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Meet our Leadership Team


Our staff 


A diverse group of highly skilled, committed and spirited people.


VicHealth takes pride in being an equal opportunity employer championing equity and diversity in the workplace.

We are also committed to fostering a culture that values the importance of a healthy and safe work environment. We abide by the Victorian Government’s public administration values and code of conduct.



Dr Sandro Demaio


Chief Executive Officer


Dr Sandro Demaio is a globally-renowned public health expert and advocate as well as being a medical doctor – and he has a passion for food, health and wellbeing.

Sandro’s extensive background includes being the Medical Officer for non-communicable conditions and nutrition with the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organization, as well as being the CEO of the EAT Foundation, the science-based, global platform for food systems transformation.

In his pro bono work, Sandro co-founded NCDFREE, a global social movement against chronic disease. In 2015, he founded festival21, assembling and leading a team of experts to stage a free celebration of community, food, culture and future in his hometown of Melbourne.

Sandro has published 30 scientific papers and more than 90 articles along with Doctor’s Diet, a cookbook based on science and inspired by a love of good food. He also co-hosted the ABC television show Ask the Doctor – an innovative and exploratory factual medical series broadcasting across Australia and around the world.

He holds a Master of Public Health, a PhD in non-communicable diseases and has held fellowships at both Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Find Sandro on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Sandro smiling and looking at the camera
Rebecca Ahern, wearing a colourful top and a big smile

Rebecca Ahern


Executive Manager

Social Marketing and Communications


A positive force for change in marketing communications, Bec has spent 15 years in leadership positions in creative communications agencies, managing complex projects and teams. 

Bec has a deep understanding of the role that effective communication plays in shaping public perceptions to drive social change. 

With a Business Commerce and Communications degree, Bec is known as a curious and safe pair of hands to deliver impactful communications.



Padam Chirmuley


Executive Lead

People & Culture


Padam Chirmuley is focused on explaining the “why” behind business decisions and people and culture interventions, to build engagement and drive effective execution of strategy.
Over a 25-year journey, he has led teams that have focused on building leadership and high-performance capability, as well as delivering an exceptional employee experience.

Padam’s extensive professional experience includes supporting organisational change processes and improving efficiencies through implementation of new HR systems. He has worked within the business process outsourcing, credit and collections , and financial services sectors.

Padam has completed studies in Industrial Chemistry and Metallurgy and has an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management. He is also a Chartered Member of the Australian HR Institute.

Find Padam on LinkedIn.


Padam Chirmuley on white background
Headshot of Kristine Cooney wearing a black blazer and blue dress with a beaming smile.

Kristine Cooney


Executive Manager

Policy, Strategy & Impact Group


Kristine joined VicHealth in August 2021, bringing with her over 20 years’ experience in leadership, strategic customer and operations management in both Australia and the UK.

Kristine is an authentic, passionate and values-based leader with a strong track record in driving strategy and building motivated and high performing teams.

Kristine holds a Bachelor of Politics and History from Monash University and has qualifications in Executive Leadership and in addition to having served as a Non-Executive Director.


Michelle Murray


Executive Manager

Health Promotion Systems


Michelle is of Maori descent (indigenous to New Zealand) and comes from two Iwi (tribes), Whakatohea and Tuhoe.  

Michelle has more than a decade of leadership experience with health promotion and primary health organisations, including as a Chief Executive Officer of two entities, and has led transformational programs both nationally and regionally.  In her most recent role as Deputy Chief Executive Māori and Equity for Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) in New Zealand, Michelle was responsible for developing and leading the equity strategy whilst supporting the organisation to transform its culture and build capability to more effectively support Māori people and ACC’s other customers from diverse backgrounds and with diverse lived experience. 

In Michelle’s past roles she has had strong engagement and partnerships with key stakeholders and has comprehensive experience in understanding strategic priorities. Michelle is passionate about the delivery of quality services to reduce inequalities and provide better health. 

Michelle has an excellent understanding of the machinery of government, health system, legislation and best practice in health promotion.  

Michelle has a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Health, Masters in Business Administration and is undertaking a Doctorate of Health Science.


Portrait of Michelle Murray, with curly hair, wearing a red top with a chain
Clare Escott looking at the camera and smiling

Clare Escott


Executive Manager

Corporate Services


Clare has over 15 years’ executive experience leading the corporate services function. 

She is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, who has most recently been the Executive Director Corporate Services for the South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network (SEMPHN). In this role Clare led teams working across Finance, Facilities and Administration, ICT, Procurement and Contracts, Risk and Quality Assurance, and Internal Audit, while also chairing SEMPHN’s internal Risk Management and Document Governance Groups. Importantly, as we continue our journey to execute the new multi-year strategy, Clare has experience working and interacting with Boards and Audit and Risk Committees as a CFO and Company Secretary.

Clare also brings a solid understanding of the health sector, through this role and her previous position as Company Secretary and Executive General Manager Finance & Corporate Services with the Australian College of Optometry, and the local government environment, having spent nearly a decade working with a local government authority in the UK.


Artwork by Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022
VicHealth acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land. We pay our respects to all Elders past, present and future.
This website may contain images, names and voices of deceased people.

VicHealth acknowledges the support of the Victorian Government.

Artwork Credit: Dexx (Gunditjmara/Boon Wurrung) ‘Mobs Coming Together’ 2022, acrylic on canvas. Learn more about this artwork.