Donna is a graduate of The University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Science (Hons). She obtained her Ph.D. at the Australian National University and began her career as a researcher in the biomedical sciences, initially working in the United States. She returned to the ANU as recipient of a prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) QEII Fellowship. Subsequently, she was awarded the Howard Florey Young Investigator Medal. During her research career, Donna published over 30 papers, including articles in Nature, Science, Cell, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and Oncogene.
After leaving research in 1998, Donna worked in science communication and completed a Masters in Public Policy and Management (MPPM) at Monash University. She spent two years working in the Victorian Department of Human Services (DHS) in public policy concerned with biotechnology and ethics, where she served as the Executive Officer of the DHS Human Research Ethics Committee and worked on the development of two codes of ethical practice.
Donna’s period at DHS was followed by four years as Associate Professor and Director of the Strategic Projects Development Unit in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University. During this time, Donna and her team of project officers contributed to more than 50 research and education initiatives across the faculty.
Establishment of the Health Sciences Program at the Monash University Peninsula campus, comprising new disciplines in Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy and Health Science. This included a period as Head of the Health Science discipline, including all aspects of curriculum development and implementation for the new Bachelor of Health Science course.
Development of the proposal to the Australian Government making the case for the establishment of a graduate-entry medical school at the Monash Gippsland campus.
Conduct of a major administrative review of the Faculty research portfolio.
Development of the Northern Victoria Regional Medical Education Network (NVRMEN) project. Her contribution included concept development, co-authoring the original proposal to government, preparing infrastructure submissions to state and federal government totalling nearly $20 million, and driving the collaborative relationship between Monash University and the University of Melbourne for this project.
Preparation of a detailed proposal to the Australian Government for a $70 million, 20-year longitudinal study of men’s health, on behalf of Andrology Australia.
Since establishing darcy associates in 2008, Donna has built on her diverse project experience and has been a significant contributor to initiatives aimed at improving and expanding the clinical education and training capacity of Victorian health services. She has assisted newly established Medicare Locals and GP Super Clinics with strategic and operational tasks and has facilitated strategic planning activities with a number of specialist medical Colleges. More recently, Donna has facilitated expert roundtables examining emerging issues in health and medical research.
Donna is a highly skilled researcher, analyst, policy adviser and facilitator, who has extensive experience in managing project teams and working with diverse stakeholder groups.