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Rheumatic Heart Disease Australia

RHD Resouces

Meet the RHDAustralia Team 2020

RHDAustralia was established as Australia’s national ARF/RHD coordination unit in 2009. Over the last 10 years our role has changed, and while we are still committed to supporting national clinical best practice and workforce capacity, we have an emerging focus on supporting the needs of the community.

There have been several changes in the RHDAustralia team over the last few months, and we would like to take this opportunity to highlight who we are and what we are focusing on in 2020.

 

Anna Ralph
Professor Anna Ralph
Co-Director

 

Anna is an Infectious Diseases Physician based at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. As co-Director, she provides direct support to the RHDAustralia team on communication and governance matters, and oversees our activity and direction.

Anna was co-editor of the 2020 ARF/RHD guideline and a member of the guideline steering committee.

Aside from her role with RHDAustralia, Anna is Director of the Global and Tropical Health Division at Menzies. She is a researcher and research student supervisor, and practices in general medicine and infectious diseases at Royal Darwin Hospital. 

In her spare time, Anna is an accomplished violinist and a member of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra. In 2020, Anna wrote The Magic Cure, an illustrated book designed to help parents talk to children about the coronavirus.

Follow Anna @annapralph on Twitter


Professor Alex Brown
Co-Director

Alex is an Aboriginal medical doctor and researcher based in South Australia. He was a founding partner of RHDAustralia in 2009, and he has re-joined as co-Director to provide leadership in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sector.

Alex is Theme Leader of the Wardliparingga Aboriginal Research Unit at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute. He is a senior NHMRC Research Fellow, with research focusing on chronic disease (cardiovascular, diabetes and cancer) in vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Follow Alex @adhbrown on Twitter


Rohan Corpus
Program Manager
E: rohan.corpus@menzies.edu.au

Rohan commenced as RHDAustralia Manager in May 2020. Rohan is a Walman, Yuru traditional owner from Broome with family connections to the Gangalidda people in the Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern QLD.

Rohan has a background in health and community development and has worked in cross-cultural communities across Australia, Southeast Asia and North and South America. He oversees the day-to-day management of our team and our projects, and is developing a plan to move RHDAustralia’s capacity forward.

“To see the high burden of chronic disease among many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples drives me to action. It has encouraged me to return to my place of origin; to champion doing old business in a new and innovate way, and it is this intonation that inspires my drive for transformation. My quest is no different than others that have gone before me; to facilitate community growth & development within a healthier and safer environment.”⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


Naja Dyrting
Trainee
E: naja.dyrting@menzies.edu.au

Naja has been working with RHDAustralia since March 2020 as an Indigenous Trainee. She is providing high level support to our Champions4Change program, as well as working with other team members on a range of projects including new learning modules and social media platforms.

Naja hopes to gain skills in a range of areas as she works towards a Certificate III in Business.

Read more about Naja....


Diana Mosca
Senior Nurse Advisor
E: diana.mosca@menzies.edu.au

Diana joined the RHDAustralia team in Darwin in early 2018. Since that time, she has conducted numerous workshops and attended several conferences to increase workforce awareness and capacity around ARF/RHD. Diana chairs the Resource Development Committee; a national group committed to developing and disseminating best-practice information for clinicians, people living with ARF and RHD, their families and communities.

She is currently overseeing the redevelopment of our online leaning management system including a suite of new training modules.

Diana maintains her clinical skills as a volunteer with St John Ambulance in Darwin, and she takes the opportunity to scuba dive around Australia and the Pacific whenever she can.

Diana’s mother is living with RHD, so she understands the personal struggle of families managing this disease.

Follow Diana @Dmosca111 on Twitter

 


Sara Noonan
Senior Technical Support Officer
E: sara.noonan@menzies.edu.au

Sara was an original member of the RHDAustralia team in 2009. She re-joined from her base in South Australia in early 2018 to produce the 2020 ARF/RHD guideline.

Following the guideline release in February 2020, Sara is conducting a review of our ARF/RHD resources, updating our resource library, supporting integration of new recommendations into local protocols, and supporting our website redevelopment. She has also established an Australia/New Zealand/Pacific RHD programs group to connect staff across the region.

For the last 18 months Sara has also been working with a team at the University of WA to investigate the capacity of Australia’s primary healthcare system to manage people with ARF and RHD.

According to her granddaughter, Sara “has two cats and likes to knit (crochet)”. She maintains her clinical practice with a nursing shift each week.

 


Sean Rung
Communications and Project Support Officer
E: sean.rung@menzies.edu.au

Sean has been with RHDAustralia in Darwin since 2016. He maintains our website, produces this Murmur e-newsletter, and guides the social media accounts on a part-time basis.

Sean also manages media, marketing and communications activities for HOT NORTH; a Menzies-led program which focuses on addressing health challenges around health research collaboration, education and translation to improve health outcomes in the tropical north.

When not in the office, Sean can be found drinking double shot lattes after a long ride or run somewhere around Darwin. After that he's usually at home or a local park with his wife and five-year-old daughter partaking in a game of make-believe, which lately, involves good baby, bad baby or some form of baby related mischief.

Follow Sean @sean_rung on Twitter


Jill Thyne
Project Assistant
E: jill.thyne@menzies.edu.au

Jill joined the RHDAustralia Darwin office in January 2018 to provide administrative and project support to the team. Jill plans and organises staff travel, workshops and conferences and accounts management, and she negotiates a copious number of systems to keep the projects moving.

Jill has a Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology) which she achieved as a mature age student.

When not at work, Jill can be found in the garden - in her garden, in the local community garden, and in the gardens of her grandchildren. 

 


Vicki Wade
Senior Cultural Advisor
E: vicki.wade@menzies.edu.au

Vicki joined the team from her base in NSW in early 2018 to provide cultural leadership and direction to our community-based activities. She is a senior Noongar woman who is well-known across Australia for her work in cardiovascular health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Vicki led an Advisory Group to develop the cultural framework underpinning the 2020 ARF/RHD guideline, and she was instrumental in the creation of our Champions4Change program.

Vicki is a member of the National Close the Gap Steering Committee, and sits on numerous national research projects providing a lens to the socio-cultural context of Aboriginal health research. She has received several national awards including the 2019 AHHA Sidney Sax Medal and the CSANZ Indigenous Health Lifetime award.

Vicki recently commenced her PhD with Charles Darwin University which will focus on the emotional needs of young people with ARF and or RHD.

However, her most important role is providing support and love to her 4 children and 10 grandchildren. She hopes that her work will result in better opportunities for her grandchildren, and for future generations.


Professor Bart Currie
Consultant Physician

Bart is the former Director of RHDAustralia. He was co-editor of the 2020 ARF/RHD guideline and a member of the guideline steering committee. He is passionate about supporting links between clinical and public health services and the community, and he continues to provide high level clinical and strategic advice to RHDAustralia’s projects.

Bart also leads the Tropical and Emerging Infectious Diseases team within the Global and Tropical Health Division at Menzies, and is Director of HOT NORTH.

Melioidosis and snakebite have been taking up more of Bart’s time since he stepped down from RHDAustralia. He still looks forward to the late-night calls from colleagues to identify a snake that has bitten an unfortunate victim.