Dr Antonio Penna
Executive Director, Office for Health and Medical Research
My career has had a lot of twists and turns; beginning as a paediatrician. I was always mathematically inclined and clinical pharmacology which included pharmacokinetics and systems thinking allowed me to work with mathematical and statistical models. I also enjoyed research and seeking solutions to problems.
I had a taste of medical administration when I was doing my fellowship in clinical pharmacology at Westmead. I realised then that I had an aptitude for management and found assisting medical staff navigate management rewarding so when an opportunity arose I embarked on this new path.
In 2012 I was invited to work in the newly established Office for Health and Medical Research and have enjoyed going back to 'my grass-roots' - research and pharmacology.
Dr Lee Taylor
Director, Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence
After completing medicine, I spent 12 years working in various places including five years working in developing countries, specifically South Africa, Tonga, and with Afghan refugees in Pakistan; in Australia in teaching hospitals and urban and rural general practice; and a stint on the Flying Doctor service in Broken Hill.
My experience in developing countries fired my passion for public health. I joined the Public Health Training Program here in 1991, loved working in epidemiology, and never left.
Principal Policy Officer, Mental Health
I have worked in the public sector (both NSW and Commonwealth) for more than 20 years. I have never had a planned career path, preferring to work in areas that I've found interesting and meaningful, and to take opportunities to work on policy reform and change initiatives whenever possible.
As a result, I've worked on a range of different law enforcement and health portfolios - NSW Alcohol Summit, National Crime Prevention, response to the Redfern / Waterloo Inquiry, Garling Inquiry, and most recently the NSW Mental Reform. I've even supported a review of thoroughbred horse racing in NSW.
Director, Primary and Community Care Unit, Health and Social Policy
I started off in local level health promotion and dietetics and really, by both accident and opportunity, progressed to drugs, alcohol and mental education roles. I had a great opportunity to work in the former Cabinet Office on the 1999 State Drug Summit and then in Premier's Department on the community based policies arising from the event.
Since then I've worked in a range of policy and management roles in the Ministry, the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Office, the Office of the Secretary and now with the Health and Social Policy branch.