Quarantine Advisory Panel Members

The Minister for Health appointed a 10-member panel, which is led by an independent chairperson.

The Quarantine Advisory Panel members are as follows:

Sue Ash AO, Independent Chair

Sue Ash

Sue Ash AO is a leader in the community sector in Western Australia. Sue was recognised for her distinguished service to the community, particularly in the area of social policy development, reform and implementation, and to the provision of services to people in need with the award of Officer of the Order of Australia in 2014.

Sue is currently the Chairperson of the WA Quarantine Advisory Panel Board. Prior to this position, she was the Chairperson of the Early Years Initiative, a joint venture between the WA Government and Minderoo Foundation working with research partner Telethon Kids Institute and worked as a Special Advisor to the Department of Premier and the Cabinet on matters relating to the community and COVID during 2020.

Sue finished full time work in 2017 when she retired from the CEO position of Uniting Care West and completed her term as Deputy Chairperson of the State Emergency Management Committee, position she held from 2012. Sue was a member of the Premier’s Partnership Forum from its inception in 2008 until her retirement.

In Sue’s previous role as Chief Executive Officer of the West Australian Council of Social Services (WACOSS), she was a leader in social policy development and advocacy on behalf of the community services sector. Previously, she was CEO of Care Options and Wanslea.

Sue has had a broad ranging career which has spanned service and development of communities, education and government, including emergency management recovery activities. Sue has lectured in social work, social policy and human services management at Curtin University, Edith Cowan University and TAFE WA and NSW.

Sue has worked in the Commonwealth, Western Australian, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory governments and participated in community service peak organisations including the Western Australian Association for Mental health (WAAMH), the WA State Committee of National Disability (NDS) and a range of advisory groups.

She is a member of the Committee of Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), as well as a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA). Sue was the joint winner of the IPAAWA Not for Profit Leader of the Year award in 2012 and in 1999 and was a State Category winner and National Finalist of the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards.

Dr David Russell-Weisz, Director General, Department of Health

David Russell-Weisz

Dr David (Russ) Russell-Weisz is the Director General of Western Australia’s Department of Health, a position he has held since August 2015.

Dr Russell-Weisz graduated as a doctor in Scotland but has spent the best part of his professional life in Western Australia.

After moving to Australia in 1993, he joined the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Broken Hill, and then moved to WA, where, as a procedural General Practitioner and then Director of Medical Services, he served communities in regional and remote parts of North West WA. The work gave him a special appreciation of the unique challenges faced by those living and delivering services in rural/remote parts of Western Australia.

Later, as Chief Executive of the North Metropolitan Health Service, he led the billion dollar redevelopment of the QEII Medical Centre while also overseeing the operations of three tertiary and three outer-metropolitan hospitals.

Prior to taking the helm of WA’s public health system, Dr Russell-Weisz led the commissioning of Fiona Stanley Hospital, which opened its doors to its first patients in late 2014.

As Director General, Dr Russell-Weisz has steered the public health system through a period of significant reform, which included the commissioning and opening of Perth Children’s Hospital, and embedding the new devolved governance arrangements which will ensure the State’s health services continue to respond locally to the growing needs of the WA community. Along with the WA Health executive team he is now responsible for delivering on the State Government’s Sustainable Health Review handed down in 2019.

Dr Russell-Weisz, with the support of the Chief Health Officer and executive officers, rapidly responded to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to guide the health sector’s response and provide advice to the State Government.

Department of Health Key Issues 2020

  • Management of the response to the COVID -19 pandemic
  • Implementation of the Sustainable Health Review
  • Implementation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation
  • Development of a systemwide electronic medical record

Dr Andrew Robertson, Chief Health Officer, Department of Health

Dr Andrew Robertson

Dr Andrew (Andy) Robertson is the Assistant Director General and Chief Health Officer within the Public and Aboriginal Health Division in the Western Australia Department of Health (WA Health). With specialist qualifications in Public Health Medicine and Medical Administration, he served with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) from 1984 until 2003, including completing three tours to Iraq as a Biological Weapons Chief Inspector with the United Nations Special Commission in 1996 and 1997. He remains in the RAN’s Active Reserve and was promoted to Commodore undertaking the role of Director General Navy Health Reserves from July 2015 until December 2019.

In October 2003, he took up the position of the Director, Disaster Preparedness and Management in WA Health. In December 2004, he led the Australian Medical Relief team into the Maldives post tsunami, managed WA Health’s response to the 2005 Bali Bombing, led the WA Health team into Indonesia after the Yogyakarta earthquakes in June 2006, worked as the Radiation Health Adviser to the Australian Embassy after the Fukushima nuclear incident in 2011 and conducted the AUSMAT needs assessment in Nepal after the Nepal earthquake in 2015. Since 2008, as Director, Disaster Management and Deputy Chief Health Officer, he has coordinated the WA Health disaster and public health responses to the Ashmore Reef incident, the H1N1 2009 pandemic, the 2011 CHOGM meeting and the 2015 Ebola preparations, and acted as the Chief Information Officer and the Chief Medical Officer. He has been undertaking the current role since June 2018, including leading the WA Health response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Commissioner Chris Dawson, State Emergency Coordinator

Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson joined the Western Australia Police in February 1976, going on to provide 38 years of continuous service in country and metropolitan positions across a range of portfolios.

After 10 years as Deputy Commissioner, Mr Dawson left WA Police in 2014 to take up the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, formerly the Australian Crime Commission. He also served as Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology during this time.

