Below is a list of current MARC staff members.
- Debra O'ConnorBSW, MSW, MBL, (GAICD)Director, MARCMs Debra O'Connor is the Executive Manager and a Deputy Director of NARI. Ms O’Connor joined NARI in 2007 and is a member of the executive team and is responsible for all the operational and research governance functioning of NARI as well as supporting the Board and their subcommittees. She also manages the education and professional development program. Ms O’Connor maintains a strong interest and some advisory roles in psychosocial research undertaken by NARI. As part of her role she oversees fundraising and communications programs and external relations and partnerships development. Ms O’Connor’s career path has included managing health services as well as lecturing. She is currently a member of the RMIT Social Work Program Advisory Committee and has recently graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is the NARI Company Secretary.
- Dr Frances BatchelorPh.D B. App Sc (Physio), Grad Dip Ed (Sport Science), M. Hlth St.Research Leader, MARCDr Frances Batchelor is the Director of Health Promotion at NARI. She is also the MARC program manager and stream leader for Falls and Balance research. She is a research and clinical physiotherapist. Her research interests include falls prevention after stroke; falls prevention across community, residential care and hospital settings; identification and management of mild balance dysfunction; and the interface between technology and falls. Before coming to NARI, Frances worked in neurology and aged care in Australia, Germany and England in both acute and sub-acute settings. She was awarded her PhD in 2010 from the University of Melbourne on the topic of “Falls Prevention After Stroke”.
- Dr Bianca BrijnathBA (Hons) PhDResearch Leader, MARCBianca Brijnath is the new divisional director of social gerontology at NARI. Her disciplinary training is in primary healthcare, public health and medical anthropology and her research expertise is in mental health and care in primary care and community-based settings. Within these disciplinary and contextual boundaries, she has undertaken several studies exploring mental health and culture, mental health and the life-course, and mental health and compensable injury. Over the course of her career, she has helped secure approximately $4.2 million in research funding, including fellowship support from the NHMRC for her research on depression and help-seeking among South Asian and Anglo-Australians. She has methods expertise in qualitative methods, systematic reviews, and quantitative techniques and her research is multidisciplinary and applied. Bianca has authored over 60 publications, including a sole-authored book with Berghahn Books and is section editor for BMC Public Health. In recognition of her talents, she was accepted into the International Primary Healthcare Leadership Programme delivered by the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford, UK.
- Dr Anita PanayiotouBBNSci, PGrad Dip Applied Psychology, DPsych (Clin Neuro), Dip Management, Cert IV Health Admin.Research Fellow, MARCAnita is a Clinical Neuropsychologist and Research Fellow for the Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration, where leads clinical and translational research projects focussed on improving the lives of people living with dementia and their carers. Prior to taking on the Research Fellow position at MARC, Anita worked in various clinical and project-based roles at Western Health, working closely with senior executive to bring about sustainable culture and practice change to improve patient outcomes. She developed and implemented a new admission, risk screening, assessment and care planning framework across all emergency and inpatient units, led the implementation of the Delirium Guidelines, and led the organisation’s accreditation survey for a number of key standards. Anita comes to MARC with clinical experience, having worked as a Clinical Neuropsychologist in the hospital sector, gaining experience across all aspects of adult clinical neuropsychology. She is an experienced and Psychology Board of Australia approved supervisor. In addition to her public sector experiences, Anita comes with experience from the corporate sector where she developed an innovative recruitment model for personnel selection and co-authored a commercially available psychometric tool that has been used by 1,500 job seekers and adopted by over 150 Australian and multinational organisations. This recruitment model is currently being piloted in the selection of junior anaesthetic and intensive care doctors at Western Health.
- Sue WilliamsMPhysio, BAppSci (Phyt), BSciResearch Fellow, MARCSue Williams is a physiotherapist working in both research and clinical practice for more than two decades. Her research interests include balance, falls prevention, stroke rehabilitation, workforce redesign, service delivery and the well-being of older people. At NARI Sue has worked as a physiotherapist and as a project manager on numerous research projects.