Research Advisory Committee

  • Chair - Professor Amanda Thrift
  • Professor Richard Lindley
  • Ms Brenda Booth (consumer representative)
  • Professor Simon Koblar
  • Dr Caleb Ferguson
  • Dr Emma Power
  • Dr Nadine Andrew
  • Professor Ian Kneebone

Professor Amanda Thrift, BSc(Hons), PhD, PGDipBiostat

 Amanda Thrift

Professor Thrift is Head of the Epidemiology and Prevention Division, Stroke and Ageing Research, Monash University, and is an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow. She is a past President of the Stroke Society of Australasia and sits on numerous national and international advisory groups.

Professor Thrift gained her PhD from Monash University in 1995 in epidemiology in the study of risk factors for intracerebral haemorrhage. She has considerable research expertise in the epidemiology of stroke, having led the influential North East Melbourne Stroke Incidence Study (NEMESIS). This study has provided much of the evidence base for policy decisions around stroke in Australia. Her current portfolio of research include NHMRC funded studies of implementation of secondary prevention of stroke and vascular disease in Australia, and studies of causal factors for vascular disease and hypertension in low and middle income countries.


Professor Richard Lindley, MBBS MD FRCP(EDIN) FRACP

Professor Richard Lindley is a world-renowned geriatrician and stroke physician. He is co-Chair of Sydney Medical School’s Lifespan Research Discipline who leads a portfolio of international clinical trials and projects that reliably assess new treatments in older individuals (with a particular interest in stroke management). His work has made significant contributions to medical science and health care policy. He was senior investigator in studies demonstrating safety and efficacy in the elderly, of cholesterol lowering (Heart Protection Study) and antithrombotic and thrombolysis therapy (IST; IST-3), which helped to eradicate the upper age limit for the appropriate prescription of statins and thrombolytics, thereby saving lives and reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease in older individuals worldwide. He established and co-led the Third International Stroke Trial (IST-3) reporting the widely generalisable benefit of early thrombolytic treatment for ischemic stroke even in groups such as the very elderly, diabetics and cases of severe stroke (previously considered to have few evidence-based treatment options). Professor Lindley has co-chaired the Australian Stroke Coalition, the Stroke Topic Working Group for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and the development of national stroke guidelines (in Australia and Scotland). His contribution to the National Stroke Audit Program helps implement best practice in stroke management and has been a major driver of government investment in new stroke units around Australia. Professor Lindley speaks regularly on the issue of consent provision and obtaining consent ethically from vulnerable groups such as the elderly and stroke patients. He is an Honorary Overseas Member of the Association of British Neurologists. He was Board Member of the National Stroke Foundation and Chair of its Clinical Council for nine years (2006-2015).


Brenda Booth (consumer representative)

Brenda is a stroke survivor; her stroke occurred in 2001, when she was 41 years old. A left internal carotid artery dissection caused a left MCA stroke, her speech; sight and arm movement were initially affected.

Brenda is a Registered Nurse (Royal North Shore Hospital - 1981). She has worked in both the public and private hospital sector. From 1991 until 2016 Brenda worked as a Case Manager with the NSW Disability Service. Following her stroke she returned to work part time. In April 2016 Brenda commenced working for the National Disability Insurance Agency as an NDIS Planner.

Brenda was a carer for her mother who was diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s. She provided support until her mother’s death in 2015.

Brenda is frequently asked to speak about her stroke experience at forums, educational and community events

In 2010 Brenda was diagnosed as having carotid, vertebral and intracranial Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD) which was determined to be the underlying cause of her stroke. FMD has resulted in ongoing fluctuating cerebral flow related symptoms.

Brenda feels fortunate that she does not have any residual physical disability, but contends with the non-visible issues related to her stroke and FMD; such as variable issues with speech, fatigue, balance, coordination and memory.

Brenda has provided stroke consumer input at a local, state and national level


Professor Simon Koblar

Simon Koblar is the Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at the University of Adelaide. He is a clinician-scientist and has actively researched basic neuroscience over the last 20 years and its clinical translation into new therapies that strive to improve recovery following stroke.

He is founding Director of the Stroke Research Programme since 2005, which has a national and international reputation and is a unique collaboration of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), Basil Hetzel Institute, three universities in South Australia, and the Central Adelaide Local Health Network. This research programme has been instrumental in teaching and training over 50 post-graduate students, many of whom have gone on to research both nationally and internationally in varied fields of neuroscience. He is committed to supporting teams of researchers with his medical and research skills. He serves on a number of advisory clinical and research committees, and editorial boards in stroke and basic research.

