Our team is dedicated to representing the interests of Australian healthcare consumers, and making their voices and needs heard at the national policy level.

Leanne Wells
Chief Executive Officer

Chief Executive Officer, Leanne Wells has held executive positions in federal government and non-government organisations and has previously served as CEO of national peak and local service delivery organisations in the primary care sector. She is a health advocate and service executive with over thirty years’ experience in health and social policy, program, and service development. Leanne has broad governance experience and is currently Board Director of Coordinare (Southeast New South Wales’ Primary Health Network), the Ozhelp Foundation, and the Population Health Research Network. She is past Director of the Australian Pharmacy Council and painAustralia. She is Independent Chair of Coordinare’s Community Advisory Committee and Chair of the ACSQHC’s Patient Advisory Group. She has several advisory appointments including the Commonwealth’s Primary Health Care Advisory Group, the National Preventative Strategy Advisory Committee, and the OECD PaRIS Patient Advisory Panel. Leanne has tertiary qualifications in communications and business. She is a member of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management.

Jo Root
Policy Director

Jo manages the policy team to help CHF develop policy positions and advocate for reform to a consumer-centred health system. Jo has been involved in health policy since 1990, working for the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments and then moving to the non-government sector; community-controlled aboriginal health, and Council on the Ageing. She has undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in economics and has been with CHF since November 2014.

Kate Lyttle
Executive Officer

Kate has held management roles in not-for-profits, associations and ACT government disability services for much of her career. She has a tertiary qualification in science and a post-graduate qualification in Business Management. Kate has a keen interest in governance and business administration.


Rebecca Edwards
Consumer Engagement Expert Adviser

Rebecca Edwards has over 25 years’ experience in working across research, policy, health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health, Family Violence prevention, workforce development and training and the social services sector. Rebecca brings the importance of the consumer voice to the fore and the inclusion of the aspirations, experiences and needs of the community in all that we do and has been a consumer advisor with the Consumers Health Forum for over 10 years. Rebecca has an undergraduate qualification in Applied Sciences (Health Sciences) and Health Promotion and is currently undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Family Violence.

Tammy Wolffs
Senior Policy Officer

Tammy's professional skills are in policy, research, program delivery, communications, engagement and public law, She has worked in a range of roles across the public and community sectors. Her social policy experience has spanned aged care, disability and social security, and she has experience working with CALD and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. She has a commitment to equity and social justice, and is enthusiastic about working with consumers to improve health outcomes.

Julia Nesbitt
Digital Health Policy Advisor

Julia has worked extensively in e-health and digital health for over 20 years. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) (ANU) and a Master of International Law (ANU). She has held positions in management with the Australian Medical Association in General Practice and E-Health, Strategic Policy Officer with the National Electronic Health Transition Authority, and a Director in eHealth for the Dept of Health and Ageing (DOHA), predominantly working on development of GP incentive measures (Practice Incentive Program) aimed at driving uptake of digital health. Julia was head of the International Section in the Office of Status of Women, in Prime Minister and Cabinet, and has extensive international experience, including representing Australia as a member of the United Nations and the World Health Association.

Dr Penelope Bergen
Quality Use of Medicines Lead

Penelope has a background in social research and nearly two decades’ experience in media and communications. She has a PhD in applied sociology, researching the intersection of government policies, governance structures, geographical isolation and the personality and values of non-Indigenous workers in remote Aboriginal communities. A longstanding interest in community development enhances her research interests.

James Ansell
Research and Data Policy Officer

James is a PhD candidate at the ANU who joined CHF in Oct 2018 as the Research & Data Policy Officer. He is a science communicator with a background in the intersection of science and public interests. James is involved with CHF’s research activities including Australia’s Health Panel and he works with the TGA.


Luke Catania
National Coordinator, Youth Health Forum

Luke's professional skills are in communication, youth engagement and advocacy. In this role, Luke coordinates the activities of the Youth Health Forum, focusing on health and social issues that impact young people, and facilitates members of the forum and the Youth Health Leaders group to engage in current health policy discussions. He joined CHF in early 2021.