Dr Greg Ash – brief curriculum vitæ

Personal Details: Age: 60, Married, one child.

Academic Qualifications

BSc (Hons) ANU - 1976, Doctor of Philosophy, ANU - 1981

Present Position: Retired Sept 2014

Previous Employment

Following completion of my PhD in 1981, I joined the Department of Health and worked in a number of areas, including food standards and the National Drug Information Service. The latter position required evaluation of therapeutic drugs and the development of technical documentation relating to the use and adverse effects of drugs.

From 1982 to 1985 I worked in the Working Environment Branch of the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations as a Scientific Officer. This area formed the nucleus of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission. It also involved providing expertise on OHS issues such as noise, asbestos and lighting.

From 1985 to 1987 I was employed by Australia’s peak employer body, the Confederation of Australian Industry (now the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) as a Technical Adviser on occupational health and safety matters. This position involved extensive policy development on a broad range of occupational health and safety matters, as well as liaison, consultation and negotiation with employer and employee associations across Australia. I represented the CAI on Committees and Working Parties of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission.

In 1987 I returned to the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission. Main duties involved carrying out workplace consultancies for Government agencies. In 1988 I moved to Comcare Australia to join the group working on the introduction of the Commonwealth's occupational health and safety legislation. Subsequently I worked as the Director of Comcare Australia's Premiums Unit and in the Policy Secretariat dealing with issues such as licensing and legislative reform.

1993 - 1999: ACT WorkCover - involved in the development and implementation of regulations, standards and codes of practice under the ACT Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989. Provided executive functions to the ACT Occupational Health and Safety Council and represented the ACT Government on committees of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission, including the Standards Development Standing Committee and the NICNAS Working Group. I was Registrar under the ACT Occupational Health and Safety Act 1989, Nominal Insurer under the Workers' Compensation Act 1951 and Manager of the Workers' Compensation Supplementation Fund. During 1999, I was seconded to the Planning and Land Management Group (Department of Urban Services) to work on national competition policy legislation reviews for a range of legislation.

1999 – 2014: National Health and Medical Research Council – various roles:

I was initially responsible for policy development for the Research Committee of the NHMRC. With a doubling in funding between 1999 and 2004, the main challenge was to ensure that this money resulted in a re-engineering of the NHMRC’s research granting schemes and that the investment in research leads improvement in the health of all Australians.

From 2003 – 2005 I was responsible for major activities of the NHMRC – support for three of the NHMRC’s expert committees — Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies, Antimicrobial Resistance and Gene Therapies; and oversighting the development of the NHMRC’s performance management framework and coordinating the NHMRC’s inputs on biotechnology issues. I had a lead role in setting up the Human Genetics Advisory Committee as a Principal Committee of the NHMRC.

From 2006 – 2007 A/g SES Band 1– responsible for two of the Principle Committees of the NHMRC – the Human Genetics Advisory Committee and the Embryo Research Licensing Committee in addition to the Expert Committees. Also had roles in developing programs around the strategic planning priorities of the NHMRC.

From 2008 – 2014 As Senior Principal Research Scientist I was primarily working on aspects of peer review, mainly around NHMRC’s project grants scheme. This has also involved chairing three or four Peer Review Committees per year in various areas. I worked on a number of targetted calls for research – notably H1N1 and Australia’s contribution to the International Cancer Genome Consortium. I provide scientific input to grant variations requested by researchers.