Board Directors

Based on the 2020 NBPSA Constitution the NBPSA Board must have three and no more than nine Directors.

A Director's term can run for up to three years with one third of Directors positions being available for nomination each year. At least one Director must be an Ordinary Member based in New Zealand and one must be a Trainee Member.

The Board consists of four specific roles, the President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Membership Director appointed from the pool of Directors by election of the members at the Annual General Meeting.  

Current Directors

Dr Jane Lesslie

President

Professional history

Dr Jane Lesslie is a community paediatrician, specialising clinically in developmental-behavioural disorders. Jane was actively involved in the NBPSA from its inception. She held the role of Foundation Secretary for the society’s early years, followed by the Vice President role. Jane is now the NBPSA President.

Following an early medical career in general practice, Jane undertook her paediatric training in Perth, WA. She worked within the WA Child Development Service before moving east. She then worked as Clinical Director at the Royal Far West scheme in Manly, NSW. Following a move to Brisbane, Jane spent some years in the Child Development Network both as a consultant paediatrician and as a director. This is a multidisciplinary private practice dedicated to the care of children with developmental and behavioural difficulties. After returning to Sydney, Jane continues to provide clinical services in private practice at Developmental Medicine Consulting. Jane has also participated actively in the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, where she spent 7 years on the Specialist Advisory Committee in Community Child Health, first as an Advanced Training Coordinator, and subsequently as Chair of that committee.

NBPSA Board positions

President, 2020 - present, Vice-President, 2019 - 2020,  Vice-President 2016 - 2017, Foundation Secretary, 2012 - 2016

Dr Katie Heathershaw

Vice President

Professional history

Dr Katie Heathershaw is a developmental behavioural paediatrician. She trained at the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Centre for Community Child Health, later undertaking research and completing a thesis for a doctorate of medicine. Katie founded the Melbourne Children’s Clinic in 2001, the first private, multidisciplinary paediatric clinic of its kind in Melbourne. Katie’s clinical interests include child behaviour problems, developmental and learning disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorders and ADHD, sleep problems of infants and children, and infant distress.

NBPSA Board positions

Vice President 2020 - present, Secretary, 2017 - 2020

“Being on the Board of NBPSA has been a great experience. It’s rewarding to be involved in the workings of the society, developing new skills in leadership and advocacy as well as forming close links with like-minded paediatricians”.

Dr Karina Chaves

Treasurer

Professional history

Dr. Karina Chaves is a developmental-behavioural paediatrician based in the regional town of Albury-Wodonga, on the border of New South Wales and Victoria. She works in a clinical and teaching role at Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service, Albury Wodonga Paediatric Group and Albury Community Health Centre. She trained with the Victorian Training Program in Community Child Health, based at the Royal Children’s Hospital, before setting up a training position in developmental and behavioural paediatrics in Albury Wodonga. She teaches UNSW medical students and supervises advanced paediatric trainees in developmental-behavioural paediatrics. Karina has a particular interest in indigenous health, child and adolescent mental health and professional resilience.

NBPSA Board position

Treasurer, 2019 - present

“The Board Observer program gave me a bird’s eye view of the governance structures of the NBPSA. The program made me feel ready and keen to contribute to our profession outside of my clinical practice. I am excited to be part of this growing society and I value the emphasis that NBPSA places on professional resilience and excellence in the practice of neurodevelopmental and behavioural paediatrics.”

Dr Justine Noble

Membership Director

Professional History

Dr Justine Noble (pronouns she/her) is a developmental and general paediatrician working in a private clinic, and a GP hub in New South Wales. Her clinical interests include autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, LGBITQ+, mental health, gender dysphoria, gifted and learning disabilities. When Justine worked in research in Sydney Local Health District, her focus was on perinatal mental health and urban Aboriginal children wellbeing. She is currently interested in Telehealth care provision and pharmacogenomics and is doing independent studies on these. Her company, Noble Kids, also provides support worker and equipment hire through NDIS funding. Dr Justine is also on the Board of Directors for Reframing Autism. 
Justine is proudly neurodiverse, culturally and linguistically diverse, and is a proud mother of a vivacious child.

