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Melissa Colosimo


Melissa has worked in the Public Health sector for over a decade, and has a range of experience working on programs targeting children, adults, older adults, schools, hospitals, workplaces and the food industry. This along with her post graduate studies in Health Promotion has given her a solid foundation on using public health principles. She has experience in program management, strategic planning, program evaluation, tenders submissions, budgeting, and establishing and sustaining partnerships with stakeholders. She is currently employed as a Program Manager with Nutrition Australia Victorian Division.

Melissa has been a committee member of the Victorian Branch since 2015.

Joanna Schwarzman

Vice President

Joanna is currently undertaking a PhD at Monash University in the field of Health Promotion and Evaluation. Prior to this, Joanna worked in the Northern Territory, most recently in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health sector, in particular working with to support health promotion and chronic disease management workforce around the Northern Territory.

Joanna also worked as a physiotherapist in remote Aboriginal communities in the Top End of Northern Territory, and has completed a Master of Public Health through Flinders University.

Rebecca Meldrum


Rebecca Meldrum has been in her current position as Health Promotion Officer at Neami National for five years. Rebecca’s background in health promotion, public health and research have enabled her to work in a variety of settings, including mental health, women’s health and community health. Rebecca has a key interest in the influence of health literacy on health outcomes and supporting the community to achieve overall health and wellbeing via a holistic approach to health promotion.

Angela Vidic

Administration and Secretary

Angela graduated from a Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion in October 2010 and gained over 3 years of volunteer experience, working with Merri Community Health Service, North West Area Mental Health Service and for St Vincent’s De Paul Society at Ozanam House. Angela began her working career at Merri Community Health Service as a Health Promotion Officer before working as a Liaison Officer with Macedon Ranges and North Western Melbourne Medicare Local. Her current role is with Inner East Community Health Service as a Health Promotion Practitioner working on mental health promotion. Angela held the position of Secretary/Administration since 2014 with the AHPA Victorian Committee Branch.

Hazel Fetherston

Committee Member

Hazel is a passionate health promotion practitioner and has been recognised as an emerging public health leader. She was awarded the Australian Health Promotion Association (WA Branch) scholarship in 2015 taking on a research project in public health nutrition and health promotion. Originally from Western Australia, Hazel has experience delivering nutrition and health promotion programs to disadvantaged communities, schools, children, families and training health professionals and teachers through Western Australia. She is currently working in health policy as Chronic Disease Program Coordinator at the Australian Health Policy Collaboration.

Hazel has served on the AHPA WA Branch for a number of years in the advocacy subcommittee and has a keen interest in investing into recent graduates. She also loves cycling.

Cassandra Wright

Committee Member

Cassandra is a public health researcher, about to complete her PhD in alcohol interventions at the Burnet Institute. Her other research interests relate to new media and young people’s health. She holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Hons), with a major in health promotion. She is a tutor at Monash University in the Bachelor of Health Sciences, and supervises both Health Science and Biomedicine Honours students. She has five years of experience in program evaluation, and has worked on evaluations ranging from small-scale community programs to state-wide government initiatives. She is passionate about the translation of research to real-world benefit.

Lucy Wickham

Committee Member

With over a decade of experience in health promotion, Lucy is currently employed at Peninsula Health as a Health Promotion Team Leader. She has extensive experience working in community health. Positions previously held include health promotion supervisory roles in local government, and primary care partnership prevention coordination positions. Lucy’s areas of focus as a health promotion practitioner have been wide-ranging and include healthy eating, Aboriginal health and prevention of violence against women. In 2016, she sat on the Victorian Branch Committee and the National Professionalising Health Promotion Working Group. Lucy has a Masters in Health Promotion from Curtin University of Technology.

Owen Pietsch

Committee Member

Owen has over 10 years’ experience in a range of health promotion activities and programs mainly within local government, but has extensive experience within the not-for-profit, community and public health and fitness industry.

His range of portfolios has included public health planning and service delivery, indigenous reconciliation, physical activity promotion, healthy urban design and planning, food security, community engagement and development, and environmental sustainability.

Owen is currently the Senior Pracititioner – Health Promotion at Access Health and Community and has a growing interest in the role health can play in forming our everyday environment.

Stephen Bendle

Committee Member

Stephen works for YMCA Australia as the Executive Manager, Advocacy with the aim of leveraging the significant footprint of the YMCA to have an influence on the health and happiness of Australians beyond traditional programs and services. He is leading the work on removing SSB’s from YMCA facilities and improving healthy food choices.

Stephen has been with the YMCA for just over 8 years. He has had various roles including stints as Chief Executive for YMCA Victoria, NSW and Ballarat.

Stephen has significant experience within the health and not for profit sector. He ran his own national Corporate Health business before joining a multi-national health services organisation and then did some consulting within the health services sector. Before the YMCA he was the National Director of Australians Donate, the peak national body for organ and tissue donation.

Stephen has a Bachelor of Education (Physical Education) and a Master’s of Science in Adult Fitness & Cardiac Rehabilitation from the University of Wisconsin.

He is a Board member of Play Australia, and on the management committee of the Australian Health Promotion Foundation (Vic branch) and The Parents Voice.

Bronwyn Moore

Committee Member

Bronwyn is a Public Health Practitioner with over 15 years experience providing project management functions across a range of program areas and population groups in the Not For Profit sector.

Bronwyn has extensive experience in applying systems thinking, program planning and delivery, community development, public education and behaviour change across a variety of settings and within multidisciplinary teams.

Her current role involves organisation wide planning and development strategies and ensuring these are congruent with the associated planning documents, frameworks and best practice.

Bronwyn is interested in learning organisations and the application of salutogenisis, co-production and appreciative inquiry.

VIC Branch