The Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute Leadership Advisory Board (ARMILAB)

ARMILAB enhances the reputation and positioning of the Institute by liaising with key stakeholders including business, government, media and the broader community. 

ARMILAB works closely with senior management to promote the vision, role and accomplishments of the Institute. It helps ARMI achieve its goals through:

  • advocacy
  • contributing experience and insight
  • supporting and mentoring the Institute’s Director and its leadership
  • supporting the Institute’s fundraising objectives by assisting the Institute and Monash Advancement to build key philanthropic, donor and funding relationships.

ARMILAB members 

Dr Janine Kirk, AM, Chair
The Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO, Deputy Chair
Andrew Brough
The Hon John Brumby AO
Professor Peter Currie
Andrew Dyer
Dr Frances Guyett
Tangerine Holt
Dr David Rhodes
Dr Zita Unger
Sonya Walker

Dr Janine Kirk AM (Chair)

Janine Kirk headshot

In January 2013 Janine Kirk commenced as the Chief Executive of The Prince's Charities Australia (PCA).  The PCA was established to provide a coordinating presence for His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales’s charitable endeavours in Australia.  Prior to her appointment Janine was a Partner at Ernst & Young where she was responsible for establishing and leading the Victorian Government & Public Sector practice for the firm.  She was also Oceania Leader Community and a Director of the EY Foundation. 

Janine joined EY in March 2007 after 12 years as the Chief Executive of the Committee for Melbourne. 

Currently Janine is Chairman, The Melbourne Prize Trust; Chairman, the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute Leadership Advisory Board; Director of The Cranlana Leadership Programme and Chairman of the Kukukuku PNG Tribe Advisory Board.

Previous positions held include: Chairman, Tourism Victoria; Founding Director, The Melbourne Forum; Chairman, Melbourne Convention & Visitors Bureau (MCVB); a Founding Director, Victorian Endowment for Science Knowledge & Innovation (VESKI); Director, Director, Berry Street Victoria and was a Founding Director of The Conversation and The Conversation Media Group.

Between 2006 - 2009 Janine was an Honorary Aide to the Governor of Victoria Professor David de Kretser AC. Janine was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2006 for her contribution to Melbourne and child welfare. She received an Honorary Doctor of Law from Monash University in 2007 and was appointed a Monash Vice Chancellor Professorial Fellow (2012-2015). She is a recipient of The Centenary Medal and is a British Chevening Scholarship winner; was made a VESKI Fellow and has been awarded Life Membership of Berry Street Victoria; the Committee for Melbourne and The BioMelbourne Network. In 2016 Janine was awarded a Deakin University Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellows Award for her contribution to business, education and the community.

The Hon Dr Kay Patterson AO (Deputy Chair)

Kay Patterson headshot

Dr. Patterson was a Senator for Victoria for 21 years.  Prior to entering the Senate she managed a small business before attending university and attaining a PhD in Psychology.  She taught at Sydney and Monash Universities and held senior academic positions including Chairman of the School of Behavioural Sciences at the Lincoln Institute of Health Sciences (now at Latrobe University). 

She was elected to the Senate in 1987 and in Government held a number of executive positions including Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In 2001, she was appointed to Cabinet as Minister for Health and Ageing and then in October 2003 Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues.  She retired from the Cabinet in 2006 and from the Senate in June 2008. 

In 2002 when Minister for Health she took legislation through the Senate on behalf of the Government which permitted within very strict parameters the creation of stem cell lines from donated embryos excess to IVF requirements.  In 2006, she developed a private member’s bill which passed into law in December of that year, to extend existing legislation permitting research using somatic cell nuclear transfer.

 She was a member of Monash University Council for twenty years and has been a member of Guides Australia since she was 10 and a Life Member since 2002. She joined Interplast Australia and New Zealand as a Director and Board Member in 2006, was appointed Vice-President in 2009 and retired at the end of her term in 2015.  In September 2008 she was appointed Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow at Monash University until 2015 and in 2016 was appointed a Professorial Fellow in the Monash Faculty of Medicine. She served on the National Mental Health Commission (2014-2016) and the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (2014-2016). In 2016 she was appointed, for a 5 year term, as the Age Discrimination Commissioner at Australian Human Rights Commission.  In 2009 she was appointed a Director of the Brockhoff Foundation.  She is also Patron of the Australian Boys Choir.

Andrew Brough

Andrew Brough headshot

Andrew is an avid explorer, innovator and investor to create a better society. He enjoys working with passionate people to turn ideas for change into reality and building the skills and networks of young people to innovate for Australia's future.

