Board of Directors and Executive
The DAA Board are responsible for the Governance of the Association’s affairs. 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.
Elizabeth Kellett, President
BSc, DipNutrDiet, FDAA
Elizabeth is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian who graduated as a dietitian from the University of Sydney in 1975, after completing a science degree at the University of Adelaide in 1973. She has worked in a range of organisations and settings in South Australia, including Chief Dietitian Adelaide Children’s Hospital, and roles in community health and private practice. She worked in public health and nutrition education for 10 years at the Children’s Health Development Foundation, where she led the nutrition component of the development of the original Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Her most recent position was Manager of Dietetics and Nutrition at Flinders Medical Centre which she held for 12 years, resigning in 2014 to concentrate on her role as President of DAA.
Liz has held various roles on the DAA (SA) executive, including chairperson, and PD committees. Nationally, she chaired the conference organising committees for the 2000 and 2011 National conferences in Adelaide. She has also been involved on a number of DAA committees, including the Conference Management committee, and chaired the Marketing Advisory committee. She was one of the two SA board members on the inaugural DAA (then AAD) board in 1976, and has been a current DAA board member for 9 years. Liz is active in Dietetics in SA where involvement has included membership of the Department of Health Dietetics and Nutrition Advisory committee, and training of dietitians.
Phil Juffs, Vice 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.
Kim Crawley, Director Responsible for Finance
MPubPol, Grad Dip (Diet), BSc (Nutrition), AdvAPD
Kim is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian. She graduated as a dietitian, with a Bachelor of Science and a Graduate Diploma in Dietetics from Curtin University of Technology in 1998. In 2005 she completed a Masters in Public Policy from ANU. She has worked as a community dietitian in both WA and ACT, and was the Lead Professional for Nutrition and Dietetics for the ACT Government Health Directorate from 2006-2011. She worked for a short period as the Principal Policy Officer for Nutrition at WA Department of Health, and is currently employed as a Senior Nutritionist in the Public Health Nutrition section at FSANZ.
Kim was on the DAA Board between 2009 and 2011. More recently she has been on the Dietetic Credentialing Council and a member of the DAA Complaints Committee. In 2013, Kim was the recipient of an Outstanding Contribution Award.
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.
Robyn is a Public Health Nutritionist at the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Origination in Collingwood, Melbourne. This role is a strategic nutrition role in Victorian Aboriginal health and includes social marketing, workforce, policy, advocacy, teaching and mentoring. She is committed to improving nutrition in Indigenous Communities, exemplified by her 10 year career in sector including as Community Dietitian at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service in Melbourne, Dietitian for the Torres Strait Islands in QLD, and Dietitian in Bourke NSW. Robyn has demonstrated leadership within DAA and has been on the Board of Directors since 2013 and Director responsible for Food Regular Advisory Committee since 2014. Robyn was previously the convenor of the Indigenous Nutrition IG and involved in advocacy within DAA. Robyn has initiated an important workforce development research project, ‘Community of Practice for Dietitian’s working in Indigenous Health’ and is involved as the mentoring facilitator and researcher.
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.
Dr Gabrielle O’Kane
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.
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.
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.
Dr Sara Grafenauer, Executive Manager Communications and Marketing
PhD, MSc (Nutr & Diet), BSc (Nutrition), Grad. Cert. Comms PR
Sara is an AdvAPD with experience in health, food industry (brand management and consulting) and most recently, tertiary education. Sara is known as a passionate educator having lectured at the University of Wollongong where she completed her PhD. Her PhD research focused on dietary pattern analysis of clinical dietary intervention trials. Sara has served as an adviser to the Australian Multiple Birth association and has authored chapters in Food, Nutrition and Health with colleagues from the University of Wollongong, edited by Professor Linda Tapsell. Sara has a demonstrated interest over many years in mentoring new graduate dietitians and elevating the dietetic profession. Through her previous consulting engagements with food industry and via the National Centre of Excellence in Functional Foods, Sara is in a unique position to manage partner relationships.