The Authority's Executive consists of the Chief Executive Officer, the National Medical Director, General Manager and the Chief Financial Officer.
Chief Executive Officer
Ms Yael Cass
Ms Yael Cass commenced as Chief Executive Officer of the Authority in February 2011. Her role is to provide leadership and guidance to ensure that Australia achieves world's best practice in organ and tissue donation for transplantation.
Ms Cass is responsible for providing senior leadership within the Authority and across the DonateLife network to ensure that the national coordinated approach to increase organ and tissue donation continues to gain traction and delivers outcomes to improve the lives of those Australians, and their families, waiting for transplants. The objective of the CEO and the entire Authority is to: increase capability and capacity within the health system; and to build community awareness and stakeholder engagement across Australia to promote organ and tissue donation.
A lawyer by training, Ms Cass has worked on the development and delivery of national social policy over 25 years - with a principal focus on health and ageing policy and programs, Indigenous affairs, education and training and immigration policy. Over 2008 to 2010, Ms Cass worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), including as First Assistant Secretary for Social Policy Division, to support development of the national health reform agenda between the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments.
Prior to 2008, Ms Cass worked for three years on national blood, organ and tissue donation policy in the Health and Ageing portfolio. In this period she supported the work of the National Clinical Taskforce on Organ and Tissue Donation. This experience provides a strong base for continued engagement with the organ donation and transplantation sectors, stakeholders and the national DonateLife Network.
National Medical Director
Associate Professor Jonathan Gillis MB BS, PhD, FRACP, FCICM, FAChPM
Associate Professor Jonathan Gillis is the National Medical Director for the Organ and Tissue Authority. Prior to taking up this position in 2011, Jonathan was the State Medical Director for New South Wales, with DonateLife NSW in 2010.
Before joining the DonateLife network, Jonathan had a long career in Paediatric Intensive Care. He trained in paediatrics and paediatric intensive care in Sydney and Toronto, Canada and for more than 14 years held the position of Director of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Children's Hospital at Camperdown and then at Westmead.
He is also qualified as a palliative care physician and worked with the palliative care team at the Children's Hospital and at Bear Cottage. He is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and has a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of New South Wales.
Widely published, Jonathan has been an invited speaker at international conferences on intensive care issues, end of life care and ethics. Jonathan is a Visiting Scholar at the Plunkett Centre of Ethics at St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney.
Chief Financial Officer
Ms Judy Harrison
Ms Judy Harrison has been Chief Financial Officer of the Authority since March 2010. She provides assurance on the Authority'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 Authority's CEO and executive team.
Ms Harrison was the Director of Financial Reporting and Treasury within the Department of Health and Ageing, 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.
Ms Elizabeth Flynn
Ms Elizabeth Flynn has been the Authority's General Manager since March 2010.
She reports to the CEO and is responsible for delivering the projects that contribute to the nine measures of the government's National Reform Package and for providing senior leadership to staff within the Authority.
Before joining the Authority, Ms Flynn was an Assistant Secretary with the Office of
the Gene Technology Regulator. Her role included coordination of the Regulator's enforcement and compliance activities, corporate business services, international cooperation, expert advisory committees and legal arrangements.
Ms Flynn has a strong track record in establishing portfolio agencies. She was an integral part of the teams that established the:
- National Food Authority (now known as Food Standards Australia New Zealand), for which she won an Australia Day Individual Achievement Award
- Australian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority
- Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, for which she won an Australia Day Team Achievement Award.
Ms Flynn has qualifications in science (microbiology), public health and government statutory compliance.