​​​ASHM prides itself on a diverse board with representatives from various states and territories, as well as New Zealand. Read our board members' biographies and learn about their collective experience and skills.


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President – ​​A/Prof Mark Bloch (NSW)

Mark has been working in the field of HIV medicine since 1983; he was a doctor at Sydney Hospital and Albion St AIDS clinic prior to being a director at Holdsworth House. He has completed his Masters in Medicine, HIV and Sexual Health from University of Sydney, and he is a past President of the Sexual Health Society of NSW. He is the director of clinical trials at Holdsworth House and actively involved in clinical research in HIV and STIs, co-joint lecturer at University of NSW, and a member of medical advisory boards.


Immediate Past President – Professor Mark Alastair Boyd (SA)

Mark Boyd is the founding Chair of Medicine at the University of Adelaide based at the Lyell McEwin Hospital in Adelaide, South Australia. He is a Professor of Medicine, a Senior Australian NHMRC Fellow and a Professorial Fellow at the Kirby Institute at the University of New South Wales. He is co-editor in chief of the open access BioMed Central journal AIDS Research and Therapy.

In 2014 Prof. Boyd was awarded the Frank Fenner Prize for Advanced Research in Infectious Diseases by the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases for clinical research that has changed WHO guidelines for the use of first- and second-line antiretroviral therapy worldwide.

Vice President – ​Dr Elizabeth Crock (VIC)

Dr Liz Crock is a Registered Nurse who first worked in HIV in the early 1990s as an HIV Clinical Nurse Specialist at Fairfield  Infectious Diseases Hospital in Melbourne.  She has worked with the Royal District Nursing Service HIV Team as Clinical Nurse Consultant in Melbourne for the last 14 years, and is the current Vice President of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANZANAC).   Liz has a longstanding  interest in ethics in HIV nursing and has completed a PhD on this subject.  In 2013, Liz was awarded the International Centre for Nursing Ethics Human Rights Award for her advocacy in developing specialist HIV community nursing roles and in working with the Victorian AIDS Council in developing and strengthening the Partnership Agreement between RDNS and Victorian AIDS Council that ensures an integrated model of community-based care and support for people living with HIV.  She recently completed a Master of Public Health through the University of Melbourne.

​Vice President – ​Clinical Associate Professor Louise Owen (TAS)

Louise Owen is a Sexual Health Physician who has been working in the area of sexual health for many years. She is currently the Director of the Statewide Sexual Health Service in Tasmania, based in Hobart. Her interest in sexual health and HIV began during her general practice roles at The Prahran Market Clinic and the Middle Park Clinic with Dr Peter Meese.

Louise is raising the profile of Sexual Health in Tasmania managing the service and encouraging GPs to be involved in HIV shared care. Louise lectures to Tertiary, Post Graduate and undergraduates around HIV, sexual health and related topics. She writes regularly for the gay press and sits on a number of steering committees covering matters such as nPEP, Syphilis and HIV.




Dr Michael Burke (NSW)

Michael Burke has worked in partnership with patients and communities responding to the many challenges related to HIV in east Africa, east Sydney and more recently western Sydney.  He works primarily in general practice and also part-time in a hospital sexual health and HIV Clinic in Penrith.  He is acutely aware of the importance of better equipping general practitioners and other primary care health workers to strengthen their skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to address the multiple challenges of people living with HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted infections.  As an S100 prescriber for HIV, Hepatitis C and methadone, he is most grateful for valued partnerships with local sexual health and HIV clinics, hospital physicians and Primary Health Networks.  He believes there is significant scope to strengthen primary level services and partnerships in these areas and will seek to strengthen ASHM’s role in these areas.  He is a senior member of the RACGP Specific Interest Group in Sexual Health Medicine and has enjoyed representing general practice on the planning committees of recent ASHA Conferences.

Michael Burke holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, a PhD, a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and is an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Dr Sam Elliott (SA)

Dr Sam Elliott is a principal GP with 27 years of rural and urban General Practice experience along with 18 years HIV and Hepatitis management. He currently has an HIV caseload of 80 patients.  He is a GP training supervisor with GPEX and provides educational sessions on HIV and Hepatitis management to psychologists, medical students, nursing students, GP registrars and General Practitioners.  He has been a member of various professional committees including the SA Health viral hepatitis nurse panel and as Vice President Townsville Division of General Practice 1998.  He was actively involved in the Monash HealthMap study and currently participates in the Alfred Hospital’s PrEPX SA study.  He regularly attends HIV conferences:  ASHM Adelaide 2016, APACC Hong Kong June 2017.  He is a member of ASHM, IAS, RACGP and Supervisors Australia.

Dr Elliott holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Adelaide University, a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine from James Cook University and a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners from the Queensland Faculty.


A/Prof Bradley Forssman (NSW)

A/Prof Bradley Forssman is a Public Health Physician and GP.  He has skills and knowledge in population health and clinical aspects of HIV/STIs, adult education, population health policy and research.  As Director Public Health at Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, his responsibilities include surveillance of STIs.  He also undertakes population health research into STI prevention/management in primary care and provides clinics at Nepean Sexual Health.  As Principal at Fountain Street General Practice, Alexandria (an EPIC-NSW trial site), he consults in HIV medicine, gay men’s sexual health, travel medicine and aviation medicine.  He is a Chair of the STIPU GP & Sexual Health Working Group and sits on NSW Health’s HIV & STI Strategies Implementation Committee and Blood-borne Advisory Panel and the Clinical Council of the Nepean Blue Mountains Primary Health Network.

A/Prof Forssman holds an adjunct appointment at the University of Notre Dame Sydney Medical School, providing public health lectures and input into teaching and assessment.  He supervises and mentors Public Health Registrars and until recently was AFPHM’s Lead Fellow Teaching & Learning.  He regularly presents at ASHM courses and provides education to primary care providers through PHNs.

