For media enquiries please contact Rachel Murphy, Senior Media Advisor on 03 9667 1319, 0435 761 732 or email

For out of hours media enquiries please call John Fulcher, Communications Manager on 0412 978 263

Subscribe to receive regular updates about new information, including media releases.



Jerril rechter

Jerril Rechter

Jerril Rechter is the CEO of VicHealth. She has extensive experience in leadership across the areas of government and not-for-profit sectors.

Jerril is a World Health Organization Advisor and is Chair of the International Network of Health Promotion Foundations.  Her current Ministerial appointments include Chair of Victoria’s Justice Health Ministerial Advisory Council and membership of the Liquor Control Advisory Council. Jerril was also a member of the Advisory Panel for the Inquiry into Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation and the Work Health Advisory Group. She regularly presents at state, national and international conferences and events to share her experiences in health promotion, leadership, and the potential of innovations to improve health and wellbeing for everyone.

She has served on various state and national boards and committees, including VicHealth's, as Board Member from 2004 to 2010. Her past Ministerial appointments included the Victorian Eating Disorders Taskforce, Australia Day Committee Victoria, Australia Council for the Arts Deputy Chair Dance Board, Arts Tasmania Board, Brand Tasmania Board and the Community Leaders Group Tasmania.

Jerril is a recipient of a Centenary Medal, Tasmania Day Award, and Fellowships from the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Australia Council, Harvard Club of Australia, the Australian Davos Forum-Future Summit, and Williamson Community Leadership Program (Leadership Victoria).

Jerril holds a Master of Business Leadership from RMIT University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She is the Chair of the Stephanie Lake Dance Company and on the Board of the Western Bulldogs Football Club.

Jerril has held executive positions at Leadership Victoria, Melbourne International Festival of the Arts, Footscray Community Arts Centre, and founded Stompin Youth Dance Company.

In 2015, Jerril won the Victorian Telstra Businesswoman of the Year Award in the Victorian Government and Academia category, and was also a finalist in the same category for the national awards. 

Jerril was named in The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence in the Public Policy category for 2016. She was also included in the inaugural Top 50 Public Sector Women (Victoria) list, which shines a spotlight on exceptional leaders, highlighting their work and creating role models for other women in the sector.

Kirstan Corben portrait

Kirstan Corben

Executive Manager, Programs Group

Kirstan Corben joined VicHealth in 2017.  Kirstan has more than 16 years of experience in health promotion, including most recently as Alfred Health’s Lead for Population Health and Health Promotion.

At Alfred Health, she led many successful initiatives to strengthen Victorian health services, including introducing smokefree environments, improving availability of healthy food and facilities to support active travel, increasing physical activity and reducing sedentariness. Her work has been shared widely and influenced practice across health, sport, education and community settings within Australia and internationally.

Kirstan comes to VicHealth with a background in physiotherapy and Masters Degrees in health promotion and organisational leadership. Complex systems thinking, behavioural insights expertise and sector leadership make Kirstan a fantastic addition to VicHealth’s talented executive team.

stefan grun

Stefan Grun

Executive Manager, Marketing and Communications

Stefan has more than two decades of marketing and communications experience from the corporate, government and not-for-profit sectors. He has held a range of executive and leadership roles focusing on strategic marketing and communications, public affairs, social marketing behaviour change campaigns, brand and product management. 

Passionate about promoting health and wellbeing, Stefan joined VicHealth in 2014 motivated by linking his more than 20 years’ experience in the sporting industry  – including nine years as a senior AFL field umpire – with helping Victorians becoming more physically active and championing gender equality. 

Stefan has a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Tasmania, is a graduate of the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs and is VicHealth’s implementation lead on the Male Champions of Change national program. 

Rayoni Nelson

Rayoni Nelson

Manager, Physical Activity, Sport and Healthy Eating

Rayoni’s career has covered a broad range of areas including sport, physical activity, active transport, road safety, customer service and communications. Before joining VicHealth in 2012, she was at Sport and Recreation Victoria working on sport and physical activity initiatives.

Rayoni has a Bachelor of Management and a Masters in Sport Management. Rayoni has also represented Australia in badminton at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

Maya Rivis

Maya Rivis

Manager, Health Promotion Operations

Maya Rivis has over 15 years of experience working in health promotion and public health. Maya has led the development, implementation and evaluation of a range of tobacco control, public housing, perinatal mental health, diabetes prevention and population level health promotion policy and programs.

Maya is responsible for supporting effective health promotion program delivery, organisational strategy implementation and continuous improvements at VicHealth.  

