Founding 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 Head of the Physical Activity laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne and is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Baker Fellow. He also holds the position of Professor within the Behaviour, Environment and Cognition Research Program at the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University. His research program encompasses the interdisciplinary cross-talk and integration of observational, experimental, mechanistic and intervention evidence on the role of sedentary behaviour and physical activity in the prevention and management of chronic diseases.
A/Prof Nicola Ridgers is a researcher based within the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University. She currently holds a Future Leader Fellowship from the National Heart Foundation of Australia. Her research primarily focuses on the assessment of children’s activity patterns, examining factors that influence these patterns, and promoting physical activity in school-based settings.
Prof Trevor Shilton is National Director of Active Living with the National Heart Foundation of Australia. Trevor’s passion is physical activity advocacy and he aims to contribute to addressing the imbalance between the compelling evidence for physical activity and the lack of policy priority afforded to it. In keeping with this, Trevor leads the advocacy work for the International Society of Physical Activity and Health (ISPAH) and the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) and is actively engaged in global work with WHO, the UN and the WHF. Throughout his career in public health Trevor has gained extensive experience and insight into translating evidence into robust initiatives such as leading social marketing campaigns and large-scale community-wide programs. In his spare time Trevor has co-authored over 70 scientific publications and four book chapters. Trevor enjoys being active by cycling, swimming and walking with his wife and his dog Barney.
Professor Corneel Vandelanotte leads the Physical Activity Research Group and the 10,000 Steps program at the Central Queensland University (based in Rockhampton, Queensland). Prof Vandelanotte has previously been supported by a post-doctoral research fellowship (National Health and Medical Research Council) and a future leader fellowship (National Heart Foundation). With a background in physical education, Prof Vandelanotte’s research has a population-based approach to health behaviour change and is focused on the development and evaluation of computer-tailored and web-, app- and tracker-based physical activity interventions (e- & mHealth).
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).
Professor Kylie Hesketh is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow with the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University. She Chairs Active Healthy Kids Australia 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
Lindsey has extensive experience in applied research and evaluation, specialising in Physical Activity, Sport and Public Health. Within her current role as Research Fellow at the University of Sydney’s School of Public Health, she is the Academic lead of the SPRINTER (Sport and Active Recreation Intervention & Epidemiology Research) group – an innovative research partnership with the Office of Sport, NSW government. SPRINTER is an exemplar of true partnership and works in supporting policy makers to listen and translate the evidence base, through informed decision making, policy development and evaluations of government led programs and services. SPRINTER also works on contributing to the evidence base by focusing on the role of sport and recreation in increasing population physical levels to promote healthy and happy communities. SPRINTER works collaboratively with Sport Australia and with the sport and recreation sector, to enhance capability and capacity to create environments that enable more people to be active through sport and recreation. A capable strategist and confident thought leader, Lindsey is happiest and at her best when managing numerous projects across a portfolio of highly complex, multi-sector programmes. Her leadership is demonstrated by her role as Academic lead for parkrun au, and her active membership on the boards of Outdoors NSW and the parkrun global research board.
Lisa is a lecturer and research development fellow with the School of Sport and Recreation at Auckland University of Technology. With a Ph.D. in physical activity assessment, her research spans the socio-ecological framework with a focus on broad wellbeing outcomes. Recently, she has been working with community systems innovators to adopt a systems change approach for developing active, healthy, and connected communities.
Dr Natasha Schranz is the Principal Project Officer, Physical Activity within the Prevention and Population Health Directorate that operates under the newly established Wellbeing SA. After completing her PhD, Natasha co-founded Active Healthy Kids Australia (AHKA) and led the development of the first Australian Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Young People that was launched in 2014. Following on from its success Natasha was appointed as the Co-Chair of AHKA and led the development of subsequent Report Cards in 2016 and 2018. During this time Natasha also established the AHKA Youth Advisory Council and was appointed as Secretary and Oceania representative for the Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance Executive Committee. In her current role Natasha is focused on increasing physical activity levels across the South Australian population via the development, implementation and evaluation of evidence based public health policies, programs and initiatives.
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.
Sam Cassar is a PhD candidate at Deakin University’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) in Melbourne, Australia. He is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship. With a double Bachelor’s degree in Sport Science (Human Movement)/ Sport Management and a Master’s of Physical Activity and Health, Sam’s current research focuses on the adoption, implementation, and scale-up of physical activity and sedentary behaviour interventions in real-world settings.
Associate Professor Scott Duncan is the Head of Department (Physical Activity, Nutrition and the Outdoors) at the School of Sport and Recreation and the Associate Director of the Human Potential Centre 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. A/Prof Duncan chairs the Physical Activity Technical Advisory Group for the NZ Ministry of Health, is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity, and was recently elected to the Executive Committee of the International Society of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity.
Shariful Islam is a National Heart Foundation Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. Shariful is also a Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology, an Emerging Leader of the World Heart Federation and Future Leader of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. Shariful’s research focuses on using innovative information technologies including wearable devices, sensors, big data and artificial intelligence for improving outcomes in people with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
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.
Dr. Yanping Duan is Assistant Professor of the Department of Sport and Physical Education, Hong Kong Baptist University. She has diverse research interests in the areas of health behavior promotion and sport psychology. Dr. Duan’s main research area focuses on the environmental, psycho-social and socio-cultural determinants of physical activity, physical activity behavior change process and its underlying psychosocial mechanism. She has published more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, which cover diverse samples (e.g., university students and staff, office-based employees, older adults, cardiac rehabilitation patients) applying various techniques including SMS message-, telephone-, web- and app-based interventions and randomized controlled trials. Currently Dr. Duan is the executive committee member of Behavior and Health Division of China Psychology Society and the member of International Society of Sport Psychology.