ARIA is an individual member–based alliance, with a diverse array of members who seek to fulfil ARIA’s goal. Membership is free and time contributed to general member activities is voluntary.
Individuals who have relevant experience can self-nominate using pre-specified criteria found in the expression of interest (EOI) form to join ARIA. The EOIs are assessed by the steering committee on a monthly basis. Please contact the ARIA Secretariat if you have any questions about becoming a member: SCHN-NCIRSGlobal@health.nsw.gov.au
John Kaldor is a NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and UNSW Scientia Professor. He holds a doctorate in Biostatistics from the University of California. Berkeley, and began his research career at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France. For over 30 years he has built and led internationally recognised research programs at the University of New South Wales on the epidemiology and prevention of infectious diseases. His research has covered a wide range of projects, including the development and implementation of public health surveillance systems, investigations of infection-related cancer, cohort and cross-sectional investigations of risk factors for infectious disease transmission, and interventional trials of disease prevention strategies. Professor Kaldor has been a highly influential contributor to public health knowledge. His work has guided policy in disease control, particularly in relation to the prevention of HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections, viral hepatitis and neglected tropical diseases. Professor Kaldor has also served on numerous policy and advisory committees in Australia and internationally. He has had close working relationships with public health programs in a number of countries of the Asia-Pacific region, particularly Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Solomon Islands.
John is the current Chairperson of ARIA Steering Committee.
Margie is a consultant paediatrician at the Royal Childrens Hospital and Clinician Scientist, University of Melbourne, and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI). As leader of the Vaccine Uptake Group, MCRI, her research focuses on vaccine confidence and uptake, particularly amongst high risk-groups and in low and middle-income countries, and on effective risk communication. In Australia, she is the chair of the Collaboration on Social Science in Immunisation (COSSI) Group, chair of the Social Science Advisory Board and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, NCIRS and is an expert advisor to ATAGI. She is also committed to efforts to improve vaccine confidence and uptake in the Western Pacific Region, and globally, and is on the steering committee for the Australian Regional Immunisation Alliance (ARIA) and the Australian Expert Technical Assistance Program for Regional COVID-19 Vaccine Access: Policy, Planning and Implementation (AETAP-PPI) Advisory Board. She is on the steering committee for the MCRI COVID Governance Committee and Melbourne Children’s Global Health.
During the pandemic, Margie has worked closely with the Commonwealth and Victorian State Government on the COVID-19 rollout, including work to optimise uptake with priority adult and paediatric populations. She has lead COVID-19 projects on the impact on children’s mental health and wellbeing, enhanced public health investigation of SARS-CoV-2 cases in Victorian schools and early childhood education and care to inform the public health response by investigating the transmission dynamics and psychosocial impacts and on the impact on infant growth and maternal mental health from closure of community services due to lockdowns. She is also working on COVID-19 projects in the Western Pacific Region, including Rapid formative assessments for new and routine vaccines and COVID-19 vaccine introduction in Pacific Island countries and the COSSI Vaccine Champions and Vaccine Communication program: building confidence in COVID-19 vaccination in the Western Pacific Region.
Margie is the current Deputy Chairperson of the ARIA Steering Comittee.
Kristine is a paediatrician specialising in infectious diseases and vaccinology. She is a medical graduate of the University of New South Wales and undertook her specialty training in Sydney and in the United States at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Her Doctorate of Medicine was on rotavirus infection, in particular the mucosal immune response to novel vaccine candidates. She was a foundational member of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Kristine is currently the director of the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), a paediatric infectious disease consultant at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and a Professor in the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney. Her research interests include translation of evidence into policy and practice, vaccine safety and most other areas of vaccine preventable diseases research, particularly in relation to rotavirus, varicella zoster virus and influenza. She is the senior editor of the Australian Immunisation Handbook (9th and10th Editions and online) and has authored >130 peer-reviewed publications. She is a member of the Advisory Committee on Vaccines (ACV) of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the Communicable Diseases Network of Australia (CDNA) and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). She has acted as an expert consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO). She also leads the Australian national AusVaxSafety and Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance (PAEDS) networks, and is the founding chair of ARIA.
Meru Sheel is an infectious diseases epidemiologist and a global health researcher. Meru has advanced training in microbiology, immunology and epidemiology with nearly 15 years of experiences in infectious diseases in Australia and internationally. Meru has varied experience in vaccinology and immunisation including vaccine discovery and clinical development, immunisation and diseases surveillance and, outbreak response to vaccine-preventable diseases especially in resource limited settings. Meru is passionate about improving health outcomes for marginalised populations and health systems; and has worked in dynamic and complex settings including having worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in Australia and in India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, America Samoa, Samoa, Tonga and Dominica.
Josh Francis is a paediatrician and paediatric infectious diseases specialist at the Royal Darwin Hospital, and senior research fellow at Menzies School of Health Research. He leads capacity building and research projects in the Northern Territory and Timor-Leste, focused on strengthening health systems responses to infectious diseases.
Milena has a decade of experience in health systems strengthening and public health research and program management with a focus on immunisation, reproductive, maternal and child health. She has worked in Vietnam, the UK, the US, Ukraine, across Africa and in PNG developing, coordinating, and executing international projects for non-governmental organisations, United Nations agencies and governmental institutions.
