Board of Directors
I've worked with and for young people for over 20 years and been lucky enough to have done this in many different ways. I work as a medical doctor with young people in western Sydney who are homeless or otherwise marginalised, and as an academic at The University of Technology University doing research and teaching. I have done a lot of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching as well as training of general practitioners, nurses and other health professionals. My research is in the areas of access to health care and adolescent sexuality and sexual health, and I love having young people involved in guiding, advising and shaping our research projects. I've also written the Dolly Doctor column for over 20 years and it's been a real privilege to interact with young people in this way as well. I was a member of AAAH in its early days in the 1980s and 90s and was thrilled when it got rejuvenated in 2011. I see an association like this as a great way of bringing together young people and those who work with and for them to give a united, powerful voice to youth health.Read more …
Vice President (QLD)
Geraldine Dyer is a Registered Nurse and Midwife with postgraduate qualifications in Paediatric, Child and Youth Health Nursing. Geraldine is employed by the Queensland Department of Education and Training, State Schools Nursing Service, which provides education, training and support for students, families and school personnel to ensure the safe management of students with chronic illness or specialised health needs in Queensland State Schools. The ongoing support provided ensures students can participate fully in the educational program, with considerations and adjustments to ensure their safety and inclusion.
With 27 years of nursing experience within the Public Health sector, Geraldine has worked as a clinician, educator, and manager in a variety of settings. Residing in Mackay in Central Queensland, having lived and worked in urban, rural and remote communities, and currently working across all of these areas, Geraldine has a wealth of knowledge regarding the issues facing rural and remote areas. Geraldine’s passion for adolescent health has been ongoing throughout her career. Working in Midwifery and Child Health for many years, Geraldine was involved in the provision of direct care, support programs and education to both pregnant adolescents and adolescent parents.
As a mother of 2 adolescent children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, one of which also has a chronic illness, Geraldine has been driven to be a passionate advocate and voice for children, adolescents and families with special needs and disabilities.
Marc Zen is from Perth where he studied a degree in Health Sciences and works for a non-profit organisation called the Injury Control Council of WA. Marc has been an active volunteer on several youth programs with the WA Aids Council, Freedom Centre (a youth drop-in centre for LGBTIQ young people) and the Leap Youth Leadership program in Los Angeles. Marc was also one of two West Australians selected to represent Australia at the 2014 One Young World summit in Dublin, a competitive gathering of 1000 young leaders from around the world who are driving change in their local communities. He first got involved with the Australian Association for Adolescent Health in 2013 when he volunteered as a youth representative at that year's conference in Fremantle.Read more …
Elected Director (VIC)
Meagan is a Registered Music Therapist with 17 years’ experience working in Brisbane, Dublin, Romania and Melbourne. Meagan is the Program coordinator and Clinical Lead for the Chronic Illness Peer Support program (ChIPS), RCH Melbourne as well as the Creative Director for the youth music program, Aardvark. She also runs a small private practice business specialising in young people with chronic illness, eating disorders and mental illness. Meagan is passionate youth empowerment and participation and strengthening connections between all people who work in youth health. She believes connections to music and creativity are strong protective factors for young people. In fact her research, using Actions research methodology, investigated the use of group music therapy to foster a sense of belonging in young Sudanese refugees. Meagan most recently chaired the AAAH 2015 National Youth Health Conference in Melbourne.Read more …
Elected Director (VIC)
Michelle Telfer is a General Paediatrician and Adolescent Physician who is the Clinical Lead of Adolescent Medicine at The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. Michelle grew up in Perth, Western Australia and moved to Melbourne to commence her paediatric training. Her main clinical interests include the management of Gender Dysphoria with Michelle developing and leading the Multidisciplinary Gender Dysphoria Service for children and adolescents at RCH. She is also involved in the Eating Disorders Program, the Somatisation Clinic and is part of the inpatient Adolescent Medicine Team. She teaches medical students and junior medical staff and thoroughly enjoys mentoring a number of current junior paediatric trainees, encouraging them to become adolescent physicians!Read more …
Elected Director (VIC)
My name is James, I'm 23 years of age and I was born and raised in Melbourne my entire life.
Since the age of 13 I have been apart of the Chronic Illness Peer Support Program (ChIPS) at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. This program is for anyone that suffers a chronic medical condition and provides experiences, opportunities and friendship that I would never have had otherwise.
My goal in joining the AAAH committee is that instead of just 1 young person on the committee, we have many, providing information from a young persons perspective and bring a wide range of experiences to continue discussion and change around youth health issues.
Elected Director (TAS)
David Perez is the CEO of The Link Youth Health Service which now incorporates headspace Hobart. He has over 25 years of experience in the community sector and local government with much of it centred on developing and managing youth services and community development and leading capacity building strategies. David has demonstrated a strong commitment to strategic change management and has played an influential role the community sector in Tasmania and is a passionate advocate for collaborative practice not just within the community sector but inclusive of government and the private sectors. The provision of quality of services and the continuous improvement of the sector are things that are very close to his heart with a focus on better consumer outcomes. David is very excited about the Association being rejuvenated and the potential impact it can have.Read more …
Co-opted Director & Acting Treasurer (NSW)
Jessica completed a Bachelor of Health in July 2014 and a Masters of Public Health in July 2015. Jessica’s undergraduate studies focus on population health; exploring the social, political, cultural, economic and environmental determinants of health. Her postgraduate studies focused on a more in-depth understanding of the burden of disease, health promotion and epidemiology.
Jessica began working in the youth health sector in early 2015, starting out in a role as Youth Health Sector Support Project Officer at Yfoundations. From here Jessica developed a keen interest in youth health research and took on a second role as Research Administration Officer at the Department of General Practice, University of Sydney Westmead assisting with a state-wide research project exploring how young people access and navigate the health system in New South Wales. This strong interest in youth health led Jessica into her current position at SESLHD, where she works to support the efficient and effective implementation of youth health policies, plans, services and projects in the district.Read more …
Elected Director (VIC)
Rohan is psychologist and NHMRC Early Career Research Fellow in the Centre for Adolescent Health at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne. He has a particular interest in self-harm and substance use among marginalised populations, including those with mental health problems and those exposed to the youth justice system. Rohan has a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from James Cook University (QLD) and a PhD in psychiatry from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College in London, UK). He has experience working in the public and private sectors in direct service provision, secondary consultation, research, health promotion and community education. He has conducted research in Australia, Canada and the UK, and has presented his research findings at conferences in Brazil, Italy, South Africa, the USA, the UK and Australia. Rohan has co-authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and his articles have been published in top-tiered journals including the The Lancet, The British Medical Journal, The British Journal of Psychiatry, and The Lancet Child & Adolescent Youth. He has secured more than $3.1 million in competitive funding since 2013, including a 4-year Early Career Fellowship from the NHMRC to examine suicide and self-harm in young people in Australia. In 2015 Rohan was named the Early Career Researcher of the Year by Australia’s Society for Mental Health Research (SMHR).Read more …