Executive Committee


Professor Margaret Hellard

Chair, Executive Committee and Co-Chair, Research Subcommittee

Margaret is the Head of the Centre for Population Health at the Burnet Institute and Senior Visiting Infectious Disease Physician at the Alfred Hospital. Her principal research interests are in the epidemiology and clinical management of blood-borne viruses (HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C) and sexually transmitted infections.

Burnet Institute Profile


Professor Paul Dietze

Deputy Chair, Executive Committee and Co-Chair, Research Subcommittee

Paul is the Principal for Alcohol and other Drug Research at the Burnet Institute. His primary research interests are the changing patterns of drug and alcohol use in Australia.

Burnet Institute Profile


Tracy Parish

Tracy is the Deputy Head of Public Affairs and Communications at the Burnet Institute. With a background in sports journalism, Tracy is a specialist in media and communications strategy.

Burnet Institute Profile


Associate Professor Stuart Kinner

Co-Chair, Education Subcommittee

Stuart is a Principal Research Fellow, Justice Health in the Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics at the School of Population Health, University of Melbourne. His principal research interests are in the health of justice-involved populations, particularly prisoners and ex-prisoners.

University of Melbourne Profile


Doctor Mark Stoové

Co-Chair, Education Subcommittee

Mark is a Senior Research Fellow and the Head of the HIV and Sexual Health Program in the Centre for Population Health at the Burnet Institute and CREIDU. His primary area of expertise is the epidemiology of communicable disease transmission and the associated public health, behavioural and socio-cultural influences.

Burnet Institute Profile



Penny Hill

Research Assistant

Penny commenced her PhD in 2017, under the supervision of Professor Paul Dietze. Her work focuses on health service utilisation of people who inject drugs. As part of her PhD, Penny is working on the SuperMIX study using record linkage. Penny is employed as a Research Assistant at the Burnet Institute working with the Centre for Research Excellence in Injecting Drug Use (CREIDU) and the National Naloxone Reference Group (NNRG).

Penny Hill Burnet Institute



Dhanya Malandkar

PhD candidate

Dhanya is based at the Burnet Institute, where she works with Professor Paul Dietze and Dr Mark Stoové. Her PhD explores service utilisation by people who inject drugs using the Melbourne Injecting Drug User Cohort Study (MIX) and the Victorian Department of Health emergency services utilisation data.

Burnet Institute Profile


Rebecca Winter

PhD candidate

Rebecca is based at the Burnet Institute, where she works with Professor Margaret Hellard and Dr Mark Stoové. Her doctoral research examines drug-related morbidity and mortality among prisoners and ex-prisoners in Victoria and Queensland. Rebecca is also supervised by Associate Professor Stuart Kinner, based at the University of Melbourne.

Burnet Institute Profile

Melinda Beckwith

PhD Candidate

Melinda's project, entitled 'The Role of Social Networks in Recovery from Injecting Drug Use', will be conducted in conjunction with Turning Point Alcohol & Drug Centre from 2013-2016. It will examine the composition and quality of the social networks to which people who inject drugs in Victoria belong, whilst in the community, and whilst in residential treatment. Drawing on Social Identity Theory and Self-Categorisation Theory, changes in social networks will be explored in relation to shifts in social identity. The aim of the project is to explore mechanisms behind social identity change with a view to enhancing recovery options for those who choose to access treatment. Melinda is supervised by Associate Professor David Best and Professor Dan Lubman.

Renae Fomiatti

PhD candidate

Renae is based at Curtin University's National Drug Research Institute Melbourne Office. For her doctoral research, she is undertaking a critical analysis of the rise of the ‘recovery’ concept in the Australian alcohol and other drug sector. The project will involve three components: (1) a textual analysis of the recovery concept in national and state policy and practice documents supplemented by in-depth interviews with national and state policy-makers and practitioners; (2) an analysis of the existing and developing research evidence on recovery; and (3) in-depth qualitative interviews and fieldwork with people who inject drugs focusing on their understandings and experiences of recovery in various treatment contexts. Renae is supervised by Professor David Moore.


Tania Patrao

PhD Candidate

Tania is based at the School of Population Health, University of Queensland where she works with Dr Rob Ware and Prof Gail Williams. Her PhD explores the optimal recruitment and retention strategies for longitudinal studies with People who Inject Drugs by investigating how the impact attrition has on study results can be mitigated. Through this research, novel counterfactual and regression models will be developed to assess how recruitment and attrition bias impacts on the generalisability and reliability of study outcomes.