Most recently she led a multi-donor program to increase routine immunisation coverage for children under one in 12 provinces across Papua New Guinea. Her prior roles have included coordinating noncommunicable disease implementation science research for NYU Langone, where she worked closely with public health professors, doctors and community health workers in the US, Sudan, Ghana and Kenya. For UNICEF, Milena worked as part of the monitoring and evaluation team with the UN Commission on Life Saving Commodities for Women and Children to increase access to life saving commodities in low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia.
James Flint is an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist at Hunter New England Health and has worked in international public health for two decades leading public health training programs in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific.
James currently coordinates the Field Epidemiology in Action program focused on workforce development in the Pacific. He has also supported national operational research on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Papua New Guinea, strengthening routine immunisation, field epidemiology training, rapid response team training and community engagement initiatives in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
Chris Blyth is a clinical academic, NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow and co-director of Wesfarmers Centre for Vaccines and Infectious Diseases (WCVID), Telethon Kids Institute. He is Associate Professor of Paediatrics at University of Western Australia, Infectious Diseases Physician at Perth Children's Hospital and a Clinical Microbiologist with PathWest Laboratory. Dr Blyth has extensive experience in paediatric and infectious diseases research particularly in the fields of influenza, vaccine-preventable respiratory infection, pneumonia and vaccine safety. His PhD (Preventing influenza morbidity in Australian children through vaccination; 2016) was instrumental in influencing national and state policy. He has held a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (2016-2019) and recently awarded a NHMRC Emerging Leader Fellowship (2020-2024). He co-leads the WCVID Infectious Disease Epidemiology team, a multidisciplinary group using administrative data, case-control, cohort studies and clinical trials to investigating better ways to diagnose, treatment and prevent respiratory infections in children. Dr Blyth collaborates broadly with other research groups within WCVID, TKI, Perth Children’s Hospital, Australian paediatric tertiary hospitals and the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research.
Professor Julie Bines is Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne and Paediatric Gastroenterologist at the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital. She leads the Enteric Disease Group at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute working to develop an affordable novel rotavirus vaccine, RV3-BB vaccine, aimed at preventing rotavirus disease from birth in infants worldwide. She is Director of the WHO Collaborative Centre for Child Health and the WHO Rotavirus Reference Laboratory for the Western Pacific region that serves to inform and support surveillance activities to understand the global burden of rotavirus gastroenteritis and inform and support countries in decision making for vaccines.
Professor Bines has served as a consultant to WHO in the areas of vaccine safety, vaccines in enteric disease and the role of vaccines in antimicrobial resistance. She developed the Brighton Collaboration Clinical Case definition for intussusception and the WHO generic protocol for the assessment of post-licensure safety of rotavirus vaccines. Professor Bines has contributed to the understanding of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 within families and the differences in immunological responses and virology between adults and children infected with SARS-CoV-2. Professor Bines has led the development of a program for environmental and wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 and projects on the long-term outcome of COVID-19 in children in Indonesia.
Julie Leask is a social scientist in the Susan Wakil School of Nursing and Midwifery and visiting professorial fellow at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS). Her research focuses vaccination uptake, programs and policy, and health communication. Julie is chair of the WHO Working Group on Measuring Behavioural and Social Drivers of Vaccination. She sits on the WHO Immunization and Vaccines related Implementation Research advisory committee and the South East Asia Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group. Julie was named overall winner of the Australian Financial Review 100 Woman of Influence; won the Public Health Impact Award 2019 and the Sax Institute Research Action Award in 2015. Her team won the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Engagement and Innovation for the www.TalkingAboutImmunisation.com.au package.
Kim Mulholland is a paediatrician with extensive experience in research leading to or evaluating the introduction of new vaccines in the developing world. Between 1989 and 1995 he led the Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) vaccine research program in the Gambia and between 1995 and 2000 he worked at the World Health Organization (WHO) assisting with the design and oversight of Gambian and South African pneumococcal trials. He also established a pneumonia trialists group that established standardized methods and definitions for pneumococcal carriage and radiological pneumonia in vaccine trials. Since 2000 he has worked in at the London School of Hygiene and tropical Medicine, the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. Kim currently leads the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded PneuCarriage Research Project, based at Murdoch Children's Reserach Instittue, as well as field studies in Fiji (PCV10 impact study), Mongolia (PCV13 impact/effectiveness study), Laos (PCV13 impact study), Indonesia (PATH funded pneumococcal Whole Cell Vaccine evaluation) and Vietnam (PCV10/PCV13 schedules study).
Aditi Dey is a member of the executive management team at NCIRS and a conjoint senior lecturer at the Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. She completed her PhD, Master of Public Health and Graduate Diploma in Applied Science (Health Information Management) at the University of Sydney after a medical degree (MBBS, University of Delhi) and training in tropical medicine and later worked at the University of Sydney. She also worked in Thailand and India before joining NCIRS. At NCIRS, Aditi is a senior research fellow/manager of the coverage, evaluation and surveillance team and involved in the areas of program evaluation, coverage of vaccines, and surveillance of vaccine preventable diseases and adverse events following immunisation. She has experience in supervision of research students and teaching and coordinating undergraduate and postgraduate courses.