Board of Directors and Management

A non-executive board of directors providing their time on a pro-bono basis governs the National Stem Cell Foundation of Australia (NSCFA).
The current directors are:

  • Dr Graeme Blackman OAM, PhD, BSc (Hons), BD, MTheol, FTSE, FRACI, FAICD, FIoD (Non-Executive Director, Chairman)

    Chairman of the Company, Dr Blackman is a former Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Victorian College of Pharmacy. He is presently Chairman of IDT Australia Ltd, an Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listed public company operating in the pharmaceutical industry. In particular he has chaired the Australian Government’s Pharmaceuticals Industry Action Agenda, which developed a policy framework for the industry over a ten-year period. He was a director of the Australian Stem Cell Centre.

    Dr Blackman has been, or continues to be a member of various Commonwealth and State advisory committees and working groups in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, including the Australian Biotechnology Advisory Council, the Pharmaceutical Industry Working Group and the Pharmaceutical Industry Strategy Group.

  • Dr Ngaire Elwood PhD, BSc(Hons), MAICD (Non-Executive Director)

    Dr Ngaire Elwood is the Director of the BMDI Cord Blood Bank and Head of the Cord Blood Stem Cell Research Laboratory at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Melbourne.

    Dr Elwood has extensive experience in the field of stem cells, cellular therapy, cancer and cord blood. Her current research is aimed at understanding cord blood stem cell biology, improving cord blood transplant outcome and exploring the use of cord blood for regenerative therapies.

    Dr Elwood serves as Vice President of the international Board of Directors for the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT) and sits on various executive committees within FACT. She is the Regional Vice President (2018 – 2020) for the Australia New Zealand Region of the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT). Previous roles include the Chair of the AusCord network of public cord blood banks and as member on the Australian Bone Marrow Donor Registry National Ethics Committee.

  • Emeritus Professor Graham Macdonald AM, MD, BS, BSc (Med), FRACP, FRCP, FANZCC (Non-Executive, Deputy Chairman)

    Deputy Chairman of the Company, Professor Macdonald brings a wealth of experience in clinical medicine, basic biomedical science and in the field of licensing and commercialisation to the Company. He has had an outstanding career first as an academic nephrologist, and then moving into the pharmaceutical industry with Merck Sharp and Dohme (Australia). During this time he successfully brokered a number of high profile agreements including a US$100 million-plus deal with AMRAD (now Zenyth Therapeutics) to develop a new asthma treatment.

    Graham is currently a director and Chairman of Vectus Biosciences Limited and director and chairman of Stem Cells Limited. In June 2012 Professor Macdonald received an Australian Queen's Birthday Honour in the General Division of the Order of Australia for ‘service to biomedical research in the areas of hypertension and renal disease, to medical education, to the promotion and awareness raising of organ donation, and as a mentor’.

  • Emeritus Professor Richard Smallwood AO, MB, BS, MD, FRACP, FRCP, FACP (Hon) (Non-Executive Director)

    Professor Smallwood is Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Melbourne. As Professor of Medicine within the University of Melbourne, he was Head of the Department of Medicine, Chairman of the Division of Medicine and Director of Gastroenterology at the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centres. Professor Smallwood was President of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians from 1996 to 1998 and was Chief Medical Officer of Australia from 1999 to 2003.

    Professor Smallwood has served as a chair of a large number of organisations including the NH&MRC, the National Influenza Pandemic Advisory Council, the National Health Information Management Advisory Council, the National Health Priority Action Council, the National Blood Authority and the Ministerial Taskforce for Cancer in Victoria.  Professor Smallwood is currently President of the Australian Medical Council. He was until 2010 a member of the Board of Governance of the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation and, until 2009, a director of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.  He was a director of the Australian Stem Cell Centre.

  • Mr David Collins MEng, MBA, CA, GAICD MIET (Non-Executive Director)

    Mr Collins was Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Stem Cell Centre from September 2009 until November 2011. Prior to joining the ASCC, Mr Collins held a number of senior finance roles across a range of industries in Europe.


  • Mr Stuart Gooley BComm (Melb) FCA, FCPA (Non-Executive Director)

    Chairman of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Sub-committees, Mr Gooley had a 42 year period in the accounting profession with Arthur Andersen and Ernst &Young, and retired from public practice in 2008. During his career he was the Australian head of Andersen's Accounting and Audit practice and the Asia Pacific Risk Management Practice Director.  Mr Gooley was the Victorian State President of CPA Australia in 1994, and served on the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and the International Auditing Practices Committee.

    Outside of the accounting profession he has served on the board of two educational institutions, and is currently a director of Lahaina Holdings Pty Ltd, Tai Tam Investments Pty Ltd, Wilson Transformer Company and of Trinity College. He is also a member of the audit committee of the Victorian Department of Education and a member of the resources committee of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons. He was a director of the Australian Stem Cell Centre.

  • Professor Caroline Gargett BApplSci, MApplSci, PhD (Non-Executive Director)

    Professor Gargett is currently Deputy Director (Women’s Health) at the Ritchie Centre and is also a National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Research Fellow.

    In 2002 Professor Gargett discovered adult stem cells in the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, changing our understanding of how the endometrium regenerates each month. She leads a collaborative project with the CSIRO Future Manufacturing Flagship to investigate the use of endometrial mesenchymal stem cells for a tissue engineering application in pelvic floor prolapse surgery. Her research findings are promising for the development of potential therapeutics.

    Professor Gargett has served as President of the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research (2013-2014) and Secretary for the Society for Reproductive Biology (2005-2008). She is/has been on the Editorial Boards for Fertility and Sterility (2011-2014), Biology of Reproduction (since 2013), and Reproductive Sciences (since 2009) and is an Associate Editor of Reproductive Sciences (since 2014) and Human Reproduction (2005-2008). She convenes the Human Reproduction Module in the Bachelor of Biomedical Science course at Monash University.

Day-to-day management of the Foundation is provided by an  Executive Officer and a Company Secretary as below:


Ms Julia Mason BA & BComm (Melb), Grad. Dip. Applied Finance and Investment, MBA (Chicago), GAICD, F Fin.
(Executive Officer)

Julia has a more than 20 year career focused on creating growth and value, in the private and not for profit sectors in both Australia and Asia, across the advertising, finance, and oil industries. Having held senior commerce and finance positions at Sensis and BP, Julia has deep business knowledge developed through a career in key business functions: finance, corporate strategy, corporate advisory, and marketing. Julia Ms Mason is a director of the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) Board of Victoria and was previously Chairman of the Victorian State Emergency Services (VICSES), One in Five, and a director with VicUrban. Julia also taught corporate finance in the masters programme with FinSia, the former Securities Institute of Australia. Julia was previously a director with SBDO, a Melbourne-based private equity business sourcing operational expertise and capital to back growth businesses.

Mr Graeme Mehegan BBus(Acc), FCPA, FCIS (Company Secretary)

Mr Mehegan was Chief Financial Officer for the Australian Stem Cell Centre from August 2009 until November 2011. He was Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary for Pioneer Electronics Australia from January 2001 until March 2008 and prior to that held senior financial roles (including the position of Company Secretary) with Random House Australia and Pitman Publishing, both in the book publishing industry.


We aim to:

  • Promote the study and use of stem cells

  • Prevent or control diseases or illness

  • Enhance public education about stem cells