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Members—Rehabilitation Advisory Committee

Name Title Biography

Ms Lisa Foreman

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Co-Chair of RAC and First Assistant Secretary Rehabilitation & Support Division, DVA

Ms Foreman joined DVA from the then Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) in October 2013 and is the First Assistant Secretary, Rehabilitation & Support Division of DVA. She has responsibility for overseeing the coordination of rehabilitation policy development across the Department. Ms Foreman also worked in the Department of Finance and Deregulation where she led the Agency Advice Unit responsible for the then FaHCSIA and also worked on a number of new policy initiatives including the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Mr David Morton

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Co-Chair of RAC and Director General, Mental Health, Psychology and Rehabilitation, Department of Defence

Mr Morton was appointed in February 2010 to lead reform as Director General of the Australian Defence Force (ADF)'s (then newly created) Mental Health, Psychology and Rehabilitation Branch. Mr Morton's previous work with DVA and the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service, and his intimate involvement with delivering support services to Australia's war veterans was recognised for that appointment.

Ms Gayle Anderson

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First Assistant Secretary, Health & Community Services Division, DVA

Ms Anderson joined DVA from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, in January 2018 and is the First Assistant Secretary, Health & Community Services Division within DVA. Gayle has responsibility for health and aged care policy development and program management for DVA, including in relation to mental and social health. Gayle has spent the majority of her career working in health policy design and program implementation and commenced her career as an allied health professional.

Ms Tania Dhillon

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Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors (ASORC) representative

Ms Dhillon has 17 years of practical experience across various schemes and expertise in assisting people with injuries and illnesses, physical and psychiatric disabilities and social disadvantage to participate in the workforce and live independently in the community. Having worked in the rehabilitation field for companies who have provided rehabilitation services to members of the ADF and DVA, she has developed an understanding of the culture and balancing needs of the client and the Department to achieve an optimal outcome. Tania started her own Workplace Rehabilitation Provider business in 2012, Tanaciti, and has built a successful private practice in the ACT and SA. Tanaciti provided injury management, rehabilitation and return to work services, EAP/ psychological counselling services, occupational therapy and workstation and workplace assessments, driving assessments and functional capacity assessments.

Mr Peter King

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Senior Responsible Officer for Rehabilitation, DVA

Mr King is the Deputy Commissioner for Western Australia, a position he has held for the past 6 years. His responsibilities include the National Manager of the Rehabilitation and Benefits function within DVA. These responsibilities include delivering high quality rehabilitation services to clients via a range of service providers and delegates. Peter had an extensive State Government background prior to joining DVA with one of his roles being General Manager of Regulation and Compliance with WorkCover WA.

Professor David Forbes

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Director, Phoenix Australia

Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health

BA (Hons) MA (Clinical Psychology) PhD

Professor Forbes joined Phoenix Australia in 1999 as Deputy Director, and was appointed Director in January 2012. He is a clinical psychologist with many years' experience in the assessment and treatment of mental health problems following trauma. He has worked in both acute crisis and continuing care settings across the community mental health system and in specialist traumatic stress services. He has played an active role in all three arms of Phoenix Australia's areas of activity: research, education and training, and policy and service development. Professor Forbes was the Chair of the working party for the Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Adults with Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, currently Vice Chair of the International PTSD Guidelines and has also published widely in the area of posttraumatic stress in the international literature. Professor Forbes has a specialised interest in the assessment and treatment of traumatic stress and in particular veteran and military mental health.

Dr Ian Gardner

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Principal Medical Advisor, DVA

Dr Ian Gardner has been appointed as the incoming Principal Medical Adviser for the Department of Veterans' Affairs. Dr Gardner has extensive experience in the health field across the public and private sectors. For the past 14 years, Dr Gardner has worked in the Department of Defence and most recently has been the Senior Physician in Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Defence Centre for Occupational Health and Safety in Canberra. In his previous roles, Dr Gardner worked for 13 years with IBM Asia Pacific as director of health, safety and environment as well as previous significant roles with ICI Australia and Alcoa of Australia.

Dr Gardner's experience is as an Occupational, Environmental and Public Health specialist with degrees in Medicine and Surgery and a Masters in Public Health, and his understanding of the Defence and veterans' environment ensure that he is well placed to take on the Principal Medical Adviser role.

Associate Professor
Lynda Matthews

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Head of Rehabilitation Counselling, Ageing, Work & Health Research Group, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Sydney

BHlthSc PhD

Associate Professor Matthews is a qualified rehabilitation counsellor who specialises in mental health, rehabilitation and work. For the past 20 years, she has been active in promoting psychiatric/ psychosocial rehabilitation as a means to improve function, reduce disability, and promote recovery in people with posttraumatic stress disorder and other persistent mental health conditions. Lynda is a Past President and Honorary Life Member of the Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and a past Director and Honorary Life Member of the Rehabilitation Counselling Association of Australasia. Prior to her appointment to the University, Lynda worked in community-based rehabilitation in the areas of child protection and juvenile justice.

