Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA)
The Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) works with states and territories, clinicians and the community sector to deliver the Australian Government’s National Reform Program to improve access to life-transforming transplants for all Australians.
The OTA is an independent statutory agency within the Australian Government Health portfolio, established by the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Authority Act 2008, (the Act). This Act sets out the primary responsibilities for the OTA and the functions of the Chief Executive Officer.
The OTA is a prescribed agency under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013. The OTA is located in Canberra, Australia.
Our vision is to establish Australia as a world leader in best practice organ and tissue donation for transplantation that optimises every potential donation opportunity to increase access to life-transforming transplantation for Australians.
Our mission is to deliver a highly effective national organ and tissue donation system with the support of Australian governments, the clinical profession and the community.
The Organ and Tissue Authority Board
The Australian Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) is pleased to introduce the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Board (the Board), effective from 1 July 2017.
The Board is the Accountable Authority under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and is responsible for the overall governance of the OTA in delivering the Australian Government’s national program to improve organ and tissue donation and transplantation outcomes in Australia.
With significant political, health and advocacy expertise, Dr Mal Washer is the inaugural Chair of the Board. Professor Carol Pollock, who is the Deputy Chair, brings a wealth of clinical expertise and health governance and leadership experience to this role.
The OTA CEO, Ms Lucinda Barry, is also a member of the Board, bringing extensive experience and knowledge in health care, both clinical and policy, to the position. Lucinda is also responsible for the day-to-day operations of the OTA.
The remaining four members of the Board are Dr Marisa Herson, Ms Margaret Kruger, Mr Oren Klemich and Professor Stephen Lynch.
Our Board members have the skills and experience to provide guidance, direction and leadership in their governance of the OTA and will be tremendous assets to the organisation.
Meet our Board members below.
Dr Mal Washer, Chair
Dr Washer, a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1998 to 2013, was educated at the University of Western Australia, graduating in 1970 with degrees in medicine and surgery. Mal was a general practitioner before entering politics and he established a number of prominent medical centres in Western Australia. He was also past Chair of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia. Mal has extensive experience in agricultural and horticultural activities and currently operates a commercial avocado plantation in Western Australia.
In addition to his role as Chair of the Board of the Organ and Tissue Authority, Mal is the Chair of the Board of AusCann, an Australian-based company that aims to produce and provide clinically validated cannabinoid medicines.
Professor Carol Pollock, Deputy Chair
Prof Pollock is an academic nephrologist and renal transplant physician with over 290 publications in basic research and clinical medicine. She is an inaugural Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (2015), was conferred a Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in Research Supervision (2012) and recognised as a ‘Distinguished Professor’ by the University of Sydney (2012). She was the 2014 recipient of the Ministerial Award for Excellence in Cardiovascular Research. She was Scientific Chairman of the 2013 World Congress of Nephrology. She is Chair of the NSW Cardiovascular Research Network and Chairs the Research Advisory Committee of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology.
Health leadership roles include inaugural Chair of the NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, immediate past Chair of the Clinical Excellence Commission, remaining as a director of both organisations till April 2016. She was Chair of the Northern Sydney Local Health District Board since its inception in 2011 till 2016 and since 2016 was Director and then Chair of the NSW Bureau of Health Information. She is a current Director of Kidney Health Australia and Chairs the International Society of Nephrology Meetings committee, responsible for delivering both research and educational meetings and policy forums across the globe.
Lucinda Barry, Chief Executive Officer, Organ and Tissue Authority
Lucinda Barry commenced as the Chief Executive Officer of the Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA) in September 2017. In addition to being responsible for the day to day operations of the OTA, Lucinda is also a member of the inaugural OTA Board.
Lucinda brings to the position extensive experience and knowledge in health care, both clinical and policy. In her exemplary career, she has held senior leadership roles within government, the public service and in health service management and delivery.
In her most recent positions as the Prime Minister’s Senior Adviser on health policy and Chief of Staff to the Assistant Health Minister, Lucinda is well informed on Australia’s organ and tissue donation program.
Lucinda brings a wealth of clinical and change management knowledge from her previous clinical positions as Trauma Coordinator at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where she was integral to the implementation of the Victorian State Trauma System at both a state and hospital level. Lucinda has also been a frontline emergency specialist nurse and was the Director of Nursing at the National Capital Private Hospital in Canberra.
Lucinda has previously held executive positions within the health profession including Vice-President of the Australasian Trauma Society and the Emergency Nurses Association Victoria.
With an extensive network of stakeholders in the health sector, Lucinda has a keen appreciation and understanding of the importance of working in partnership and collaboration to deliver the best health outcomes for the community.
