Changes to AusBiotech Board, including new Chair

25 Feb 2020

AusBiotech has announced that a new Chair has been appointed to its Board following the decision of its current long-serving Chair, Julie Phillips, CEO, BioDiem, to step down from the AusBiotech Board. Michelle Burke, Principal and Director, Indigo Advisory and current Deputy Chair, AusBiotech, will take up the role. The Board also farewells Barry Thomas after five years, following his retirement from Cook Medical.

With a strong executive background in strategic leadership, negotiation and advocacy, Ms Michelle Burke is a strong advocate for the health and biotechnology sector. Michelle has been a member of the AusBiotech Board since 2012, and Deputy-Chairman since 2019; she is also the industry-nominated member on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, and a member of the Australian Brain Cancer Mission Strategic Advisory Group. Michelle has worked with the biotech sector and, more specifically, in pharmaceutical organisations for the majority of her career, including with Bristol-Myers Squibb in executive commercial and market access roles.

Ms Michelle Burke said, “As AusBiotech’s new Chair, I look forward to championing our industry as a key and growing economic and social driver. AusBiotech is a leader for the Australian life sciences industry and looks to enable long-term success by advocating for the sector. With Government, we are co-leading the development of a decadal vision; the Australian Biotechnology 2030 Plan presents an important opportunity for the life sciences sector to continue growing stronger. Also critical is the preservation of the benefits of the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive, which we believe is integral to the sector’s success in attracting and retaining R&D in Australia.”

Ms Julie Phillips is stepping away from the Board after an active tenure as an AusBiotech director since October 2013, and Chairman since 2014. Julie has been a passionate and vocal advocate for the biotechnology sector and the opportunity it poses for Australia. The Board sincerely thanks Julie for her commitment over the years.

Julie noted how AusBiotech has matured in parallel with the sector. Through ongoing and strong representation, including AusBiotech leading Australia’s annual mission to BIO, Australian biotechnology has grown in recognition internationally as a leader; the clout we carry is evident. “AusBiotech drives strategic advocacy and high-quality policy advancement. It has been such a privilege to be part of AusBiotech. Being closely involved has been highly rewarding and I encourage members to take any opportunity to engage with the organisation that represents them.”

Lorraine Chiroiu, CEO, AusBiotech, said, “AusBiotech values the generosity and calibre of the leaders who put themselves forward to volunteer for the Board, past and present. The effectiveness of the Board is the result of the professionalism and passion of the individuals on the Board and within the organisation.”

The Board also extends its sincere thanks to Mr Barry Thomas, who retired in December. Barry has been a dedicated contributor for five years. During his time was involved in the succession planning of AusBiotech, assisting in the transition of two CEOs, and was vital in AusBiotech’s medtech advocacy.

Barry has strong Government relationships, and has spoken at AusBiotech events, bringing together key stakeholders of the Australian and international medical devices and diagnostics sector to help prepare the industry sector for its changing landscape. He has also been a QLD Women in Life Sciences panellist, highlighting how he champions diversity at all levels and strives for full participation from all employees.

The new Board composition is:

  • Michelle Burke (Chair)
  • Lorraine Chiroiu (CEO)
  • Serg Duchini
  • Prof Jan Tennent
  • Dr Megan Baldwin
  • Dr Dean Moss
  • Dr Serge Scrofani

Click here to read the full release.


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