The Council drives the direction of the Partnership and brings together representatives from peak professional and standard setting bodies for clinicians, the community sector, and relevant government agencies.

Dedicated working groups may be established to progress specific projects of the Partnership.


Dr Kym Jenkins, Chair

Dr Kym Jenkins represents The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP). More

After moving from the United Kingdom to Australia in 1986 Dr Jenkins worked in General Practice before commencing psychiatry training and completed her Fellowship with RANZCP in 1998. Dr Jenkins has held a range of roles as a Consultant Psychiatrist and in medical education in both the public and private sectors. She was Medical Director/Senior Clinician of the Victorian Doctors Health Program, for 10 years, is currently in psychiatric practice in Melbourne, an adjunct Senior Lecturer at Monash University and honorary senior fellow at Melbourne University. Dr Jenkins is the immediate past president of the RANZCP, Chair of the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges (CPMC), on the Board of Mental Health Australia and Chair of the RANZCP Asylum seeker and Refugee mental health network.

Photo of Carla Wilshire

Carla Wilshire, Deputy Chair

Carla Wilshire is the CEO of the Migration Council Australia—Australia’s national research and policy institution on migration, settlement and social cohesion. More

Carla has a background in policy development, corporate governance and tertiary research. She has worked as a public servant and advisor to Government, principally in the area of migration and resettlement, including as Chief of Staff to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Carla is a member of the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity, which provides policy advice to the Council of Chief Justices of Australia on improving access to justice for culturally and linguistically diverse Australians. Carla is also a member of the National Anti-Racism Partnership and co-founded the Friendly Nation Initiative, which aims to link corporate Australia with the settlement community to improve employment outcomes for refugees.

Shamsa Abdullahi

Shamsa Abdullahi represents the Australian College of Midwives and is a practicing midwife. More

Shamsa is committed to providing holistic and sensitive care to women and their families throughout pregnancy. As a migrant woman from a refugee background, Shamsa makes a point of promoting among her peers an awareness of the different maternity issues childbearing women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds face. She prides herself on her ability to collaborate with people from all walks of life and to communicate with diverse women and their families in a sensitive, respectful and supportive manner.


Associate Professor Jacqueline Boyle

Associate Professor Jacqueline Boyle represents The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. More

Associate Professor Boyle also chairs the Partnership’s Sub-Working Group on Refugee Women’s Health. Associate Professor Boyle is an obstetrician and gynaecologist, and heads the Indigenous and Refugee Women’s Health Program at Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation. Associate Professor Boyle works clinically in refugee women’s health in Victoria and in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women’s health in outreach services in the Northern Territory, as well as in research, translation and education nationally. She also holds an honorary appointment at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. Her research interests are in women’s health across the life-course with a focus on a healthy start to life—pre-pregnancy through to early childhood.

Alison Coelho

Alison Coelho is the Acting Co-Executive Manager of the Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health, Stream Leader Multicultural Health Improvement and Manger of the Multicultural Health and Support Services. More

Alison has a background in Sociology and Community Development. Alison is a sitting member of the Victorian Ministerial Blood Borne Viruses Advisory Committee, a member of the Victorian Hepatitis B Alliance and former Board member of the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO). She is the founding member and Chair of the new Australian Multicultural BBV/STI Alliance and the Co-Chair of AFAO’s African Reference Group. Alison has significant Local Government experience, coordinating population based health planning, and developing and implementing the first prevention based Health Plan in the State. She has also managed the development of Diversity Strategies, Reconciliation Policies and a Women’s Health Initiative for local Government. Having worked around the world, Alison is committed to addressing the social determinants of health at a systemic level and is an advocate for human rights and health equality.

Associate Professor Deborah Colville

Associate Professor Deborah Colville represents The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) and The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). More

Associate Professor Colville is a Melbourne ophthalmologist who graduated from Monash in 1975 and is a Fellow of RANZCO and RACS. She has a small private practice in Ivanhoe, NSW. Associate Professor Colville was a Director of Ophthalmology at Austin Repatriation Medical Centre and Chair of the RACS Women in Surgery Committee. Since 2000, she has been Director of Curriculum Development at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. Associate Professor Colville’s Master of Public Health degree focused on educational program evaluation in health care and she now researches curriculum and public health themes, including ophthalmic public health, gender and curriculum, and women in leadership in vocational education and training.

