The Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition investigates physical activity and nutrition for population health, with particular emphasis on education and health promotion strategies for chronic disease prevention, treatment and wellbeing.

Priority Research Centre for


The Priority Research Centre (PRC) for Physical Activity and Nutrition Director and Principal Investigators are assisted by an Advisory Board and a Research Management Committee to manage the Centre.

Advisory Board

The Advisory Board comprises independent external members from industry, government agencies and academia, in addition to ex-officio members from the University and the PRC Director and Co-Directors. The Board meets annually.

The Chair - Mr Phil Williams:

Phil Williams is the Business Manager of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, a position he has held since June, 2003.

In his position at the Service, Phil is responsible for the marketing and fund raising operations, which is tasked with ensuring, donations from the community supplement the funds received via the contract held with the Ambulance Service of NSW.

Phil's background includes 15 years experience with not for profit organisations (including the National Heart Foundation of Australia and Cancer Council NSW), as well as 15 years experience spent working within the tertiary education sector.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (of Research):

  • Professor Kevin Hall

Pro Vice Chancellor's of the relevant Faculties:

  • Professor John Germov, Faculty of Education & Arts
  • Laureate Professor John Aitken, Faculty of Health & Medicine

Priority Research Centre Director:

  • Professor Ron Plotnikoff, Faculty of Education & Arts

Priority Research Centre Executive Members:

  • Professor Clare Collins, Faculty of Health & Medicine
  • Professor Philip Morgan, Faculty of Education & Arts

Industry, Business and Community Representatives:

  • Dr Bernie Curran, Executive Officer, University of Newcastle Foundation
  • Mrs Deborah Moore, Regional Health Promotion Coordinator - Hunter, Heart Foundation
  • Mr Ross Morrison, Leader of School Sport Unit, NSW Department of Education and Communities
  • Mr Michael Di Rienzo, Chief Executive of Hunter New England Local Health Network
  • Professor Michael Nilsson, Director – Hunter Medical Research Institute
  • Professor Maree Gleeson, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Health & Medicine

 External Research Members:

  • Professor Adrian Bauman, Sesquicentenary Professor of Public Health, School of Public Health (Behavioural Epidemiology and Health Promotion), University of Sydney
  • Professor Sandra Capra, Professor, Centre for Allied Health Research & Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Human Movement Studies and the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research
  • Professor Kylie Ball, Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University

Research Management Committee:

The Research Management Committee ensures the Centre's vision and objectives are achievable within defined time lines.

Representatives whom sit on the Committee are the:

  • Director of PRC in Physical Activity and Nutrition: Prof. Ron Plotnikoff
  • Co-Directors of PRC in Physical Activity and Nutrition: Prof. Clare Collins, Prof. Philip Morgan
  • Theme leaders: Prof. Robin Callister, Prof. Manohar Garg, Assoc Prof. David Lubans (in addition to the Director and Co-Directors)
  • PDF: who is to be elected by the Theme Leaders
  • RHD student: who is to be elected by the Theme Leaders
  • Research Development Officer: Mrs Belinda Peden (Business Development Unit)

The Committee is responsible for overseeing the budget, it also advises on research directions and monitors the progress of each research theme, as well as:

  • identifying sources of project and infrastructure funding
  • monitoring co-ordination of resources across research areas
  • developing processes for enhancing the quality of grant submissions (including peer-review and support processes to maximise submission quality)
  • developing processes for fostering local, national and international collaborations in research and in the translation and/or dissemination of research knowledge

The Committee meets four times a year (quarterly) and is guided by the PRC for Physical Activity and Nutrition Advisory Board, who has the responsibility to promote and support the PRC.