Dr Joan Ingram (NZ)

Joan Ingram is an Infectious Diseases Physician working at Auckland City Hospital. She is a member of the multidisciplinary team there which is responsible for care of all HIV positive patients in the northern region of New Zealand.  She has been involved in the care of HIV patients since 1987 and is pleased to have an opportunity to contribute to HIV care through being on the ASHM board.  Joan is a clinician primarily but has been involved in clinical studies. 

Joan attended the University of Auckland and completed her Physician training in Auckland, Duke University in North Carolina and then as an HIV Fellow at the University of Maryland. ​


Dr David Iser (VIC)

Dr David M Iser is a Gastroenterologist & Hepatologist with 10 years clinical experience in Gastroenterology. His special interests include Viral Hepatitis Treatment (Hepatitis B & Hepatitis C), Bowel Cancer Screening, Reflux Disease and new treatments in Irritable Bowel Disease.

Dr Iser obtained his Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Melbourne, graduating in 1997 with Honours. He was admitted to the Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2004, specializing in Gastroenterology.

His public hospital appointments include the Alfred Hospital, where he is a VMO Gastroenterologist in the Infectious Diseases Clinic, and St Vincent's Hospital. Dr Iser is also a part of various research activities, including ongoing research in the treatment of Acute Hepatitis C, as well as the use of FibroScan (a non-invasive measure of liver stiffness now available in Melbourne), particularly in HIV and HBV. Dr Iser has also published multiple papers in various peer-reviewed journals.


Dr Claire Italiano (WA)

Claire Italiano is an Infectious Diseases Physician at Royal Perth Hospital, who works clinically in the fields of both viral hepatitis and HIV.  Her background is as a general infectious diseases physician with an interest in tropical medicine and a Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  She previously worked at University Malaya Medical Centre for two years (2010-2012) where much of her clinical work was in HIV.  This experience gave her an insight into HIV care and management in the region.  More recently, she has been actively involved in a number of ASHM led education initiatives provided in both metropolitan and rural Western Australia aimed at promoting management of viral hepatitis in the primary care setting.  Along with involvement in a regional HIV clinic in WA, she is particularly interested in improving the accessibility to care for those persons with viral hepatitis and HIV living in rural and remote regions of Australia.


Penny Kenchington (QLD)

Penny has been working in the Sexual Health, HIV and Hepatitis health sector as a specialist nurse since 1995 and is currently the Nurse Practitioner at the Townsville Sexual Health Service. She has extensive knowledge and skills in sexual health, women’s health, reproductive health, sexual function, genital dermatology and forensic nursing.

In the HIV arena Penny has experience in all aspects of HIV case management including comorbidities and client co-ordination. PEP management (including prescribing) and education for GP and Nursing teams regarding HIV. She is the QPrEPd site co-ordinator for Townsville.  In addition, Penny is now an HCV prescriber and also offers advice to GPs and other nurses across Townsville, Mt Isa and Palm on how they might manage clients with HCV infected clients.

Penny travels to Palm Island once per week where she supports the sexual health programme in this large Aboriginal Community which includes monitoring and managing patients with chronic Hepatitis B.   

As a founding Board Member for the HIV Foundation QLD (with one year as a member of the HIV Ministerial Advisory Committee), Penny has had 3 years’ experience as a board member in the HIV sector (Dr Darren Russell was the chair). She was on the fundraising and financial sub-committees for this board.

Working in collaboration with Dr Arun Menon (Clinical Advisor – International Division of ASHM) Penny is currently contracted to ASHM to review the HIV prescribers course for PNG.  She has also contributed to the education forums delivered by ASHM in regional QLD.

​A/Prof Gail Matthews (NSW)

Dr Gail Matthews is an ID physician with a strong background in HIV and hepatitis. She has extensive clinical and research experience in both areas and also holds an academic appointment in the Viral Hepatitis program at Kirby Institute. She has had involvement in many prior ASHM led initiatives and teaching programs including HCV S100 programs, B positive and ASHM conferences. She has an ideal background to contribute to the Board particularly as ASHM continues to expand into viral hepatitis in addition to HIV.


Dr Nicholas Medland (VIC)

Dr Nicholas Medland is a Sexual Health Physician at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre and Royal Melbourne Hospital.  He has 20 years of clinical experience in HIV medicine and HIV program delivery, oversight and management (community/general practice in Australia as Clinical Director of the Centre Clinic / Victorian AIDS Council, international/foreign aid programs in Vietnam as Care and Treatment Program Chief US CDC Vietnam). In research, he has been the Assistant Director for clinical research at HIVNAT and is now completing a PhD in HIV clinical and epidemiological research at Monash University Central Clinical School. He has extensive experience in HIV and health medical education including holding the position of Deputy Director of the Harvard Medical School HIV AIDS Initiative in Vietnam (national doctors HIV training program) and in ASHM/VHHITAL programs in Australia.


​​A/Prof Catherine O'Connor (NSW)

A/Prof Catherine O'Connor is the Director of Sexual Health Service for Sydney Local Health District and is based at RPA Sexual Health Clinic. She is also Executive Clinical Director for Community Health in Sydney Local Health District. She is Chairperson of RPAH Medical Staff Council. and Acting President of AChSHP of RACP. She holds a conjoint appointment at the Kirby Institute, UNSW and the Central Clinical School, Sydney University. Catherine is the current Oceania Vice Chair of IUSTI-Asia Pacific. She has many years of involvement in medical education and medical research with an interest in Epidemiology of HIV & STI in Australasia, HIV/AIDS, Chlamydia and HPV infections. She is a site mentor in ASHM's HIV clinical mentoring program in PNG.