Meet the team

Dr Susan Brumby
Professor/ Research Fellow
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
Acting Director
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
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.

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

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.

Dr 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 and PhD Candidate
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. 

Sonya Duke
Research Assistant
BA/BSc (Hons), Dip. AppHortSc

Sonya graduated from the Australian National University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science (Hons), where she majored in International Relations and Global Change Science. Her honours project investigated rainfall variability in eastern Australia. Keen to develop her understanding of plants and farming systems further, she graduated from Melbourne Polytechnic in 2020 with a Diploma of Applied Horticultural Science.  Sonya is excited to have made the move to rural Victoria, and to help support the health and wellbeing of the farming community.

Claire McKay
Research Assistant
BSci, BHealth&MedSci(Hons)

Claire completed a Bachelor of Science at Deakin University Waurn Ponds, before completing an Honours in Health and Medical Sciences (2020), both with Deakin and the NCFH. In 2021, Claire commenced her Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Health and Medicine to further her understanding of the health issues facing farming communities and families. Claire has joined the NCFH as a Research Assistant and looks forward to extending her previous work in agricultural research to improve and support the wellbeing of Australian farmers.

Dr Amity Latham
Research Assistant

Amity joined the NCFH to support two Rapid Review Projects. She brings with her a wide range of career experiences and farming networks.  
Amity received a scholarship from Regional Development Victoria to undertake a PhD to address rural population decline and dispersal. Her research led her to consider the theory of alienation in the context of farmers’ mental health.
Continuously cropping and stock-free at Telangatuk East, Amity and her husband have two school aged children and a much loved kelpie. 

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.

Sally Cunningham
Research Assistant
B. Natural Resources, Cert IV Training and Assessment

Sally Cunningham is an environmental scientist with a strong interest in soils, waterway management and biodiversity on farms. She has worked for more than 20 years in community engagement around these issues and gained broad experience on farms across South West Victoria. In partnership with farmers, Landcare and industry groups, Sally has delivered significant government funded on-ground works programs as well as a wide range of skills and capacity building events and courses for farmers She enjoys working with farmers to bring about positive change for their enterprises, communities and the environment. Sally has a Bachelor of Natural Resources (UNE) and Cert IV in Training and Assessment. She has also worked in community development in Africa for ten years.

Annabelle Macgugan
Marketing Communications Coordinator
B. Communications (Public Relations), Cert II Equine Industry

Annabelle completed her Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations) in 2015, during which she started working in marketing. She is currently studying her Masters of Marketing. Annabelle was born and raised in the Western District and, after studying and working in Melbourne for a number of years, has returned to her family farm just outside of Hamilton. She worked on the farm before starting at Farmer Health. She is excited to put her experience in digital marketing and passion for farmer health, wellbeing and safety into practice to grow the NCFH footprint.

For any media enquiries please email Annabelle via

Jordan Petrov
Website Support

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.