Working group

The Working Group

The MMS Women Clinicians in Academia Leadership Symposium working group, consists of 11 female clinicians in academia. The group members are passionate about ensuring visibility of female clinicians in academia and the facilitation of networking to promote collaboration.

The working group are excited to bring you this symposium in a virtual format, and have lots of ideas up their sleeve to make it engaging and inspiring.

Have a question or comment? We'd love to hear from you!
Drop us a line at
mms-info@unimelb.edu.au

Associate Professor Margie Danchin
MBBS PhD FRACP

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A/Prof Margie Danchin is a consultant paediatrician at Royal Childrens Hospital and researcher at the University of Melbourne and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. Her research and clinical interests span vaccine confidence and uptake, effective science communication and global maternal and child health. She is a mum to four children, including three daughters, and is passionate about instilling belief and ensuring women reach their leadership potential.

Through Margie’s role as Director of Clinician Scientist Pathways within the Melbourne Medical School (MMS) she has founded the MMS Women Clinicians in Academic Leadership group with this extraordinary group of women. We all share the vision of inspiring and supporting women clinicians in academia through developing a strong community of practice. Margie wants to bring women together at any stage of their clinician scientist journey to share their stories and different perspectives with authenticity, improve their visibility and conquer some of the systematic barriers to leadership to ensure future success as clinician scientists.

Find an Expert: A/Prof Margie Danchin

Associate Professor Jane Munro
MBBS FRACP MPH MHSM

Jane Munro

A/Prof Jane Munro is the Head of the Rheumatology Unit at the Royal Children’s Hospital and lead of Rheumatology research at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, is a past Churchill Fellow and a Leadership Victoria Williamson Community Program Fellow. She enjoys juggling roles as doctor, researcher, private practice owner, director, advocate, writer and mum.

Jane is passionate about improving clinician wellbeing and strongly believes in the role of building community, storytelling, spreading kindness and need for health systems change. This year she co-founded Pandemic Kindness Movement during COVID. Jane loves planning events, trips with her three kids and husband, writing stories & playing trombone badly.

Find an expert: A/Prof Jane Munro

Dr Anthea Rhodes
MBBS Hons FRACP MHPE

Anthea Rhodes

Dr Anthea Rhodes is a consultant paediatrician at The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, and Founding Director of the RCH National Child Health Poll. She is a medical educator and lecturer in Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne. Dr Rhodes is passionate about health literacy and the role of communication and the media in health promotion.

Anthea is excited to be part of the inaugural MMS Women in Clinical Academia Leadership symposium and the opportunity to bring women together to share and learn. Through this program she hopes to contribute to building a lasting network and community of practice that will foster and facilitate growth and greatness among women clinician scientists.

Find an Expert: Dr Anthea Rhodes

Associate Professor Jill Sewell
AM MBBS FRACP DMedSci (Hon) FAICD

Jill Sewell

A/Prof Jill Sewell is a consultant paediatrician at the Centre for Community Child Health at The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, and Chair of the Victorian Clinical Council.

Jill considered herself to be an accidental leader until she understood that leadership throughout life is based on knowing yourself, standing up for your values, having a go, and hanging in to achieve change over time. She is a senior developmental behavioural paediatrician at the Royal Children's Hospital, and has held a number of formal leadership positions, and is still learning about leadership.

Jill wants to support women to understand and develop their leadership potential at any stage of life, and join with others in celebrating their journey.

Find an Expert: A/Prof Jill Sewell

Dr Anita Goh
BSC (Science Scholar)(Hons) DPSYCH (Clinical Neuro)

Anita Goh

Dr Anita Goh is a clinical neuropsychologist, senior research fellow, and project manager at the National Ageing Research Institute and Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, The University of Melbourne.  Her research focuses on cognitive health, mental health, and quality of life in ageing, with a specialisation in neurodegenerative disorders. Anita is the elected Program Chair of Alzheimer's Association International Society to Advance Alzheimer's Research and Treatment Health Policy Professional Interest Area. She serves on the executive committee of Australian Association of Gerontology Victorian Division, and Chairs a National Younger Onset Dementia Special Interest Group.

One of her top values is making a difference, and she is committed to equality and is proud to be part of the collective that is making improvements for women in STEMM. Anita joined the MMS Women Clinicians in Academia Leadership Symposium working group as she loves helping others to flourish and believes in the power of representation.

Find an Expert: Dr Anita Goh, @dranitagoh

Associate Professor Marie Bismark
MBChB LLB MBHL MPH MPsych MD FAFPHM FAICD

Marie Bismark

A/Prof Marie Bismark is a public health physician, researcher, legal academic, company director, and mum. Marie was born in South Africa and raised in New Zealand. After completing a Harkness Fellowship at Harvard, Marie and her family moved to Melbourne for a three-year role (which has so far turned in ten!). Her roles include leading a public health research team at the University of Melbourne, teaching at Melbourne Law School, serving on the Board of The Royal Women’s Hospital, and training in psychiatry with North Western Mental Health.