He was appointed as Commissioner of the Western Australia Police Force in August 2017. During the period of the COVID-19 global pandemic, Mr Dawson has coordinated the State of Emergency since March 2020 as the State Emergency Coordinator and was appointed by the Hon Premier McGowan to the role of COVID‑19 Vaccine Commander effective 23 August until 31 December 2021.

Emily Roper, Director General, Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Emily Roper

As the head of Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC), Emily is responsible for leading the public sector in providing whole-of-Government advice and support to the Premier and Cabinet in their service of the WA community.

Emily has held various leadership positions in both State and Commonwealth Governments, with experience spanning over a 21-year period in a range of areas including national security, intelligence and reform.

Prior to this role, Emily was the Deputy Director General of the Inter-Governmental Relations and COVID-19 at DPC, responsible for leading engagement with the Australian and other State and Territory governments and supporting WA’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

Emily has also held the Deputy Director General, Policy and Reform position, overseeing Aboriginal, social, economic and environment policy, as well as the Government’s public sector reform program.

Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Murdoch University, majoring in Psychology.

Nicki Godecke, Director General, Department of Finance

Nicki Godecke

Nicki Godecke was appointed as Director General, Department of Finance in May 2021 for a period of six months.

Prior to that, Nicki was Commissioner of State Revenue, a role she assumed in August 2015. In that role, she was responsible for the collection of annual State taxes of around $7 billion and the payment of around $200 million in grants. She championed the implementation of early customer engagement initiatives and the use of plain English communication to increase understanding of tax obligations.

Nicki received a Public Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2021 for outstanding public service to WA through a range of activities. She provided dedicated service to Western Australia in her role as Commissioner of State Revenue, most recently responsible for implementing key COVID-19 measures that have delivered more than $800 million of new grants, rebates and temporary taxation relief to the WA community.

With qualifications from Curtin University in Marketing, Nicki began her career in 1990 at the then State Taxation Department as a stamp duty assessor. That was followed by 17 years developing major State revenue legislative changes including the Taxation Administration Act and re-writes of the land tax, pay-roll tax and duties legislation.

In 2012, Nicki moved into an operational role, as the director responsible for the collection of pay-roll tax and duties revenue in Western Australia. In that role she designed and oversaw the implementation of interim assessment powers that brought forward the collection of millions of dollars in revenue from multi-million dollar mining transactions.

Nicki also has a Graduate Diploma in Taxation Studies from UWA.

Professor Allen Cheng, public health expert

Allen Cheng

Professor Allen Cheng (MB BS, FRACP, MPH, MBiostat, PhD, GAICD) is an infectious diseases physician, Director of Infection Prevention and Healthcare Epidemiology Unit at Alfred Health and Professor of Infectious Diseases Epidemiology at the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been Victoria's Deputy Chief Officer (July 2020-June 2021) and a member of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee and the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia. He is also Co-Chair (COVID-19) of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation and Chair of the Advisory Committee for Vaccines.

In March 2021, Prof Cheng led a review into Victoria's Hotel Quarantine system to advise on appropriate responses to new variants of SARS-CoV-2. This led to the initiation of the purpose-built quarantine facilities in Mickleham. His research interests include the epidemiology, prevention and management of respiratory infections including influenza, antimicrobial resistance and clinical trials.

Professor Alison Jones, toxicology expert

Alison Jones smiling

Professor Alison Jones MD, FRACP, FRCPE, FRCP, CBiol FRSB, FAACT, FACMT, GAICD is an internationally recognised toxicologist and specialist physician who has provided high level toxicology and public health advice to governments, NHMRC and communities.

She has extensive major incidents management experience. She was awarded the rare and prestigious Fellowship by the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology in September 2013. She has served on the Expert Advisory Group on air pollution and the Ministerial Advisory Committee on preventative health in NSW.

She has also served as a Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, on the Executive of Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand and as Regional Adviser for the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh for QLD, ACT and NSW. She has an extensive track record of research, education and leadership in academia and health and still drives collaborative research opportunities. She is currently the Director of Medical Education at Fiona Stanley and Fremantle Hospitals Group, and an actively practising specialist physician and clinical toxicologist.

Her passion is serving communities in “change that matters”. She is driven by a strong sense of ethics and social justice.

Rob McDonald, former South Metropolitan Health Service Board Chair

Robert McDonald

Mr McDonald has substantial Board experience, being previously the Board Chair, South Metropolitan Health Service; Board Chair, Ability WA (formerly The Centre for Cerebral Palsy); Chair, North Metropolitan Health Service Governing Council; and a Director on several other Boards.

A CPA, Mr McDonald held several senior executive positions in the state public service, such as the Executive Director WA Police; Chief Executive Officer, State Supply Commission; Director Agency Resources, WA Treasury; and Chief Finance Officer, WA Police.

In addition to his other roles, Mr McDonald currently chairs a number of Audit and Risk Committees for State Government agencies.

Garry Taylor, Acting Executive Director Safety, Freight and Business Management Systems, Public Transport Authority

Garry Taylor

Garry is the A/Executive Director of Safety, Freight and Business Management systems at the Public Transport Authority, where he is responsible for strategic services in safety, policy, risk management, emergency management and strategic planning.

A registered engineer, Garry joined the PTA from the UK rail industry where he spent 25 years working in rolling stock engineering/asset management and train operating organisations.

Page reviewed 29 September 2021