Dr Marisa Herson
Dr Marisa Herson began her professional life as a burns surgeon in Brazil. Looking for ways of improving patient care, she became involved in research in skin bioengineering (PhD), and in skin banking establishing the University of Sao Paulo Skin Bank under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency. She was President of the Latin American Association of Tissue Banks and advisor to the Brazilian Organ and Tissue Transplant authorities and national regulatory body (ANVISA) before moving to Australia, in 2007, to head the Donor Tissue Bank of Victoria, a multi tissue banking facility in Melbourne.
In 2011 Marisa returned to academic life and has since undertaken diverse roles in public and professional bodies in Australia and overseas. She is a Senior Lecturer at Monash University Surgery Department, an Associate Professor at Deakin University in Ethics and Professionalism, an advisor to the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) – Advisory Committee on Biologicals (ACB), a member to the International Council for Commonality in Blood Banking Automation (ICCBBA) – International Tissue Technical Advisory Group (ITTAG), and an advisor to the World Health Organization Expert Panel on Organ and Tissue Donation. As of 2014, Marisa holds the position of General Secretary of the World Union of Tissue Banking Associations (WUTBA).
Before her appointment to the OTA Board, she was a member to OTA Advisory Council from 2009 to 2016.
Margaret (Margie) Kruger is a solicitor and practises in the area of family law and child protection law. She has worked in the area of child protection in service delivery to children and families, policy and the Court both as a social worker and lawyer for 30 years.
She was admitted to practise as a Barrister of the Supreme Court of Queensland in May 2000 and was subsequently admitted to practise as a Solicitor in October 2000. She is also admitted as a practitioner to the High Court of Australia. She has been recognised in the Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession as a leading or recommended family lawyer since 2012.
Margie is a partner at Ryan Kruger Lawyers in Queensland. The firm deals predominately in family law including child related matters, financial matters, as well as estate planning and discrimination matters.
Margie is the Deputy Chair of the Queensland Law Society Family Law Committee. She is a Board Member of the Child Protection Practitioners Association of Queensland (CPPAQ) and, until the end of 2016, held the position of President of CPPAQ. She has previously been a member of the Queensland Law Society Children’s Committee.
Prior to commencing practice as a lawyer in 2000, Margie was a social worker with the Queensland Government working in the area of child safety. She worked in various roles including assessing notifications of harm, team leader, policy advisor and senior advisor in child protection in the Court Division of the department.
Oren Klemich, born and bred in Adelaide, commenced his career in real estate in 1985 after studies at the Adelaide University. His company, Klemich Real Estate, was established in 2002.
In 2009 Oren and his wife Gill tragically and suddenly lost their oldest son Jack to meningococcal disease. Jack, aged 18, was a registered organ donor and the lives of five Australians have been transformed from Jack’s precious gift of life.
Since Jack’s death, Oren has been a strong advocate for meningococcal research and the promotion of organ donation. As a donor parent, he looks forward to contributing nationally in his role as a member of the Organ and Tissue Authority Board.
Prof Stephen Lynch AC
Prof Stephen Lynch was born in Sydney in 1954. He is married to Genni with three daughters Kate, Angelica and Lydia. His undergraduate training was completed at the University of NSW Sydney. He underwent basic and advanced surgical training at St Vincent's Hospital Sydney and completed his Transplantation Fellowship in 1984-85 in Pittsburgh USA under the supervision of Prof Tom Starzl. He was admitted to Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons by examination in 1985. Since 1986 he has held various positions including Director of Queensland Liver Transplant Service, Foundation Chair of Transplantation Biology Programme, Fellow of the Institute and Member of the Board of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, President of Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand; Councillor of the Asian Transplantation Society, Councillor of The Transplantation Society, and Member of Queensland Health Clinical Senate.
Stephen served as Associate Editor/Co-Editor/Section Editor or on the Editorial Boards of Liver Transplantation and Surgery, Transplantation, Graft, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Surgery, Hepatogastroenterology, and International Journal of Hepatology. He has published more than 150 manuscripts and four book chapters. He was awarded the Pro Sanitate Medal by the Republic of Hungary, the Award for Excellence by the Royal Australasian College of Surgery, Best Manuscript of the Year in the Journal of Investigative Surgery, and the 2012 Australia Day Queensland Health Medal for Surgical Leadership. Stephen was admitted as a Companion of the Order of Australia by the Governor General in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2015.
Stephen is currently Chair of Transplantation, Chairman of Division of Surgery Princess Alexandra Hospital Brisbane, Professor of Surgery University of Queensland, Surgical Stream Leader Brisbane Metro South Hospital and Health Service, Consultant Hepatobiliary Surgeon at Mater Private Hospital in Brisbane, Member of the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation Authority Board and Visiting Professor to the Faculty of Nursing St Mary’s College Kurume Japan.