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Veterans' Health Advisory Panel members

Members of the Veterans' Health Advisory Panel are appointed by the Minister for Veterans.

Ms Cathy O'Malley, Chair

  • General Manager Strategy, Primary and Community of the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board
  • Deputy-Director General Sector Capability and Implementation in the Ministry of Health, 2012 to mid-2016
  • management roles in the health sector including CEO of Compass Health and other Primary Health Organisations, from 1993
  • 10 years working for YMCA and as a management consultant
  • past governance roles on Capital and Coast District Health Board; Wellington Free Ambulance, Primary IT, and MATPRO as a board director
  • leadership programmes completed including Leading High Performing Health Organisations at Harvard Business School, 2012; Global Health Leadership Forum at the University of California Berkley's School of Public Health, 2015
  • Bachelor of Physical Education at Otago, 1979, followed by studying health systems in UK, USA and Europe.

Dr Ian Civil, Deputy Chair

  • internationally recognised trauma surgeon; certified specialist in vascular surgery; clinical lead of the Major Trauma National Clinical Network
  • previous senior medical positions including Director of Surgery on the Auckland District Health Board; Senior Lecturer in Trauma and Military Surgery at University of Auckland
  • a veteran of Desert Storm, commanding officer of First NZ Army Medical Team
  • extensive research into war surgery.

Dr Marie Bismark, Member

  • qualifications as public health physician and health lawyer
  • research experience as Associate Professor for the Centre for Health Policy, University of Melbourne
  • fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, with governance skills developed over 10 years as a company director
  • previous service on Ministerial Advisory Panel on Veterans’ Health, ACC, and Dispute Resolution Services.

Major Robert Duncan, Chief of Defence Force ex-officio nominee

  • military Medical Officer (general practitioner) for over 25 years in both the British and New Zealand Armies
  • experience in developing health policy, allocating resources, and planning and delivering health training and education
  • operational deployments in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, the Middle East and Cyprus
  • sound understanding of the medical issues affecting military personnel and the impact of these issues on leaving the Forces.

Mr Jhan Gavala, Member

  • practising psychologist
  • lecturer at Massey University School of Psychology from 2003–2017
  • extensive experience in health research
  • has been a member of the Health Research Council Māori Health Assessing Committee and was also a member of the Massey University Human Ethics Committee
  • has published many research papers including a study on Māori identity in the Royal New Zealand Navy Te whakatewhatewhatanga o te tuakiri a te toa Taua Moana: Exploring Maori identity within the Royal New Zealand Navy.

Professor Te Kani Kingi, Member

  • internationally recognised academic and researcher, of Ngāti Awa and Ngāti Pukeko iwi, with specialist expertise in Māori health, psychometrics, and mental health research
  • Executive Director Research and Innovation at Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi
  • 20 years working in senior leadership roles at Massey University, including 6 as Director of the Academy for Māori Research and Scholarship
  • current Māori lead on NZs largest and most comprehensive research programme, "Growing up in New Zealand", a 21-year longitudinal study of New Zealand children
  • extensive board experience, including as current Chair of Ngā Kanohi Kitea Committee (HRC), and the Te Pou Matakana Whanau Ora Grant Committee, and member of Statistics New Zealand’s Māori Advisory Board, the HRC International Indigenous Research Committee, Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga International Research Advisory Panel, the White Paper on NZ Children expert panel, and the Glen Inquiry on Domestic Violence and Child Abuse.

Ms Denise Hutchins, Veterans’ Advisory Board ex-officio appointee

  • Career in the health sector spanned 44 years, commencing in the clinical area as a nurse in both hospital and community settings, progressing to a Chief Nursing Officer position.
  • Moved into health management, working in organisational development with responsibilities for human resources, health, safety and wellbeing, learning and development and strategic quality improvement.
  • Served as a Territorial in the New Zealand Army as a member of the Royal New Zealand Nursing Corps (Territorial) from 1979-1994, retiring as Lieutenant Colonel and Principal Nursing Officer 2 (GH) Field Hospital.
  • Justice of the Peace since 2002 and is currently the Immediate Past President of the Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices’ Associations.

Dr Michael O’Reilly, Veterans’ Affairs ex-officio appointee

  • Military medical doctor with thirty years service in the NZDF, twenty in the Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps, including as  the Principal Medical officer and a Strategy Advisor/Projects Officer within the Defence Health Directorate.
  • Currently employed as the Medical Advisor in Veterans Affairs New Zealand.
  • Previous roles in primary care, hospital medicine and health leadership.
  • A veteran who has deployed to Timor Leste, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Mr Daniel Patrick, Member

  • Director, New Zealand’s Biological Heritage National Science Challenge I Nga Koiora Tuku Iho
  • Executive Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga at New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence hosted by Auckland University
  • extensive leadership and research experience, including in data analytics and management
  • previous Research Programme Manager for the Social Statistics Research Group, co-founder of the Centre of Methods and Policy Applications in Social Sciences at Auckland University, founder and manager of the New Zealand Social Statistics Network
  • developed and established New Zealand’s Social Science Data Service
  • Master’s in Health Sciences with Honours.