Simon is a highly experienced Stroke Physician and Neurologist and continues to work in public hospitals in South Australia. He was instrumental in setting up the South Australian Stroke Network, which has led to major innovations in the prevention of stroke and acute stroke treatments and pathways in South Australia.

He has been actively involved in the Stroke Foundation initially in the Clinical Council and more recently joined the Research Advisory Committee. He is equally recognised for his compassionate and holistic view of stroke recovery in the community and policy level.


Dr Caleb Ferguson RN PhD

Dr Caleb Ferguson is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow, based at the Centre for Cardiovascular & Chronic Care, University of Technology Sydney.

Where his program of research focuses on the management of atrial fibrillation and stroke prevention.

Caleb is a qualified Registered Nurse with more than a decade of clinical expertise in acute stroke management.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (University of Stirling, 2005), Masters of Health Leadership (University of Tasmania, 2011), and a PhD (University of Technology Sydney, 2015).

Dr Ferguson publishes widely in the area of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Since 2012, he has published over 35 academic publications, editorials and book chapters.

He holds appointments as Editor for Contemporary Nurse and member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Clinical Nursing.

He is also a member of the Acute Stroke Management Guidelines Update working group for the Stroke Foundation, and a member of the Heart Foundation’s Atrial Fibrillation guidelines working group.

Since 2013, Caleb has enjoyed volunteering as a StrokeSafe Ambassador for the Stroke Foundation.

This role has involved providing regular community presentations on stroke prevention to local community groups, businesses and the general public.


Dr Emma Power PhD, BAppSc (Hons), CPSP MSPAA

Dr Emma Power is a speech pathologist who has worked in the area of communication disorders following acquired brain injury, including stroke, for 20 years. She is a senior lecturer in the discipline of speech pathology at the University of Sydney where she teaches the next generation of speech pathologists about communication difficulties after stroke and brain injury. Dr Power’s research interests include innovative assessments and treatments to enhance the life participation of people with neurological communication disorders.  She is also very interested in evidence based practice (EBP) and the way we translate knowledge into clinical policy and practice (implementation science). With her colleagues, she has developed and validated 82 Best Practice Statements for people with post stroke aphasia on an aphasia pathway website that contains implementation resources for clinicians ( Dr Power is also a committee member of SpeechBITE, a free online database of speech pathology intervention studies and a past President of Speech Pathology Australia, NSW Branch. She has been awarded several teaching and service recognition awards. However, her main reward is working collaboratively with consumers, students, clinicians and policy makers to create new knowledge and practises that are implemented to the benefit people with disability, their families and health and community services.

Dr Power graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) with first class honours and the University Medal. She has a PhD in neurological communication disorders and is a Certified Practicing Member of Speech Pathology Australia.


Dr Nadine Andrew

Dr Andrew is a Senior Research Fellow with Peninsula Clinical School, Monash University and an NHMRC Early Career fellow. She has a clinical background in Physiotherapy, a Masters in Public Health and a PhD in epidemiology. She is an emerging leader in stroke and health service research, with a focus on using large datasets to answer questions about what constitutes best-practice care for survivors of stroke to maximise long-term quality of life and reduce unmet needs. She is involved in a number of quality improvement projects and over the last five years has developed a strong track record in the area of data linkage. She has been responsible for coordinating large national cross-jurisdictional data linkage projects. These projects have been the first in Australia in which researcher held clinical registry data have been linked, across jurisdictions, to state and nationally held administrative datasets. Dr Andrew is currently leading a project in which data from the Australian Stroke Clinical Registry will be linked to Medicare and pharmaceutical data to provide insights into some of the services and care types being accessed by survivors of stroke living in the community. 


Professor Ian Kneebone

Professor Ian Kneebone completed undergraduate degrees at the University of Adelaide, a masters degree in clinical psychology at the University of Western Australia and a doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Surrey. He has specialised in rehabilitation and worked with older and younger people who have encountered stroke for over thirty years. He has published widely on stroke, including on the assessment and management of mood disorders, the coping of informal carers of people who develop speech and language problems and on breaking bad news. He currently holds an NHMRC grant to investigate the prevention of depression in this population. Ian is a co-author of Psychological Management of Stroke, (Wiley, 2012) and was a member of the Core Steering Group that developed the National Stroke Strategy for England.  Ian has a Chair in Clinical Psychology at the University of Technology, Sydney and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey, UK.