Australian Dietetics Council (ADC)

The Australian Dietetics Council (ADC) is the governance structure for DA accreditation and recognition services and has been operating since July 1, 2009. ADC’s primary function is to provide independent high level strategic advice, on matters relating to accreditation and recognition, to the DA Board. ADC has a key continuous quality improvement role ensuring that DA delivers accreditation and recognition services that are efficient, effective, equitable, accountable and transparent and are framed in a best practice model.

The guiding principles of ADC are to:

  • Enable transparency for members, clients, health services and the Government
  • Enable separation of policy and operational functions
  • Enable broader representation
  • Enable greater independence thus reducing potential conflict of interest
  • Support a move to a business model ensuring a more sustainable service
  • Support corporate governance principles and enable greater accountability
  • Link across other related DA councils and committees, such as the Dietetic Credentialing Council (DCC).

Composition of ADC

The ADC comprises nine members appointed by the Board for a two year term. Of the nine members there are three senior academic dietitians, three senior practitioner dietitians and three external members.

Senior Academic Dietetic Members

BSc, MNutDiet, MPH, Grad Cert Hlth Prof Ed, PhD, FDAA

Claire Palermo joined the ADC in 2018 as an academic member and is  serving her first term. She is a Fellow of the Dietitians Australia and has over 20 years of experience as a Dietitian. Claire has been an academic since 2004 and graduated over 700 students into the profession. Claire is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food and Deputy Director of the Monash Centre for Scholarship in Health Education.  Claire has been awarded a national teaching citation (2016) and teaching excellence award (2017) and a national office for learning and teaching fellowship (2014). Claire is an active member of the profession and served on the board of directors from 2007 to 2011. Claire has forged a research career in competency-based assessment and workforce development. She is Associate Editor (Qualitative methodology) for Nutrition & Dietetics.


PhD, GradDipSocSci, GradDipDiet, PGradDipHlthProm, BSc(Hons), FDAA

Lauren Williams joined the ADC in 2013 as an academic member and is currently serving her third term. She is a Fellow of the Dietitians Association of Australia and has over 30 years of experience as a Dietitian and DA member, including two terms as Vice President and three terms as Associate Editor for Nutrition & Dietetics.  Lauren is a member of the Council of Deans of Nutrition and Dietetics Australia New Zealand. She has been an academic since 1992 and has graduated 23 cohorts of dietitians across three Universities. Her current role is Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Griffith University. Prior to that she held equivalent positions at the Universities of Canberra and Newcastle, and still holds honorary professorial positions with her former faculties. Lauren is an active researcher and promotes the need for mixed methods research to strengthen the evidence base in Nutrition and Dietetics. She actively encourages honours and PhD level research in dietetic graduates and was awarded a Vice Chancellors Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning for enhancing the research skills and Honours participation rates of N&D students. She has had 10 PhD completions since graduating from her own PhD in 2004.

PhD, DipNutDiet, BSc, FDAA, Fellow of SDA

adc-fiona-pellyFiona Pelly joined the ADC in 2015. Fiona is the Discipline Leader in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of the Sunshine Coast and was responsible for establishing this discipline. She has extensive experience in curriculum development and review. She is a a Fellow of the Dietitians Association of Australia with 27 years’ experience, including 20 years in the area of sports nutrition, and has experience in private practice and consultancy to The Wiggles (10 years), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), National Rugby League (NRL) teams, and individual Olympians. Fiona is internationally recognised for her expertise in food provision at major sporting competition events, and has evaluated the menu for six Olympic and two Commonwealth Games since 2000. Fiona is interested in the translation of knowledge about nutrition and nutrient requirements into food and whole diets, diet quality, and eating behaviours. She is also interested in nutrition and dietetic practice, and the relationship to student training.

Senior Practitioner Dietetic Members

PhD, MHSci, GradDipNutrDiet, GradDipEd, BSc, AdvAPD

Merrilyn Banks was appointed to ADC in 2013. Merrilyn is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian and the Director Nutrition & Dietetics and Executive Director Research at Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital. Her PhD investigated malnutrition in hospitals and residential aged care facilities and its consequences, with pressure injury as a case study.  Her ongoing research interests are in the areas of nutrition in pressure injury and wound healing, improving nutrition delivery through nutrition support systems and food services. She was awarded an NHMRC Health Professional Research Training Fellowship (2012-2015) which she undertook part time alongside her clinical director duties.  She holds Adjunct Assoc Professor appointments at UQ and QUT, and currently supervises 5 PhD students and one MPhil student. She has received a number of professional awards including in 2013 a QUT Outstanding Alumni Award (Faculty of Health); and Special Excellence Award for service to the community.

