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Board of Governors


Dr Joe Verco AM– Inaugural Chair, Centre for Creative Health Board of Governors

Dr Joe Verco AM was the first graduate in the specialty of Paediatric Dentistry from The University of Adelaide and the only dentist to be awarded a Baillieu Medical Research Grant for postgraduate work.

Dr Verco is currently on the Editorial Board of the Pierre Fauchard Academy, an international honours organisation, and has been a Past-President of the Australian Dental Association (S.A. Branch), Australian Society of Dentistry for Children (Federal and SA Branch), the Australian and New Zealand Society of Paediatric Dentistry (S.A. Branch) as well as the Australasian Academy of Paediatric Dentistry. He has also enjoyed an ambassadorial role on the People to People Programme hosted by Past Presidents of the American Academy of Paediatric Dentistry in Russia, China, and South Africa – an initiative of USA President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In 2013 as part of the Dental Action Group Dr Verco helped to negotiate for a new Dental School and Dental Hospital within the University of Adelaide’s new Health and Biomedical Precinct of Adelaide, and gifted funds to establish a Harvard-style 90 seat lecture theatre within University’s new Health and Medical Sciences building.

MaryLou Bishop – Board Director, The Hospital Research Foundation

For the last 23 years MaryLou Bishop has run a surgical devices company selling highly technical operating room equipment into our largest hospitals across SA, WA and NT. MaryLou has a strong understanding of the medical world and the health industry. In 2014 MaryLou was elected a councillor to The Town of Walkerville. She joined The Hospital Research Foundation Board in 2014.


Anthony Hurl – Chair, Visual Arts Subcommittee

Anthony has been in the antique and art business his entire life. He is the owner of Tusmore Antiques and holds 5 consultancies, including that of consultant specialist with Sotheby’s Australia. Anthony, via his own business and these consultancies, provides advice to both the Federal and State governments, corporate and private clients.


Pamela Martin PSM

Pamela Martin has considerable experience as a legal practitioner in both the public and private sectors and as a lecturer and tutor in legal disciplines in South Australia. In 1997 she was appointed to the Commercial Counsel, Commercial Advice for the Department of Premier and Cabinet, a position she held for 16 years.

Pamela consults across a wide range of areas of government and private sector activity offering specialist advice, mediation and negotiation skills on commercial matters including major infrastructure, building and construction industry, Public Private Partnerships, commercial law, statutory indentures, contracts and agreements between all levels of government and the private sector. She also provides services across sectors including alternative water/energy technologies, environment including coastal conditions and mineral resources and processing, housing and urban development, Commonwealth – State financial relations and liaison with the Commonwealth Government.

Pamela has held many Board positions including twelve years on Council at the University of Adelaide (four years as Deputy Chancellor). She is currently a Member of the Remuneration Tribunal, Chair of the Walford Anglican School for Girls Council, Deputy Chair of the South Australian Museum Foundation, Chair of the Attorney-General’s Department, Audit & Risk Management Committee and a Member of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Risk Management and Audit Committee.


Nicholas Linke

Nicholas Linke is a Senior Partner with legal firm Fisher Jeffries. He is an experienced litigator with over 20 years experience in legal practice specialising in insurance, employment and safety in the Commonwealth and State Employment Tribunals, the Supreme and District Courts of South Australia and the Federal Circuit Court.

Nicholas has been appointed to the Adelaide Law School Advisory Board, and the Boards of JusticeNet SA Inc. and Raising Literacy Australia Inc. With a special interest in the arts, Nicholas is also Chair of the Restless Dance Theatre Inc., Deputy Chair of the Australian Central School of Art Inc., and on the Board of South Australia Living Artists (SALA) Inc. and the Adelaide Fringe.

Rilka Warbanoff

Rilka Warbanoff

Well known as a cook, teacher, entrepreneur, author and radio personality, Rilka Warbanoff started her career in her family’s business, winning the South Australian Tourism Award in 1982. She later established an executive placement business, acting as a global corporate head-hunter and twice being named a finalist in the prestigious Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards.

She was the voice of culinary culture on the Drive program on 774 ABC Melbourne before returning to Adelaide where she published Rilka’s Feasts in 2012 and joined FIVEaa as resident foodie and guest presenter.

Realising that up to 40% of Australians have some type of dietary restrictions, Rilka set up her cooking school to teach people how they can prepare cost-effective, nutritious food in their own kitchens without sacrificing flavour and variety.


Dr Jane Zhang

Dr Zhang is a senior Gynaecologist, and a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists since 2008. She is currently a sitting board member of the College for South Australia and Northern Territory. Her predominant clinical practice is in private gynaecology in North Adelaide, specializing in advanced laparoscopic surgery, pelvic pain management, urogynaecology and infertility.

Dr Zhang is also a Senior Visiting Medical Specialist at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital where she is involved in clinical teaching and mentoring Senior Registrars.

She is also a senior lecturer of the University of Adelaide, discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, a councillor of the Australia Medical Association AMA (SA), representing the O&G craft group and a current sitting member of the Avant Advisory Board (SA).

In 2002 Dr Zhang joined the Australian Chinese Medical Association, ACMA (SA). She has held many roles within the association becoming President in 2015. The association is well recognised for its extensive influence and achievements as a leader in both the medical profession and the broader community over the last 25 years.

Dr Zhang is an avid supporter of charitable causes both personally and via the activities of the ACMA Foundation. As a second-generation migrant; Jane has an insightful perspective on the uniqueness of Australian society. She is a busy mum to two young daughters and is supported by her husband Professor Ted Mah, an internationally eminent Orthopaedic surgeon.

Paul Flynn

Paul Flynn – Chief Executive Officer, The Hospital Research Foundation

Paul is an innovative and entrepreneurial Executive who has earned a stellar reputation for achievement during a multifaceted career in both the Finance and Not for Profit sectors. With advanced skills in the areas of Leadership, Sales Management, Property Development and Management, Change Management, Financial Risk Management, Employee and Organisation Development and Employee Relations Paul is committed to drive innovation that will help deliver improved health and wellbeing for all Australians.


Fiona Smithson – Executive Director, Centre for Creative Health

Fiona is the Executive Director, Centre for Creative Health and Director of Strategy & Partnerships at The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF). She is experienced in corporate communications, brand development and media management.

Fiona has held key roles in the professional services industry, tourism and healthcare sectors before commencing with the Foundation in 2010. In her role Fiona has overseen strategic communications, community and stakeholder engagement and branding for the Foundation and its affiliate brands. She is a member of the Board of Governors for The Road Home and sits on the THRF Board Subcommittee for Business Development. She has played a key role in the development and management of the Foundation’s first Under Our Roof project – providing accommodation for country cancer patients to stay with their families and is a proud Dignity in Care Champion.