The nation’s peak body for health and medical research and innovation, Research Australia, has welcomed Managing Director of Telstra Health, Ms Elizabeth Koff AM, to its Board.

Chair of Research Australia Associate Professor Annette Schmiede said, “As the national peak body across all health and medical research in Australia, our Board is drawn from the leaders in our membership across our sector.”

“During her time as Secretary of NSW Health Ms Koff oversaw the NSW response to the Covid pandemic and advised the Government on the management of covid and the successful vaccine rollout. Elizabeth’s experience in both the public and private sector will provide an invaluable contribution to our strategic focus on health and medical research advocacy.”

Ms Koff said, “The pandemic demonstrated unequivocally the value of health and medical research. I am pleased to be joining the Research Australia board and contributing my support for this vital sector.”

Research Australia’s CEO, Nadia Levin said, “Ms Koff’s appointment reflects our recognition of the importance of cooperation between public, private enterprise and government when it comes to the broader scientific research endeavour in this country.

“Ensuring that Australia’s people continue to enjoy good health and a quality of life means we must make greater use of our research outcomes to drive greater health and economic impact.”

Research Australia has also expressed its heartfelt thanks to outgoing Director and past Telstra Health Managing Director, Professor Mary Foley. “Professor Foley’s contribution to the health and medical research community is immense and she will continue to share her deep health system expertise with Research Australia as part of our prestigious alumni group,” Annette Schmiede said.

In April 2022 Elizabeth was appointed Managing Director of Telstra Health, Australia’s largest digital health company and a subsidiary of Telstra Corporation.
Prior to this Elizabeth was Secretary, NSW Health for a six year term. As Secretary, Elizabeth was responsible for the management of the NSW health system, the largest health system in Australia with a $30 billion budget and 124,000 FTE. Key strategy achievements include the implementation of value based care across NSW, the progression of e-Health initiatives and a $2B/year capital infrastructure program. In 2020/2021 Elizabeth lead the NSW Health system through the COVID-19 pandemic and advised NSW crisis cabinet on the management of covid in NSW, and the subsequent vaccination roll out.
Elizabeth was chair of the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) and its subsequent iteration of Health Chief Executives Forum. She is also a member of Chief Executive Women.
Elizabeth was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday 2022 Honours.


Research Australia will hold the 19th Annual Health and Medical Research Awards on Thursday 8th December 2022, at the Metropolis, Melbourne.

As the national peak body for health and medical research, Research Australia’s Awards are highly regarded and coveted by the health and medical research sector. These prestigious awards are our recognition of the outstanding efforts and achievements of individuals and teams who drive and support the opportunities that health and medical innovation bring to each and every one of our lives.

Acknowledging talent and excellence in our sector is not only a key part of Research Australia’s role in advocacy for health and medical research, it is also paramount to encouraging future generations of great researchers. This event allows student, early to mid-career researchers and the sector’s more prominent influencers to share an experience which not only celebrates current innovation but encourages future growth in research, funding and corporate leadership.

Past Award winners include: Professor Brendan Murphy AC, The Hon Bob Carr, Lady Mary Fairfax AC OBE, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch AC DBE, Laureate Professor and 2018 Scientist of the Year, Nicholas Talley AC, Sir Frank Lowy AC, Connie Johnson OAM & Samuel Johnson OAM and Andrew Forrest AO and Dr Nicola Forrest AO.  Prominent politicians, both Federal and State, are invited to attend each year to speak and present the Awards.

For more information on Research Australia’s Annual Health & Medical Research awards and how you can nominate someone to win one of these prestigious awards visit the website.


Research Australia is the national peak body for health and medical research, representing the entire health and medical research pipeline.