patten is a Yorta Yorta woman, an artist, an advocate for her community and a founding member of the AH&MRC. Aunty Rochelle has been an integral member of the AH&MRC Human Research Ethics Committee for over a decade. Aunty Rochelle is passionate about the need to keep children safe and out of the juvenile justice system and hopes to guide researchers working in this area to ensure Aboriginal people are included in the design, conduct and outcomes of research as well as the translation of research into policy.

Aunty Rochelle Patten was previously the Chairperson of the Cummeragunja Housing and Development Aboriginal Corporation and has had a long involvement in several Aboriginal community organisations, including the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency, the Victorian Aborigines Advancement League (through its Aboriginal Women’s Refuge) and the Cummeragunja Building Program. Aunty Rochelle is a previous member of the Yorta Yorta Nations Incorporated, the Yembeena Education Centre, and also the Koori Court in Shepparton, Victoria. Aunty Rochelle is currently working on the Elders Advisory Committee for the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital.

Julieann Coombes's Headshot

Julieann Coombes

HREC Researcher

Julieann Coombes is a Gumbaynggirr woman through her grandmother and has connections to Gamilaraay country where she grew up. Julieann is a Researcher on the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and has extensive experience in social and cultural determinants of health research, Indigenous methodologies and applies decolonising methods to all her research projects. Julieann has a commitment to ensure that all research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is conducted in an ethical correct way and research integrity should be underpinned by equity, transparency and self-determination.

Julieann has worked as Registered Practice Nurse with extensive involvement in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and has lived and worked on the NSW Central Coast for the last 30 years. Julieann has taught Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in secondary and tertiary institutions and has represented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nurses at the national level.
Julieann is very active in her local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representative groups on the Central Coast where Darkinjung are the custodians. Julieann also serves as a Research Fellow on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Program at The George Institute for Global Health. Julieann has passed her PhD and is awaiting conferral by the University of Technology, Sydney.

Dr Michael Doyle 's Headshot

Dr Michael Doyle

HREC Researcher

Michael is a Bardi man and Wingara Mura Research Fellow at the University of Sydney. Michael is a Researcher on the Human Research Ethics Committee. As a researcher, Michael is passionate about the need for research to be conducted in a culturally appropriate manner from its inception to completion. Michael hopes that his work with the AH&MRC HREC will contribute to producing higher quality Aboriginal Health Research across New South Wales.

Michael began his health career when he enrolled in the Aboriginal Health Worker (AHW) training program at the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council in 1997. Michael has worked as an AHW Trainee in his home community of Djarindjin and as a Men’s Health Worker for Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service and Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service in Perth. In 2005 Michael began work at the Aboriginal Health Council of Western Australia and helped establish it as the new peak body for Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services in WA. Michael continues to work closely with colleagues in the ACCHS sector and is a member of his local Aboriginal Medical Service.

Michael moved from the ACCHS sector into alcohol and other drug research in 2008. He has worked at Curtin University’s National Drug Research Institute and the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales. Since 2017, Michael has been employed at the University of Sydney’s Centre of Research Excellence in Indigenous Health and Alcohol. Michael has a Certificate IV in Aboriginal Health Work, a Graduate Diploma of Indigenous Health Promotion, a Master of Public Health and was awarded his Doctor of Philosophy in 2018. Michael’s PhD focused on prison-based alcohol and other drug treatment for men and he continues to conduct research in the field.

Dr Summer May Finlay's Headshot

Dr Summer May Finlay

HREC Researcher

Dr Summer May Finlay is a Yorta Yorta woman who is passionate about social justice, particularly for Indigenous people in Australia and globally. Summer is a Researcher on the Human Research Ethics Committee and has extensive experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public health research, policy and communications. Summer is also a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on an NHMRC funded project with Canberra University as well as a Lecturer at the University of Wollongong.

Summer has previously worked in a variety of capacities for organisations in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector, not-for-profit, university and for-profit sectors. Summer has written for publications including NITV, the Guardian Australia, IndigenousX and is also a contributing Editor for Croakey Media and an Editor for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.

Summer currently holds several leadership roles including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Vice President for the Public Health Association of Australia, Co-Chair Indigenous NCDs and is the Co-Vice Chair of the World Federation of Public Health Associations Indigenous Working Group. Summer holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, has a Master of Public Health Advanced from the University of Wollongong, a Bachelor of Social Science from the Macquarie University and has attained a PhD from the University of South Australia.

Professor David Peiris's Headshot

Professor David Peiris

HREC Researcher

David joined the AH&MRC Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) in 2018. David’s main role is to provide high level technical advice to the HREC in terms of both research and the provision of clinical care.

David is passionate about ensuring all people have access to affordable, high-quality health services and programs and has longstanding relationships with the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector, having previously worked as a GP at Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation, Ngalkanbuy Health Service - Galiwin'ku Community and Nunkuwarrin Yunti. David is Director of the Global Primary Health Care Program (Better Care) and Co-Director of the Centre for Health Systems Science and is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Sydney and works clinically as a GP in Sydney.

David’s research focusses on health systems science, a dynamic and emerging discipline that includes health services research, health policy and systems research and implementation science. David has been a board member for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and sits on several government, non-government and research advisory committees.

