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What Matters…

Alison is a consultant, speaker, mentor and facilitator who is passionate about the role that people and organisations in the ‘for-purpose’ sector play in changing the world for good. Alison works with individuals and teams to build their capabilities, grow their reach and optimise their impact.

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Alison began her career as an immunology researcher working in transplantation and later HIV research in the early 1990s. Fuelled by a desire to be closer to the 'coal face', Alison completed a Masters’ degree in Public Health majoring in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and successfully transitioned into her work in public health from the mid 1990s. All of Alison's career has been in the research, health and community sectors working across a range of roles in research, policy, quality improvement, program evaluation, consultation, training consumer participation and service and role redesign.

Alison's leadership experience dates back to 2000 with a series of management, executive and governance roles at a state, national and global level in government and non-government organisations including: BreastScreen Victoria, Victorian Cancer Agency Ministerial Advisory Council, BreaCan (now Counterpart), Ovarian Cancer Australia and the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition.

Alison has ten years’ consultancy experience and, in that time, has supported 60 health and community sector organisations and many individuals to improve their reach and impact. Alison has developed a significant breadth and depth of experience in many facets of organisational strategy, change management and service improvement and has an impressive and diverse list of clients that she considers privileged to have worked with.



Bachelor of Science Degree with Honours in Immunology, Monash University, 1992

Masters of Public Health, University of Melbourne, 1999

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Since 2015

Consultant | Speaker | Mentor | Facilitator

Alison runs a solo practice providing consultancy, speaking, mentoring and facilitation services to individuals and organisations in the ‘for purpose’ sector. Specialist areas of focus in Alison’s practice include mentoring (individual and group-based), strategy development, evaluation, facilitation and consumer participation.

Alison’s preference is for work to be framed as a capacity building opportunity for an organisation. As a result, she often works directly with organisations and professionals as a partner, mentor, trainer and facilitator enabling critical pieces of work to be completed to a high standard whilst building the capabilities of the team and organisation.

Alison also provides offers a number of MAD* Programs. Through training and mentoring, Alison builds the capability of individuals and organisations to truly *Make A Difference through their work.

2012 to 2014

Chief Executive Officer, Ovarian Cancer Australia

Alison led the organisational transformation of Ovarian Cancer Australia to set the organisation on a course towards greater impact, reach and sustainability. Key achievements include:

  • the development of a bold and ambitious new vision, mission, values and strategic plan

  • redesigning the organisational structure, recruiting a world class team and introducing routine mechanisms to support recruitment, induction and team cohesion and functioning

  • transforming the work environment to support flexible co-working including migration to a new IT system and provider

  • improving core processes and tools – fundraising, contacts management, budgeting, work planning, financial and risk analysis tools and board reporting

  • led the development of a ground breaking National Action Plan for Ovarian Cancer Research

  • contributed to the growth of the global ovarian cancer movement through the World Ovarian Cancer Day collective

  • acted as the media spokesperson for the organisation and contributed to substantial growth in the media profile and media coverage for the organisation and its work

  • strengthened existing and developed new partnerships and relationships that have translated into significant additional in kind and funding support.

2011 to 2012

Manager, BreaCan (Women’s Health Victoria)

In this role, Alison managed the statewide breast and gynaecological cancer information and support service (now called Counterpart). The service represents a community-based model of supportive care and survivorship in the cancer arena. It is an exemplar of consumer participation with the active involvement of women with a personal experience of a gynaecological or breast cancer in service planning, improvement and as service providers through a peer support program.

2010 to 2011

Manager, Ambulance Performance (Department of Health, Ambulance and Emergency Programs)

Alison worked in the Department of Health supporting the development of an ambulance reform strategy for Victoria and the formation and management of an ambulance performance team.

2004 to 2010

Managing Director and Principal Consultant, ECHO – Extending the Capacity of Healthcare Organisations

Alison founded ECHO, a consultancy in the health and community sectors, in 2004. Ninety-five projects and a range of professional development workshops were delivered by Alison and the ECHO team in its six years of operation.

1997 to 2004

BreastScreen Victoria Inc

Alison worked in multiple positions at the Coordination Unit for the Victorian breast cancer screening program over a seven-year period including: Manager, Research and Cancer Services Improvement; Manager, Policy and Evaluation; and Policy Officer. In her time at BreastScreen Victoria, Alison: contributed to policy development on key issues relating to screening access and quality; conducted ground-breaking work to lead the country in reporting on interval cancer rates and research to better understand these cancers and their impact on program effectiveness; worked actively with consumer advocates, clinicians and researchers to create a vibrant cooperative research effort; and took a leadership role in broader breast cancer reforms underway in Victoria at the time to improve the quality of breast cancer services once women were diagnosed. In this role, Alison’s passion for active, meaningful, non-tokenistic consumer engagement emerged and has been a strong thread throughout her career and practice ever since.

