National Allergy Council Project Co-leads

To help support the projects, each project has Project Co-leads who have expertise in the area of the project. The Project Co-leads work with the NAC Manager and project staff and help guide the projects in a voluntary capacity.

Maria Said AM

Project Co-lead – Allergy 250K youth project and Shared care model project

Maria Said AMMaria Said has been a member of Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) since 1993. As a volunteer, she became CEO of the organisation in 1999 and then in 2004 she became a paid employee of A&AA. Maria is a registered nurse with experience in emergency and paediatric nursing.

As an advocate for individuals who live with the risk of anaphylaxis, Maria has presented on the recognition, management and emergency treatment of anaphylaxis. She shares information on the mission of the organisation, the consumer perspective and, allergic disease including food allergy and anaphylaxis, to teaching & health professionals, the food industry, federal and state government departments and the Australian community.

Maria is a member of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and holds a position on several working parties. She has co-authored several publications in medical and food industry journals. Maria is a member of the International Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Alliance Committee and a committee member of the European Academy of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Patient Organisation Committee.

As CEO of A&AA, Maria has been called to assist State Coroners as an expert witness in up to ten inquests or coronial investigations. The unfolding of these investigations has resulted in change throughout Australia.

Dr Preeti Joshi

Project Co-lead – Food allergy prevention project Nip allergies in the Bub

Dr Preeti JoshiDr Preeti Joshi is a paediatric clinical immunology/allergy specialist. Preeti is a Staff Specialist at the Department of Allergy and Immunology at The Children’s Hospital, Westmead.

Preeti graduated with honours from the University of Sydney in 1990 before completing her specialist training in paediatrics. She was awarded her fellowship in 1997. Preeti completed a PhD in the development of allergy in children before working in New York with Professor Hugh Samson, a world expert in food allergy.

Preeti has an active role in teaching and research in addition to running a busy practice in clinical allergy and immunology. Her special interest includes paediatric food allergy, eczema and allergic rhinitis. She has wide experience in the management of many allergic and immunologic conditions in children. Preeti is also a member of the Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia Medical Advisory Board.

Jody Aiken

Project Co-lead – Food allergy prevention project

Jody AikenJody Aiken is Senior Health Management Educator with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA). She has a B.App.Sci (Food and Nutrition) and a Master in Public Health.

Jody has been working in the area of Nutrition and Public Health for over 25 years. She has worked in research and health promotion with NSW Health and Healthy Kids School Canteen Association before joining A&AA in March 2016.

In her role as Senior Health Management Educator with A&AA, Jody advises and advocates for people with allergies, writes newsletters, and liaises with food industry, government and the health care sector. Jody is an associate member of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and is a member of the National Allergy Strategy (NAS) Steering Committee.

Jody has a special interest in allergies, as she has a child at risk of anaphylaxis to peanut and tree nuts, as well as having a lifelong fish allergy herself. She is passionate about helping people with allergies live life to the full.

Dr Melanie Wong

Project Co-lead – Allergy 250K youth project

Dr Melanie WongDr Melanie Wong is a Paediatric Allergist, Immunologist and Immunopathologist. She is a senior staff specialist and head of the Department of Allergy and Immunology at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Melanie has had longstanding involvement with both the National Allergy Strategy and the National Immunodeficiency Strategy. She is a past President of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).

  

Sally Voukelatos

Project Co-lead – Food service project

Sally VoukelatosSally Voukelatos is a dietitian and worked in the public hospital setting for 10 years.  In 2004, Sally joined Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) as a volunteer, providing phone support and coordinating the Victorian Support & Education Group for 6 years. In this time she represented A&AA on government working groups addressing anaphylaxis training and policy development (schools and hospitals) and a Food Allergy Pilot Study of food businesses.

In 2018, Sally joined A&AA as one of their team of Health Educators and is currently involved in providing phone and support, face-to-face education, resource development and policy review.

Sally is a member of the National Allergy Strategy (NAS) Steering Committee and was co-chair of the NAS Evidence and Data working group. Sally assisted with the coordination of the inaugural NAS 250K Youth Camp in 2018 and participated in the 2019 camp as a volunteer.

Sally is an Associate Member of the Australasian Society of Clinical immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).

Dr Vicki McWilliam 

Project Co-lead – Food service project

Dr Vicki McWilliam

Dr Vicki McWilliam (BSci. MND. PhD. AdvAPD) is a senior dietitian in the Department of Allergy and Immunology at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, a Clinician-Scientist Fellow in the Population Allergy Group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Melbourne.

Vicki is one of Australia’s leading paediatric allergy dietitians with more than 20 years of clinical experience and over a decade specialising in food allergy. Her expertise has seen her not only involved in the care of children and families, but teaching, training, resource development, service delivery review and policy work in the area of food allergy.

She was responsible for the development and implementation of the first food allergy specific menu at the Royal Children’s Hospital which was awarded with a Victorian Public Healthcare award of commendation in 2009. She is an active member of the Dietitians committee of ASCIA and was part of the Foodservice working party of the National Allergy Strategy.

Vicki is passionate about improving service delivery and care for families living with food allergy and her research interests focus on exploring dietary interventions for the prevention and treatment of food allergies.

Dr Katie Frith

Project Co-lead – Shared care model project

Dr Katie FrithKatie is a paediatric immunologist and works at Sydney Children’s Hospital (SCH), Randwick.  Katie is an active member of ASCIA, the peak professional body for immunologists in Australia and New Zealand. She is the current chair of the ASCIA anaphylaxis committee, chair of the 33rd ASCIA conference and a member of the ASCIA paediatric committee.