Emma Saleeba

Emma Saleeba

Manager, Alcohol and Tobacco

Emma has spent six years working specifically in tobacco and alcohol policy in government, and a further ten years in statutory agencies and the non-government sector across a range of public health roles.

Holding a Masters degree in Public Health, Emma’s experience spans health promotion policy and program development, project implementation and advocacy. Emma is responsible for VicHealth’s programs and investments in relation to preventing tobacco use and harm from alcohol.

Irene Verins

Irene Verins

Manager, Mental Wellbeing

Irene Verins has a 20-year background in the program design and management of community based initiatives within education, local government, the arts, health  and workplace.

Irene is also responsible for the workforce development program at VicHealth which has designed and delivered training across Australia and internationally.

Irene has presented and published in the areas of mental health promotion,  social determinants of health and workforce development.

Irene is a member of the Asia-Australia Mental Health Advisory Council and supports the activity of a range of state committees and working parties.

Annemarie wright

Dr Annemarie Wright

Principal Program Officer, Knowledge and Health Equity

Annemarie is the content lead for research, evidence and evaluation, advising on projects across a range of illness prevention and health promotion programs. This work includes large population surveys, and development and design of population intervention programs.  

She has particular expertise in the fields of health promotion and youth mental health having worked as a clinician, clinical trainer, health promotion program manager and population health researcher. Her research has published in a range of highly cited journals. Annemarie holds a PhD in in Public Health and Mental Health in addition to a Masters degree in Medical Science (Health Promotion).

Mel Backhouse portrait

Melissa Backhouse

Principal Program Officer, Physical Activity, Sport and Healthy Communities

Melissa joined VicHealth in 2017 with more than 15 years’ experience working in the sport and physical activity industry at all levels, from grass roots to national.  

Melissa has a passion for providing sport and fitness participation opportunities that encourage all people to lead active lives. Through various roles, including seven years at the Australian Sports Commission and as Board Director for state sporting organisations, she introduced new participation opportunities, focussed on customer-centric approaches, influenced participation and high performance strategy and led governance change.  Most recently, she led the development and implementation of Swimming Australia’s first national junior program Optus Junior Dolphins and drove a shift in strategy towards an increased focus on recreational swimming.

Melissa also has a BA Commerce and Information Technology, is a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and worked as a consultant to government with KPMG for seven years.

Renee Imbesi

Renee Imbesi

Principal Program Officer, Mental Wellbeing

Renee Imbesi has worked in the prevention of violence against women for over 10 years in government and non-government sectors, with a focus on developing the research and practice to address gender inequities. 

Renee leads programs in workplaces, sports, local government and community to promote respectful relationships and increase gender equity. At VicHealth she also provides leadership and expertise in communications and research activity to prevent violence against women, including bystander programs and the national community attitudes survey. 

Renee has presented and published in the areas of respectful relationships education, cultural change and organisational development. She supports the activity of a range of state and national committees particularly in the area of policy development.   

Kristen Moeller-Saxone headshot

Kristen Moeller-Saxone

Principal Program Officer, Mental Wellbeing

Kristen’s work at VicHealth focuses on projects aimed at improving the mental health and wellbeing of young people. Previously, she coordinated a major research program at the University of Melbourne and Orygen, The National Centre for Excellence in Youth Mental Health, developing youth participation and improving mental health support systems for young people in out-of-home care. 
Kristen has over 15 years’ experience working with people experiencing mental health problems and addictions, and completed her PhD in this area. 
Jenny Reimers

Jenny Reimers

Principal Program Officer, Healthy Eating

Jen has an in-depth knowledge of public health, food and nutrition. She is a dietitian with post-graduate qualifications in Public Health and Social Policy.

Jen has worked in community and clinical dietetics and public health nutrition in London, South Australia, regional and metropolitan settings and with remote Indigenous communities. Most recently, Jen managed health promotion within a Primary Care Partnership, working collaboratively with local councils and community and women’s health in food security, prevention of violence against women, alcohol and other drugs, and prevention of problem gambling. Her role at VicHealth is to provide nutrition leadership and content expertise.

Natalie Russell headshot

Natalie Russell

Principal Program Officer, Mental Wellbeing

Natalie has over 15 years’ experience nationally and internationally in public health and health promotion, managing a range of initiatives aimed at supporting children and young people to develop healthy behaviours.

Natalie provides leadership and expertise in preventing violence against women and promoting gender equality, including managing the world-first program Generating Equality and Respect and delivering the VicHealth Gender Equality, Health and Wellbeing Strategy. She is also a member of the Ministerial Taskforce - Prevention of family violence and other forms of violence against women, and has a Masters of Public Health.