Austin Hospital entrance

About Us

The Board

The Board is responsible for overseeing the performance and overall direction of Austin Health. The State Government appoints board members, with most terms usually being for three years.

The Hon Judith Troeth AM

Judith Troeth_headshot
Board 2014

Judith Troeth was appointed Chair of the Austin Health Board in July 2012.

She brings to the position extensive experience in public representation, community consultation and advocacy. She was Liberal Senator for Victoria in the Federal Government for 18 years. She was the first female Member of Parliament in the Agricultural portfolio, as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Foresty from 1997 to 2004. She has also been Chair and Deputy Chair of a number of Senate Committees and devised and passed through the Senate, two private members' bills.

Before entering politics, Judith was a farmer and a teacher - roles that led her to become a key advocate on issues including rural education, women and immigration.


Mary Draper AM

Mary Draper joined the Austin Health board in July 2014. She brings a passion for a participatory health care and patient and family-centred approaches and skills in policy, strategy, stakeholder engagement, quality and safety and consumer participation.

Until very recently, Mary Draper was CEO of the Health Issues Centre, Victoria's health consumer organization. She was on the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Victorian Health Services Plan 2011-2022, the Review Panel to review the Health Services Conciliation and Review Act and chaired the Department of Health's Participation Advisory Committee.

Previous roles were Director of Clinical Governance at the Women's and Manager in the Quality Branch of the Department of Human Services, responsible for consumer participation, clinical effectiveness and clinical risk management. She has represented consumers on key national committees including the Taskforce on Quality in Australian Healthcare and was a board member of ACOSS and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. She was also a board director of La Trobe Regional Health. 

Mary is a member of the Austin Health Finance & Resources Committee, the Clinical Safety & Quality Committee and the Primary Care & Population Health Advisory Committee.


Professor John McNeil AM

John McNeil_headshot
Board 2014


John McNeil graduated in medicine from the University of Adelaide in 1971 and undertook physician training at the Royal Adelaide and Austin Hospitals. 

In 1986 he was appointed to the head of the Monash Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine based at The Alfred Hospital.  In 2007, he was appointed as the inaugural head of the newly formed Monash School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine. He has served as a visiting physician at The Alfred, the Austin Hospital and Monash Medical Centre.

John has served on advisory committees for many State and Commonwealth entities including the NHMRC, Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australian Commission for Safety & Quality in Healthcare and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

Past board memberships include Alfred Health; Dunlop Medical Research Foundation; Water Quality Research Australia and the Victorian Public Health Education & Research Foundation. In 2008, he became a member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his contribution to public health.

John is chair of the Austin Health Clinical Safety & Quality Committee.


Chris Altis


Chris Altis was appointed to the Austin Health Board in July 2015. He holds Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Arts (Public Policy) degrees from the University of Melbourne and is a Graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors.

Chris has twenty-five years experience in the health sector, working in a policy and advisory capacity at a Victorian and national level.

Since 2011 he has been Deputy Chair of the North Richmond Community Health Service, and was previously a board member of the Northern Melbourne Medicare Local, where he was a member of a number of board sub-committees, including Chair of the People and Culture Board Sub-Committee.

Chris works in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Chris is chair of the Austin Health Audit & Risk Committee and is a member Finance & Resources Committee.

Julie Bignell


Julie Bignell has a long history of leadership and governance in the public and non-for-profit sectors. In addition to Austin Health, she is is also a member of the board of CareSuper and is Chair of the Member and Employer Services Committee. Her previous board experience includes 10 years with North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation and its predecessors Ports Corporation Queensland and Mackay Port Corporation. She represented Queensland workers on the board of Workplace Health & Safety Qld and on the Executive of the Queensland Council of Unions. She was the Secretary of the Central & Southern Queensland Branch of the Australian Services Union for 15 years and was a member of the National Executive and National Vice President of the ASU. Julie holds a Bachelor Arts degree (Economics & Japanese) and a Graduate Diploma of IR/HRM, RG146 Financial Advice qualification and is a graduate Trustee Director of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees. Julie is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Julie is chair of the Austin Health Community Advisory Committee and is a member of the Clinical Safety & Quality Committee.