1996 to 1997

International Diabetes Institute - Epidemiology Research Assistant Grade IV

1995 to 1996

National Centre in HIV Social Research, Macquarie University - Interviewer for the Melbourne Men and Sexual Health Project

1994 to 1995

MacFarlane Burnet Centre for Medical Research, AIDS Pathogenesis Research Unit- Research Assistant Grade III


Board Appointments

2013 - 2016 - Victorian Cancer Agency Consultative Council

The Victorian Cancer Agency Consultative Council is responsible for providing independent strategic advice on cancer research in Victoria and drive innovation in translational research.

2014 - 2015 - Cancer Drugs Alliance

The Cancer Drugs Alliance brings together clinicians, consumer advocates and industry to work with Government and other stakeholders to improve timely and affordable access to new cancer medicines in Australia.

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  • AFA Inspire (Association of Financial Advisors) - Speaking engagement for International Women’s Day

  • Ambulance Victoria - Evaluation of the Body-Worn Camera Proof-of-Concept Trial

  • Arthritis Victoria - Evaluation framework development for the training, information and programs unit

  • Austin Health - Redesigning care through the development of extended scope of practice roles (Physiotherapist – orthopaedic outpatients; Speech pathologist – fluoroscopic endoscopy)

  • Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre, a Richard Pratt Legacy (ACSC) - Evaluation of the Victorian Cancer Survivorship Program Phase II grants program; Facilitation of cancer NGO consultation forums; Evaluation of the ACSC

  • Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group (ANZGOG) - Development of project briefs for consumer and corporate engagement initiatives

  • Ballarat Health Service - Redesigning care through the development and evaluation of an extended scope of practice physiotherapy role in the emergency department (ED)

  • Bayside General Practice Network - Evaluation framework development for the organisation

  • Bayside Health - Redesigning care through the development of an extended scope of practice role (Speech pathologist - fluoroscopic endoscopy)

  • Bendigo Health Care Group - Redesigning care through the development of an extended scope of practice role (Advanced practice nurse in the ED)

  • Breast Cancer Network Australia - Strategic project support for the redevelopment of consumer advocacy training - project plan development, evaluation framework development and team mentoring

  • BreastScreen Victoria Inc - Feasibility studies and scoping of pilots of innovative practice: Radiographer readers; MRI screening of women at high risk of breast cancer; Evaluation of the rural broadband digital mammography project

  • Cancer Australia - Development of a national gynaecological cancer service delivery and workforce framework

  • Cancer Council Australia - Contribution to the screening chapter of a national audit of the cancer effort

  • Cancer Council Victoria - Review of the Cancer Council Victoria Clinical Network; Facilitation of a series of workshops with health professionals and consumers to inform a submission to inform the development of the Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-2024

  • CanNET Victoria - Victorian ‘roadshow’ to capture personal experiences of cancer care (individual interviews and focus groups); Development of a consumer participation strategy; Facilitation of a statewide consumer participation workshop

  • CanTeen Australia - Facilitation of a Youth Cancer Services’ Youth Engagement workshop

  • Counterpart - Gynaecological and breast cancer support - Comprehensive evaluation of the pilot of the service and contribution to securing recurrent government funding and transition to a permanent and expanded service; Conduct of a survey of volunteers; Writing of the 2009-2010 annual report

  • Department of Health (Victoria):

    • Cancer Strategy and Development - Development of an evaluation and outcomes framework for the Victorian Cancer Survivorship Program (VCSP Phase II grants program); Evaluation training, mentoring and support for VCSP Phase II; Development of a research impact framework for the Victorian Cancer Agency; Development of policy, guide and toolkit to facilitate improved supportive care in cancer services in Victoria

    • Continuing Care - Training and mentoring support to guide the development of the Advance Care Planning evaluation framework

    • Integrated Care Branch - Professional development workshop for Primary Care Partnerships - Topic: Preparation and use of data and research to guide planning and practice

    • Mental Health Branch - Facilitation of a statewide mental health – emergency care forum

    • Nurse Policy Branch - Facilitation of Victorian Nurses Back Injury Prevention Program planning workshop

    • Statewide Emergency Program - Evaluation of the General Practice Liaison Officer program

  • Eastern Health - Facilitation of a strategic planning session - the development of a ‘Plan on a Page’

  • General Practice Victoria - Professional development workshop - Topic: Program logic as a tool for project planning and evaluation; Development of a planning framework for the Australian Better Health Initiative Primary Care Integration Program; Evaluation of the Primary Care Integration Program

  • Grampians Integrated Cancer Service - Tailored training sessions and individual coaching - Topics: Developing an abstract for a conference presentation; A review of the Victorian Cancer Action Plan – Generating project ideas; Project planning – from idea to funding submission

  • Healthy Male (formerly Andrology Australia) for the Commonwealth Department of Health - Development of the National Men’s Health Strategy 2020-2030

  • Hume Whittlesea Primary Care Partnership - Review of refugee health nurse models of care in outer Northern Melbourne

