Ross was one of the founders of the Newcastle Institute in 2004. He has always enjoyed learning new ideas and challenging existing dogmas. ‘Question everything – Especially facts’ is a favourite motto.
Ross works as an anaesthetist, treating patients at John Hunter Hospital, and teaching trainee specialists and medical students in his Conjoint role as Associate Professor at the University of Newcastle. He has a broad and interesting medical career, including being closely involved in a number of new developments and innovations in the organisation of better patient care. Away from work, Ross enjoys being involved in Newcastle as a community, the local environment, and learning the history of any and everything.
Having originally grown up on a sheep and wheat farm in North Western NSW Roger attended Sydney University and the Newcastle College of Advanced Education before commencing a career as a teacher. Along with classroom teaching, Roger then held leadership roles in a school for Young Offenders, in Outdoor Education and Principalships in a number of schools before being selected to work within the School Leadership Development Unit for the NSW Department of Education. Roger then spent 7 years as a School Education Director in Newcastle before his retirement. Roger’s commitment to future focused education led to invitations to present at conferences in the USA, UK and Canada as well as national and state conferences in Australia. Roger has been involved with the Newcastle Institute since 2009 and has been responsible for the management of online processes for the Institute, and as a presenter and facilitator for many events. Long-term Institute attendees may recall his role as ’Newy’ in the psychological thriller: Newcastle on the Couch in 2012.
Robyn is Director of Consan Consulting, providing strategic advice in health planning, service development and evaluation to national and state governments and to private industry. The consultancy firm has focused on innovation in health and community services, and is informed by rigorous methodology. She is also a conjoint lecturer in Masters of Public Health at the University of Newcastle. In this and other roles, she has a strong commitment to linking research and policy and practice. She has published in a number of public health areas including tobacco control, alcohol and mental health.
Brett returned to Newcastle in 2012 to a city that had changed and grown in his absence. He is proudly Novocastrian and wants to “give back” to the city of his birth. After many years in the corporate world as a National Sale Manager, in 2006 he had a life change moment and is now a Clinical Hypnotherapist. He is the Vice President of the Australian Hypnotherapists Association. Brett studied History and Sociology at Macquarie University, and has a keen interest in the machinations of politics and public policy.
Marie was born in Sydney, grew up in Albury, taught across NSW and Victoria, lived briefly in Tasmania, and settled (happily) in Newcastle almost 40 years ago.
She studied at the University of Sydney and later the University of New England where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with majors in English and History. She later completed postgraduate study in Public Sector Management.
As a trained teacher she taught in secondary schools, the TAFE sector and in the private training sector. The breadth of that experience cemented her passion for education.
Marie attended the very first meeting of the Newcastle Institute, attracted by its mission to promote discussion of ideas about the things that matter. That mission still inspires her.
Robert has had a career in education that spans over 30 years and has held positions including teacher, lecturer and Senior Executive Service roles.
Robert has been a member and Director of numerous local, state and national boards and advisory committees covering tertiary education, regional development and health. His areas of interest include education, health, sustainable community and regional development, the challenge of work-life integration, Australia’s relationship with China, the role of language in the construction of ideas and identity, ethics and accountability and cross-cultural ethics and leadership.