Executive Committee Members
Professor Jo Salmon is Co-Director of the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University. She is supported by a Leadership Level 2 Investigator Grant from the National Health & Medical Research Council (APP1176885). Jo has spent the last 20 years conducting research on the development of effective programs to promote children’s physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour. She has published her research extensively with over 350 peer reviewed papers and 13 book chapters, and is a Clarivate Highly Cited researcher (2015-2019). Jo works closely with government and non-government organisations including playing a key role in development of physical activity guidelines for children and adolescents in Australia (2004; 2008; 2014). She is the past President and Fellow of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
David is the Head of the Baker Deakin Department of Lifestyle and Diabetes, Deputy Director, Physical Activity Laboratory Head at Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne and Chair, Lifestyle and Diabetes, Deakin University. He is the Vice-President of ASPA and Co-Chair of the Partnerships Committee.
His team has been a major international contributor to sedentary behaviour research, building on the initial observational-study evidence to provide experimental findings from laboratory studies and real-world intervention and implementation trials. The research has stimulated serious consideration of novel preventive and therapeutic strategies to support the simplified public health and clinical practice message to ‘sit less and move more’.
David brings extensive experience to his role at ASPA through his track record in developing collaborations with multidisciplinary research teams and also successful partnerships with government and non-government agencies, along with industry and occupational partners both nationally and internationally.
Nicky is an Associate Professor in Physical Activity and Health within Allied Health & Human Performance at the University of South Australia. Her research program focuses on the assessment of youth physical activity patterns and the development and evaluation of interventions aiming to promote physical activity in different settings.
Trevor Shilton is Consultant in Health Promotion and Physical Activity; Adjunct Professor, Curtin University, School of Public Health; Adjunct Associate Professor, University of WA. Trevor has 30-years’ experience in health promotion and physical activity, community wide projects, social marketing campaigns, research, policy advocacy and international health. Trevor previously led the Australian Heart Foundation’s national initiatives in physical activity. Internationally Trevor holds positions on the Executive Board of the IUHPE, he is a member of the WHO Civil Society Working Group on NCDs and was previously on the Board of ISPAH, leading its advocacy work. He is a member of the Founding Executive Committee of ASPA and the society’s Advocacy Committee.
Ashleigh is the centre manager for the Sports Performance, Recovery, Injury and New Technologies (SPRINT) Research Centre in the School of Behavioural and Health Sciences at Australian Catholic University. The centre conducts research to advance knowledge in sports performance, recovery, and injury by developing new, and using established, research techniques. As centre manager Ashleigh is responsible for grant management, HREC management, stakeholder management, marketing and event coordination and general operations.
Corneel Vandelanotte is a research professor at the Central Queensland University’s Appleton Institute. Within the Appleton Institute he leads the Physical Activity Research Group and the 10,000 Steps program. He is a current ARC Future Fellow and a former NHMRC and NHF research fellow. Prof Vandelanotte is leading a program of research focussed on the development, evaluation and dissemination of digital and mobile physical activity interventions (e- & mHealth) designed to effectively reach large populations at low cost. Within this context his research examines web-, app-, tracker- and chatbot-based interventions with high levels of personalisation using traditional or machine learning algorithms. He is chair of the ASPA Abstract Review sub-committee (part of the Scientific Program Committee).
David Lubans is a Professor in the School of Education and Theme Lead for school-based research in the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle, Australia. He is a former ARC Future Fellow and current NHMRC Research Fellow. Professor Lubans is leading a program of research focused on the evaluation of school-based interventions designed to promote physical activity and improve fitness and well-being in young people. Much of his research has involved inter-sectoral partnerships with government and non-government organisations.
Professor Erica Hinckson is the Head of School of Sport and Recreation at the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. Her program of research focuses on the science of behaviour, in particular, the patterns, causes and effects of physical activity and sedentary behaviour on health in youth and adults, within the context of the built environment. She is on the steering committee for the International Physical Activity and Environment Network-Adolescents (IPEN), and the Chair of the Publication’s Committee, president-elect for the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, an inaugural member of Citizen Science Global Research Network and Citizen Science Leadership Task Force, and former Chair for the Council of Environment and Physical Activity (ISPAH Council).
Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa & Victoria University Wellington Te Herenga Waka
Justin currently holds a dual appointment as Academic Lead at Sport New Zealand Ihi Aotearoa and Associate Professor in Physical Activity & Wellbeing at Victoria University Wellington Te Herenga Waka. His expertise is in the evaluation and surveillance of physical activity and associated wellbeing outcomes. He has been recognised for his cross-cultural research and his work with various population groups experiencing inequities globally.
Justin is passionate about practical research translation as is evidenced by his previous track record working across physical activity research (University of Oxford, University of Sydney), policy (NSW Ministry of Health, WHO, UNESCO) and practice (clinical physiotherapy, tertiary teaching). He was the founding editor of the Journal of Sport for Development (JSFD), which is an international academic journal dedicated to improving cross-disciplinary access to evidence. Justin is also co-director of Pragmatic Evaluation in Physical Activity and Health (PEPAH), a charity focussed on improving the evidence-base for effective implementation of ‘real world’ physical activity initiatives globally.
