Board of directors

Wayne Martin

Hon Wayne Martin AC QC - Chair
The Hon Wayne Martin Chairman of the Board since 1 January 2019. He was admitted to legal practice in Western Australia in 1977.  In 1984 he became Senior Litigation Partner with Keall Brinsden in Perth and then in 1988 joined the Independent Bar.  In 1993 he was appointed Queen’s Counsel.  Between October 1996 and October 2002 he was a Member of the Law Reform Commission, and from 1997 to 2001 served as its Chairman.  From 2001 – 2003, he took on the role of counsel assisting the HIH Royal Commission in Sydney.  In 2006, he became the 13th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia.  

In 2012, he was appointed a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia "for eminent service to the judiciary and to the law, particularly as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, to legal reform and education, and to the community".  He has held many positions as Chairman or Patron, and is also the Lieutenant Governor of Western Australia.  He was appointed inaugural Chair of the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity in 2013 and served in that capacity until 2017.  He retired from the office of Chief Justice in July 2018.

Professor Peter Leedman

Professor Leedman became Director of the Perkins in early 2014. He is head of the Laboratory for Cancer Medicine, Professor of Medicine at The University of Western Australia, an endocrinologist at Royal Perth Hospital, and is Chairman of Linear Clinical Research Ltd. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Steven Davis

Dr Stephen Davis
Dr Davis joined the Board in 2012. He is a Radiologist and Partner of Perth Radiological Clinic. He is a medical graduate of UWA, a Member of the Royal College of Physicians UK and Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists. He has clinical experience in Australia, England and the USA, including 14 years as a Consultant at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Dr Davis was Chairman of Perth Radiological Clinic for 9 years. He has experience as anon executive director in England and Australia and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jan Stewart

Mrs Jan Stewart PSM
Mrs Jan Stewart joined the Perkins Board in February 2015. Mrs Stewart held the position of CEO of Lotterywest from 1992 until December 2014, an organisation which in 2013/14 had a turnover of almost $A800 million. Mrs Stewart is a social worker by profession, having graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s Degree in Social Work. Her career prior to Lotterywest included 8 years as Chief Social Worker at Perth’s major paediatric teaching hospital. Mrs Stewart has held many voluntary board positions both locally and internationally including that of Senior Vice President on the Executive Committee of the World Lottery Association for more than eight years and was the inaugural position of President of the Asia Pacific Lottery Association from 1999 to 2004. She was reappointed to the Asia Pacific Lottery Association in 2012 and held that position until December 2014. She is currently alsomember of the Boards of Hale School, Save the Children Australia, Mercycare and the WA Opera. She is Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Social Impact. Mrs Stewart was awarded a Medal for outstanding service to the University of Western Australia in 2004, a Public Service Medal in the Australia Day Honours of 2009 and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

 Roger Port

Mr Roger Port
Mr Port joined the Board in April 2015. He is a chartered accountant and was a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers from 1997 to 2016. He has 30 years experience in financial analysis, company and business valuations, transaction due diligence and mergers and acquisitions and led the PricewaterhouseCoopers Perth Deals team from 2009 to 2016. Roger has previous board and audit and finance committee experience over a period of more than 15 years at Amana Living, the Financial Services Institute of Australasia and Perth Diocesan Trustees. He is a graduate of Macquarie University and gained a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia. He is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Roger is the Chair of Council of Guildford Grammar School and a board member of M G Kailis Holdings Pty Ltd, Eagle Mountain Mining Limited and Guildford Grammar School Foundation. 


Laurence Iffla 

Mr Iffla was Non-Executive Director of the Perkins from March 2005 and Chairman of the Board from 20 May 2009 until 31 December 2018.

He is a partner in the legal firm of Iffla Wade and prior to that was a partner for 25 years with the national legal firm Mallesons Stephen Jaques. He practices primarily in the area of commercial property law, State taxes and trusts and joint ventures.

Mr Iffla is a non-executive Director of the Perron Group and is Chairman of not-for-profit body Future Living Trust Inc. He is a former member of the Council of Law Society of Western Australia and previously held the position of Treasurer at the Society.

 Dawn Freshwater

Professor Dawn Freshwater

Professor Dawn Freshwater joined the Board in 2017. Professor Freshwater is the Vice-Chancellor of The University of Western Australia. Professor Freshwater received her doctorate at the University of Nottingham in 1998 and has been the recipient of numerous awards. She was elected to a Fellowship of the Royal College of Nursing in 2001. As an active academic Professor Freshwater serves on the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Research Excellence Framework panel; reviews and acts in an advisory capacity for the National Institute for Health Research and Medical Research Council and to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. She contributes to clinical academic fellowship panels and to awards of doctoral training centres. She sits on the NHMRC Women in Science Committee and leads the Athena Swan pilot for UWA.

 Steve Wesslingh

Professor Steve Wesselingh

Professor Wesselingh joined the Board in 2018. In October 2011 Professor Wesselingh took up the position as the inaugural Executive Director of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). Professor Wesselingh has also been appointed as the Infection and Immunity Theme Leader for the institute.

Professor Wesselingh was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University, from 2007-2011. Prior to taking up the Deanship, he was Director of the Burnet Institute an independent medical research institute specialising in infectious diseases, immunology and public health. 

Professor Wesselingh undertook his undergraduate and doctoral training at Flinders University/Flinders Medical Centre in South Australia and his post-doctoral training at Johns Hopkins in the United States. Professor Wesselingh is an Infectious Diseases Physician and researcher in Neurovirology, HIV and vaccine development. 

 Simon Biggs

Professor Simon Biggs (alternate director)

Professor Simon Biggs joined the Board in 2018. He is Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at The University of Western Australia (UWA), a role he commenced in March 2018. His portfolio responsibilities include Science; Health and Medical Sciences; Engineering and Mathematical Sciences; Arts, Business, Law and Education; Human Resources; and Innovation and Industry Engagement. 

Professor Biggs has academic experience at senior levels in Australia and the UK. Before his UWA appointment, Professor Biggs was Executive Dean for the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology at the University of Queensland.  Previously, he was in academic roles at the University of Leeds (UK), the University of Newcastle (NSW Australia), and held post-doctoral positions at the Institut Charles Sadron (Strasbourg, France) and the University of Melbourne (VIC Australia). 

His undergraduate and doctoral education was undertaken in the UK at the University of Bristol from where he has a PhD in Colloid Science. He is an elected Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. Professor Biggs is a director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC) Board, and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research Board. 

John Barrington

Mr John Barrington AM 
Mr Barrington joined the board in 2019.  Mr Barrington is co-founder and Executive Chairman ofapplied Artificial Intelligence healthcare company, Artrya. He is also Chair, Curtin School of Management Advisory Board and a Director of Creative Partnerships Australia and John Curtin Gallery. He recently stepped down from the Perth International Arts Festival Board which he chaired from 2015. He has more than 10 years’ experience in the information technology industry as well as a sound knowledge of start-ups and commercialisation, which is particularly pertinent for the translation of research at the Harry Perkins Institute.


Professor Peter L Thompson AM - Deputy Director
Mr Tony Spezzacatena - Chief Financial Officer

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