Previously Andrew worked in the UK with the Young Foundation setting up social venture funds and developing ventures such as Studio Schools and Social Innovation Camp. In the USA & Europe, he worked in venture capital developing ventures from University R&D and consulting on innovation to organisations such as the BBC, UCL and Philips. He started his career in consulting with Accenture in Australia. He has a Masters in Space Science and Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Board level experience with start-up and large organisations:

  • Experienced leader and executive with start-up, corporate, government and SME organisations.
  • Seed and early stage social and technology financing/VC
  • Skilled in new venture development, technology transfer, R&D and IP commercialisation.
  • Venture philanthropy, social innovation, social investment, community finance, social enterprise, CSR application and practice.
  • Public sector innovation, commissioning
  • Exploration, mapping and geographic information
  • Supporting social change makers


  • Mentoring and advising CEOs of start-ups
  • Idea evaluation & due diligence
  • Starting new ventures (technology & social)
  • Venture financing
  • Strategic planning and project planning 
  • Project management
  • Business Development and marketing for new ideas
  • Digital, Internet & green technologies, satellite applications
  • Venture philanthropy
  • Social investment and innovation
  • Youth, Social Action, Education, health, climate change and community engagement policy and innovation.

The Hon John Brumby AO

John Brumby headshot

The Hon John Brumby was Premier of Victoria from 2007 to 2010. He has immense experience in public life serving for more than 10 years as Treasurer and then Premier of Victoria, six years as Leader of the Victorian Opposition and seven years as Federal member for Bendigo during the period of the Hawke Government.

In Government, Mr Brumby was a champion of science, technology and innovation with major new investments in the Australian Synchrotron, the new Florey Neuroscience Centre, the $250 million BioResource Centre, the Centre for Regenerative Medicine, the expansion of WEHI and the new $1 billion Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

Since retiring from politics, Mr Brumby has accepted a number of Board positions as well as a joint appointment to both the Melbourne and Monash Universities as a Professorial Fellow. He is Chairman of the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA) Superannuation Fund, an Independent Director of Huawei Technologies (Australia) Pty Limited, Chairman of Citywide Solutions Pty Ltd, Chairman of BioCurate Pty Ltd and National President of the Australia China Business Council. In addition, he is Chair of the Advisory Board of the National Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne, and a Director of the United States Studies Centre Ltd at the University of Sydney.

John is actively involved in a range of community and not-for-profit organisations through his work as the Chairman of Trustees of the Joe Welch Bursary Trust, Chairman of the Fred Hollows Foundation, Chairman of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, a member of the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee for Victoria and an Australia Day Ambassador.

Professor Peter Currie

Peter Currie headshot 2016

Peter Currie received his PhD in Drosophila genetics from Syracuse University, New York, USA.  He undertook postdoctoral training in zebrafish development at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (now Cancer Research UK) in London, UK.  He has worked as an independent laboratory head at the UK Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh, UK and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney, Australia where he headed a research programme focused on skeletal muscle development and regeneration.

His work is centered on understanding how the small freshwater zebrafish is able to build and regenerate both skeletal muscle.

In 2016 he was appointed Director of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.  He is a recipient of a European Molecular Biology Organization Young Investigators Award and a Wellcome Trust International Research Fellowship and currently is a Principal Research Fellow with the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia.

Prof Currie, along with Dr Georgina Hollway, from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and Dr Phong Nguyen of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University, won the UNSW 2015 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research. They were awarded the prize in recognition of their groundbreaking research into stem cell generation.

Andrew Dyer

Andrew Dyer headshot

Andrew is a company director and serves on a number of boards including Cancer Council Victoria and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. He is also the National Windfarm Commissioner for the Australian Federal Government. 

Andrew’s professional career includes executive and operational roles in the utilities, telecommunications, information technology and professional services industries, primarily in Australia, Asia, the United States and Latin America.  He continues to advise a number of organisations in the private and public sectors and specialises in governance and operational performance.

In addition to his board roles, Andrew is a Professorial Fellow at Monash University, where he assists with the University’s industry engagement programs and lectures at the Monash Business School.  He is a member of the Monash University Industry Council of Advisors (MICA), the Monash Engineering Foundation and serves on advisory boards for the Monash Business School, the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash Sustainability Institute and ClimateWorks Australia.

Previous board roles include Chairman of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Council and serving on the boards the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Grampians Water, East Grampians Health Service and BrightSource Energy Australia. 

Immediately prior to his board career, Andrew was the Victorian Government Commissioner to the Americas, based in San Francisco, where he facilitated a number of significant trade and investment outcomes for Victoria and Australia. 

A former McKinsey & Co. consultant, Andrew holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering with first class honours from Monash University and an MBA from Georgetown University in Washington DC.  He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Frances Guyett

Frances Guyett headshot

Professional executive with experience of complex dynamics of universities, public and private start-up, and ‘not-for-profit’ companies for 20 years.

Highly analytical decision-maker with extensive experience in building and operating companies, along with proven track record.

Seasoned executive with in-depth understanding of emerging technologies and their commercial applications, as well as international business expertise, having conducted business in USA, Europe, Asia, and Latin America.

Strong entrepreneurial business and technical background with expertise in company structures, capital raising, licensing, divestment, business development, commercialisation including intellectual property protection, regulatory, clinical trials, sales, marketing, manufacturing, operational and strategic planning for not-for-profit, private and public companies.

Highly experienced operating regulated research laboratories and animal facilities.

Experienced in raising capital from the private, government and venture capital sectors.

Leadership: Leading highly skilled professionals, administration and technical at all levels (international, company, and project teams). Driving growth by developing and implementing focused strategic plans combined with a passion to succeed and strong focus on high customer service.

