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Council members


  • Associate Professor Christopher Pokorny
    Associate Professor Christopher Pokorny

    Chris Pokorny is a gastroenterologist and Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. His principal interest is Clinical Medicine and Medical Education. He is the Chair of Hoc Mai Foundation and director of the Hoc Mai Medical Education and Research program, continuing the work of Professor Kerry Goulston.

  • Professor Bruce Robinson, AC
    Professor Bruce Robinson, AC

    Deputy Chair
    Bruce Robinson is an endocrinologist at Royal North Shore Hospital. He has a long-standing interest in health and medical education and was Dean of the Sydney Medical School from 2006 to 2016.

    Along with Professor Goulston he began an exchange program with Hanoi Medical University in 1999 which in 2000 developed into the Hoc Mai Foundation. He strongly supports Australian health professionals developing links with partners in the international arena. He believes these ties strengthen Australia’s standing in health and in medical research. ​

  • Margaret Schnitzler
    Associate Professor Margaret Schnitzler

    Margaret Schnitzler graduated in medicine at the University of Sydney in 1984 and then trained in surgery at Royal North Shore Hospital. She furthered her training in colorectal surgery with clinical fellowships at in Michigan USA, and Toronto, Canada. She completed a PhD at the Kolling Institute, with studies on the molecular genetics of colorectal cancer. Margaret has clinical appointments as a colorectal surgeon at RNSH and North Shore Private Hospital. She is Associate Professor in Surgery at the University of Sydney, Co-Deputy Head of the Sydney Medical School, Head of the Northern Clinical School and Academic Director (Medicine/Dentistry) in the Northern Sydney Precinct.

  • Dr Melanie Figtree
    Dr Melanie Figtree

    Mel Figtree is an infectious diseases physician and staff specialist at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney. She was amongst the first group of medical students at the University of Sydney to go to Vietnam as part of a Hoc Mai program.​​

  • Associate Professor Jacqueline Bloomfield
    Associate Professor Jacqueline Bloomfield

    Jacqueline Bloomfield is the Director of Offshore Programs (Singapore) at the University of Sydney Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery. Jacqueline is a registered nurse and an experienced academic. She has worked at universities in Australia, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

    Since 2017 Jacqueline has been involved in the Hoc Mai Foundation through the delivery - in Vietnam - of research capacity development workshops for doctors and nurses. She has also hosted Vietnamese nursing students while on placement in Sydney, and facilitated nursing students from Sydney participating in clinical placements Vietnam.​​​

  • Mr Richard Cranna, OAM
    Mr Richard Cranna, OAM

    Rick Cranna joined Legacy Australia in 1970. He served in the Australian Army from 1968 to 1970. He was posted to the 12 Field Regiment Royal Australian Artillery 102 Field Battery, serving in South Vietnam from 1968-1969.

    Rick attained his qualifications as Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) in 1968. He joined the Hoc Mai committee in 2010 and has travelled to Vietnam on many occasions.

  • Professor Paul Glare
    Professor Paul Glare

    Paul Glare is a specialist physician in pain medicine. He is chair of Pain Medicine Northern Clinical School and holds similar positions at University of Sydney, Sydney Medical School, and the Kolling Institute. Paul became a foundation Fellow of ANZCA’s faculty of Pain Medicine. In 2008, he was appointed Chief of the pain palliative care service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York before returning to Sydney in 2016 to take up his current position. He has travelled to Hanoi with Hoc Mai three times, and teaches the exchange students when they visit Sydney.

  • Mr Ross Gavin
    Mr Ross Gavin

    Ross Gavin is a graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors and Fellow of Chartered Accountants ANZ. He has enjoyed a 40-year career in professional services with PwC. While principally based in Sydney, he also worked in the firm’s London and Jakarta offices. He had advised companies across a wide range of businesses, and also public sector and not-for-profit entities.

    Ross has been a committee member since 2005 and has held responsibilities to monitor the organisation’s financial resources.

  • Ms Jane Klein
    Ms Jane Klein

    Jane Klein first visited Hanoi with Hoc Mai in 2014, and has made major contributions to the Advanced Program in Nursing students at Hanoi Medical University. She has travelled there twice a year, or taught remotely, ever since then. She joined the Hoc Mai Council in 2021.

    With a background in teaching English to migrants in Australia she enjoys helping the students with interactive communication and watching their confidence grow.

  • The Hon Craig Knowles, AM
    The Hon Craig Knowles, AM

    Craig Knowles is currently the independent chairman of the NSW Government Natural Resources Access Regulator and the Australian Consul General and Senior Trade Commissioner in New Zealand and the Pacific.

