The Board


Roger Hussey

An experienced Chairman and Board member, Roger Hussey’s board experience includes previous roles as Chairman of the Princess Margaret Children’s Hospital and the PMH Child Health Research Institute (now Telethon Kids Institute). He currently serves on two Government enterprise corporations, as Chairman of the Southern Ports Authority and Deputy Chair of Landgate, and on the Bali Eye Humanitarian Foundation in Indonesia. Roger has held many executive roles in his career with both private and ASX-listed companies. As a management consultant, he has delivered major consulting projects for hospitals and research institutes in Perth and Melbourne. He is a graduate of the University of Oxford (Economics), Stanford (International Business) and the University of Western Australia (Law).

Board of Directors

Steve Wilton

Professor Steve Wilton is WANRI’s Scientific Director and holds the Foundation Chair in Molecular Therapy at Murdoch University. Professor Wilton joined the institute in 1991 and with his colleague Professor Sue Fletcher has pioneered the development of a radically new therapy for the devastating childhood disorder, Duchenne muscular dystrophy. A drug developed in WANRI’s Perth laboratories is the subject of a clinical trial in the United States, which continues to produce highly positive outcomes. Professor Wilton’s research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy has been acknowledged through several awards, including the 2012 Western Australian innovator on the Year Award, the 2013 Eureka Prize for Medical Research Translation, and, most recently, the 2014 Labgear Australia Discovery Science Award. Current research explores the use of similar drug strategies in other diseases, including spinal muscular atrophy, cystic fibrosis and Pompe’s disease.

Steve Arnott

With 35 years experience in government and the private sector, Steve Arnott – WANRI’s CEO – brings to the Board considerable skills in strategic management, financial and accounting management, and policy development. Steve has held positions on Government Statutory Authorities and on Western Australian Government Industry Development Agencies where his role was to facilitate industry development across a range of industries in Western Australia. Dealing with the highest levels of private enterprise and government, Steve was instrumental in securing significant investment in value adding and service-based industries in Western Australia and played a crucial role in infrastructure development and research commercialisation. Steve is Chair of the Board’s Finance Committee.

Sharon Brown

Sharon Brown – 1999 WA Telstra Business Woman of the Year – is the Managing Director of Sharon Brown and Associates, a highly successful ICT, sales and management consultancy consortium. Sharon has over 35 years experience in the ICT industry and has chaired or held positions on numerous boards and committees in the ICT sector, government and Not for Profit companies. Many of these boards and committees have been in the R&D domain, including, for example, the CRC Committee, which is responsible for overseeing the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) program that has funded 190 CRCs across Australia since 1991. Sharon’s business background, her knowledge of the ICT sector and her governance experience are important assets for the WANRI Board. Sharon is Chair of the Board’s Fundraising Committee.

Alan Harvey

A graduate of the University of Cambridge and the Australian National University, Alan Harvey is a Winthrop Professor in the School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology at The University of Western Australia. A member of the Board of the Neurological Council of Western Australia, Professor Harvey is one of Western Australia’s leading neuroscience researchers with almost 200 major publications and a history of significant funding from the NHMRC and other funding agencies. The winner of awards for both teaching and postgraduate supervision, Alan has supervised over 20 PhD students, many of whom have gone onto highly successful research careers, in the USA, Europe and China. Professor Harvey is Chair of the Board’s Research Advisory Committee.

Bryant Stokes

A clinical neurosurgeon by training, Professor Bryant Stokes is Acting Director General of Health in Western Australia having previously served as Chief Medical Officer. As Acting Director General, Professor Stokes has overseen a period of significant structural reform to the WA health system, including the construction of both the Fiona Stanley and the Perth Children’s hospitals. Professor Stokes previously directed the WA Health Neurosciences and the Neurosciences Health Network and served on the Medical Board of WA for more than a decade. For many years, Professor Stokes has been a leader in fostering the development of the neurosciences in Western Australia and is the driving force behind the concept of the new neuroscience building due for construction at the QE II Medical Centre.

Ross Thorpe

An Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ross is a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers where he heads the Research and Development practice in PwC’s Perth office. Ross has more than 20 years experience advising both government and non-government bodies on Indirect Taxation, including GST, R&D, Customs and Excise Compliance, Customs Duties and Stamp Duty. Amongst Ross’s clients is Australia Post, and a number of specialty companies in the IT, resources and property sectors. Ross is Chair of the Board’s Finance Committee.

Company Secretary

Ann Morris

An accountant by background, Ann Morris has worked in the not-for-profit sector for 12 years, of which 8 years were spent at the Ear Science Institute Australia during which time she has used her skills and experience to make a positive contribution to the growth and governance of the organisation. Ann holds a Bachelor of Business degree and commenced her working career with Price Waterhouse in Brisbane. Ann worked for many years in financial management in the legal profession where she also handled acquisitions and mergers. In recent times, Ann has focused on the establishment of appropriate financial reporting and control systems that promote sound financial health in not-for-profit organisations.


Board Affiliates

Medical Director

Dr David Blacker

A consultant neurologist and stroke Physician at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Clinical Professor at the University of Western Australia, David Blacker – WANRI’s Medical Director – has had a long-standing association with WANRI as an Honorary Research Fellow. C/Professor Blacker continues to play an active role in shaping policy on neurological care as a member (and previous Chair) of the Neurosciences Advisory Group to the WA Department of Health and a member of the WA Neurology Planning Committee. As Medical Director, C/Professor Blacker is responsible for advising the Board on clinical research and practice.

Special Projects Director

Norman Palmer

A biochemist by background, Professor Norman Palmer – WANRI’s Director Special Projects – was formerly Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at James Cook University in northern Queensland, having worked previously at the University of Western Australia and Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School (University of London). Norman has served on numerous company boards and committees, including those of several Cooperative Research Centres, as well as other research centres and consortia. Professor Palmer’s extensive experience in research and academia greatly benefits the strategic development and focus of WANRI.