Claire Hewat

Claire Hewat represents the Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA). In 2018, Claire was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the AHPA, where she leads a team in the representation and advocacy of allied health interests and concerns to state and federal government. More

Claire has a history as a practicing Dietitian across various areas of clinical, public health, private practice and diabetes education nutrition, and is experienced in rural health service management. She previously served as CEO of the Dietitians Association of Australia and has been appointed to multiple boards throughout her career. She has used these positions to facilitate collaboration among and assist in the leadership of regional and national health-related organisations, advocating on a wide range of issues related to health at the highest levels of government.

Andrew Iliov

Dr Andrew Iliov represents the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA).More

Dr Iliov is a staff anaesthetist and Supervisor of Training at the Department of Anaesthesia, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at University Hospital Geelong in Victoria. He obtained his graduate medical degree in 2008 and completed his anaesthesia training through St. Vincent’s and Box Hill Hospitals in Melbourne, receiving his fellowship in 2017. Since then, Dr Iliov has practiced in full time public anaesthesia practice at Barwon Health, and leads the healthcare sustainability and practice ecology portfolio for the department. He is currently competing his Masters of Public Health through Monash University, and is actively involved in Deakin University medical student, junior doctor, and registrar education.

Dr Iliov is an active member of the Department of Anaesthesia Research Group, with academic interests in healthcare sustainability and social determinants of illness, environmental health impacts, access to safe surgery, and global burden of disease in relation to safe surgical and anaesthesia access in migrant communities.

Neela Janakiramanan

Neela Janakiramanan represents the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Jenny Johnson

Jenny Johnson represents the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

Vase Jovanoska

Vase Jovanoska is the current Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG). Born in Macedonia and migrating to Australia, Vase understands the challenges faced when migrating to a new country and is passionate about social justice and equity.More

She is committed to improving the quality of health services and community wellbeing. With many years of experience across the corporate and not-for-profit sectors including over five years at the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM), two years at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP), and until recently, a Board Member of DPV Health and Girl Guides Victoria, Vase has been instrumental in transforming organisations into efficient, high-performing and positive environments.

Vase’s corporate expertise extends from strategy development and implementation, operations and financial management, to governance, continuous improvement, change and risk management and education.

Margaret Kay

Dr Margaret Kay represents the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). More

Dr Kay is a part-time general practitioner, Fellow of RACGP and has a Diploma of Obstetrics. She holds an academic title as Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine, UQ. Dr Kay was awarded her PhD on Physician Health in 2013. In 2015, she completed her Certificate with the Oxford International Primary Care Research Leadership Programme. She was inaugural Chair of the Refugee Health Network of Australia, is a member of the RACGP Refugee Health Special Interest Group and Clinical Lead in Multicultural Health with Brisbane South PHN, working with the Refugee Health Partnership Advisory Group Qld. Dr Kay has extensive research experience working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities and continues to work as a clinician and educator in the field of refugee health.

Erwin Loh

Professor Erwin Loh represents the Royal Australiasian College of Medical Administrators More

Professor Loh is national Chief Medical Officer and Group General Manager Clinical Governance for St Vincent’s Health Australia, the nation’s largest not-for-profit health and aged care provider, with 36 facilities, including six public hospitals, nine private hospitals and 17 aged care facilities in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, along with three co- located research institutes – the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research.

He is qualified in both medicine and law, with general and specialist registration as a medical practitioner (medical administration specialty), and a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia. He also has an MBA, Master of Health Service Management, and PhD in management.

He is Chair of the Victorian State Committee and Board Member of the Royal Australasian College of Administrators. He is adjunct Clinical Professor at Monash University, where he leads the Clinical Leadership and Management Unit at the Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation.