Dr Christine Bessell

Dr Christine Bessell


Christine Bessell was appointed to the Austin Health Board in July 2016.

She is an experienced obstetrician and medical executive who brings a passion for and experience in the provision of effective, safe and patient centred public hospital care. She has previously practised obstetrics in the private and public sectors in metropolitan Melbourne and been the Director of the Labour Ward at Monash Medical Centre, Clinical Director of Women's Health at Southern Health, and served as the Director of Medical Services at the Angliss Hospital and at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.

She was Chief Medical Officer at the Royal Women's Hospital from 2004 until 2014. She has recently provided consultancy advice in obstetrics, maternity services, clinical governance and patient safety to the Chief Executive of Djerriwarrh Health Service (Bacchus Marsh) and to other regional and rural health services across Victoria. She is a member of the Victorian Board of the Medical Board of Australia.

Christine is chair of the Austin Health Primary Care & Population Health Advisory Committee and is a member of the Clinical Safety & Quality Committee and the Community Advisory Committee.

Helen Thornton B.Ec. ACA. GAICD

Helen Thornton was appointed to the Austin Health Board on 22 August 2017.

Helen is a Chartered Accountant with over 30 years’ experience across a wide range of industries. She has significant board experience and is currently a Non-Executive Director and Deputy Chair of the Treasury Corporation of Victoria and Zoological Parks and Gardens Board, as well as a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit & Risk Committee for Yarra Valley Water, the Legal Practitioners Liability Committee and ISPT Pty Ltd.   Helen is an independent member of the Risk & Audit Committees for the Departments of, Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Health & Human Services and Education and Training.


Helen has extensive experience in governance, audit and risk management and she has held senior leadership roles at Deloittes, KPMG, BHP Ltd and Bluescope Steel Ltd, where she was responsible for the global risk management function.

Helen is chair of the Austin Health Finance & Resources Committee and is a member of the Audit & Risk Committee and the Governance & Remuneration Committee.

Martin Botros

Martin Botros was appointed to the Austin Health Board on 22 August 2017.

Having trained as both a lawyer and a physiotherapist, Martin has worked in a wide range of roles, including the Coroners Court of Victoria, the Victorian WorkCover Authority, Avant Law, and previously at Austin Health. He currently works as a risk adviser, where he informs and guides doctors (and their practices) with a view to supporting safer practice and better patient outcomes.

He is the National President of Kidsafe Australia, an independent, non-profit charitable foundation dedicated to the prevention of unintentional death, injury and associated disability to children. He is also a member on various boards and quasi-judicial bodies, including chairing Performance and Professional Standards Panels for the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Previously Martin served on Eastern Health's Board of Directors, Football Federation Victoria's Tribunal, the Podiatrists Registration Board of Victoria, Manningham Community Health Service's Board of Management; La Trobe University's Faculty Board of Law and Management; and the University of Melbourne's Faculty Board of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

In his spare time he delivers health law training to health professionals; as well as medical law lectures to medical students at Monash University.

Martin is a member of the Austin Health Audit & Risk Committee.

Dr Stanley Chiang

Stanley Chiang was appointed to the Austin Health Board on 19 September 2017.

Stanley was born in Shanghai, China.  In 1980 he came to Australia for university studies and obtained degrees in biological sciences (B.Sc., Hon.) and medicine (M.B.B.S.) at Flinders University of S.A.  In 1992 he came to Melbourne and started general practice and later specialised in medical acupuncture and WorkCover rehabilitation, and obtained further post-graduate degrees including FRACGP (specialist in General Practice) and FAMAC. He currently runs a number of medical clinics and is also engaged in teaching and mentoring for medical acupuncture.


Stanley has been a very strong campaigner in promoting multiculturalism and has been tirelessly encouraging the integration of new migrants into Australian society.


Stanley served as a Commissioner for the Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) from 2001 to 2011 and was a Councillor for the City of Darebin from 2002 to 2012, including a term as Mayor.   


Stanley is a member of the Austin Health Finance & Resources Committee and the Clinical Safety & Quality Committee.