Structure and Governance

Note: The NHMRC PCHSS was funded from June 2017 to July 2023.

The Partnership Centre for Health System Sustainability was announced as the third NHMRC Partnership Centre for Better Health on 3 December 2016. The Centre is jointly governed and funded to the value of $10.75 million over five years by the NHMRC, Bupa Health Foundation, NSW Health, the Western Australia Department of Health, and the University of Notre Dame Australia. The Centre commenced its research in early 2018.

The NHMRC’s Partnership Centre funding scheme is not a traditional researcher-initiated grant scheme. The overall goals and work plan for a Partnership Centre are determined by NHMRC and its Funding Partners in response to the needs of the health and healthcare systems.

NHMRC Partnership Centres are virtual centres, comprised of a collection of policy, practice and research organisations. The objectives of all Partnership Centres are to:

  1. support implementation of research-informed changes in health and healthcare systems;
  2. undertake synthesis and dissemination of existing research relevant to improving health and healthcare system performance;
  3. undertake collaborative new research to improve health and healthcare using methods that are cross-sectoral, inter-disciplinary and national in scope; and
  4. build capacity, within the research community to undertake applied research, and within the system to use research as part of change management.

The Governance Authority for the Partnership Centre for Health System Sustainability comprises representatives of the NHMRC and each Funding Partner. It is currently co-chaired by Associate Professor Annette Schmeide, former Executive Leader of Bupa Health Foundation, and Mr George Leipnik from the NSW Ministry of Health.

The Governance Authority approves the Centre’s annual expenditure and provides guidance to the Centre. At the quarterly meetings, the Chief Investigator – Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite – reports on research progress and performance against the Centre’s milestones and budget.


The Partnership Centre is guided by an International Advisory Group, a Scientific Advisory Committee and a System Partners Advisory Forum.

International Advisory Group

Comprising experts in health system sustainability from four countries:

  • Co-Chair: Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, WHO, Imperial College London
  • Co-Chair: Professor Rosa Suñol, FAD, Barcelona Spain
  • Professor Charles Vincent, Oxford University
  • Professor David Bates, Harvard University
  • Professor Trish Greenhalgh, Oxford University
  • Professor Niek Klazinga, OECD, University of Amsterdam
  • Professor Cordula Wagner, Netherlands Institute of Health Services Research
  • Professor Peter Smith, Imperial College London
  • Professor Meredith Rosenthal, Harvard University

Scientific Advisory Group

Comprising experts from around Australia in translation, dissemination, national system reform, workforce, behaviour change, policy, economics, financing, appropriate care, safety and quality. The collective skills of this prestigious committee map to all the key health system sustainability research questions and the four objectives of partnership centres:
  • Co-Chair: Professor Peter Brooks, University of Melbourne, VIC
  • Co-Chair: Clinical Professor Lyn Gilbert AO, University of Sydney, NSW
  • Professor Sally Redman AO, Sax Institute, NSW
  • Professor Les White AM, previously NSW Health
  • Professor Michael Kidd AM, Principal Medical Advisor to the Department of Health and Professor of Primary Care Reform at the Australian National University
  • Professor Kathryn North AM, Chair of NHMRC Research Committee, VIC
  • Professor Elizabeth Manias, Deakin University, VIC
  • Professor Greg Peterson, University of Tasmania, TAS
  • Professor Brian Oldenburg, Monash University, VIC
  • A/Professor Janice Wiley, University of Notre Dame, NSW

System Partners Advisory Forum

Comprising a range of implementation and support partners from over 50 organisations or agencies who work with the Centre to facilitate testing of promising interventions and apply evidence as it emerges:
  • Co-Chair: Professor Cliff Hughes, President ISQua

National Agencies:

  • Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC)
  • Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS)
  • Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA)
  • Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency
  • Department of Health (DoH)
  • HealthDirect
  • Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (IHPA)
  • National Prescribing Service
  • National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

State Jurisdictions:

  • ACT Health
  • Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania
  • Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria
  • Department of Health Northern Territory
  • Department of Health Western Australia
  • NSW Health
  • Queensland Health

National Peak Bodies, Institutes and Colleges:

  • Aged Care Guild (ACG)
  • Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA)
  • Australian College of Emergency Medicine (ACEM)
  • Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA)
  • Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA)
  • Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA)
  • Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF)
  • Palliative Care Australia (PCA)
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
  • Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA)
  • Royal College of Pathologists Australia (RCPA)
  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP)
  • Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP)
  • Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA)
  • Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
  • Sax Institute
  • Women and Children’s Hospitals Australasia (WCHA)

Health Services:

  • Cabrini Health
  • Hammond Care
  • Macquarie University Private Hospital
  • Metro South Health, Queensland
  • Monash Health Partners
  • Primary Health Networks (multiple)
  • St Vincent’s Health Australia
  • Sydney Health Partners
  • Sydney LHD


  • Australian Catholic University
  • Bond University
  • Flinders University
  • James Cook University
  • Macquarie University
  • Monash University
  • University of Notre Dame Australia
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Tasmania

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