The Well & Productive CRC will establish a new industry-academic research consortium creating evidence-based solutions for workplace mental health and wellbeing. It will change lives for the better and ensure that productivity in Australian workplaces improves through increased levels of mental health and wellbeing.
The CRC combines the skills, experience and knowledge of 69 partners – including 24 SMEs. This is an incredibly exciting collaboration that has the potential to revolutionise the modern workplace. Our 69 industry partners include companies in the technology, construction and health sectors, industry peak bodies, unions, social impact investors, insurers and education technology innovators. There will be a focus on industries such as defence, emergency services, health and construction given their relatively higher levels of mental injury claims compared to other sectors.
We anticipate the CRC will drive significant positive economic outcomes such as the creation of more than 4000 jobs in related industries such as health technology and advanced manufacturing within 15 years.
Our 69 stage 1 industry partners include companies in the technology, construction, defence, frontline, health sectors, industry peak bodies, unions, social impact investors, insurers and education technology innovators.
The CRC aims to deliver advanced and evidence-based products and services to support the transformation of mental wellbeing in workplaces. The innovative industry partnerships fostered through the CRC will play a key role in driving innovation in the medical technology sector and also deliver the scale needed to allow these solutions to be exported to new markets.
We are committed to collaboration, commercialisation, translation, adoption and impact – ensuring sustainable industries for Australia.
There has never been a better time than now to develop new products and services addressing unmet needs in workplace mental wellbeing and to prevent the risk of psychological injuries.
With mental wellbeing challenges being further exacerbated after the Covid-19 pandemic, it is clear that there is an urgent need to make a difference. This can be best achieved through bringing together excellence in research and innovation and the practical and applied lens of industry. Collectively, industry and academia can unite around this growing problem, developing solutions to ensure that we have a working well Australia.
The core objectives of the Well and Productive CRC are to:
- Develop a collective group driven by their commitment to make changes in workplace mental wellbeing by participating in a highly networked and connected industry thought leader network, and also serving as innovation champions for solution implementation and adoption
- Support in the development of leading industry-ready PhD research talent
Commercialise products, programs and services in Australia and internationally, that support the promotion of good mental health with focus on the workplace as a setting and the development of commercialisable solutions at scale.
- Benefit society and communities at work in a meaningful way – with a clear move away from piecemeal, small-scale solutions that are often duplicative, hard to measure, track and understand towards generating innovative new research outputs informed by real unmet needs, catering to the nuanced and diverse requirements of solution end-users.
- Drive significant positive economic outcomes such as the creation over 4000 jobs in industries such as health technology and advanced manufacturing within 15 years, and translation of the outputs of these new jobs to international markets in the form of commercially attractive products and services.
Professor Jane Burns
Jane brings a unique combination of research leadership senior executive experience. She leads large consortia and executive teams working at the nexus of research and development, industry and the social sector. Over her career she has attracted more than $200M of industry, government and philanthropic funds to drive new leadership in mental health reform with a major focus on new and emerging technologies. Jane is an international speaker on the topic of mental health; an experienced board director, and chair of the Federal Government’s National Advisory Council for Veterans Families’ Counselling. Jane was the CEO of the Young and Well CRC (2011 – 2017)
Acting CRC Board Chair
Daniel has enjoyed many years as an entrepreneur and company director including more than twenty as CEO of both larger listed and smaller private corporations. He is an experienced executive and non-executive director, with extensive dealings at all levels of government and the corporate sector. His background spans a broad range of corporate, commercial and board roles including sales/marketing, M & A, Corporate Governance, REM/ NOM, but mostly – strategic business development. Daniel has a particular expertise in fostering growth for international Hi-Tech companies in Australia, having worked in the space for over 25 years. (MBA, GICD, DISC)
Chaired by Acting Board Chair Mr. Daniel Lipshut, the W&P CRC will be represented by an exemplary Board.
Our Board members will have a wide range of skills – technical, commercial and industry expertise as well as years of experience in leadership positions in significant organisations that add value to Australia daily.
Importantly, our Board members will bring their passion for workplace mental wellbeing to the CRC, ensuring that there is rigour, transparency and a high standard of diligence and care in all CRC governance matters.
Our Board is driven by a desire to increase the impact of mental wellbeing at work, harnessing the power of innovation and entrepreneurship. They will apply their vision and leadership to enable the vision of Well & Productive.
Shantha is an internationally recognised expert in sleep and chronobiology, trained in psychology and law, with extensive experience in the leadership of large national and international academic, professional and industry networks. His postdoctoral training was undertaken with leading research groups in the UK (Surrey) and the USA (Harvard). His research seeks to translate sleep research into applied and clinical settings, with a particular focus on shift workers. He has served as an expert adviser to industry including Philips, Australian Workers’ Union, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Circadian Therapeutics (Chair of Scientific Advisory Board). He serves as current Chair of the Sleep Health Foundation, Australia’s leading advocate for healthy sleep.
