2020-21 Board of Directors

The Association of Biosafety for Australia and New Zealand (ABSANZ) is governed by the Board of Directors.

Stephen Coulter 

President

Stephen is the founder and director of Coulter Advisory Pty Ltd formed to provide specialist and independent design support and facility assessment for complex facilities.

With over 19 years’ experience working as a consulting engineer for two of Australia’s leading multidiscipline pharmaceutical, biological containment and specialist laboratory design consultancies, Stephen has gained significant knowledge and understanding of the complex requirements for Physical Containment facilities.

In his current role, Stephen is heavily involved in working as a client advocate, providing specialist facility design solutions and advice on technology intensive processes and facilities. He has a practical approach to the design, construction and hands on commissioning of these complex facilities...

Stephen adds meaningful value to both microbiological and engineering facets of the design by combining his engineering and biochemistry degrees with his extensive diverse local and international project experience.

A Department of Agriculture and Water Resources accredited third party Approved Arrangement Assessor, Stephen is a passionate and active participant in the regulatory environments of both the OGTR and the relevant Australian Standards, as well as being an IFBA certified Professional. 

A member of ABSANZ since 2011, Stephen and has actively participated in several roles including the development and delivery of conference workshop material, development of IFBA training material, production of the ABSANZ newsletter, active participation in the finance committee, the professional development and standards committee and serving as chair of the editorial committee for several years.

Lisa van Duin

Vice President

Lisa is the Biosafety and Biosecurity Officer at Deakin University where she is responsible for managing organisational oversight of biorisk, as well as providing advice on biosafety and biosecurity.

Originally qualified as a Medical Laboratory Scientist, specialising in virology, Lisa holds a Master of Science Degree from Massey University.

Registered and certified with ABSA International as a Biosafety Professional, and certified as a Specialist Microbiologist in Biosafety, Lisa gained more than 15 years’ experience working in accredited diagnostic and public health laboratories in New Zealand before working as a biosafety professional from 2012...

 

 

She has extensive knowledge and expertise in microbiological safety, laboratory compliance and quality management, biosafety and biosecurity as well as biosafety related education and training.

Lisa’s recent focus has been the implementation and improvement of organisational biorisk management systems.

Lisa currently sits on the working subcommittee for AS/NZS 2243.3: Microbiological safety and containment and the ABSA International Biosecurity Credentialing Taskforce. She is also a member of the ABSANZ Regulatory Liaison Committee representing ABSANZ members on the Department of Agriculture’s Biological Consultation Group.

Carl Ramage

Chair - Governance, Finance & Risk Committee

Carl is Director of Rautaki Solutions, a business that supports national and international AgBiotech organisations across public and private sectors. He focuses on providing strategic and operational direction in biosafety and bio-risk management.

Carl sits on several agriculture industry committees, including Institutional Biosafety Committees and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

His career has focused on building sustainable capability and capacity in biosafety and bio-risk management. He is actively involved in the development and implementation of compliance management frameworks and compliance plans for physical containment facilities (PC1 to PC3) as well as programs for the intentional release of genetically...

modified organisms into the environment. Carl also assist clients with regulatory strategy as well as drafting risk assessment dossiers for submission and assessment by regulatory authorities.

Carl is passionate about building both national and international regulatory cooperation and identifying opportunities for regulatory efficiency.

His core objective for ABSANZ is to bring his leadership and strategic abilities, collaboration skills, and industry expertise, to ensure ABSANZ continues to support members, provide effective advocacy and deliver against the ABSANZ mission.

Michelle McConnell

Chair - Regulatory Liaison Committee

Michelle has a PhD in Microbiology and until May 2021, when she retired, held dual roles at the University of Otago, as a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and also as the Biological Compliance Officer for the University.

Michelle managed the university’s containment and transitional facility at the Dunedin campus and maintains oversight of the facilities at the Wellington and Christchurch campuses. The Dunedin campus houses the largest containment and transitional facility in New Zealand for microorganisms, GM animals , GM plants, GM invertebrates and organisms that are new to NZ such as Antarctic starfish and Xenopus as well as imported uncleared biological risk products.  

 

Her recent retirement affords Michelle greater time to support ABSANZ on a number of committees, as well as a determined commitment to improving her impressive golf handicap.

Richard Sale

Conference Committee

Richard is a Queensland-registered Senior Architect with leading national architectural practice Conrad Gargett. After his architectural studies at the University of Queensland and post-graduate study overseas, including working in the UK, his interest in the field of technical facility design and construction aligned with his earlier concerns in the relationship between energy and buildings.

In a career spanning over thirty-five years he has focussed on the design and documentation of a range of laboratories, not least biocontainment facilities. He is has been involved in a laboratory specialist role in the design of such facilities across most Australian states, New Zealand and the Pacific. Like Stephen, he is a Department of Agriculture and Water Resources accredited third party Approved Arrangement Assessor.

 

 

Richard has also been an active participant in the Australian Institute of Architects and has held positions on the Queensland Chapter Council. He is also a former member of the state Education Committee and a long-standing member of the state Sustainability Committee and former Chair.

Richard has been a member of ABSANZ since its founding and has contributed to several ABSANZ Conferences as both a presenter and Committee participant.

Katherine Garnett

Board Member

Katherine is employed by the New Zealand public service and plays an important role in protecting the country from biological risk. Her career began with six years in the Immunology department at the New Zealand Animal Health Laboratory including working within a high containment facility. This was followed by various roles within pest management and environment response contributing to national responses to pest and disease incursions and roles as a workstream lead and response manager. Katherine also contributed to the development of preparedness plans for potentially harmful pests and diseases to New Zealand.

In her current role she continues to support the protection of New Zealand’s rich diversity and primary production sector as a portfolio lead for the importation of biological products of animal origin, microorganisms, cell cultures...

 

 laboratory animals, laboratory animal germplasm, and invertebrates. 

Katherine attended her first ABSANZ conference in 2017, becoming a member in 2018. She loves the passion within ABSANZ and being able to meet people face-to-face (or virtually in 2020) to discuss biosafety and biosecurity issues, concerns and ways forward in various spaces. Katherine was a member of the ABSANZ Conference Committees in 2019 and 2020 and is a current member of the Governance, Finance and Risk Committee. Her goals for ABSANZ are to provide a strong voice for the New Zealand membership and to help grow the Association through increased membership value and benefits.

June Freeland

Chair - Education & Training Committee

June, a professionally Chartered OHS Advisor, Biosafety Professional  and Chartered Biologist, has over 30 years experience authoring a range of scientific papers, university policy documents, and regulatory guidelines.

June’s collaboration with government agencies, nationally and internationally, and her wide knowledge of global biosafety has led to her creating several biological and general safety online training courses.  

In addition, she helped create an accredited Professional Biosafety Practitioner course which was subsequently adopted throughout the UK and introduced to the European biosafety community through the European Biosafety Association (EBSA) in which June was an active member. She also audited and reviewed EBSA training courses.

Bernadette Bradley

Chair - Membership Development Committee

Dr Bernadette Bradley has been the Biosafety Advisor for Curtin University in WA for the last eight years.

She has developed and implemented a comprehensive bespoke biorisk management system for the business, and advised about the design of several physical containment facilities concurrently with the development of the facilities’ management strategies.  She is also interested in change management, incident investigation, and biosafety training.

After her PhD studies in agricultural genetics, Bernadette worked for four years as a Medical Genetics Research Scientist and three years as the Biological Compliance Officer at the University of Western Australia.