Our Board

The Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) was incorporated in March 2001 with its own Board, whose role is to help set the objective and facilitate the achievements of PIRI by providing experience and knowledge to assist in PIRI’s development, to act as a guiding body and strategic directions assist with fundraising and to improve community awareness and networking. Prof Jeannette Milgrom is the Executive Director and founder of PIRI. The Board is chaired by Ms Leonie Young, and together with the Executive Director, its members include Mr Graeme Woolacott AOM, Ms Jennifer Ericksen, Ms Wendy Peters and Ms Barbara Wellesley AM. Located at Austin Health, Dr John Ferguson supports the Board as the hospital nominee.

PIRI Board Members

Professor Jeannette Milgrom
PIRI Executive Director

Jeannette Milgrom is Professor of Psychology, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne and Director of Clinical and Health Psychology at Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia. Jeannette pioneered ‘The Infant Clinic’ and in 2001 established the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) focusing on high-risk infants, postnatal depression, and developing psychological treatments. She has had international recognition for her work with mothers and babies, and her book on treating postnatal depression has been translated Read more…

Leonie Young NGO & Public Sector Consultant
Chairperson, PIRI Board
  • Extensive 20 years experience in health and primary care reform as a successful CEO, Board Director, NGO and public sector executive. Bachelor Health Education & Science, University of Canberra, 1990.
  • Formerly CEO and Board Director of beyondblue: the national depression initiative (July 2003 – December 2010); played strong role in Australia’s mental health reforms, including improving community awareness, consumer and carer participation,Read more…
A.H. (Tony) Barnes
Treasurer, PIRI

A seasoned executive with extensive experience at senior levels in the corporate world with a well developed understanding of the requirements for sound financial management of organisations and demonstrable leadership and people management skills. Tony had a successful career in finance and accounting spanning nearly forty years, thirteen of which at the level of Chief Financial Officer (CFO), within BHP and Zinifex. He has held the position of CFO for the Petroleum division of BHP for six years and Read more…

Ms Jennifer Ericksen
Board Member

Jennie Ericksen was the Manager of Perinatal Mental Health Services and Training based at Austin Health. She is a psychologist specialising in early childhood assessment, parent support and skills training, cognitive behaviour therapy, service planning and implementation. She has worked in a variety of specialist children’s services.  Most recently she worked with families during the child’s first two years of life. She has a strong interest in training other health professionals, and was project manager on a number of PIRI projects.

Wendy Peter B Juris, LLB (Hons), LLM
Board Member, PIRI

Wendy is currently employed at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). She was previously a partner of the national law firm Allens Arthur Robinson beginning in 1990, and specialised in competition and regulatory law. She is currently a director of the Phillip Island Penguin Foundation and Melbourne Girls Grammar, an Anglican School, and a member of the Monash Law Foundation fundraising committee and the advisory boards of the Monash University Centre Read more…

Ms Barbara Wellesley AM
Board Member, PIRI

Barbara Wellesley was the co-founder and National Director (1997-2007) of Good Beginnings, Australia. She was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day Honours in 2006, for her services to child health and nursing, (particularly the services to Good Beginnings). She is currently the Convenor of the Early Years Chapter of the Australian Research Alliance of children and Young People (ARACY), , Director of Decided Advantage (social research consultancy), ongoing member Read more…

Ms Sarah Jones
Board Member, PIRI

Sarah is a qualified Accountant (CPA) and Financial Services specialist who has successfully led Finance, Risk and IT Teams and delivered complex regulatory, data and reporting projects by using her superior leadership and stakeholder management skills supported by over 15 years’ experience as an Accountant and Project Manager. She also holds a Business Degree, MBA and is an Associate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Sarah spent over 8 years living in the UK working for large Banks such as RBS and Barclays, returning home at the end of 2015 to start a family.

Ms Barbara Frazer
Minute Secretary & Manager

Barbara Frazer has had extensive experience at Austin Health in administration and project management. She has played a major part in the preparation work necessary to incorporate PIRI and continues to play a key role in plans for development.

Former Board Members

Mr Graeme Woolacott OAM
Former Board Member and PIRI Chair

Graeme Woolacott was a founder and is a long-standing member of the PIRI Board. He was Chairman of the Board 2008-14. Previously Graeme was Director of the Australian Rotary Health Research Fund serving on National and International Read more…

Mr Lance Coburn
Former Treasurer and PIRI Chair

Lance Coburn brought to PIRI his experience as an industry executive having previously been Group General Manager and Senior Vice President, Finance, BHP Minerals; President BHP Steel (USA) and Group General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, International Division BHP Steel among other senior appointments. Vale Lance Coburn. Read more…

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Garry Evans
Former Inaugural PIRI Chair

Private consultant and recently retired Group General Manager BHP Group Services, BHP Company Limited 1997-98. Previously held positions as Group General Manager Human Resources and External Affairs, 1992-97, BHP Steel; Group General Manager Human Resources and Corporate Affairs 1990-91, Read more…

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Mr Graeme Henshaw
Former Secretary

Graeme Henshaw was a partner with the legal firm Allens Arthur Robinson. He acted for the Australian Red Cross Society and MECWA Community Care and undertook work for major Australian and international corporations. He was also a past member of the Law Institute Conveyancing Committee.

Dr Linda Mellors PhD, BA, BSc (Hons)
Former Board Member

Linda Mellors was the Executive Director Mercy Public Hospitals Inc. Dr Mellors has worked in the Victorian public health system for over ten years, holding executive roles for the last eight years including hospital operational management, strategic planning, business development, research governance, corporate governance and company secretary. Dr Mellors holds a PhD in medical research in the field of cardiac physiology.

Ms Felicity Broadbent
Former Board Member

Felicity Broadbent was a a public relations professional with 15 years experience and a mother of two young children. She has considerable experience in both public and private health care. Felicity has won state, national and international awards for her work including Read more…

Ms Erina Reddan
Former Board Member

Erina was employed as the strategy director for Media Manoeuvres when she joined the Board, and her experience was on development and delivery of high level media strategy for clients, coaching senior personnel in media skills, and providing Read more…

Sheena Scholten
Former Board Member

Sheena Scholten was a nursing professional with valuable experience after 20 years service in Victorian public hospitals. She has been a Director of Services and Service Planning for North Eastern Women’s Health, Mercy Hospital for Women and for Mercy Health. She was Director and/or Deputy Director of Nursing for Queen Victoria Medical Centre; Western General Hospital, Mercy Hospital for Women and for Mercy Health and Aged Care. She has also served on the Boards and on the Executives of Mercy Hospital and Mercy Health.