Shantha serves on editorial boards of Sleep Health, Journal of Pineal Research and Clocks and Sleep. He has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers, 13 book chapters, and has co-edited two text-books. He has published in leading journals and across a wide range of disciplines of science and medicine including Lancet, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, PNAS, Neurology, Science Translational Medicine and Health Affairs.
Shantha has received research funding from national and international initiatives (A$30.7 million in the past 10 years) and led phase 2 and 3 clinical trials of a melatonin analog – tasimelteon (published in the Lancet), which resulted in a successful new drug application to the US Food and Drug Administration (2014) and European Medicines Agency (2015). His recent work on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health has informed US government policy including the allocation of resources to clinical services and research.
Sanji is Managing Director of the Curve Tomorrow group and CEO of WeGuide. He has over 20 years’ experience in design, engineering and business creation of safety-critical products and health technology, with experience in the rail, automotive and health sectors in Europe, Asia and North America. Sanji is passionate about using technology to make a positive change in our society and working with health professionals to improve health and wellbeing.
Curve Tomorrow is an award winning company in Australia and internationally. For over 12 years Curve Tomorrow has created digital healthcare technology in partnership with Australia’s leading organisations, clinicians and researchers.
Curve Tomorrow has helped create more than 50 digital health products across many fields in healthcare and research. Curve Group has the vision of improving 1 billion lives, and currently, has improved 262,572 lives with our technology.
Sanji is also CEO of WeGuide a Curve group company. The regulatory approved WeGuide platform allows users to quickly and simply create their own patient engagement apps for research or healthcare. This platform, which draws upon 10 years of digital health experience and learnings, has crystallised into a self service digital health platform. WeGuide shows that creating a relationship with your patient significantly improves adherence, data quality and outcomes. Notably, WeGuide was used by a global WHO COVID-19 decentralised trial with over 7000 health professionals in the USA, UK, Netherlands, Brazil and Australia. Focused around quickly creating and running decentralized clinical trials, guide and improve therapy adherence, collect real world evidence (RWE) or create a digital companion for your device or drug.
Industry Lead, WellNet Network
Over the past 23 years, Greg has established himself as a skilled and highly regarded business leader, innovator, and commercialisation expert in the corporate, technology and government sectors, both domestically and internationally.
With deep experience in strategy, digital technology, customer experience and innovation, Greg challenges existing ways of working to find new pathways and opportunities to reposition, collaborate and deliver accelerated growth and returns.
Greg has an entrepreneurial mindset and drive, a commitment to ethical leadership and a passion to coach others. Through Greg’s leadership and mentoring,
Across his career, Greg has been the recipient of multiple business, industry and innovation awards. He is often sought after as a speaker on leadership, innovation and commercialisation.
Greg has founded numerous start-ups, guided and led multiple capital raisings and took an (AI and neuroscience-based) people analytics technology company he founded in 2013 to IPO (ASX) three years later.
Greg now holds numerous roles and since 2020, Greg has focused toward ‘for-purpose’ ventures where he can apply his resources and experience to major problems, causes and projects that are important to him and have the potential to deliver large scale social improvement and impact.
In early 2020, Greg co-founded The United Project Foundation, a NFP and registered Australian charity. The United Project is focused on the systemic transformation of workplaces globally toward the elimination of discrimination and the delivery of programs that improve the detection of mental health risks at work. The Foundation is research-focused and is seeking to raise funds of over $75M by September 2023. Now with over 60 volunteers, Greg is collaborating with industry providers, corporates, innovators and governments to unite leaders and to reduce the negative impact of workplaces on mental health and suicidality.
In his Non-Executive Director role at Cornerstone Earth, Greg is providing commercialisation advisory and capital raising support as the company evolves its unique closed loop system for bottled plastics recycling. Greg has helped identify and establish collaborations with industry bodies and research institutions to help validate core assumptions and hypotheses, ensuring maximum adoption and behavioural change.
Greg also provides mentoring and coaching support to start-ups and innovators of the Innovyz ecosystem. These companies comprise SMEs, universities, research centres and corporate spinouts, and under Greg’s guidance, he helps accelerate bringing these ideas, research and innovations to market.
Martyn is currently the Executive Director of SafeWork SA, the South Australian Work Health & Safety Regulator. SafeWork SA is a business unit within the Department of Treasury and Finance and is accountable to the Treasurer. SafeWork SA administers South Australia’s key health, safety and workplace relations related legislation. It does this by providing information advice and support as well as compliance and enforcement activities to ensure safe, fair, productive working lives and high standards of public safety for all South Australians. SafeWork SA works closely with workers, employers, unions, business representatives, industry sectors and other government agencies to ensure positive health and safety outcomes.
Martyn is a WHS, security, compliance and risk leader with extensive onshore and offshore mining experience in designing and implementing strategic solutions for harm related industries, with a strong focus on coaching, behavioural change, identification of fatal & critical risks, controls and effectiveness measures.
