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David Towl

Branch President

David lives on Wurundjeri land in the leafy North East of Melbourne with his partner and two dogs. David has been a health promoter in community settings for more than 20 years and has a particular interest in Alcohol and Other Drug related harm, Sexual and Reproductive Health and the prevention of homelessness. Currently David is employed as the Executive Lead Community Impact at Access Health and Community – a community health service in Melbourne’s Inner East. David leads programs in Health Promotion, Community Engagement, Neighbourhood Houses, Men's Sheds, Emergency Relief and Family Services Programs.

Between 2010 & 2017 David was a member of the Victorian Branch Committee of AHPA serving as a general committee member and branch president. David also had three terms on the National Board, holding the role of National Treasurer. 

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Mohana Baptista

Coordinator Events & Professional Development

Mohana Baptista, Lead Epidemiologist, South East Public Health Unit, Monash Health

I am passionate about public health. I firmly believe that health is a fundamental human right, and I am committed to protecting and promoting the right to health for everyone regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, cultural background, ethnicity, age or ability. I have lived experience of the influence of social determinants on health outcomes, and the difference that public health programs can make to our communities.

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Teresa Capetola

Co-Coordinator Advocacy

Teresa leads Education for Sustainability in the Health Nature and Sustainability Research Group, Deakin University. She has been a key researcher focused on the links between nature, climate change, health, and wellbeing. She also researches and publishes in sustainability pedagogy. She is the immediate past Course Director, Master of Health Promotion, Deakin University, and has taught in the tertiary education sector for over 25 years, recognised with multiple teaching awards, including the Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability Teaching Award and the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence. In 2022 she was successful in obtaining course accreditation for the Master of Health Promotion with the International Union of Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).

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Kate Lowsby

Co-Coordinator Advocacy

Kate is a health promotion practitioner with experience working across a range of organisations including government, not-for-profit, and women's health sectors. Kate holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Hons) from Deakin University and Bachelor of International Studies from RMIT University.

In her current role as Manager, Engagement and Innovation at the Jesuit Social Services' Centre for Just Places, she oversees and supports a range of research, engagement, and capacity building projects and initiatives focussed on promoting social and ecological justice.

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Anthea Maynard

Co-Coordinator Tasmania

Anthea is a health promotion practitioner who has had diverse professional an voluntary roles in Tasmania, north QLD and Zimbabwe. She has worked in primary health care, Aboriginal health, holistic spiritual health, community nutrition and food security within these unique communities.

Currently, Anthea works across three roles: executive director of Food Plants International, Team Leader with Launceston City Baptist and a mentoring officer for Fostering Hope. These roles allow Anthea to pursue her passion for health promotion in intergenerational faith communities, the social justice sector, and food security and ecological sustainability.

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Melissa Morris

Co-Coordinator Communications and Membership

Melissa is a Partnerships Lead, in the Health Promotion and Prevention team at Monash Health in the South East Public Health Unit. Focusing on helping to eliminate cervical cancer she is developing strengthened linkages between local area health organisations, community services providers and the community to lead a population approach for placed-based prevention activities aligned with state-wide policies and priorities. She has enjoyed engaging with members of various multicultural groups to help raise awareness of how to prevent avoidable blindness and low vision and trained health professionals in eye health, to help build capacity and identify clients who may be at risk of vision loss.

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Ellen Pritchard

Co-Coordinator Communications and Membership

Ellen is new to the health field, coming from an administration background, and recently started studying postgraduate studies in Public Health. She is interested in pursuing epidemiology, research and health promotion in the future. She currently works in medical administration.

She joined AHPA and the VIC/TAS executive committee early in 2023 to actively be part of a community that has the same passions as herself and connect with others in the health field. She is excited to take on her new role as co-Communications Coordinator and see where this takes her.

Swati Puri

Committee Member

Swati lives and works on Wurundjeri land, having moved over from the beautiful New Zealand last year.

Swati holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences from the University of Auckland and is currently employed in medical education administration. Swati has a passion for health advocacy for priority populations, specifically women’s health, indigenous health, and young people.

Swati also spends her time volunteering in other youth organisations, with a focus on health promotion, youth empowerment, and health education.

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Susan Scarr

Committee Member

Originally from Queensland, Susan has been living in beautiful East Gippsland (Gunaikurnai Country) since 2015. Susan works in Population Health and Health Communications at Gippsland Lakes Complete Health where she has led major social marketing campaigns and projects. These include the Connect Well Bushfire Mental Health and Wellbeing campaign and the Resilient Farm Communities project. Working for a regional community health service combines collective wellbeing with empowering individuals to improve their health outcomes through strategically delivered priority area programs and provides opportunities to work on funded projects and campaigns.

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Meg Scolyer

Co-ordinator Regional and Rural

Meg has recently returned to the beautiful North East Vic region, and is currently the Health Promotion Practitioner Lead at Gateway Health - a standalone community health centre servicing the Ovens Murray.

With an undergrad in nursing; post grad qualifications in community development and a Master of health promotion; Meg has broad experience across the health sector spanning acute, community, and population health settings.

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Natalia Smith

Committee Member

Natalia (she/her) lives in the regional town of Bendigo, Victoria on the land of the Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung peoples.

Natalia works at Bendigo Community Health Services (BCHS) as the Senior Leader Integrated Health Promotion. She brings a wealth of knowledge in public health and health promotion with over 12 years of experience in both the community services and health sector.

Throughout her career, she has remained dedicated in her commitment as a passionate advocate, tirelessly striving to enhance health and wellbeing outcomes, especially for the most marginalized of our rural and regional communities.

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Patricia Taylor

Committee Member

Dr Taylor is a Lecturer at Deakin University and is Co-Course Director of the Bachelor of Public Health/Health Promotion. Patricia has undergraduate qualifications in health promotion and postgraduate qualifications in public health and settings-based health promotion (PhD 2020). Patricia has been a researcher and teacher in the tertiary sector for 12 years. She leads the Australian Health Promoting University Network and is the Australian representative on the International Health Promoting Campuses Steering Committee.

Patricia has rejoined the AHPA Vic/Tas Committee after having previously served in the Committee.

Leanne Ung

Committee Member

Leanne is a Cardiac Physiologist based in Melbourne with over 7 years experience working across multiple healthcare sectors as a Cardiac Physiologist and in administration. She recently started post graduate studies in Public Health after wanting to pursue a career change that utilises her experiences and her interest in public health and health promotion.

Leanne is excited to share her experience and to take on developmental opportunities available.

VIC / TAS Branch