Penelope Marshall

Penelope Marshall is National Deputy Manager of Clinical Governance for Ramsay Health Care Australia. The team she leads is responsible for the strategic oversight of clinical incident management, quality improvement, data analytics in patient safety and development of clinical policy and procedure for the 73 Ramsay Hospitals.More

Penelope is a Registered Midwife and Nurse and holds a Masters of Medical and Health Law from the University of Melbourne. Penelope was previously the Director of Clinical Services in various Ramsay Health Care facilities, where she was responsible for operational leadership of the hospitals.  Penelope is passionate about delivering excellence in clinical care, patient safety and experience and promoting high value, high quality care.

Michal Morris

Ms Michal Morris is the CEO of inTouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence, based in Melbourne, Victoria. More

Michal has worked for over 20 years advocating for and supporting diverse communities across government and the third sector. She has developed innovation and service responses for multicultural communities since the late 1990s.

Prior to her role at inTouch, Michal was General Manager of Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health for 9 years. She has worked in community health, peak advocacy bodies, state government and at the national level at Primary Health Networks.

Michal has worked on issues as diverse as community capacity building, person centred care, Drug and Alcohol, Mental Health, Suicide Prevention, Language Services, Cultural Competency and Health Literacy.

Astrid Perry

Dr Astrid Perry is Manager of Strategic Policy at Settlement Services International (SSI), a leading for purpose not-for-profit organisation providing a range of services in the areas of humanitarian settlement, accommodation, asylum seeker assistance, foster care and disability support, primarily on the east coast of Australia. More

Dr Perry’s work experience spans over 30 years in leadership, management and multicultural work, both in government and non-government sectors. She has held senior leadership and advisory positions with a focus on capacity building, quality service delivery and improving capability to respond to multicultural communities. Before SSI, Astrid Perry managed the Multicultural Health Service of South Eastern Sydney Local Health District for seven years. She holds a post graduate certificate in Health Leadership.

Astrid Perry holds a PhD in Sociology. Her thesis focused on parent participation and gender equity in public schools.

Christine Phillips

Christine Phillips represents the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. More

Christine is Professor of Social Foundations of Medicine at the ANU Medical School, Medical Director of Companion House Medical Service (the ACT’s refugee health service), a member of the Institute for Communication in Healthcare, and immediate-past Chair of the Refugee Health Network of Australia.

She is a general practitioner with qualifications in anthropology, public health and teaching. For over a decade, Christine has advocated through policy, research and education for better use of interpreters in medical settings, and improved cross-cultural communication in health.

Carolyn Stapleton

Carolyn Stapleton represents the Australian College of Nursing.

Michelle Wright

Michelle Wright represents the Medical Board of Australia. More

Michelle is a professional independent company director with a background in corporate advisory law. For more than a decade, Michelle has served the interests of health consumers in many aspects of Australia’s health system including health professional regulation (Medical Board of Australia; Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency Community Reference Group), public health service provision (Eastern Health), quasi-judicial decision-making about patient access to particular health treatments (Patient Review Panel), health insurance (Medibank Private), human research ethics (Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee) and patient education and support and medical research (Cancer Council Victoria). Michelle is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fulbright Scholar.

Anousha Yazdabadi

Dr Anousha Yazdabadi represents the Australasian College of Dermatologists. More

Dr Yazdabadi is a Consultant Dermatologist at Eastern Health and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Medical Education, School of Medicine at the University of Melbourne.

In addition to her interests in Dermatology she is also passionate both about promoting equitable access for all to world class public health care and about training our future health care providers. She is honoured to be contributing to MRHP on behalf of the Australasian College of Dermatologists, which aims to advance the delivery and availability of skin health care to better meet the diverse needs of Australia’s communities, including those from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

Executive Officer


Gulnara Abbasova

Gulnara Abbasova is an experienced executive with a significant track record in civil society leadership, strategy and advocacy across social policy, gender equality and human rights nationally and internationally. More

Previously, Gulnara was Executive Director of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia, where she led national initiatives focused on the empowerment of migrant and refugee communities. Gulnara’s international experience includes leading programs at two United Nations agencies on Indigenous Peoples’ rights and issues, as well as in the area of civil society capacity building and participation. She also worked extensively in international advocacy with a focus on Indigenous Peoples and ethnic minorities, and facilitated local community development initiatives. Gulnara serves on a number of boards and committees focusing on professional regulation, access and equity, women’s empowerment and public health.