    Craig was a cabinet minister for 11 years and an MP for 15 years in the New South Wales Parliament with portfolio responsibilities for Health, Planning, Housing, Infrastructure and Natural Resources. He joined the Hoc Mai Council in 2004.​ ​​​

  • The Hon Jeannette McHugh
    The Hon Jeannette McHugh

    Jeannette McHugh was a member of the House of Representatives, Australian Parliament, from 1983 until 1996, and Minister for Consumer Affairs from 1992 - 1996. She was for many years Chair of the Jessie Street Trust, is patron and a life member of the Evatt Foundation, and a Life Member of the Australian Labor Party.

    Jeanette’s involvement with Vietnam dates from the years of the war, developing into a respect and affection for the people of Vietnam, which has been strengthened by several visits to Hanoi with Hoc Mai and she joined the Hoc Mai Council in 2003. ​

  • Professor Michael Mann, AO
    Professor Michael Mann, AO

    Michael Mann has been the Chancellor of Torrens University Australia, President RMIT University Vietnam, Managing Director (Asia-Pacific), Laureate International Universities, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam (1998-2002), CEO of Australian Television Network, ABC and Australian Ambassador to Laos.

    Michael’s involvement with Hoc Mai started over 20 years ago. While Ambassador to Vietnam, along with Professors Robinson and Goulston he met key players in the health sector in Hanoi and Danang. He is still a frequent visitor to Vietnam and remains committed to helping the education and health sectors. He joined the Hoc Mai Council in 2001.​ ​

  • Nathalie Ms
    Ms Nathalie Mann

    Nathalie Mann is a public health specialist with over 17 years’ experience working across industries. She has a deep understanding of the Australian, Thai, Vietnamese and French healthcare systems. Nathalie has experience in the areas of policy, strategy and innovation with extensive experience in business operations and development.

    Nathalie spent over 10 years in Vietnam and has worked for the French Ministry of Health and organisations such as UNAIDS, Medecins du Monde and PEPFAR, where she helped draft the first anti-discrimination HIV/AIDS laws. She joined the Hoc Mai Council in 2021.​​​​

  • Professor Jonathan Morris, A
    Professor Jonathan Morris, AM

    Jonathan Morris is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and completed his Obstetric and Maternal Foetal Medicine sub specialty training in Sydney. He completed his PhD in Oxford and returned to Sydney in 1998 to the Royal North Shore Hospital. He leads a perinatal research team that extends from basic science to population health.

    His major research interests are the prediction, prevention and management of pregnancy complications. He joined the Council in 2005.​

  • Dr Janani Thillainadesan
    Dr Janani Thillainadesan

    Janani Thillainadesan is a staff specialist geriatrician at Concord Hospital, and Conjoint Lecturer at the University of Sydney. Her research is based at the Centre for Education and Research on Ageing (CERA), Concord Hospital. Janani is actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and research supervision.

    Her ongoing service contributions include chair of the Executive Ethical Review Panel and membership on her hospital’s Human Research Ethics Committee, coordinating the Geriatric Medicine collaboration with the National Geriatric Hospital in Hanoi via the Hoc Mai Foundation. She joined the Hoc Mai Council in 2020.​​​​​​​​​​​

  • Ms Deb​orah Willcox​
    Ms Deb​orah Willcox​ AM

    Deb Willcox has worked in health and the public sector for more than 35 years. Deb was appointed NSW Health Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Planning in October 2022. Deb was former Chief Executive of Northern Sydney Local Health District since November 2017, bringing to the role her extensive experience as a clinician and as senior executive.

    Deb is committed to ensuring the delivery of high quality compassionate public health care. Deb was admitted as a legal practitioner in 2004 and her career spans government and non-government organisations with experience in clinical and corporate services, research, and senior government adviser roles. She joined the Hoc Mai Council in 2021.

  • Mr Nguyen Dang Thang

    Mr. NGUYEN DANG Thang is Vietnamese Consul General in Sydney, covering New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. Prior to his posting in Sydney, he was Director-General (Law & Policy) at the National Boundary Commission of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Thang started his 20 plus years of diplomatic service as a legal expert in the the Foreign Ministry.

    Thang’s main focus during his term as Consul General of Vietnam is on promoting two-way investment and scientific, technological, educational and cultural cooperation between Australia and Vietnam as well as on strengthening the solidary and cohesion of the Vietnamese community in Australia. A Hanoian and a son of a doctor, Thang has special feelings for Hoc Mai programme.