Research Program 1 Lead
Professor Lena Sanci is a nationally and internationally recognised medical practitioner-researcher with two decades of experience in improving the health and well-being of children and young people through primary care, and its integration with other parts of the health, education, and welfare sectors. Lena’s research has focused on the potential of primary care to improve the health of young people through quality youth focussed system-based interventions designed to re-orientate primary care toward prevention of harms from mental health disorders and risk-taking behaviour.
Lena is Co-Chair of the primary care committee of the Melbourne Academic Centre for Health (MACH), an NHMRC-accredited joint venture between Victoria’s top healthcare providers, medical research institutes and leading universities. She also led a large study in collaboration with BUPA (2019) on the factors affecting health, wellbeing and academic outcomes of university students, is a CI on three NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence, and was a research program lead for the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre (2011-2016) researching the potential of technology to improve mental health and wellbeing and service delivery for young people.
Helen de Cieri
Research Program 2 Lead
Helen is an internationally recognised scholar in the field of human resource management (HRM) where her research focuses on relationships between workplace health and safety, employee mental health, and organisational performance. Her standing as a leader in her field is evidenced by her election as member of the Executive Committee for the HR Division of the (US) Academy of Management, the largest association of management scholars worldwide. Her editorial roles include Associate Editor for Human Resource Management, the highest ranked journal in the HRM field. Her leadership in industry settings is demonstrated by invitations to act as expert advisor to Australian Taxation Office, Australian Public Service Commission, Safe Work Australia, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, and WorkSafe Victoria.
Research Program 3 Lead
Sally has an international reputation for research in working time arrangements and the impacts on health, safety and performance. Her PhD and post-doc training was in circadian neuroscience and sleep physiology and she has spent the past 20 years with a core focus on shiftwork and fatigue risk management. Sally’s applied research program, in collaboration with industry and government partners, has directly informed fatigue management and workplace health and safety policy in industries such as emergency services, mining, healthcare, aviation and the maritime sector.
Currently Director of CQUniversity’s Appleton Institute, Sally leads a 40-strong team of active researchers in the fields of psychology, behavioural health, occupational health and human factors working on basic, applied and translational projects. Researchers whom Sally directly supervises have received ARC Future Fellowships, ARC DECRAs, Young Tall Poppy Awards, and National Heart Foundation fellowships. The Institute has members in four states of Australia, including regional centres in Queensland. Staff in the institute supervise approximately 80 research higher degree students working and studying all over Australia. Leading a diverse and distributed team, Sally has overseen a doubling of external research income to the institute since her appointment in 2020..
Stuart is a business leader and new market creation professional with extensive experience gained in partnership with some of the world’s leading organisations. He has a demonstrated track record in strategy development, strategic leadership, policy development, program management and public-private-partnerships. He is inspired by challenging business environments and has a passion for utilising entrepreneurship to address the pressing challenges facing our planet.
Strategic Leadership – He is a leader who leverages the experience and skills of employees at all levels of an organisation to create high energy, innovative and results driven work environments. For example, during his time at the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (World Bank) he founded the first Innovation group: GFDRR Labs, a global practice whose mission is to use science, technology and innovation to increase the resilience of the developing world to disasters in a changing climate. This leadership extends to his proven track record in successfully growing strategic practices resulting in new products and services.
Strategy / Program Management – Stuart has an established record of delivering a clear and measurable vision, and delivering desired outcomes through sound strategic and operational plans for a diverse set of organisations, from international development to strategy consulting. He brings a proven capacity to meet deadlines and budgets for complex projects involving diverse stakeholders and complex environments for large scale, multi-site and multi-country projects.
Communication – Stuart is particularly skilled in communicating new ideas in public forums and has a clear track record of developing new policies and programs and building support for these with government agencies. During his time as a Columbia Science Fellow, while researching the evolution of star clusters within galaxies using numerical simulations, he was a key mentor for PhD and undergraduate students, and developed and taught the innovative first-year interdisciplinary course, Frontiers of Science.
Partnership Development – Stuart has a proven record in negotiating and delivering complex international public-private-partnerships with United Nations agencies, commercial companies and civil society. He is particularly skilled in the maintenance and development of bilateral and multilateral relationships.
Science / Technology Practitioner – With a deep understanding of the physics and modelling of complex systems and their limitations, Stuart brings a broad scientific background, and the ability to understand new science and technology and effectively apply that to public policy. For example, through his prior experiences as a Disaster Risk Management Specialist he pioneered the use of probabilistic risk modelling and open innovation practices into World Bank and client country Disaster Risk Management practices.
Executive Contribution – Stuart is the Chair of SecondMuse Board, partner and member of the SecondMuse leadership team. He is a key contributor, as member of the global leadership team of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and is also an active member on several boards.