Our Directors

Our Board is responsible for the development and oversight of our long-term strategy and performance.

Professor James McCluskey, AO, Chair

Professor James McCluskey is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Melbourne.  He is a Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor in Microbiology and Immunology and a Clarivate highly cited research for his research on immune recognition and genetic control of immune responses.

Professor McCluskey has previously served as a board member of the Bionics Institute, the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, St Vincent’s Institute, the Burnet Institute and several cop-operative research centres.  He is currently a board director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Australian Friends of Asha Slums, Trinity College Melbourne, the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Nossal Institute Limited and UoM Commercial Ltd.  Professor McCluskey led the development of the Peter Doherty Institute for infection and immunity.  He became and Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2018 for his contributions to immunity and medical education.

Nancy Baxter

Professor Nancy Baxter

Professor Nancy Baxter is Head of the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne.  She is a clinical epidemiologist, general surgeon and health services researcher.  She was previously Professor in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Professor of Surgery in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto.  Professor Baxter was awarded the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute for Health Policy Research article of the year for 2014/2015 and has extensive experience in using cancer registry data and health administrative data to examine the long-term impact of cancer care for adults.

Professor Cathy Vaughan

Professor Cathy Vaughan

Professor Cathy Vaughan is Director of the Nossal Institute for Global Health and Chair of Global Health at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne. Professor Vaughan is a public health researcher with expertise in gender, violence prevention and response, sexual and reproductive health, and health systems. She has over 25 years’ experience working in Asia and the Pacific, as well as Australia.

Cathy has extensive experience using qualitative and participatory research methods to work with groups experiencing health inequalities, including migrant and refugee women, women with disability, faith communities and young people, to generate evidence about the social and structural underpinnings of health. Her work is underpinned by a commitment to participatory approaches to health research and to strengthening research capacity.

A black and white head shot of  Mr John Demagistris.  He has short dark hair he is wearing glasses, and a suit and tie.

Mr John Demagistris

Mr John Demagistris is Executive Director, Financial Resources at the University of Melbourne.  His primary role is to lead the finance business partnering, financial planning and analysis and financial accounting  and taxation activities of the University.

Mr Demagistris holds a Bachelor of Business; is a Certified Practising Accountant; a Chartered Accountant and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  He has extensive experience in financial planning processes, internal and external financial reporting, business process improvement and accounting for complex financial transactions.


Leanne Fisher, Company Secretary

Ms Fisher has over thirty-five years’ experience as a company secretary, director and governance professional.  She holds a Graduate Certificate in Business and is a Fellow of the Governance Institute and; a Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors.  She is also an Honorary Life Member and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Office Professionals and a Justice of the Peace.

Ms Fisher has supported and provided advice to senior management in a number of roles including government ministers.  She is or has been a director of various organisations in the private and public sectors, in both Australia and internationally (including USA, UK and New Zealand).  Ms Fisher runs her own consulting governance practice and is also Company Secretary of Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory Ltd.

Matt Ralston, Chief Operating Officer

Matt Ralston is the Chief Operating Officer for the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne. He has proven leadership experience in commercial, NGO and University sectors and has worked in Australia, Europe and Asia-Pacific.  He brings a proven track-record leading operations,  implementing strategy; and managing large-scale, multi-disciplinary programs. He has a depth of experience building effective relationships with complex clients and stakeholders, including government and major funding agencies.  Matt has an undergraduate Arts degree with a focus on SE Asian politics and development, Indonesian and English literature. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds Master of Marketing, a Graduate Certificate in Management and speaks Bahasa Indonesia; and currently sits on the Advisory Board for the Australian Global Health Alliance and is an external Board Member at Playgroup Victoria.

Profile Image of Muthuni Fernando. She has long dark hair and is smiling at the camers

Muthuni Fernando

Muthuni Fernando is the  Finance Manager  for the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne. She is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), an Associate member of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants in the UK (ACMA) and holds an MBA in Finance. She has worked in finance industry for 14 years across not for profit, energy, and engineering sectors both in Australia and internationally.

Muthuni has successfully managed budgets/forecasts, financial accounting reporting, financial management of projects, and tax management.