Board of Directors and Executive
The DAA Board are responsible for governing the Association. The Board comprises eight elected Directors including the President and Vice-President.
The Board are supported by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and members of the Executive Team.
Phil Juffs, President
BAppSc, GradDipNutrDiet, GradCertHlthMgt, AdvAPD
Phil is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian. He completed a Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics from QUT in 1997. He has worked as a Clinical Dietitian in Murwillumbah, Alice Springs, Scotland and London. He worked as a dietitian at Princess Alexandra Hospital Brisbane from 2003. Since 2006 he was Medical Team Leader and Renal Dietitian at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and spent 2012 in the role of Assistant Director of Nutrition & Dietetics. Phil manages Patient Food Services at RBWH. Phil has chaired the DAA Queensland Branch Executive, been Renal IG Convenor and sat on PEPDAC and MAC.
Phil was elected President of DAA in May 2017.
Melissa Armstrong, Vice President
BSc, DipNutDiet, AdvAPD, CDE
Melissa graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Science and a Post Graduate Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics in 1985. She has held clinical dietetic positions in a variety of hospital settings in Australia and the UK and has taught dietetic and diabetes educator students at several universities. Melissa is currently Manager of Nutrition and Dietetic Services at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. She has been a member of DAA since 1987, contributing to several state and national interest groups and committees for both DAA and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association over the past 20 years. She is currently in her second term as a Director on the Board of DAA, a member of the Australian Dietetics Council Accreditation Reviewer Pool and current Board representative on the Journal Strategic Planning Committee of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Dr Gabrielle O’Kane, Director Responsible for Finance
PhD, BSc, DipNut&Diet, DipEd, Adv APD
Gabrielle is an Adv APD with a varied background in Nutrition and Dietetics spanning 35 years. Most of her dietetic experience has been in rural community health centres and private practice, having started her career at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. Her recent PhD thesis explored the social aspects of food system sustainability. Gabrielle is currently an assistant professor at University of Canberra, lecturing in food sociology, food and the environment and community and public health nutrition. Gabrielle has previously held voluntary positions at DAA as a Board member (2006-2008), chair of the former Practice Advisory C O’Kaneommittee (PAC) (2005-2006) and member of the DAA NSW Branch Executive (2006). She is the current convener of the Food and Environment Interest Group.
Glen Cardwell, GradDipAppSc, Grad Dip Diet, BSc, APD
Glenn Cardwell is an Advanced APD who has written four nutrition books, including the international best seller Gold Medal Nutrition (5 editions, translated in two other languages), a life member of Sports Dietitians Australia (a professional body he helped establish), and a life member of Nutrition Australia for services to nutrition education. He has run his own company since 1996, consulting broadly to the food industry, locally and internationally, and currently to the mushroom, asparagus, cherry and banana farmers. His company has also been responsible for managing a total of $2.92 million of government grants over the past 10 years. He has been on the organising committees for the past three Perth DAA conferences, the 2017 Hobart conference, the Corporate Sponsorship committee and the Member Engagement Advisory Committee.
Tara Diversi – BHSc, MNutr&Diet, GradDipPsyc, PGradDipPsyc, MBA, GradCertEdStudies(Higher Ed)
Tara Diversi is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who has worked in almost all fields of dietetics. Entrepreneurship, business and communications is where her passion lies, and she has worked in self-employment for her entire career. Currently, alongside her consulting, communications and academic work, she is an Entrepreneurship Facilitator in Cairns, working with young people to help them create their own job. Tara holds an MBA, and two psychology degrees in addition to her dietetic qualifications. She is the author of three books on communication for health professionals, and the co-author of the The Good Enough Diet and co-author of the text, Totora’s Anatomy and Physiology.
Dr Robyn Littlewood
PhD, MMedSc, BSc, GradDip (Nut&Diet), GCEL, APD
Dr Robyn Littlewood has been a paediatric clinical dietitian for over 19 years and is currently the Director of Dietetics and Food Services and Professional Lead for Nutrition and Dietetics at Children’s Health Queensland as well as owner and Consultant: Child Health in Life and Disease Dietetics. She also holds the Co-Chair position, Queensland Child and Youth Clinical Network within the Clinical Excellence Division, Department of Health.
Robyn holds an Adjunct Associate Professor position with the Queensland University of Technology and a Senior Lecturer role at University of Queensland. She has completed both a Masters of Medical Science and PhD in the area of Paediatric Nutrition, a Grad Cert in Executive Leadership and is currently completing and her MBA. Robyn continues to maintain a clinical position in the area of tertiary Paediatric Obesity for Children’s Health Queensland and maintains special interests in the area of Paediatric Food Services and infant obesity prevention.
