Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research Director and Advisory Committee
The Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research is led by an experienced team who understand the importance of research collaboration that results in translatable outcomes.
Associate Professor Stephen Begg
Associate Professor Stephen Begg is the Director of the Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research. He is one of Australia’s most experienced academics in the field of population health assessment and burden of disease analysis, a field he helped introduce to Australia in the 1990s and to which he has contributed through positions at Harvard University and the World Health Organization. He is a trained epidemiologist with over 25 years’ experience in international research and consultancy and has led and managed teams in both academia and the public sector. Associate Professor Begg manages a diverse industry-driven research portfolio with a focus on rural and Indigenous health inequalities and health system strengthening.
The Advisory Committee of the Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research provides strategic advice on the Centre’s vision and agenda.
Dr Neil Marshman
Dr Neil Marshman is Trustee of the VV Marshman Charitable Trust and Chair of the Advisory Committee of the Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research. Dr Marshman obtained a PhD in soil microbiology from the University of New South Wales. His career spanned forty years in the mining and electricity sectors where he worked in environmental, health and safety roles in Australia, Papua New Guinea, the United Kingdom and India. Dr Marshman, together with his brothers and mother, became a trustee of the VV Marshman Charitable Trust in 2006. He participates in several postgraduate and early career mentoring programs, and sits on two sub-committees of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, and the Melbourne University Office of Environmental Programs Community and Industry Advisory Board.
Professor Jane Mills
Professor Jane Mills is Acting Director of the Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research, and Dean and Head of the La Trobe Rural Health School. She is one of Australia’s most experienced primary health care academics, having worked in both government and tertiary sectors. With a research portfolio focused on rural health, health workforce, and nursing education, Professor Mills is considered one of Australia’s outstanding nurse researchers with a Scopus H-index of 22. She is also a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing. Since 2006, she has been the recipient of over $3.4 million in research and consultancy income including an NHMRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Primary Health Care. A recipient of an Australian Government Office of Learning and Teaching National Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Learning and Teaching in the area of teaching research, Professor Mills has a reputation as an excellent higher degree research supervisor across a number of disciplines.
Emeritus Professor Amanda Kenny
Emeritus Professor Amanda Kenny was the inaugural Violet Marshman Professor of Rural Health and Director of the Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research at La Trobe University, 2019-2020. Emeritus Professor Kenny is a registered nurse and midwife and is an expert in primary health and rural health policy. She is internationally recognised for her expertise in multidisciplinary participatory research, co-design and integrated knowledge translation.
Mr Stephen May
Mr Stephen May is Chief Advancement Officer of Alumni and Advancement at La Trobe University. He is a highly successful senior advancement executive with extensive experience in fundraising, alumni relations, strategic marketing, financial management and business development. He has built significant expertise and experience in international markets by growing engagement with international alumni, students and their families.
Professor Andrew Hill
Professor Andrew Hill is Associate Provost (Research) in the College of Science, Health and Engineering at La Trobe University. Prior to this appointment, he was Director of the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (2016-19). Professor Hill is an expert on how abnormal proteins and RNA travel from cell to cell and are involved in neurodegenerative diseases. His laboratory also works on the biology of small noncoding RNA and their potential use as diagnostics in neurological and infectious diseases. He has published over 170 research papers and edited three books.
Emeritus Professor Stephen Duckett
Emeritus Professor Stephen Duckett is Health Program Director at the Grattan Institute. He has a reputation for creativity, evidence-based innovation and reform in areas ranging from the introduction of activity-based funding for hospitals to new systems of accountability for the safety of hospital care. From 1996-2006 he was Dean of the then Faculty of Health Sciences at La Trobe University, and a Pro-Vice-Chancellor for much of that period. He was appointed an Emeritus Professor of the University in 2014. An economist, he is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.
Dr Catherine Lees
Dr Catherine Lees is Director of Education, Training and Research at Echuca Regional Health. Dr Lees completed her PhD in tumour immunology at Victoria University. She worked in cancer education at the Cancer Council Victoria before moving to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners to manage the College’s national research, grants and ethics program. In 2004, Dr Lees joined the Ethics and Research Department at the Royal Children’s Hospital, where she remained for 12 years before moving to regional Victoria to become Director of Education, Training and Research at Echuca Regional Health.
Professor Toby Wilkinson
Professor Toby Wilkinson is Deputy Vice-Chancellor for External Relations at the University of Lincoln. He was previously part of the University of Cambridge International Strategy Office, working with the Pro Vice-Chancellor to support the international engagement of schools, faculties and departments, and to develop the University's international strategy. Professor Wilkinson is an expert on ancient Egyptian civilisation and is one of the leading Egyptologists of his generation.
Mrs Marie Aitken
Mrs Marie Aitken is an experienced psychologist with an interest in health and wellbeing. She is the Board Chair for the Wimmera Health Group and has previously had board roles with Rural Northwest Health and Western Victorian Primary Health Network. Mrs Aitken has a wealth of experience in working with local communities and believes that boards must take an active interest in clinical matters to benefit patients and communities. She recognises the inequities in rural health and the resilience of rural communities, and is committed to improving the health and wellbeing of country people.
Dr Virginia Dickson-Swift
Dr Virginia Dickson-Swift is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research at La Trobe University. She is a public health researcher with over 20 years’ experience working in rural communities. Dr Dickson-Swift specialises in public health approaches to health and wellbeing challenges, oral health, qualitative research methodologies, sensitive research, ethics and working with vulnerable rural communities to solve local health issues.