Mr Gary Jeffery

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General Manager, Claims Management, Comcare

Mr Jeffery is the head of the Claims Management Group at Comcare. He has more than a decade of experience as an insurance executive. He has worked in senior roles across many jurisdictions in both Workers Compensation and CTP including most recently as General Manager Workers' Compensation Insurance Division at WorkCover NSW. Since arriving at Comcare, Gary is working to reengineer Claims Management, installing efficient processes to ensure Comcare delivers robust and transparent premium setting policies, engages with employers for better claims management results and tackle the drivers of increased claims liabilities.

Mr Chris Foley

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National Secretary, Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association (ARPA)

Mr Foley worked in Mental Health, Indigenous mental health, in both Hospitals and Community Mental Health settings working with groups of young people with Schizophrenia before moving into the field of Occupational Rehabilitation. Chris has worked in a number of Occupational Rehabilitation organisations since 1986. He worked as a Senior (Clinical) Advisor with CRS from 1991 to 1994 and then as a Policy and Program Development Manager with CRS until 1996. In 1996 to 1999 he worked as a Senior Consultant specialising in HR and Workers Compensation for an Industrial Relations Firm in Melbourne.

In 1999, he became CEO of a National Rehab Organisation which provided services in all States and Jurisdictions in Australia. Along with a group of like-minded providers, Chris was instrumental in forming the Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association as a way of promoting the value of Rehabilitation and promoting the best that Occupational and Vocational Rehabilitation can be.

Chris holds qualifications in Occupational Therapy, Family Therapy, Working in diverse ethnic communities, Scottworks International Negotiation, Mediation, Conflict Coaching, Mediation, Organisational Behaviour and an MBA in Organisational Dynamics and Leadership. Chris is currently National Secretary of ARPA (Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association).

Ms Olivia Milgate

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Australian Rehabilitation Providers Association (ARPA)

Ms Milgate is an Occupational Therapist with 21 years' experience working in the Occupational Rehabilitation Industry. Olivia has a strong passion for the use of evidence-based intervention in the Industry and ensuring the skill attainment and development of professionals within this industry is aligned with best practice.

Olivia currently holds an Executive position of Capability Manager at RehabCo, an Occupational Rehabilitation Provider in NSW. Prior to this, Olivia was the Manager of the Albury RehabCo office, developing a thriving team of diverse health professionals and leading the team for 14 years. In addition to Capability Management, Branch Management and Case Management responsibilities, Olivia has worked as a specialist Occupational Therapy assessor for Earning Capacity Assessment (ECA), Medicolegal Assessment, Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) and Workplace Assessment (WPA).

Olivia worked for two other Occupational Rehabilitation Providers from 1996 2001 and also established her own OT Specialist Consultancy practice in 1997, which was in operation from 1997–2002. Olivia graduated in 1995 from The University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy.

Mr Luke Brown

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Deputy Comissioner Tasmania, DVA

Mr Brown commenced as the Deputy Commissioner Tasmania in July 2017 and is the senior officer representing DVA in that state. Prior to this, Luke worked in Canberra in various policy positions in DVA with responsibility for veterans and military compensation, income support, and mental and social health.

Ms Elizabeth Patch

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Assistant Director, ADF Rehabilitation, Joint Health Command, Department of Defence

Ms Patch is the Assistant Director of ADF Rehabilitation within Mental Health Psychology and Rehabilitation Branch. Ms Patch leads the team responsible for developing, implementing and assuring the policies and procedures that govern occupational rehabilitation for Defence members. Ms Patch had extensive rehabilitation experience in the Defence environment, including as a rehabilitation coordinator, and in the development and analysis of rehabilitation data systems and reporting. Ms Patch is the lead rehabilitation auditor for Joint Health Command.

Dr John Silver

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Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (RACP)


Dr Silver was a solo GP in Williamstown, Victoria, for some 15 years before becoming a Consultant Occupational Physician and running a busy private practice for 35 years. He is a trained mediator. He specialised in Underwater and Aviation Medicine during a Naval Reserve career spanning 38 years. He was both the Port District Naval Medical Officer at the Williamstown Naval Dockyard and the Army Area Medical Officer at 2 Commando Company from 1969 to 1989.

John was widely deployed in and around Australia and overseas both at shore establishments and at sea during his Naval career, including undertaking active service in East Timor and peace monitoring service in Bougainville. As a member of the RAN Clearance Divers Association, he has had long associations with many veterans of Australia's military activities since the 1960s.

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