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Leading for a Healthy Future: 2022 Women in Leadership Awards Launch

November 25, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am AEDT

Posted: 19 October 2021
Event date: 25 November 2021

Throughout the pandemic, leaders in the health industry have been presented with extraordinary challenges. Now it is time to cast our sights forward, to a future beyond COVID, and establish a path to get there. At this event, our guest speakers will reflect on the leadership lessons learnt during this time and share insights on how we can build for a healthy future. How do we lead forward towards a post-pandemic normal?

To lead the discussion, we are delighted to be joined by Janine Kirk AO, Chair of Phoenix Australia and Life Member of BioMelbourne Network. Janine has had a distinguished career in senior leadership positions across a wide range of organisations, supporting government initiatives, advocating for inclusion and diversity and progressing our healthtech industry. Following Janine’s keynote address, Caroline Ryan, Partner at Allens, will lead a panel discussion with our 2021 Women in Leadership Awardees.

This event marks the launch of the 2022 BioMelbourne Network Women in Leadership Awards and officially opens nominations. Register below.

Event details

Date (AEDT): Thursday 25 November 2021
Times: 10:00am – 11:00am
Format: Online via Zoom Webinar
Registration: Free to attend for all BioMelbourne Network Members and Non Members

Guest Speakers (full biographies below) 

Janine Kirk AO, Chair, Phoenix Australia | Chair, HousingFirst | Chair, The Melbourne Prize Trust | Deputy Chair, Women and Families United by Defence Service Council | Ambassador, Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute | Patron, Brilliant Women Global | Life Member, BioMelbourne Network 

Associate Professor Margie Danchin, Group Leader Vaccine Uptake and Clinician Scientist, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and University of Melbourne / Peadiatrician, Royal Children’s Hospital
Dr Jenny Petering, Of Counsel, FB Rice
Jennifer Herz, Managing Director, Biointelect
Dr Hannah Kirk, NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow, Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University 

Caroline Ryan, Partner, Allens 

This event is delivered in partnership with Allens 

Janine Kirk AO

Janine is an experienced Chief Executive and company director of over 25 years standing.

She has had a distinguished career in senior leadership positions in a wide range of organisations across the private, government, not-for-profit and charity sectors. She has worked for both global and small organisations including creating several successful social start-ups.

Her most recent executive role was as the founding Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust Australia, representing His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales’ charitable endeavours in Australia. Janine established the Prince’s Trust following six years as a Partner with Ernst & Young (EY) where she established their Victorian Government and Public Sector Practice. Prior to EY she was the Chief Executive of The Committee for Melbourne. During her time at the Committee, she established the BioMelbourne Network, of which she is a Life Member. She is also a Life Member of the Committee for Melbourne and Berry Street Victoria.

She is now a full-time Non-Executive Director and is currently Chair, Phoenix Australia Ltd– the Australian Centre of Excellence for Posttraumatic Mental Health; Chair, HousingFirst, an affordable and social housing association, Chair; The Melbourne Prize Trust which provides financial and professional development opportunities to Victorian Artists through an annual financial award program, and Deputy Chair; Council for Women and Families United by Defence Service.

Janine’s long service to the community has been recognised through her award in 2006 as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her contribution to Melbourne and Child Welfare; and in 2021 as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for her contribution to the not-for-profit sector. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Monash University and a Deakin University Vice -Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellows Award for contributions to business, education and the community. She is a Patron for Brilliant Women Global.

Associate Professor Margie Danchin

Margie Danchin plays an important role in vaccine confidence locally and internationally as a consultant paediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital, University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics, Associate Professor and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute’s (MCRI) Vaccine Uptake Group leader. Her work became even more critical during the pandemic as she mobilised an extensive COVID-19 research program and efforts to maximise vaccine uptake.

An immunisation expert, Margie is at the forefront of understanding and encouraging vaccine confidence globally. She has more than 10 years’ experience in vaccine research and clinical work, with a focus on policy, safety, evaluation, confidence, acceptance, and uptake, particularly amongst high risk-groups and in low and middle-income countries.

