Our Executive

The OTA's Executive consists of the Chief Executive Officer, the National Medical Director and the Chief Financial Officer.

Chief Executive Officer (a/g)

Ann SmithAnn Smith

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.

National Medical Director

Dr Helen OpdamDr Helen Opdam

Dr Helen Opdam commenced as the National Medical Director of the Organ and Tissue Authority on 1 July 2014. She is a Senior Intensive Care Specialist at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne and Director of Warringal Private Hospital Intensive Care Unit. Her intensive care interests include improving patient care through enhancing hospital systems and neuro-intensive care.

Dr Opdam has a long standing commitment to organ and tissue donation, holding the position of the inaugural State Medical Director of DonateLife Victoria from 2009 to June 2015. In 1998 in Victoria Dr Opdam led the implementation of the routine review of hospital deaths with the aim of optimising identification of potential donors and ensuring the option for donation is discussed with patients' families. In 2002 she was appointed as a medical consultant to the Victorian Organ Donation Agency, providing medical suitability and other clinical advice on donation cases. She was on the National Institute of Clinical Studies (NICS) Advisory Committee that oversaw the National Organ Donation Collaborative (2006-2009).

Dr Opdam is a member of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Death and Organ Donation Working Party that has developed the ANZICS Statement on Death and Organ Donation. She regularly facilitates Medical ADAPT workshops to provide education to Intensive Care Specialists and trainees and other doctors on brain death and organ donation.

Dr Opdam is the Chair of the OTA Data and Audit Working Group, which oversees the national audit of deaths to detect potential organ donors. She contributes to numerous other committees and workings groups including being a Council member of the International Society for Organ Donation and Procurement, and on the NHMRC Expert Advisory Group for the development of ethical guidelines on the eligibility criteria and allocation protocols for organ transplantation from deceased donors. She is a regular invited speaker at national and international conferences.

Dr Opdam graduated from Monash University in 1990 with First Class Honours.

Chief Financial Officer

Ms Judy HarrisonMs Judy Harrison

Ms Judy Harrison has been Chief Financial Officer of the OTA since March 2010. She provides assurance on the OTA's financial sustainability, its control framework, and the accuracy of its appropriation bills, budget estimates and financial reporting. The Chief Financial Officer is the principal financial advisor to the OTA's CEO and executive team.

Ms Harrison was the Director of Financial Reporting and Treasury within the Department of Health, a role she held for five years. This role encompassed managing the department's treasury team and responsibility for both monthly and annual external reporting requirements.

Ms Harrison is a qualified accountant with significant previous financial reporting and financial management experience in both the public and private sectors, including five years consulting, five years in the United Kingdom banking sector, and audit experience gained in a major chartered accounting firm.


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