NBPSA Board Position

Membership Director 2021- present

"I am honoured to serve the NBPSA community. I am committed to do so to my best ability, responsibly, and with passion."

Professor Kim Oates AO

Director

Professional History

In 1974 Kim returned from Boston to establish the Community Paediatric Unit at Camperdown Children’s Hospital, with emphasis on helping children with developmental disabilities, communicating clearly with their families and coordinating care in partnership with community facilities. He learned much in the process, from other professionals and particularly from the children and their families. Other positions at the Children’s Hospital include: Head, Child Protection; Head, Child Development; Head, Children's Assessment Centre and Director of Medical Services. He was the Sydney University Douglas Burrows Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health and simultaneously was Chair, Division of Medicine at the hospital. He was the hospital’s Chief Executive from 1997 to 2006. He then became involved in university curriculum development, patient safety and developing programs for future health leaders in Australia, Vietnam and the USA.

NBPSA Board position

Director 2020 - present

Dr Kate Rowe

Director (Aotearoa New Zealand)

Professional History

Dr Kate Rowe graduated from University of Otago and trained throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. She also spent a year in Sydney as a child protection fellow at the Children's Hospital at Westmead to complete her FRACP in Community Child Health.  She now works as a developmental paediatrician in two public, multi-disciplinary child development services in the Wellington region. This provides a varied workload across initial assessments and long term care for a range of neurodevelopmental and behavioural conditions. She also works for an acute sexual assault service and provides paediatric support for a local ADHD primary care special interest group. Kate's clinical interests include autism spectrum disorder, ADHD and learning disabilities, along with child protection - particularly the health and wellbeing of children in and out of home care.  She enjoys teaching and supervising advanced trainees.

NBPSA Board Position

Director, Aotearoa New Zealand representative 2021- present

"The NBPSA is a fantastic society and it is a privilege to provide an Aotearoa New Zealand perspective to the board. I bring my integrity and enthusiasm to the position and look forward to growing my leadership skills. Tē tōia, tē haumatia"

Dr Mandira Hiremath

Director

Professional history

Dr Mandira Hiremath graduated from Monash University and completed her paediatric training at Monash Children’s, the Royal Children’s Hospital and Djerriwarrh Health Service. She now works as a general paediatrician at Djerriwarrh Health Service in outer metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. Through this service she is involved in multidisciplinary autism assessments for children from preschool to teenage years, the Pathway to Good Health Clinic, neonatal services and assessment and management of a variety of developmental-behavioural paediatric concerns. Mandira’s clinical interests include adolescent and young adult medicine, autism spectrum disorder and the impact of trauma on child development.

NBPSA Board position

Director 2020 - present

“I am excited about this opportunity of representing the ECC group on the NBPSA board. Being an ECC myself I hope to contribute to the establishment of a strong support system for my peers including providing avenues to network, readily available learning resources and exploration of career pathways.”

Dr Elise D'Abaco

Director (Trainee)

Professional History

Dr. Elise D'Abaco is an FRACP advanced trainee in general paediatrics and community child health. She completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine and Doctor of Medicine at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 2015. She has worked as a paediatric trainee for 5 years, across a number of inner city, outer metropolitan and rural hospitals. Elise completed a Masters of Paediatric Medicine at the University of Sydney, and has a longstanding interest in developmental and behavioural paediatrics. In 2021 she will continue to pursue this passion through undertaking the position of Community Child Health Fellow at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. 

NBPSA Board Position

Director (Trainee member) 2021- present

SP Communications Committee 2019-ongoing

‘Through my involvement in the SP Communications Committee, I have gained insight into NBPSA achievements, particularly in supporting paediatricians as a professional body. I am looking forward to working with the Board to advance the new 2021-2023 Strategic Plan and providing the trainee perspective' 


Previous Board Members