Emma Walke's Headshot

Emma Walke

HREC Researcher

Emma Walke is a Bundjalung woman from Northern NSW. Emma is a researcher on the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and has been an Investigator in more than 20 program evaluations over the past 11 years, all of which have been for Aboriginal not for profit services.

Emma is passionate about the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal peoples and brings with her a strong background in community engagement, and existing relationships with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, Public Health Networks and Aboriginal health peak bodies around Australia. Emma is the Academic Lead of Aboriginal Health at the University Centre for Rural Health, University of Sydney and an Honorary Affiliate with Sydney School of Public Health. Emma has been employed as a Manager of Human Resources and Community Development Employment Programs at Bunjum Aboriginal Corporation and as a Practice Manager at Bullinah Aboriginal Health Service, where she still serves as a Board Member and Deputy Chair. Emma is also the Chairperson of the North Coast NSW Local Health Districts Community Participation Advisory Group.

Emma has a Diploma in Practice Management- UNE, a Certificate IV in Governance, a Certificate IV in Indigenous Leadership – AILC, and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Emma is in the process of completing an MPhil by research at the University of Sydney, exploring the use of aids for medication adherence among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Associate Professor Paul Gray 's Headshot

Associate Professor Paul Gray

HREC Researcher

Dr Paul Gray is a Wiradjuri man from NSW, living on Tharawal country on the south-western edge of Sydney. Paul is a Researcher on the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and believes that Aboriginal community-controlled research is an essential element of Communities exercising self-determination. Paul hopes to contribute to Communities self-determination through his work as part of the AH&MRC HREC.

Paul has served in a range of roles in supporting Aboriginal children and families affected by the child protection system for over 12 years, including working as a Psychologist and in project roles with the NSW Department of Communities and Justice and as Executive Leader Strategy, Policy and Evidence at AbSec – NSW Child, Family and Community Peak Aboriginal Corporation. In these roles, Paul has advocated for the importance of Aboriginal self-determination in shaping systems and practices to enable Aboriginal children and families to thrive.
Paul is a currently Associate Professor at the Jumbunna Institute of Indigenous Education and Research, UTS. Paul completed a DPhil in Experimental Psychology at St Catherine’s College, Oxford, as an inaugural Charles Perkins Scholar, investigating the relationship between early maltreatment and adolescent social and emotional processes. His current focus is on delivering community-led research and policy development to improve child protection systems and practice.

Shana Quayle 's Headshot

Shana Quayle

Youth Representative

Shana is a proud descendant of the people of the Barkindji and Malyangapa Nations. Shana is a Youth Representative on the AH&MRC Human Research Ethics Committee and is passionate about the need for research to be conducted in a culturally appropriate manner. Shana believes in the need for Aboriginal health research to be led and owned by Aboriginal people.

Motivated by her people, Shana has worked for the AH&MRC for nearly six years in several roles including Administration Officer, Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Services Support Officer, Youth Project Lead and now as Practice Support Officer and Southern Regional Coordinator. Shana is dedicated to working in the AOD, Mental Health and SEWB space and believes that a holistic approach to health is vital to ensuring optimal health outcomes for Aboriginal Communities.
Shana holds a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion from the University of Sydney and, in the coming years, Shana aims to complete her Masters of Health Policy. Shana has a strong interest in health policy and its ability to have wide-ranging systemic impacts on Aboriginal people.

Eliza Pross's Headshot

Eliza Pross

Professional Care Representative

Eliza Pross is a proud Yuin and Neunonne woman and owner of Indigenous business Ochre and Salt Pty Ltd. Eliza is a Professional Care Representative on the AH&MRC Human Research Ethics Committee. While Eliza has worked in various education and research environments, her interest in her role on the Ethics Committee is primarily to ensure the continuing value of research for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Eliza is particularly passionate about making sure that research gives back, rather than takes away from, community. Eliza is also committed to ensuring that research contributes to community capacity in a positive way.

Eliza has worked in the human services sector for 20 years, with a particular focus on mental health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social and emotional wellbeing. Eliza has worked with various communities across the country and is particularly passionate about projects that build community capacity and empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. Working with a range of Indigenous and non-Indigenous organisations, Eliza sees the benefits of evidence-based approaches to health service delivery and would love to see the development of more research and practice initiatives that are culturally based and community-owned. Eliza has Bachelor and Postgraduate qualifications in Social Work and Social Policy.

Terry Chenery's Headshot

Terry Chenery

Legal Representative

Terry Chenery is an Aniawan man and Legal Representative on AH&MRC’s Human Ethics Research Committee (HREC). Terry has had a 30-year career in the Government and non-Government sectors of Aboriginal Affairs and has worked in positions throughout Australia.

As a long-term supporter of the AH&MRC and inspired by the important work of the HREC, Terry was motivated to join the Committee when a vacancy arose for the Legal Representative position. Terry provides invaluable insight from a cultural and legal lens in his role on the HREC.

Terry was born and raised on Awabakal land. Throughout his life, Terry has lived on Dharug and Gadigal land and his family have resided on Guringai country for over 15 years. Terry has worked with various Aboriginal Medical Services in different roles including Police Officer, Probation and Parole Officer, Investigator for the NSW Ombudsman, Advisor to Minister and Premiers and CEO of several Community organisations. Terry believes that Aboriginal Medical Services are the lifeblood of Aboriginal Communities and strongly advocates for community control of the Aboriginal healthcare sector.

Share