Specialties: Commercialisation / Business Development: International marketing & sales. Experience in formation & listing on stock exchange, acquisition, divestment, & preparation & negotiation of research, licensing, MTA & service contracts.

Management: Business processes, communication & managing cultural change.

Financial: Full EBIT, cash flow and balance sheet. 

Human Resources: Experience in managing and coaching staff.

Sales and Marketing: Strong international sales & marketing experience.

 Dr Tangerine Holt

Tangerine Holt headshot

Dr Tangerine Holt joined KPMG as a Director, bringing with her over 20 years higher education industry experience in academic and senior leadership positions.

Dr Holt has both Australian and international experience in academic design, program development and delivery, research, educational leadership, change management, governance and strategic planning in higher education. 

Her extensive experience in the delivery of globally-relevant education, an understanding of global trends and external environmental impacts on high quality education and research has resulted in strategic initiatives and change within complex, internationally diverse organisational environments. 

These translated into key outcomes for the Australian-American Fulbright Commission, Monash University and the University of Louisville, Kentucky, across domestic and international engagement through significant partnerships with universities, government, scholarship bodies and the community; establishment of new programs in medical and health professional education, enhanced the student experience and ensured academic quality; and financial management and sustainability.

Dr David Rhodes

David Rhodes headshot

Dr David Rhodes joined Admedus Ltd as Chief Scientific Officer in July 2013 where he oversees the development of new regenerative medicine technologies and supports their regulatory approval and commercialisation. 

David has more than 16 years’ experience in healthcare and biotechnology, where he has held several senior management and executive level roles. David’s skills bring together senior executive and leadership experience, business management and commercialisation skills, extensive scientific expertise and the ability to formulate and translate science to outcomes, both locally and abroad.

In 1994, he graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Victoria. 
Since then, he has lead a team at one of Australia’s leading virology institutes and held various senior roles in many companies, including Avexa Ltd’s senior executive Head of Drug Discovery and Senior Vice President Biology, where he lead numerous multidisciplinary anti-infective drug development programs and more recently an executive at Admedus Ltd and a Director of Admedus Regen Pty Ltd. David has attracted significant levels of funding from many State, Federal and institute programs across numerous projects for many of the companies in which he has worked. David has published in a wide range of scientific disciplines in many high impact peer reviewed journals, is an inventor on numerous patents and is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University, Faculty of Engineering.

Dr Zita Unger

Zita Unger thumbnail

Dr Zita Unger has a distinguished career as an evaluator, educator and entrepreneur, drawing on extensive knowledge of organisational development, business acumen and governance. She gained her doctorate in Sociology of Education at the University of Melbourne.

Zita was founding Director of a consultancy firm, developing an award-winning online survey management platform and delivering survey-based solutions to corporate, education and public sector clients. She taught Program Evaluation at Deakin University to Instructional Design graduate students. 

She is Chair of the Academic Board of Southern Cross Education Institute (Higher Education); Deputy Chair of Monash University Medical Foundation Board; Advisory Board member of the Centre for Program Evaluation at the University of Melbourne; and member of the Defence Reserves Support Council (Vic). She was board member of the Edmund Rice Camps Inc. (Vic) for five years. 

She has received the Best Evaluation Policy and Systems Award, and was co-recipient of the Australasian Evaluation Society’s highest award for outstanding contribution to the evaluation profession. She is a Fellow of the Australasian Evaluation Society

Sonya Walker

Sonya Walker

A Business Leader (matrix roles across Region Manager/General Manager/Commercial Management/Program & Project Director) with strengths in the building of strong teams and the delivery of results. An excellent track record in the delivery of major organisation change initiatives with integrated commercial and consulting services components. 

A passion for building business' and delivering outstanding sales, marketing and project delivery wins for my clients. I enjoy propelling start up or mature and stagnant business into high growth and profitability through the development of sound strategy and highly targeted execution. As a Corporate Entrepreneur I drive success by leveraging reputable business models to manage risk and performance to secure outcomes. 

With a background in information technology, banking and finance, commercial and public sectors I am also engaged in numerous community projects and have contributed as an MC, Panel Guest and Advisor for Australian IT Industry Association (AIIA), ICT, Public sector and Sustainability in Innovation initiatives.

Commercial & public sectors - with a Trusted Advisor business style
Expert Facilitator, complex negotiations & lobbying
Excellent strategic planning, business plan development & execution
Business & IT advisory services for government, boards, C-suite leaders 
International trade & investment, trade missions
Business leadership with both sales & consulting delivery skills
Business commercialisation & go-to-market strategy
Strategic planning workshops & consulting projects
Global sales & marketing management
Vendor & partner management (for corporate clients & vendors)
Public & Private sector CFO, CIO & CHRO strategy, 
Development of Programs of Work - Adept at the distillation of complexity & the design of delivery programs,
Large Scale IT Projects - Master Project Director, Advisory & Consulting Services
Specialist IT Projects - Office of CIO/CSO Security, DR/BCP & Subject Matter Expertise 

Back to Management Boards and Committees