Research Advisory Committee

The Health and Wellbeing Queensland (HWQld) Research Advisory Committee (RAC) was formed in 2022, as an advisory committee, providing research-related advice to HWQld.

The RAC provides independent advice and recommendations to the HWQld Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on health and wellbeing research priorities, opportunities to inform policy and practice, as well as research partnerships and partnership support activities. The RAC reports to the CEO, and through the CEO to the HWQld Board. It provides:

  • Advice on HWQld’s research agenda
  • Broad oversight of HWQld’s research activities
  • Reviews, assessments and recommendations on research project grants suitable for funding
  • Reviews, assessments and recommendations on scholarship applications suitable for funding, and
  • Identification of opportunities to leverage research activities and research funding for HWQld consideration.

To find out more, email

Committee Members

Ms Darch has extensive organisational strategy experience gained through consulting work with diverse organisations ranging from universities, to government departments, philanthropic organisations, and professional associations.

She has held many Director and Chair roles on Government and Not-for-Profit Boards primarily in the health, research, disability and social justice sectors.  She is currently on the Metro South Hospital and Health Service Board, the Crime and Corruption Commission, and the PA Research Foundation. In 2021 she was awarded an OAM for services to Community Health.

Laureate Professor Clare Collins AO is an NHMRC Leadership Research Fellow (L3) and received the 2021 NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award (Leadership in Clinical Medicine and Science). She is Director of the Hunter Medical Research Institute Research Program in Food and Nutrition. Her research focuses on personalised nutrition technologies and programs evaluating impact on diet related health in chronic disease and across life stages. L/Prof Collins is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Fellow of the Nutrition Society of Australia and Fellow of the Dietitians Australia (DA). She has been awarded over $29M in grant funding, published 450 research papers and supervised 35 PhD candidates to completion. L/Professor Collins is a sought after nutrition science media commentator.

Professor Sharon Goldfeld is a paediatrician and Director at the Royal Children’s Hospital’s Centre for Community Child Health and Theme Director for Population Health at the Murdoch Children’s Research institute. Sharon has a decade of experience in state government as senior policymaker in health and education, including holding the role of Principal Medical Advisor in the Victorian Department of Education and Training. Her unique career has seamlessly straddled research, policy and practice with her cross-sectoral approach ensuring her research is robust and of high policy and practice utility for greater translation success. Sharon was recently awarded the inaugural Marles Medal for excellence in original research.

Senior Professor of public health in the School of Health and Society at the University of Wollongong, leading research on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep in children. Professor Okely translates his research into national and international policy and practice. He led the development and recent update of the Australian 24-hour Movement Guidelines for Children 0-5 Years and the Australian 24-hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Young People for the Department of Health, providing clear guidelines to shape healthier decisions for Australians and their children every day. Professor Okely has served as a co-Director of the Australasian Child and Adolescent Obesity Research Network and was a key member of the expert panel that developed the World Health Organization Guidelines on Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Sleep for Children Under 5 Years of Age. He has also been involved in the development of similar guidelines for the United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, and the Asia-Pacific.

Ex-Officio Members

Health and Wellbeing Queensland, Chief Executive Officer

An experienced leader, researcher, clinician, academic and educator, Dr Littlewood is an advocate for strong public health policy with more than 25 years’ experience working across paediatric obesity prevention, nutrition and dietetics. Dr Littlewood holds a raft of formal qualifications in dietetics, business, research and executive leadership, including a PhD, GAICD and two Masters’ degrees including Medical Science and Business Administration. Before her Chief Executive appointment in 2019, Dr Littlewood held titles including Director, Health Services Research, Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service and led the first national paediatric dietetics training course in Australia, alongside Dietitians Australia. Dr Littlewood holds a range of clinical and academic positions, including three Adjunct Professor appointments. She is most passionate about children’s health and her focus remains firmly on driving an agenda of equity to help ensure the next generation of Queenslanders live healthy and active lives.

Health and Wellbeing Queensland, Head of Research

Dr Sandra Pavey has an extensive background in academia, research management and operations, with more than 24 years’ experience working in the tertiary education sector, non-profit and government health sectors. As Head of Research at Health and Wellbeing Queensland, she is responsible for providing high level research advice to support the Agency’s strategic activity, performance, success and reputation, and is responsible for developing and nurturing long term academic partnerships. Through leveraging networks and partnerships, her team work to facilitate the creation and application of a strong research evidence base for impact, to inform policy, practice and programs to deliver high impact evidence-based health outcomes and improve population health and reduce health inequities in Queensland.

Last updated 23 October 2023