Australian Dietetics Council (ADC)
The Australian Dietetics Council (ADC) is the governance structure for DAA accreditation and recognition services and has been operating since July 1, 2009. ADC’s primary function is to provide independent high level strategic advice, on matters relating to accreditation and recognition, to the DAA Board. ADC has a key continuous quality improvement role ensuring that DAA delivers accreditation and recognition services that are efficient, effective, equitable, accountable and transparent and are framed in a best practice model.
The guiding principles of ADC are to:
- Enable transparency for members, clients, health services and the Government
- Enable separation of policy and operational functions
- Enable broader representation
- Enable greater independence thus reducing potential conflict of interest
- Support a move to a business model ensuring a more sustainable service
- Support corporate governance principles and enable greater accountability
- Link across other related DAA councils and committees, such as the Dietetic Credentialing Council (DCC).
Composition of ADC
The ADC comprises nine members appointed by the Board for a two year term. Of the nine members there are three senior academic dietitians, three senior practitioner dietitians and three external members.
Senior Practitioner Dietetic Members
BAppSc, MAICD, FDAA
Kay Gibbons was appointed as Chair of ADC in 2009. Kay’s experience is as a leader in children’s nutrition; she has worked across clinical, community and public health. Her clinical experience includes intervention in paediatric obesity and research in shared-care models of intervention. She sits on advisory panels for a number of research groups in this area. Kay has been involved with local and state government on nutrition and physical activity projects, working with families and professional carers of children 0-8 years old. This has included needs assessment studies, education and development of resources for professionals and families, and has focussed on areas of disadvantage. Kay also has expertise in Food Service Management, which has led to her current position of Professor of Food & Nutrition at Victoria University. This involves developing the food service units and their positioning within the Bachelor of Applied Science with a Food Service major – an area with great opportunity for development and employment.
PhD, MHSci, GradDipNutrDiet, GradDipEd, BSc, AdvAPD
Merrilyn Banks was appointed to ADC in 2013. Merrilyn is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian and the Director Nutrition & Dietetics and Executive Director Research at Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital. Her PhD investigated malnutrition in hospitals and residential aged care facilities and its consequences, with pressure injury as a case study. Her ongoing research interests are in the areas of nutrition in pressure injury and wound healing, improving nutrition delivery through nutrition support systems and food services. She was awarded an NHMRC Health Professional Research Training Fellowship (2012-2015) which she undertook part time alongside her clinical director duties. She holds Adjunct Assoc Professor appointments at UQ and QUT, and currently supervises 5 PhD students and one MPhil student. She has received a number of professional awards including in 2013 a QUT Outstanding Alumni Award (Faculty of Health); and Special Excellence Award for service to the community.
PhDNutrDiet, Grad Cert (Paed Nutr), GradDipNutrDiet, BSc, APD
Carmel Smart is a Paediatric Endocrine Dietitian at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital, Newcastle and holds a Conjoint Senior Lecturer position with the University of Newcastle. In 2016, she was awarded a Clinical Research Fellowship to support translation of her research findings into clinical practice. Carmel’s main research interests are in the impact of the different macronutrients on blood glucose levels and ways to optimise glucose control after meals. She is the invited lead author on international guidelines for the dietary management of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes and the invited Australian representative on the new Managing Diabetes in Preschool Children Guidelines. Carmel is an invited member of the faculty of the JDRF Type 1 Performance in Exercise and Knowledge Group, and a co-investigator in the Australian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network. Carmel was elected an advisory council member of the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) and convenor of the ISPAD Health Professionals Science School.
Senior Academic Dietetic Members
PhD, MPH, Grad Dip Diet, BSc(Hons), APD
Catherine Itsiopoulos joined the ADC in 2012 and was appointed Deputy Chair in 2016. Catherine is the Head of School, School of Allied Health at LaTrobe University and has more than 30 years of clinical, academic and project management experience. Catherine has extensive experience and a strong research interest in dietetic training, dietetic competency evaluation and implementation, and international benchmarking of dietetic examination systems. In a previous role at the DAA Catherine led projects in international benchmarking of dietetic systems and was instrumental in establishing the formal mutual recognition agreement with the New Zealand Dietitians Board. Catherine’s major research interests include randomised controlled clinical intervention studies in diabetes, cardiovascular disease and the metabolic syndrome utilizing the Mediterranean diet as a model of intervention. Catherine is also investigating the positive health and mortality profile of Greek born migrants to Australia who have retained their positive CVD mortality profile despite more than 50 years since migration.
