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 Programme 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 its newly established Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Board, effective 1 July 2017.
The new 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 reform program to improve organ and tissue donation and transplantation outcomes in Australia.
Board members bring a wealth of clinical, business and management experience, knowledge and expertise that will serve to strengthen the OTA’s delivery of the nationally consistent and coordinated system of organ and tissue donation for transplantation.
With significant political, health and advocacy expertise, Dr Mal Washer has been named the inaugural Chair of the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Board. Professor Carol Pollock, who has been appointed as Deputy Chair of the OTA Board, brings a wealth of clinical expertise and health governance and leadership experience to this role.
Accomplished in their fields, 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.
We are thrilled to welcome Dr Mal Washer and Professor Carol Pollock to their new roles.
The remaining five members of the OTA Board are expected to be appointed in the coming months and we look forward to introducing these Board members as they are appointed. .
Meet our current 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.
Ms Ann Smith, Chief Executive Officer (acting), Organ and Tissue Authority
Ms Smith has worked with the Health Department since 2010. During that time Ms Smith has led policy work for Emergency Departments, Elective Surgery, and Sub Acute Care through National Partnership Agreements with States and Territories. Ms Smith has also led policy work for the Organ and Tissue Authority (OTA), the National Blood Authority and the Mersey Community Hospital in Tasmania. In addition, Ms Smith was responsible for the $5 billion Health and Hospital Fund that resulted in over 200 infrastructure projects in Health across Australia. Most recently, Ms Smith has led the People Management Branch for the Health Department. In this role, Ms Smith provided support and policy direction for Work Health and safety, People Performance, Employee Relations and Diversity.
In the Public Service, Ms Smith has worked at the Senior Executive level at the Fair Work Ombudsman, the then Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and the Family Court of Australia. Ms Smith was responsible for a range of outcomes in these organisations that focused on both policy and services delivery.
Prior to the Public Service, Ms Smith was Executive Director for two private hospitals in Melbourne. These roles followed her work in Health in education, quality management and nursing. In her nursing career Ms Smith worked in Intensive Care for around 7 years. It was here that Ms Smith first gained experience with families of organ donors as well as those who had received transplants. This close understanding of the difficulties families face, and the huge impact organ donation can make, is a key reason for Ms Smith taking up the role at AOTDA for this period.
Ms Smith is an ANZSOG Fellow and holds a Master in Business Administration (International Management) and a Graduate Diploma in Adult Education and Training.