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Alison Coughlan 


Alison joined the Health Issues Centre team as CEO in December 2022 and is working to transform our organisational capacity to extend our reach and influence. Her primary focus is in ensuring that a diversity of voices of lived experience are heard and the incredible value of co-production harnessed to create much needed change and better health for all.  

Alison has a research and public health background and almost 30 years’ experience working at a state, national and global level with more than 80 organisations as a researcher, policy maker, advocate, leader, consultant, and board director. She is passionate about consumer engagement in health which has been a strong and enduring theme of her work for the past 25 years.  


Katherine Burnard 

Training, Development & Projects Officer 

Katherine has been with HIC since October 2021. She builds the capacity of people across the health sector to embed a more consumer-driven approach, with a passion for co-design. Her role involves delivering training, facilitating workshops, and leading consumer engagement projects.  Katherine also nurtures consumer advocates through our Consumers Connect network, and the newly launched Victorian Health Consumer Community of Practice.   

Previously, Katherine was the Lived Experience Program Manager for a national charity and spent the formative parts of her career as a mental health Occupational Therapist. Katherine completed postgraduate studies in social innovation in the UK and founded a social enterprise focused on equity, inclusion, and young people. 


Denize Hooton 

Finance and Operations Manager 

Joining Health Issues Centre in 2018, Denize manages Health Issues Centre’s finance, IT and HR functions as well as organisation systems and processes to support all aspects of our operations.  She also provides support to HIC’s Board and Committees and ensures the organisation fulfils its regulatory and compliance obligations. 

Denize has an extensive and varied background in IT, training, finance and project management in a range of organisations and is well-equipped to provide support across a range of HIC initiatives as needed.  With qualifications and expertise in project management, she maintains oversight of our programs of work including project planning, budgets and reporting/acquittal.   


Dr Janelle Jones 

Business and Development Manager 

Janelle joined the team at Health Issues Centre in February 2023 to identify and develop opportunities to expand the organisation’s consultancy, research and training services. 

Janelle has worked in a range of research, project management and funding development roles across the health sector, working collaboratively with government, associations and philanthropic groups to improve access to clinical care and services across Australia and New Zealand. Janelle has a particular interest in improving equity of access to high-quality healthcare for all Australians, regardless of their geographical location, age, socioeconomic status or cultural background. 


Victoria Khroundina 

Communications and Engagement Officer  

Victoria joined the Health Issues Centre team as a Communications Officer in October 2023 to help manage the communications for HIC projects, with a focus on strengthening HIC’s brand, profile and reputation.

Victoria’s background is in writing, editing and communications consultancy. She has extensive experience working with global clients in industries such as non-for-profit, academia and publishing. Victoria is passionate about writing and design and its ability to empower individuals and groups. She has experience writing for the health sector, and is excited about crafting messaging that appeals, inspires and connects with audiences.


Kathleen Mitakakis 

Senior Project Officer 

Kathleen joined Health Issues Centre in September 2019 to develop and deliver a range of consumer centric projects across the health, community and government sector. 

Kathleen has worked in a range of community engagement, social policy, project implementation and management, and community development roles across the health, community, local and state government sectors. All of her work is with a focus on ensuring the community’s voice is equal to that of other stakeholders in decision making and designing outcomes. Kathleen has a particular interest in the social determinants of health and inclusive community engagement.