She has held several editorial board membership positions in the area of paediatric dietetics and has published over 50 international papers in the area of paediatric nutrition and rehabilitation, chronic disease, head injury, malnutrition and obesity.
Nicole Saxby, BBioMedSci(Hon1), GradDipHealth(self-management), MNutr&Diet, AdvAPD
AdvAPD status since 2014; 7 years senior and middle management experience in hospital and health services; co-chair of the 2017 Nutrition guidelines for cystic fibrosis in Australia and New Zealand (NHMRC approved); awarded DAA PEN evidence based practice prize in 2015 and national award of merit in 2012. Successfully redesigned paediatric cystic fibrosis services in Tasmania (2010), and currently in the process of redesigning allied health services in Central West Queensland (2016 to current); experienced in creating 5 year strategic plans. As an allied health director since 2016 I have been responsible for the management of a multimillion dollar budget.
Dr Karen Walton
PhD, MSc (Nutrition & Dietetics), BSc (Nutrition/Chemistry), AdvAPD
Karen is an Associate Professor and the food service domain leader at the University of Wollongong. She is currently lecturing in nutrients and metabolism, dietetics, food service dietetics and research. Karen was the national co-convenor of the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) National Food Service Interest Group from 2004-2014. Her particular areas of research interest include food service dietetics and nutrition support for the elderly in the community, in hospitals and in residential aged care facilities.
Claire Hewat, Chief Executive Officer
BSc (Hons 1), Dip Nutr & Diet, Adv APD
Claire, was the first Accredited Practising Dietitian to be appointed CEO of DAA in 2004. Previously she was a DAA Board Director for four years and on the NSW Branch Exec for 7 years as well as undertaking a number of other voluntary roles in DAA.
Claire’s role is overall management of the association’s four divisions of Operations, Professional Services, Communications and Marketing and Accreditation and Recognition Services as well as policy development, advocacy, environmental scans, representation and media spokesperson.
Claire has had many years of experience as a practising Dietitian in clinical, food service, community and public health nutrition, diabetes education and private practice and in various aspects of health service management mostly in rural areas. She is the Australian representative to the Asian Federation of Dietetic Associations, a member of the founding Board of the Commonwealth (Intl) Dietitian and Nutritionist Association, a director of Allied Health Professions Australia and DAA representative to the governance group of PEN® Global.
Tania Passingham, Executive Manager Professional Services
MND (Sydney Uni), BSc (UNSW)
Tania is an Advanced APD, graduating with a Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics from Sydney University in 1997. She has postgraduate qualifications in both Adult Education and Diabetes Education. She was a Credentialed Diabetes Educator and a Clinical Associate of University of Technology, Sydney.
Tania’s professional interest and expertise has been in Diabetes Management. This has included facilitation of innovative educational programs, use of technology in diabetes, resource development including editorship of the ‘Traffic Light Guide to Food’ and clinical service collaboration through establishment of area networks for diabetes health professionals. Tania has strongly advocated for dietetic upskilling in diabetes management through establishment of clinical placements, supervising Masters Projects and mentoring through the APD program.
Her work in diabetes has resulted in invitation to participate in many diabetes forums including national working parties, advisory groups and expert panels. She has presented at the Australian Diabetes Educators Association Annual Scientific Meeting on many occasions and has a peer reviewed publication in their journal.
Most recently Tania, in her current role of Executive Manager Professional Services involves management of the APD program and a range of other professional services.
Dr Paul Wilkinson, Executive Manager Accreditation, Recognition and Journal Services
PhD, PGDip, BSc (Hons), APD
Paul has worked in clinical, research and leadership positions since graduating in 1996 in the UK. He worked as a research dietitian at Oxford University before returning to Surrey university to undertake his PhD (nutrition) researching nutritional metabolism. He worked as a specialist paediatric eating disorder dietitian in the UK before becoming and APD and emigrating to Australia in 2007. He was the former of Director of Nutrition & Dietetics department in WideBay Queensland and the Queensland Health statewide discipline chair for Nutrition and Dietetics (2009-2012). In his Executive Manager role, Paul manages the Australian regulatory processes around university accreditation and the assessment and examination of overseas trained dietitians wishing to enter Australia and practice as an APD. He also explores and maintains mutual recognition relationships with other countries around the world. Paul manages the strategic direction of the international peer reviewed journal: Nutrition & Dietetics via a large international editorial board and journal management committee.