Our staff are 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.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr Sandro Demaio
Dr Sandro Demaio is a medical doctor and globally-renowned public health expert and advocate.
Having held the role of Medical Officer for non-communicable conditions and nutrition with the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organization, Dr Demaio was previously the CEO of the EAT Foundation, the science-based, global platform for food systems transformation.
In his pro bono work, Dr Demaio co-founded NCDFREE, a global social movement against chronic disease which reached more than 2.5 million people in its first 18 months. In 2015, he founded festival21, assembling and leading a team of experts in staging an unprecedented free celebration of community, food, culture and future in his hometown of Melbourne. In 2018, he also established an independent, not-for-profit foundation focused on improving the health and nutrition of Australians.
He has published 30 scientific papers and more than 90 articles. He is also the author of the Doctor’s Diet, a cookbook based on science and inspired by a love of good food.
Besides his role as VicHealth CEO, Dr Demaio also co-hosts the ABC television show Ask the Doctor – an innovative and exploratory factual medical series broadcasting across Australia and around the world.
Dr Demaio originally trained and worked as a medical doctor at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. He holds a Masters degree in public health, a PhD in non-communicable diseases and has held fellowships at both Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Executive Manager, Programs Group
Kirstan is widely recognised for her expertise in health promotion and her sector leadership as demonstrated by her twenty-year contribution to improving the health and wellbeing of all Victorians. At VicHealth, Kirstan leads a broad agenda spanning sport and physical activity, healthy eating, mental wellbeing, alcohol and tobacco. She is genuinely committed to putting equity at the heart of VicHealth’s work. Kirstan’s achievements have influenced practice across health, sport, education and community settings within Australia and internationally. Kirstan has a background in physiotherapy and masters degrees in health promotion and organisational leadership.
Executive Manager, Corporate Services Group
Paul has over three decades of experience in leadership, corporate services and stakeholder management across corporate and government sectors.
Prior to joining VicHealth in 2019, Paul worked with state and local governments as a Chief Financial Officer and Director of Corporate Services. He also led the local government strategy of Aon, the world’s largest risk management advisor.
Paul has led numerous diversity and inclusion committees and initiatives over the last 15 years and is a White Ribbon Ambassador.
Paul holds a Business Degree majoring in Accounting, a Company Directors Diploma and an Advanced Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). He is a Fellow of both CPA Australia and the AICD.
Acting Executive Manager, Marketing & Communications, and Head of This Girl Can – Victoria
Melanie is a passionate marketing communications professional with almost 20 years' experience in the government and not-for-profit sectors in Australia (Sydney, Perth and Melbourne) and in London.
Melanie has spent her career leading teams to deliver a range of high-profile behaviour change campaigns. From encouraging people to be safer on the roads and at work, to supporting people to make healthier choices and raising funds for life-saving research, Melanie’s goal has always been to have a positive impact on people’s lives.
During her time at VicHealth, Melanie has been responsible for leading the team to create the highly successful This Girl Can – Victoria campaign which inspired more than 400,000 women to get active in its first two years.
Melanie has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Technology Sydney.
Executive Lead, Policy Development Office
Kellie has extensive public health experience developed through policy and practice-focused roles over 15 years in the community sector, local and state government, and non-government organisations. She joined VicHealth in September 2009, motivated by the organisation’s commitment to an equity-focused approach to health promotion and became a member of the executive team in 2016. Kellie’s substantive position is Executive Lead, Policy Development Office.
Kellie has qualifications in health science and holds a Master of Public Health from Deakin University and Master of Public Health Practice from Flinders University.
Nithya Gopu Solomon
Executive Lead, Innovation OfficeNithya joins VicHealth with international leadership experience in Australia, USA and Latin America, gained through roles at NIKE, Inc. , Ernst & Young, Accenture and ANZ Investment Bank. Nithya brings unique expertise in the design and operations of innovative ventures in philanthropy and social investment.
Over the last decade she held leadership roles within the business units at Nike that developed the game-changing collective-impact platforms, Girl Effect and Designed to Move. As the Nike Foundation Strategy, Finance and Operations Director from 2006 -2009 Nithya managed a multi-million-dollar venture philanthropy engine to provide adolescent girls a clear path out of poverty. In 2010 Nithya was appointed by Nike to lead the production of the Designed to Move Framework for Action, an unprecedented collaboration with 70+ multi-sector organisations and a catalyst for a global movement to increase worldwide physical activity.
Nithya holds a Masters of Administration degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management and Bachelor degrees in Chemical Engineering and Performing Arts from Monash University.