Professor Kylie Hesketh is a Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow with the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University. She Chairs the ASPA Active Healthy Kids Australia Committee which produces the Australian Physical Activity Report Card. She is Deputy Director of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in the Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood. With a background in psychology, behavioural epidemiology and child public health, Kylie’s research focuses on early childhood movement behaviours and family-based interventions. Her work has contributed to numerous policy documents and guidelines developed by government and non-government organisations, including serving on the Leadership Committee for the first Australian Early Years 24-hour Movement Guidelines commissioned by the Department of Health.
Leah is a seasoned business executive with over 30 years’ experience in the Health Sciences. Specialising in Food, Pharmaceutical and Personal Care industries, she provides expertise in analysis of business performance, new business development, creation and implementation of business strategies and generation of training programs for personnel. A capable, results orientated leader with a track record of success with high performance teams, successfully increasing efficiency and productivity whilst reducing costs.Leah mentors final year university students, empowering them to enter the workforce and excel in their chosen field. She is a keen sportsperson with a penchant for triathlon, having represented Australia in the 2016 ITU Sprint Triathlon World Championship for Age Group in Cozumel, Mexico. Leah is passionate about staying active and good nutrition, enjoying outdoor activities such as walking, swimming, fishing and sailing. Her goal is to make significant contributions to a team, through passionate commitment, inspirational leadership and a clear vision.“My passions lie in assisting people and businesses, to equip them for future development; helping them grow, adapt and evolve in constantly changing environments.” – Leah Valente
Lisa is a Senior Lecturer with the School of Sport and Recreation at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. She completed her PhD thesis at Auckland University of Technology exploring patterns of physical activity and sedentary behaviour in parents with young children. Lisa’s research is centred in behavioural health and wellbeing with specific expertise in physical activity, sedentary behaviour, time-use, and wellbeing measurement frameworks. Working within a socio-ecological framework, Lisa’s research spans the personal, social, organisational, and environmental factors that influence physical activity and wellbeing outcomes.
Peter McCue is the Executive Manager of Physical Activity and Participation at the NSW Office of Sport. He’s currently leading the development of NSW ‘s Statewide Physical Activity Strategy. Prior to his current role Peter spent a decade as the Executive Office of the NSW Premier’s Council for Active Living (PCAL). During Peter’s tenure, PCAL served six different Premier’s across both major political parties, developed the state’s first walking strategy and facilitated the incorporation of health considerations within various Planning instruments. Peter’s currently undertaking a PhD investigating effective ways to frame physical activity to influence political leaders.
Sarah Edney is a Research Fellow in the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore. Her research focuses on understanding and promoting healthy lifestyle behaviours using mobile technology (mHealth). Currently, she is working on using mobile technologies (smartphone-based ecological momentary assessments, GPS, accelerometers, activity trackers, flash glucose monitoring sensors) to enhance our understanding of patterns and causes of healthy and unhealthy behaviours in real-time, as people go about their everyday lives. This understanding will be used to identify intervention strategies that should be prioritised for inclusion in personalised lifestyle interventions to be delivered on a population-wide scale. She is the Chair of the ASPA Early Career Professionals Committee.
Professor Scott Duncan is the Head of Department (Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity) at the School of Sport and Recreation at the Auckland University of Technology. Areas of expertise include the measurement and classification of physical activity and sedentary behaviour, risk and play in children, and active living research. Prof Duncan is the Director of the Te Hotonga Hapori – Connecting Communities research programme, an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, and sits on the Executive Committee for the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity.
Verity Cleland is an Associate Professor at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, and is funded by a National Heart Foundation of Australia Future Leader Fellowship. She is behavioural epidemiologist with a background in health promotion, and her main research interest is in understanding and promoting physical activity. Her work has focused on groups at high risk of inactivity including women, those experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage and rural communities. A/Prof Cleland is passionate about applying her findings to the way we build our cities and how we provide public services to support more physically active lifestyles. She currently leads a NHMRC Partnership Project (2018-2021) to better understand and change active and public transport behaviours in Tasmania. This project involves partnerships with Metro Tasmania, the Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services, and the Tasmanian Local Government Association, and involves secondary data analysis of existing datasets as well as evaluation of randomised and natural experiments. Verity is Deputy Chair of the Tasmanian Premier’s Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee, which has a major focus on working inter-sectorally and inter-departmentally to create environments that support healthy behaviours. Through this committee, her partnership project, and her history of collaborative research, she is well-connected with a range of stakeholders in Tasmania and nationally.
Duan Yanping is an Associate Professor of the Department of Sport, Physical Education and Health at Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong and chair of ASPA’s Asia Committee. Her research interests include health behaviour promotion and sport psychology, with a primary focus on exploring psycho-social, social-cultural and environmental determinants of physical activity behaviour as well as designing, implementing and evaluating theory- and evidence-based physical exercise intervention programme for the purpose of health promotion. She has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles in international journals including Journal of Medical Internet Research, Journal of Sport & Health Science, Psychology of Sport & Exercise, Landscape and Urban Planning, and others. Associate Professor Duan’s research covers diverse samples (e.g., university students and staff, office-based employees, older adults, cardiac rehabilitation patients) applying various approaches including observation, interview, questionnaire survey, onsite-, web- and app-based interventions. She is currently the Associate Editor of Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, the Associate Editor of Frontiers in Public Health, the Associate Editor of Frontiers in Psychology, and the Asian Editor of the American Journal of Health Behaviour