Meet the team

Dr Susan Brumby
Director
RN, RM, DipFarm M’Ment, GDipWomensSt, MHM, GCertHELT, PhD

Sue is the Founding Director for the National Centre for Farmer Health and brings  a unique blend of practical and theoretical experience in both health care and agriculture.  She is passionate about regional communities and the ability to make a difference to farmers’ lives through innovative service delivery, research translation and education and training.  As the course leader for Australia’s only Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Health and Medicine she has witnessed the progress that relevant and targeted education to improve farmer health, wellbeing and safety can make. A Chief Investigator on numerous research grants and a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership program, Sue has presented and published nationally and internationally. 

Dr Alison Kennedy
Research Fellow
BBSc (Honours), PostGradDipArts(Criminology), GCertHighEd, PhD

Alison is a Behavioral Scientist who has lived and worked in Victoria’s rural farming community for the past 17 years. Her role at the NCFH since 2010 has primarily focused on rural/farmer mental health and suicide prevention using a range of innovative techniques including digital interventions, digital storytelling, community education programs and peer support models. She is passionate about co-designing the Centre’s research, education and services in collaboration with community and industry—to ensure our work continues to be effective, relevant and tailored to the needs of rural farming communities.

Dr Jacquie Cotton
Lecturer/Researcher
BSc(AnimSc) (Hons), GCertHighEd, PhD

Jacquie is Lecturer and Researcher in Rural Health for Deakin University School of Medicine. She lectures and chairs the units HMF701 Agricultural Health and Medicine and HMF702 Healthy and Sustainable Agricultural Communities. She has completed a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and is involved in development of curriculum and assessment within the Graduate Certificate of Agricultural Health and Medicine. She has multidisciplinary scientific and industry expertise, in particular, translational research within human population health, occupational health and safety, agrichemical exposure and culture/behaviour change. She is a member to both the Victorian Farmsafe Australia committee and the recently formed Agriculture Safety Reference Group established by WorkSafe Victoria.

Cecilia Fitzgerald
Manager Business Development & Industry Engagement
Adv. Dip. Business

Cecilia is responsible for developing, implementing and managing service delivery strategies in line with the Centre’s values and strategic plan.  She is committed to growing the Centre’s national footprint, building meaningful relationships with industry partners and stakeholders and delivering on the mission to make a difference to farmers’ lives.   Cecilia started working at the NCFH in 2016 and was appointed to her current position in 2019.  She sits on the Hamilton (Gray Street) Primary School Council, enjoys cooking, keeping fit through Crossfit and spending quality time with her husband and two energetic children.

Lei Kelly
Executive & Administrative Assistant
Dip Bus. Admin

Lei has worked in administrative roles for the past 30 years across Rural Western Australia, Northern Territory and settled in the Western District of Victoria in 2010.  Lei and her husband live and work on their sheep farm in Macarthur. She enjoys sustainable gardening and travel.  Lei is looking forward to supporting Director Susan Brumby and the Centre in ‘making a difference to farmers lives’.

Dr Richard Lunz
BScHons, MBBCh, M PubHealth TropMed, PGCertPHC, DipOccupMed, ACCAM

Dr Richard Lunz is a South African trained doctor with experience in science/research/education and postgraduate degrees in Primary Care/Public Health/Occ Med/Aviation/Safety and risk joins NCFH for a return role after initial work with AgriSafe for a project support position.

Dr Aziz Rahman
MBBS, MPH, CertGTC, GCHECTL, PhD

Associate Professor Dr Rahman is a Public Health Physician and an experienced academic. Since 2016, he has been working with NCFH and providing leadership in research focusing on health and wellbeing of farmers in national and international settings. He has a sound track record of providing leadership in completing different research and community projects successfully focusing on different aspects of public health and health promotion, securing funding, producing high quality research publications, supervising higher degree research students and early career researchers, and providing leadership in teaching public health subjects. He is currently working as an Associate Professor of Public Health at Federation University Australia and continuing his role with NCFH as a casual academic.

