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