PhD, DipNutDiet, BSc, APD, Fellow of SDA
Fiona Pelly joined the ADC in 2015. Fiona is the Discipline Leader in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of the Sunshine Coast and was responsible for establishing this discipline. She has extensive experience in curriculum development and review. She is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with 27 years’ experience, including 20 years in the area of sports nutrition, and has experience in private practice and consultancy to The Wiggles (10 years), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), National Rugby League (NRL) teams, and individual Olympians. Fiona is internationally recognised for her expertise in food provision at major sporting competition events, and has evaluated the menu for six Olympic and two Commonwealth Games since 2000. Fiona is interested in the translation of knowledge about nutrition and nutrient requirements into food and whole diets, diet quality, and eating behaviours. She is also interested in nutrition and dietetic practice, and the relationship to student training.
PhD, GradDipSocSci, GradDipDiet, PGradDipHlthProm, BSc(Hons), AdvAPD
Lauren Williams joined the ADC in 2013 as an academic member. She is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian, and recently celebrated 30 years as a Dietitian and DAA member. Lauren has been an academic since 1992. Her current role is Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Griffith University, and she holds honorary Professorial appointments with her former Faculties at the Universities of Newcastle and Canberra. Lauren is a past Vice President of DAA and has served as an Associate Editor of the journal Nutrition & Dietetics. Her main focus has been on community and public health nutrition- trying to keep healthy people healthy, particularly in weight gain prevention, and on using mixed methods of enquiry to contribute to the evidence base in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is the co-editor with her sociology colleague of the widely used textbook ‘the sociology of food and nutrition: the Social Appetite’ (now in its fourth edition) and is passionate about considering why we eat the way we do.
DEd, MEd, GradDip FE&T, Grad Cert Hum Res Mngmt, BNurs( Hons1), BHlthSci(Nursing)
Jane Conway was appointed to the ADC in 2013. Jane is a Professor in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship, Deputy Head of School and Chair of Teaching and Learning in the School of Health at the University of New England. Jane has expertise in problem based learning as a curriculum and instructional design and has applied this to health and other education in regional, national and international consultancies in health professional education and health workforce development. Her Masters degree specialised in distance and online learning and competency based education and her doctorate examined the role of educationalists as leaders in organisational change. Jane has worked as the state-wide consultant in education and training to NSW Health and has provided consultancy in the development of leadership and management development programs, design of online courses in primary care and reviews of health service delivery models. Jane is also Registered Nurse who is active in the accreditation of nursing courses in Australia and is a member of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council.
Noel Muller was appointed to the ADC in 2009. Noel is the President of Queensland Voice for Mental Health – the State wide a body for consumers and carers. For over a decade and a half, Noel has been an active executive member of numerous local, state and national organisations that have a focus on health, mental health and well-being, and has represented these issues / groups and the community across a wide and diverse range of health and well-being matters. As a consumer, he has a passion for consumer rights and equity, particularly in the provision of health and community services for all. Noel strongly believes that the community must be involved in all aspects of the decision process and the provision of services.
DEd, MEd (Curriculum), Dip T (Primary), Grad Dip Ed (TESOL), BA
Susanne Owen joined the ADC in 2014 as the accreditation expert from other professions. Susanne holds a Doctor of Education and Master of Education (Curriculum) qualification and Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Teaching and several other post-graduate qualifications. Over 35 years, she has worked as a teacher, high school leader and state education department manager. She has also worked for the South Australia teacher registration board where she led the development of registration standards and competency standards. As Director of Owen Educational Consultancy, Susanne developed accreditation standards and competency standards for various national health bodies and led national projects related to university programs in pharmacy and law. Over 50 publications, book chapters and conference papers reflect her academic research work. She is currently the community representative on the Qualification and Skills Assessment Committee for the podiatry profession.
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