Margie works closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Global Vaccine Demand Hub and is part of the Sabin’s Vaccine and Acceptance Research Network (VARN) steering group and the IPA-Vaccine Trust Project.

In Australia, Margie chairs the Collaboration on Social Science in Immunisation Group and the Social Science Advisory Board. She is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance and the COVID-19 Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation working group.

Margie is passionate about effective vaccine communication and building vaccine confidence. An outstanding leader, she stepped up during the pandemic to strengthen research and educate communities. As a Churchill Fellow, Margie will travel to access leading international expertise to inform COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and uptake, develop interventions to improve uptake and respond to misinformation in Australia and the region later this year.

She leads a vaccine uptake research program within MCRI’s COVID 19 initiative, runs the national COVID Vaccine Preparedness Study and leads a group that will roll out a training program to leaders in Cultural and Linguistically Diverse communities, recent migrants, and refugees, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Highly respected for her warmth and integrity, decision-making skills, and ability to inspire, Margie is a brilliant communicator and regularly writes for scientific and lay publications, including The Conversation. She engages directly with the community and government, pivoting online during the pandemic, and is respectful when addressing misinformation and vaccine hesitancy.

Dr Jenny Petering

Dr Jenny Petering has played a major role in growing a leading Australian biotechnology IP practice over 25 years. Jenny manages extensive patent portfolios and acts for a broad range of clients including universities, hospitals, and research institutes, as well as corporates, ranging from start-up companies through to those on the global stage. Jenny is recognised as one of the world's leading patent prosecutors, both for her exceptional technical ability and her commitment to clients; consistently singled out by industry reviews, such as MIP IP STARS (2014-2021), and IAM Patent 1000 (2012-2020). Jenny has led, educated and inspired several generations of patent attorneys at many levels, including teaching roles at the University of Melbourne, and Monash University.

Beyond excelling as a service provider in her role at FB Rice, Jenny directly supports the local entrepreneurial and biotechnology community through her enthusiasm for innovation and mentoring. She is an inspiring role model and has made a palpable difference to the advancement of women in the biotechnology industry through creating networks, mentoring forums, and investing in female entrepreneurs.

Jenny is deeply committed to a range of commercialisation entities geared at providing financial, technical and industry support to start-ups, research institutes and PhD students. Jenny harnesses her relationships with local and international industry partners to create highly impactful networking forums to promote emerging companies and those seeking an international footprint. As a member of Scale Investors Jenny has mentored and advised early-stage companies and introduced entrepreneurs to strategic partners and funding.

Jenny champions excellence in the Life Sciences industry (ASX Code of Best Practice 2013) and is a strong advocate for the advancement of women in the sector (Scale Investors and SBE Life Sciences Executive Council).

Jenny sits on the Executive Committee of Industry Mentoring Network in STEM, connecting industry leaders with PhD students to promote scientific innovation and education. Jenny contributes her time to a number of community initiatives, including various translation and commercialisation committees for research institutes; and previously the Victorian Government -Science, Medical Research and Technology (SMaRT) Panel.

Jennifer Herz

Jennifer Herz founded Biointelect in 2012 to provide strategic commercialisation services to the biopharmaceutical sector. Biointelect clients include early-stage biotech and medtech companies, pharmaceutical companies, universities, research institutes, government and other not-for-profit organisations. Biointelect today has 20 staff, including 7 in its Melbourne office, and has completed over 250 projects for more than 100 clients.

Jennifer has over twenty years commercial, business development and scientific affairs experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and has held a variety of roles with responsibility for Australia, New Zealand and European markets. She was the first Managing Director of Sanofi Pasteur in Australia which was a start-up company and grew significantly over the 6 years of her tenure to be an established major provider of vaccines to the public and private market in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Region.

