Institute of Health and
Biomedical Innovation

External Engagement Committee

Our External Engagement Committee provides an external perspective and guidance, with members volunteering their time to support the institute's growth, development and research programs.

Dr Amaya Gillespie

Dr Gillespie is a former United Nations Director with more than 20 years’ global experience in public health research and education, organisational change management, and leadership. She has championed the rights of women and children through organisations such as UNICEF, the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS. A QUT graduate with a PhD in Behavioural Science from the University of Oregon, she is a QUT Public Health adjunct Professor and an advisor to the Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation and QUT Alumni. Since returning to Australia in 2017, she has established an international career coaching business, and continues to advise the United Nations.


Professor Michael Irving

Professor Irving has held high-profile positions in research, academia and community organisations. He was Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand, and Vice-Chancellor of Sohar University in Oman. Research in biochemistry included the application of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to the diagnosing and treating cancer. Professor Irving is district governor of Rotary District 9640 and has been The Southport School Council chairman.


Mario Pennisi

Mr Pennisi is the CEO of Life Sciences Queensland Limited. He has been the CEO of Queensland Clinical Trials Network Inc since 2005. Mr Pennisi has more than 30 years of experience in the life sciences industry. He is a contributor on a number of committees and advisory groups, including the University of Queensland Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Faculty Board and Schools of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences Industry Advisory Board, as well as the QUT Council and QUT School of Biomedical Sciences Industry Reference Group.


Jane Seawright

Ms Seawright is a corporate lawyer, marketing professional and company director. She has practised at national firms and is a consultant to Tobin King Lateef. She has roles as company secretary and general counsel at CRCMining and Northern Australia Primary Health Limited, is Netball Queensland chair, and is a director of the Residential Tenancies Authority and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. She was previously Queensland Institute of Medical Research Trust chair.


Ian Walker

Ian Walker

Ian Walker is a lawyer who practised for 35 years in the areas of property development, town planning and heritage law. He was the Managing Partner of the Brisbane office of the international legal firm now known as Norton Rose Fulbright. He is a Life Member of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (Qld), was a Trustee of the Lord Mayor’s Community Trust, chaired the National Church Law Commission of the Anglican Church, and chaired Queensland’s outstanding chamber orchestra “Camerata”. He was twice elected to the Queensland Parliament - in his first term serving as Minister for Science, IT, Innovation and the Arts.


Professor Ross Young

Professor Young is Executive Dean of QUT's Faculty of Health and former IHBI Executive Director. He is a clinical psychologist with research in substance misuse, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and mood disorders. Professor Young is a past or present board member of Cancer Council Queensland, Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation, the Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute and Mantle Housing Ltd. He is Patron of the Association of Relatives and Families of those with Mental Illness, Queensland.