Katie has recently been involved in the development of the ACSQHC Acute Anaphylaxis Clinical Care Standard.
    
 

Dr Brynn Wainstein

Project Co-lead – Anaphylaxis reporting system project

Dr Brynn WainsteinDr Brynn Wainstein is a consultant specialist in Paediatric Allergy and Immunology. Brynn qualified in South Africa in 1996 before migrating to Australia and completing his specialist training. He was awarded his RACP fellowship in 2005. He is a Staff Specialist in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick and has been in private practice since 2006. He has a PhD from UNSW on the diagnosis of peanut allergy in children.

Brynn is an expert in paediatric allergy and immunology. He has a particular interest in food allergy. His other interests include allergic conditions such as eczema, allergic rhinitis, asthma, recurrent hives and insect sting allergy. In addition Brynn is a specialist in the investigation and management of children with immunodeficiencies, recurrent infections or fever and autoinflammatory diseases. Brynn has published a number of research papers in peer reviewed journals and has authored or co-authored 2 textbook chapters. Services available include allergy skin testing and desensitisation (Immunotherapy). Food challenge procedures will also be available in conjunction with the Immunology Department at Sydney Children’s Hospital and on-site (for selected patients).

Briony Tyquin

Project Co-lead – School and children’s education and care (CEC) project

Briony TyquinBriony is a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Allergy and Manager of the NSW Anaphylaxis Education Program based at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, providing education and support to health professionals, registered training organisations, schools, preschools and children’s services across NSW. Briony has over 25 years’ experience as a paediatric nurse and has 15 years’ experience in paediatric allergy.

Briony is passionate about paediatric allergy and works closely with A&AA, the National Allergy Strategy, ASCIA and CFAR. She is an active member of the ASCIA paediatric committee and the ASCIA anaphylaxis committee and is the nurses’ representative on ASCIA Council. 

Dr Wendy Norton

Project Co-lead – School and children's education and care (CEC) project

Dr Wendy NortonDr Wendy Norton is a parent of 3 teenage boys, 2 of whom have multiple food allergies. She graduated from Monash University with honours in 1993 with a medical degree and then went on to train as a general practitioner. She has also done post graduate training in allergy through the University of Western Sydney.

She works part time in the allergy department at the Royal Melbourne hospital and does volunteer work at the Centre for Food Allergy Research (CFAR) which is part of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne. She has delivered compulsory anaphylaxis training to Victorian teachers.

Wendy has been involved as a volunteer with Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia for over a decade. In this capacity, she has given lectures and allergy education sessions, as well as attending Coroner's cases and helping draft government documents.

She has been involved with the National Allergy Strategy from its inception and is passionate about improving the lives of people living with allergy.

Dr William Smith

Project Co-lead – Drug allergy project including the Australian Digital Health Agency (My Health Record) project

Dr William SmithDr William Smith is a Senior Consultant and Head of Unit, Clinical Immunology & Allergy, Royal Adelaide Hospital, and Consultant Physician, Clinical Immunology & Allergy, AllergySA.

Dr William Smith is a clinical immunology and allergy specialist in private practice and at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He completed his PhD at the University of Adelaide and a NHMRC CJ Martin postdoctoral research fellowship in London and Perth.

Dr Smith has continuing roles in clinical medicine, teaching and research, and is a co-investigator in several clinical trials on angioedema and urticaria. He is author or co-author of more than 80 published papers. He has served on the council of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), is a member of the ASCIA Drug Allergy Working Party, and is a Past President of ASCIA. He has chaired working parties responsible for the ASCIA Skin Prick Testing manual and the ASCIA Immunotherapy manual. Research interests include food allergy, drug allergy, allergy mechanisms, immunotherapy, angioedema and urticaria.

Associate Professor Michaela Lucas

Project Co-lead – Drug allergy project including the Australian Digital Health Agency (My Health Record) project

Associate Professor Michaela LucasAssociate Professor Michaela Lucas is a Clinical Immunologist/Immunopathologist at the adult tertiary Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital for Children and Pathwest Laboratory Medicine in Perth, Western Australia. Michaela is also the current ASCIA President.

Her main research interests are in T-cell immunology, with special emphasis on interplay of innate and adaptive immunity during chronic viral infection, transplantation immunology and drug hypersensitivity. After a doctorate in Biochemistry, a European Marie-Curie Fellowship and a post-doctoral position at Oxford University, Michaela moved to Australia in 2004, where she completed her Basic and Advanced Physician training in Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology in 2012. Since early 2014 she has been the Group Leader of a Microsurgical Transplantation Immunology Laboratory with the School of Medicine and Pharmacology, UWA, at the Harry Perkins Institute in Perth.

Clinically, she oversees the Drug Allergy Services at two major hospitals, chairs the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy’s current working party for Drug Allergy and is the project lead for the National Allergy Strategy relating to Drug Allergy Management. Michaela is also the current ASCIA President.

Content updated August 2022

National Allergy Strategy Rationale

Allergic diseases have become an increasingly important chronic disease and public health issue in Australia and other developed countries over the last two decades, contributing to increased demand for medical services, significant economic cost of care and reduced quality of life of people with allergic diseases and their carers.

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Lead organisations

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Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) is the leading medical organisation for allergy in Australia. 

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Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) is the leading patient support organisation for allergy in Australia. 

The National Allergy Strategy has received funding from the Australian Government Department of Health for the following projects:
Food allergy prevention | 250K Youth Project | Food service | Drug allergy | Shared Care Model

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Acknowledgement of Country
The National Allergy Council acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land upon which we are located. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.