PhDNutrDiet, Grad Cert (Paed Nutr), GradDipNutrDiet,  BSc, APD

Carmel Smart is a Paediatric Endocrine Dietitian at the John Hunter Children’s Hospital, Newcastle and holds a Conjoint Senior Lecturer position with the University of Newcastle. In 2016, she was awarded a Clinical Research Fellowship to support translation of her research findings into clinical practice. Carmel’s main research interests are in the impact of the different macronutrients on blood glucose levels and ways to optimise glucose control after meals. She is the invited lead author on international guidelines for the dietary management of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes and the invited Australian representative on the new Managing Diabetes in Preschool Children Guidelines. Carmel is an invited member of the faculty of the JDRF Type 1 Performance in Exercise and Knowledge Group, and a co-investigator in the Australian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network. Carmel was elected an advisory council member of the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) and convenor of the ISPAD Health Professionals Science School.

BSc, GradDipNutrDiet, AdvAPD

Annabel Sweeney joined ADC at the end of 2018. Annabel has been a member of DA for over 30 years and has been an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian since 2008. Annabel is the Manager of Nutrition at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide South Australia and holds academic status for Flinders University, South Australia. Annabel has worked in all clinical areas of paediatric and women’s nutrition and after 30 years continues to work in the speciality area of inborn errors of metabolism (IEM). She has conducted and published research and presented nationally and internationally in IEM and has been actively involved in the Australasian Society of Inborn Errors of Metabolism (ASIEM). Annabel has been a member of many DA accreditation review teams.


External Members

DEd, MEd, GradDip FE&T, Grad Cert Hum Res Mngmt, BNurs( Hons1), BHlthSci(Nursing)

adc-jane-conwayJane Conway was appointed to the ADC in 2013. Jane is a Professor in Teaching, Learning and Scholarship, Deputy Head of School and Chair of Teaching and Learning in the School of Health at the University of New England. Jane has expertise in problem based learning as a curriculum and instructional design and has applied this to health and other education in regional, national and international consultancies in health professional education and health workforce development. Her Masters degree specialised in distance and online learning and competency based education and her doctorate examined the role of educationalists as leaders in organisational change. Jane has worked as the state-wide consultant in education and training to NSW Health and has provided consultancy in the development of leadership and management development programs, design of online courses in primary care and reviews of health service delivery models. Jane is also Registered Nurse who is active in the accreditation of nursing courses in Australia and is a member of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council.

DEd, MEd (Curriculum), Dip T (Primary), Grad Dip Ed (TESOL), BA

Susanne Owenadc-susanne-owen joined the ADC in 2014 as the accreditation expert from other professions. Susanne holds a Doctor of Education and Master of Education (Curriculum) qualification and Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Teaching and several other post-graduate qualifications. Over 35 years, she has worked as a teacher, high school leader and state education department manager. She has also worked for the South Australia teacher registration board where she led the development of registration standards and competency standards. As Director of Owen Educational Consultancy, Susanne developed accreditation standards and competency standards for various national health bodies and led national projects related to university programs in pharmacy and law.  Over 50 publications, book chapters and conference papers reflect her academic research work.  She is currently the community representative on the Qualification and Skills Assessment Committee for the podiatry profession.

John Stubbs joined ADC in 2019.  John holds degrees in Accounting and Arts and is a regular speaker at medical conferences in Australia and internationally about health policy, cancer advocacy, clinical trials, research and related issues.

Nineteen years ago John was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia. He had a successful bone marrow transplant in 2001 and called upon his experience to become a committed and passionate advocate for people affected by cancer.

John was awarded an Honorary Associate of the University of Sydney – School of Medicine in 2009 for work in the promotion of Clinical Trials in Australia and a Recognition Award from the Federal Department of Health in 2011 for – “Long standing commitment to advancing the quality of radiation oncology services in this country”.

He currently holds three Board positions – Cancer Institute NSW; Health Consumers NSW, NSW Illawarra and Shoalhaven Health District as well as a member of Federal and State Government Health and Research Committees.

John has contributed to over 44 research papers as an Investigator and Associate Investigator.


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