About A Better StartHealthy and successful lives for tamariki
Science Advisory Panel
A Better Start has appointed an international Science Advisory Panel, to provide critical appraisal, guidance and global benchmarking for our research.
Professor Ken Ong
Chair | Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology
Professor Martin Wabitsch
Professor Wabitsch is Head of Paediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Ulm University Medical Center, Germany.
Dr Robert Savage
Dr Savage is a Dean of the Faculty of Education at York University. From 2017-2021 he was the Professor and Head of the Department of Psychology and Human Development at University College London.
Professor James Chapman
Professor of Education Psychology
Professor Maree Teesson
Professor John Lynch
Professor Lynch is an epidemiologist and Professor of Public Health in the School of Public Health at the University of Adelaide.
Professor Harriet Hiscock
Professor Hiscock is a consultant paediatrician and National Health and Medical Research Council Practitioner Fellow based in Melbourne. She is Associate Director of Research at the Centre for Community Child Health; Director of the Royal Children’s Hospital Health Services Research Unit; and Group Leader, Health Services at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Her research focuses on developing, testing and implementing novel approaches to: (i) keep children out of hospital; (ii) reduce low value (wasteful) care; and (iii) integrate health, social and education services to improve health and wellbeing for children, including those living with family adversity.
Professor Terryann Clark
Terryann Clark (Ngāpuhi) is a registered comprehensive nurse with extensive experience in youth health, community health, sexual health, health promotion, youth mental health, and Māori health. She works part-time as a Professor in the School of Nursing and is the Director of the Doctor of Health Science Programme (DHSc).
We would like to acknowledge the contributions of those who helped in our set-up phase:
Distinguished Professor Dame Jane Harding of the Liggins Institute at the University of Auckland, Distinguished Professor Richard Faull of the University of Auckland, Distinguished Professor Niki Davis of the University of Canterbury, the late Emeritus Professor David Fergusson of the University of Otago and Cathy Wiley of the New Zealand Institute of Educational Research.
Our kāhui of Māori researchers and clinicians who offered strategic advice into the Challenge’s research and alignment with Vision Mātauranga:
Garrick Cooper, Senior Lecturer School of Māori and indigenous Studies University of Health, University of Canterbury
Dr Rawiri (David) Jansen, Clinical Director National Haurora Coalition. Ngati Raukawa decent.
Dr Rees Tapsell, Senior Lecturer Forensic Psychiatrist and the Director of Clinical Services for the Mental Health and Addiction Services of the Waikato District Health Board.
Cath Rau, specialises in indigenous language and culture regeneration and chairs the Ata Mai Educational Trust.
The group of Pasifika researchers who advised the Challenge on its research and engagement with Pasifika communities and alignment with Pacifika health research guidelines:
Dr Gerhard Sundborn, Senior Lecturer Pacific Health, University of Auckland.
Hilda Fa’asalele, Chief Advisor Pacific Health, Ministry of Health.
Dr Mele Taumoepeau, Associate Professor, Victoria University.
Mark Tulia, Programme Delivery – Integration Advisor, Ministry of Education.