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
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 and is currently serving her third term. She is a Fellow of the Dietitians Association of Australia and has over 30 years of experience as a Dietitian and DAA member, including two terms as Vice President and three terms as Associate Editor for Nutrition & Dietetics. Lauren is a member of the Council of Deans of Nutrition and Dietetics Australia New Zealand. She has been an academic since 1992 and has graduated 23 cohorts of dietitians across three Universities. Her current role is Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Griffith University. Prior to that she held equivalent positions at the Universities of Canberra and Newcastle, and still holds honorary professorial positions with her former faculties. Lauren is an active researcher and promotes the need for mixed methods research to strengthen the evidence base in Nutrition and Dietetics. She actively encourages honours and PhD level research in dietetic graduates and was awarded a Vice Chancellors Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning for enhancing the research skills and Honours participation rates of N&D students. She has had 10 PhD completions since graduating from her own PhD in 2004.
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.
MTeach (USYD), BA (UTAS)
Roslyn Lawson was appointed to the ADC in late 2017. For nearly two decades, Roslyn has represented health consumers on a wide range of high-level national committees and state Boards- from dentistry and dermatology to pathology and oncology, with bodies as varied as the Australian Medical Council and the Australian Self Medication Industry. Belonging to chronic health support groups provides Roslyn an insight into the roadblocks consumers face in accessing the most appropriate and expert evidence -based advice for their conditions, particularly when they are making food and nutrition choices. Roslyn’s passions are for corporate governance (independent oversight of compliance with government regulations), education of health professionals (lifelong learning through appropriate continuous professional development programs), health promotion activities, and keeping medical and allied health professionals focused on patient-centred care, patient safety and cultural competence. In another life Roslyn was an award-winning teacher of journalism, and an ABC radio and TV journalist, and producer of such iconic programs as Play School and the TV science program Quantum.
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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