She has previously served on the Board of Medicines Australia where she led industry discussions with government related to the new funding arrangements for vaccines on the PBAC. She was also active in a variety of European and International Industry Association working groups responsible for liaison with health authorities including European Institutions and the WHO.

She is a member of the NHMRC’s Health Innovation Advisory Committee and is a member of the Expert Reference Group of the NHMRC funded Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Disease Emergencies (APPRISE). Jennifer is also on the steering committee of MTPConnect’s Australian antimicrobial resistance network (AAMRNet).

Jennifer has an extensive international & local network of industry, policy, scientific and clinical experts across many therapeutic areas and healthcare sectors along with global experience in multiple new product launches and start-ups at all stages of development. She also has significant Board experience including strategy, risk and governance in both public and private companies and the not-for-profit sector.

Jennifer serves on the Australian board of 60 Degrees Pharmaceuticals LLC and Equillium Inc and is also a Director of Biocelect. Biocelect has been appointed Sponsor in Australia and New Zealand for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine NVX CoV-2373.

Dr Hannah Kirk

Over the last 5 years, Dr Hannah Kirk has worked in academia and held executive roles in the digital health and medical technology sector. Her PhD was awarded in 2016 from the School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University. Following her PhD, she served as Chief Research Officer of Tali Digital (formerly Novita Healthcare; 2016-2018) where she led the company’s research and development program. In 2018 she returned to academia and started a post-doctoral position at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University having been awarded a prestigious NHMRC Early Career Fellowship.

Her research program examines how digital technology can support cognitive, academic, behavioural and health outcomes in children and adolescents. She co-invented the world’s first digital attention intervention for children with developmental disorders (e.g., Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders) and has led two clinical trials demonstrating the benefits of the intervention for attention and numeracy skills. The patented intervention is an approved Class 1 Medical Device with the FDA and TGA, reimbursable through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)and being used by children globally.

Hannah’s translational work was awarded the Deans Award for Research Excellence (2018) and the Australian Psychological Society Thesis Award (2016). She has published 13 peer-reviewed papers, been invited to speak at over 20 international/national conferences and is an emerging global leader within the field of digital health research. She has supervised 13 research students and co-leads the Child and Adolescent Development Lab within the School of Psychological Sciences. Collectively, her work has helped shape public discourse about the use of innovative digital technology in supporting the youngest members of our society.

Hannah actively engages with the community as a science expert on radio and TV, at public talks, and in digital media. She was named as one of the ABC Top 5 Science Scholar in 2019.

Hannah is passionate about research translation and uniting academia and industry to produce innovative evidence-based tools that have direct benefits for the community. She is a strong advocate for advancing gender equity in academia and industry and promoting STEM careers for girls. Hannah is an emerging leader whose strong research foundation, industry experience, innovative mind and active community engagement ensures she will make a significant and valuable contribution to the sector.

Caroline Ryan

Caroline is a partner of Allens.

With the Allens Intellectual Property and Patents and Trade Marks Attorneys team, Caroline works with clients from research, technology and brand-based industries, ranging from associations to multi-nationals, and sectors that include biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

Caroline has over 15 years’ experience advising on all aspects of intellectual property law and has acted in court proceedings involving patents, trade marks and copyright infringement, misuse of confidential information, misleading and deceptive conduct and passing off.

Working closely with clients to develop strategies for the protection, commercialisation and enforcement of IP rights, Caroline has conducted and defended urgent applications for preliminary injunctions, ex parte search orders and expedited substantive proceedings.

Most recently, Caroline acted in Australia’s first preliminary injunction application and expedited patent infringement and revocation proceedings in relation to monoclonal antibody biosimilars.

Caroline has consistently been recognised as a next generation partner for Intellectual Property in Australia by Legal 500 (2017 to 2021 inclusive), Best Lawyers and as a Rising Star in Intellectual Property by Doyle’s Guide.

Caroline is a recent past Chair of the Stella Prize which champions gender equality and awards an annual prize celebrating Australian women’s writing.


November 25, 2021
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Event Category:


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