  • Loddon Mallee Integrated Cancer Service - Review of the breast care nurse role; Development of a community participation strategy

  • Maciu Vosa Trust - Development of a strategic plan; Mentoring services to support the plan’s implementation

  • Melbourne Health - Redesigning care – development of extended scope of practice roles (Physiotherapist in ED; Speech pathologist – fluoroscopic endoscopy); Communication skills coaching of a health professional from a Vietnamese background; Communication skills training workshop for radiographers and receptionists in a mammography service

  • National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre - Development, implementation and evaluation of a communication skills training program for: Radiographers working in the mammography setting; Reception staff in the mammography setting; Data analysis and reporting – a national audit of multidisciplinary care; Development of an online self assessment tool for diagnostic breast services; Review of current practice in the follow-up care of women with breast cancer; Development of a data dictionary and processes to support a pilot of performance indicators for multidisciplinary and psychosocial care in cancer

  • National Institute of Clinical Studies - Development and implementation of an evaluation framework for the national Emergency Care Community of Practice; Facilitation of a Delphi process to develop priorities for emergency care improvement

  • National Stroke Foundation - Evaluation of the Stroke Self Management Program; Focus group testing of: ‘Strokesafe’ media resources; and the Stroke Survivor Kit

  • North Eastern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service - Evaluation of the statewide tumour stream summits project; Development of funding submission for the ‘CanNET Victoria’ clinical network; Facilitation of multiple annual review and planning processes; Evaluation of a supportive care grants program

  • Northern Health - Redesigning care through the development of extended scope of practice roles (Physiotherapist - orthopaedic outpatients; Physiotherapist - Walk-in injury clinic; Speech pathologist – fluoroscopic endoscopy); Facilitation of process mapping to design an outpatient flow initiative

  • North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network - Facilitation of combined meeting of Clinical and Community Advisory Councils

  • Ovarian Cancer Canada - Project Director for the establishment of the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition

  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre - Development of an optimal model of clinical care for adolescents and young adults with cancer for ONTrac at Peter Mac; Facilitation of strategic planning process for the Wellbeing team; Development of a Youth Participation Framework and Business Plan for ONTrac at Peter Mac Victorian Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Service (AYA); Facilitation of consultation workshop to inform the ‘Making it Work’ AYA project; Development of business case for MRI for women at high risk of breast cancer; Facilitation of a planning process for children’s cancer service provision

  • Queensland Youth Cancer Service - Facilitation of a Strategy Consultation Workshop

  • Primary Care Cooperative Cancer Clinical Trials Group (PC4) - Facilitation of strategic planning and research concept development process

  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons - Evaluation of the ‘Strengthening support for rural surgeons’ program

  • Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital - Redesigning care through the development of extended scope of practice roles (Orthoptist-led clinics - Diabetes management; Glaucoma screening)

  • South Australian Department of Families and Communities - Evaluation of the Service Excellence Program (an accreditation program designed as a QICSA alternative for the NGO sector in South Australia)

  • Southern Health - Redesigning care through the development of extended scope of practice roles (Speech pathology - fluoroscopic endoscopy); Development of an allied health and psychology model of care

  • Southern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Service - Evaluation of the Multidisciplinary Team Meeting Management System (MDT MMS); Professional development and mentoring in program evaluation

  • St Vincents’ Hospital Melbourne - Facilitation of process mapping and role design workshops for a speech pathology role in fluoroscopic endoscopy

  • The University of Sydney - Development of an online training module – ‘Connecting clinicians and managers’

  • Victorian Assisted Reproductive Technology Authority - Development of an evaluation framework for information provision and donor register services; Evaluation implementation, mentoring and support services

  • Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre - Development of an implementation-ready Consumer Engagement Action Plan; Facilitation of a Research and Evaluation Leads Summit; Facilitation of a strategy process for the Palliative Care Clinical Trials Group to create a ‘Plan on a Page’

  • Victorian Cytology Service - Project planning for the development of the National Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Immunisation Register

  • Victorian Integrated Cancer Services - Facilitation of a consultation workshop with the Integrated Cancer Services’ Managers

  • Victorian Mental Health Carers Network - Professional development - Topics: Process mapping and Nominal Group Technique; Change management

  • Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council - Evaluation and capacity building of the Consumer Research and Evaluation Unit; Professional development - Topics: Process mapping and Nominal Group Technique; Change management

  • Victorian Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service - Facilitation of strategic planning consultation workshops; Development of a psychosocial strategy for children’s cancer services in Victoria; Focus groups with survivors of childhood cancer to inform long term follow-up; Development of a best practice service model for bone marrow transplant

  • Women with Disabilities Victoria - Development and implementation of an evaluation framework; Facilitation of strategic planning processes

  • Western Health - Redesigning care – development and evaluation of an extended scope of practice role (Physiotherapy - orthopaedic outpatients department)

  • YWCA Victoria - Development of an evaluation framework for YWCA Victoria community programs, housing and advocacy services