Marie loves finding and connecting great people and great ideas. She believes in the power of conversations to shape lives and sees the MMS Women Clinicians in Academia Leadership Symposium as a great way to facilitate this.

Find an Expert: A/Prof Marie Bismark

Professor Kate Drummond
AM MD FRACS

Kate Drummond

Professor Kate Drummond is Director of Neurosurgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital and Head of CNS Tumours. Her research and clinical interests are in the biology and management of brain tumours. She is Neurosurgery Editor of the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience and Chief Examiner in Neurosurgery for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. She is Chair of Pangea Global Health Education, a not-for-profit organisation specialising in health education in low resource settings. In 2019 she was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for services to medicine, particularly in neuro-oncology.

Kate is on the working group of the MMS Women Clinicians in Academia Leadership Symposium for the sheer joy of kicking ideas around with a bunch of smart and interesting women. Kate has been involved in various forums for “Women in Surgery” since she joined the Committee of the same name of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1994. Her understanding of women in medicine, surgery and academia has evolved so much since then, stating that "it has always been intersection with others that has led to those quantum leaps that change your worldview. To hear the stories, wisdom, successes, failures, jokes and advice of those both very alike and very different to you is a rare gift". Kate hopes this is what the Symposium will achieve for participants.

Find an Expert: Prof Kate Drummond

Dr Samantha Loi
PhD GradCertPOA MPsych FRANZCP MBBS BMedSc

Samantha Loi 2

Dr Samantha Loi is a neuropsychiatrist and Senior Research Fellow at RMH and Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre.  She is one of a small number of academic-psychiatrists who has completed a higher degree and continues to pursue research, complementary to her clinical work, in younger-onset dementia.  Previously she has been a panelist at the inaugural Women in Psychiatry special interest group launch in 2019 and at the RMH Women in Research fundraising lunch in 2017. Samantha is involved with the RANZCP Mentoring program and is keen to encourage and support other women that they can manage, be successful and achieve multiple roles of clinical work, research and leadership.

Samantha is proud to be involved in this working group as an early-career academic-clinician, to play her role in improving the visibility of academic-clinicians, but also to be inspired and learn more about the different elements of leadership in the modern world.

Find an Expert: Dr Samantha Loi

Professor Lena Sanci
PhD FRACGP MBBS Dip.  RANZCOG

Lena Sanci

Prof Lena Sanci Is the Chair of General Practice and Head of Department of General Practice at The University of Melbourne. She Co-Chairs the Primary Care Committee of the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health and has expertise in the co-design of interventions, implementation, and evaluation in primary care and online settings particularly for children and young people’s health. She chairs the Victorian Research and Education Network (VicREN) of over 600 general practices with a commitment to advance the discipline of primary care through teaching the next generation of health professionals, and through research.

Lena is honoured to be part of this inaugural team of women clinician scientists sharing their stories and pathways to leadership. She believes in this program for its potential to likewise connect women and grow confidence in their ability to lead through peer mentorship at any stage of career, for any personality type, and within contexts that can be rapidly changing, uncertain, and complex.

Find an Expert: Prof Lena Sanci

Associate Professor Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis
BSc (Hons) MBBS (Hons) CHIA PhD FRACGP

Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis

A/Prof Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis is an academic general practitioner (GP) at the Department of General Practice, Melbourne Medical School. She co-leads the Department of General Practice Data for Decisions program, incorporating the Patron database and development of tools that integrate with the electronic medical record to assist in evidence-based clinical decision making. She is also the Chair, RACGP Expert Committee- Research and sits on a number of Committees including the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and Melbourne Medical School Research and Research Training Committee.

Jo-Anne believes that women clinicians make an amazing contribution to patients and their communities. However, they are under-represented in leadership positions. She doesn’t believe that people are born leaders – they develop over time, and to be most effective they benefit from sponsorship and skills development. It can also be a lonely road to travel at times. Jo-Anne is hoping that this event introduces fellow women clinicians to a supportive community, where barriers are honestly acknowledged, solutions are actively sought and inspiration to lift oneself and others results.

Find an Expert: A/Prof Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis

Dr Ruth Mitchell
BA BSc BMBS MAICD FRACS FFSTEd

Ruth Mitchell

Dr Ruth Mitchell is a neurosurgeon-scientist with a keen interest in paediatric neurosurgery and brain tumour biology. She is dedicated to carrying out research to better understand neurosurgical disease and harnessing the tools of structural biology to improve patient outcomes. This has seen Dr Mitchell being awarded numerous grants and scholarships, from foundations such as Cancer Australia and the Brain Foundation. Currently Dr Mitchell is completing her PhD at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Mitchell is currently a member of the AOA Cultural Inclusion Working Group and deputy chair of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Foundation for Surgery. Dr Mitchell spent many years advocating for medical trainees, taking on numerous roles within the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Trainees’ Association. Dr Mitchell has also been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for the work of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

Dr Mitchell is thrilled to learn from brilliant women at all stages of their journeys as leaders in the academic clinical world, and hopes to inject some of the lessons learned as an advocate and campaigner into the intersecting challenges faced women in academic medicine. Together, we can remove obstacles, create better systems and a more genuinely inclusive world.