Occupational Therapy Australia Board

Occupational Therapy Australia is governed by a Board of Directors elected by members and/or through the Nominations Committee. There can be up to ten Board Directors, which includes provision for external non-member and non-occupational therapists as directors. 

The 2023/24 Board of Directors was announced at the AGM on 23 November 2023. Office bearers were finalised at the November OTA Board Meeting.

 

Priscilla Ennals, PhD, President
With almost 30 years’ experience working across clinical, academic and research contexts, Priscilla is a creative and strategic thinker dedicated to the improvement of our Australian health and social care systems.

 

Michelle Bissett, PhD, Vice President, Finance
Michelle Bissett is a registered occupational therapist with 25 years of experience across clinical and academic roles. She has long been an active contributor to the occupational therapy profession in Australia and currently holds the role of Vice President (Finance). Michelle maintains involvement with Occupational Therapy Australia because of her genuine interest in the future of the profession nationally and internationally. Michelle is motivated to position occupational therapy as a globally recognised and essential health profession which evidences a positive contribution to people’s health and wellbeing. Michelle considers herself to be a conscientious, ambitious, professional and hard-working leader and team member.

 

Joanna Murray, Vice President
Joanna is the Co-Founder of Apricus Health and has over 15 years’ experience as an occupational therapist and as a private practice business owner. Apricus Health provides services to people across the lifespan in the areas of paediatrics, disability, aged support, mental health, hands and rehabilitation. Joanna continues to work clinically within the NDIS, DVA and community contexts in addition to working in strategy, governance and finance. Joanna is passionate about bringing innovation to OT and has been integral in the development of an international collaborative placement model with a university in the UK during COVID and has been involved in other projects including a social isolation and loneliness program, a student-led service provision model, a therapy assistant framework, and an online education and training platform for health workers. Joanna is the recipient of many professional awards and has completed her MBA/MPH and the AICD Company Directors’ course.

 

Alice Fung
Alice is a mental health occupational therapist with over 20 years of practice in clinical and corporate settings. As a migrant from Hong Kong, she brings a unique perspective and a deep understanding of diversity and inclusion to her work and in serving the community. With expertise in disability employment, injury management, and corporate health, Alice has worked with diverse populations and understands the importance of inclusive care and diverse thinking. Her qualifications are in psychology, occupational therapy, pain management, clinical governance, and risk management. Her mission is to bring cognitive diversity to more organisations. Alice's dedication to diversity and inclusion extends through serving on the boards of not-for-profit organizations and advocating for marginalized communities. Alice was awarded a scholarship from the AICD Governance Foundation for the NFP Directors program in 2023. She brings board experience, diverse qualifications, and a passion for making a difference to OT Australia’s board.

  Leanne Healey

Leanne has over 34 years of experience as an occupational therapist. Leanne founded Everyday Independence in 1997 and today she is the CEO and a Director of Everyday Independence, a dynamic allied health organisation with over 450 team members (over 200 occupational therapists). In 2018, Leanne was awarded Occupational Therapist of the Year at the Australian Allied Health Professional Awards and in 2020 Leanne was awarded The Telstra Business Women╩╝s Award for Medium and Large Business.

  Adam Lo - WFOT Delegate
Adam Lo OAM has over 20 years of experience as an occupational therapist, and a child and youth mental health clinician. He has been involved in various Occupational Therapy Australia activities since 2012 such as Special Interest Group convenor and conference committee member. Adam is currently the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Delegate for OTA and is also the Secretary of WFOT’s Asia Pacific Occupational Therapy Regional Group. He is passionate about the global development of the OT profession, arts and health initiatives, person-centred care approaches, as well as the wellbeing of serving members, veterans and their families, being an active reservist in the Australian Defence Force for over 17 years. 

  Professor Carol McKinstry, PhD
Professor Carol McKinstry is Professor of Occupational Therapy, Associate Dean Learning and Teaching and Deputy Dean of La Trobe University’s Rural Health School. Carol established the Bendigo occupational therapy education program and is passionate about rural health. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an active researcher, leading the Workforce Stream of the Violet Vines Marshman Research Centre focusing on improving the health of rural communities. Carol is also assistant editor for the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. Carol joined OTA as a final year student and has been an ongoing member ever since. She has convened her local regional interest group, served on national conference committees and on the OTA Board since 2016, becoming vice president in 2017 and president in November 2019. Carol is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and serves on the Bendigo Health Board and on community sporting boards.

 

Jack Smith
Jack is a Mental Health Occupational Therapist in an aged inpatient unit in Victoria. His journey as a health professional began with personal experiences of mental health challenges. He believes in the transformative power of occupational therapy, providing support and enabling individuals to find meaning and thrive. Throughout his career, Jack actively engaged in youth development and regional advocacy. He served as a Victorian Youth Congressman, advised with Orygen and was the Bendigo Youth Mayor in 2021. Jack also played a crucial role in developing the OTs in Action - Climate Change Advisory Body. Additionally, he is a member of the Loddon Mallee Regional Mental Health and Wellbeing Regional Interim Body. Passionate about fostering growth and innovation, Jack is committed to creating opportunities for graduate occupational therapists, enhancing their skills, and contributing to innovative solutions for better access to allied health services in Australia.

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