Joanna Macdonald
Research Assistant
BSc, BHealth&MedSc(Hons), PhD

Joanna grew up in Casterton, South West VIC. In 2013, Joanna completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Chemistry at Deakin University, Geelong. Subsequently, she then completed Honours in Health and Medical Science (2014) and a PhD (2017). Recently returning home to the country lifestyle, Joanna has now joined the NCFH as a Research Assistant and she is looking forward to applying her research skills and passion for rural communities to support the mental health and wellbeing of farmers.

Jessie Adams
Research Assistant
BPubHealth & HealthProm(Hons), BCom

Jessie completed a Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion (Hons) and Bachelor of Commerce at Deakin University in 2017. Following this, Jessie made the move to Hamilton to work as a Research Assistant at the centre. In 2020, she commenced her PhD focusing on child safety on farms. Growing up on a beef farm in north east Victoria Jessie is keen to help improve the health, wellbeing and safety of farming communities. 

Tracey Hatherell
Program and Data Coordinator
Dip Bus. Management, CA Project Management, Cert IV Rural Bus.

Tracey joined NCFH in 2009 and lives and works with her husband on their sheep and cropping farm in Western Victoria.
Tracey is passionate about the health and wellbeing of our farming communities nationwide and works with the NCFH team to coordinate all health, wellbeing and safety programs including their award winning Sustainable Farm Families™ program. This drives Tracey to promote all farm families and rural and regional communities to focus on improving their health. Tracey is also responsible for coordinating data and specific NCFH projects to ensure successful delivery and reporting of service strategies and objectives are achieved.

Morna Semmens
AgriSafe™ Clinician RN
B.Nursing, B.Applied Science (Speech Pathology)

Morna is a Registered Nurse, and works with her husband on their sheep and cattle grazing farm in Gazette, Western Victoria. She is also actively engaged in Country Fire Authority (CFA) and Landcare roles within her local farming community.
Morna works with the National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) to deliver their Health and Lifestyle Assessments (HLA) nationally, as well as the AgriSafe™ program at Penshurst District Health.

Samantha Kaspers
Online Communications Coordinator
Cert Secretarial Studies

Samantha keeps our website and social media up to date while sharing the vision of Farmer Health both nationally and internationally. Samantha is a keen photographer with a history in photo journalism and a passion for collaboration. Sam has her own business so she understands the local needs of farmers and her rural community. Sam enjoys her veggie garden and everything our region has to offer.

Hilary McAllister
Online Snapshot Project Officer
Dip. Visual Merchandising, B.Interior Design (Hons)

Hilary has worked in the events and design industry for the past ten years.  Along the way Hilary has gained experience In social media and project management.  Combined with her rural upbringing, her varied experiences ensure she has the tools to lead the #SnapshotRuralVic campaign. Hilary is currently residing in North-Western Victoria and enjoys trail running and sports activism. Hilary is excited to help grow the NCFH community and share stories from across the state through #SnapshotRuralVic.

Rowena Smith
Data & Administration Clerk
BHealthSc (Health Prom, Nutr.)

Rowena grew up on a small farm in Byaduk and now lives in Hamilton. She is a busy mother of three busy children, and is passionate about public health.
Rowena completed a Bachelor of Health Science – Nutrition and Health Promotion through Deakin University in 2019 and is currently studying the Graduate Certificate of Agricultural Health and Medicine.
In her spare time Rowena likes bushwalking, hockey, social tennis and reading and enjoys supporting the great work of the NCFH team.

Jordan Petrov
Project Manager – Website Implementation
B.Eng, MITPM, CSM, PRINCE2Cert

Jordan is a qualified ICT professional with deep experience in Engineering, Project management and Agile. He has worked in technical and leadership roles for more than 10 years across Europe and now settled in Melbourne, VIC. He joined the National Centre for Farmer Health (NCFH) to help delivering the organisation’s new web platform and lead the digital transformation of new services. He has a sound track record of executing Agile transformations, mentoring high efficient cross-functional teams and leading the execution of variety of IT projects. Jordan is passionate about innovations and everything digital.