New leadership for Health Security Systems Australia

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Health Security Systems Australia (HSSA), a division of the Australian public company DMTC, has announced plans to transition its leadership.

Dr Leigh Farrell, who has been involved with DMTC since 2015 and has led the division since its establishment in mid-2021, will soon step down from a full-time role and continue in an advisory capacity.

Dr Felicia Pradera, HSSA’s general manager, will be the new Head of HSSA effective from 1 January 2024.

“Leigh’s expertise and experience, and the way he has invested in the capacity and skillsets of the team, has been pivotal to the successful formation and rapid growth of the division,” said Dr Pradera.

“With its resolute focus on the development of game-changing technologies and its support for innovative and genuinely collaborative programs and projects, the division is well-positioned to continue to grow.”

Taking on the leadership of the division in July 2021 was always intended to be a focused and short-term assignment, said Dr Farrell.

“This transition period isn’t a reflection of a change in that plan, this was the plan,” said Dr Farrell. “Felicia is highly regarded here and internationally, and is the right person to take the division forward. I’m excited about the prospect of continuing to support the division and contribute to the delivery of specific projects.”

Dr Pradera remains on secondment to DMTC from the Department of Defence.

The CEO of DMTC, Dr Mark Hodge, said the division had already played a key role in elevating health security to be acknowledged as an important element of national security.

“The recent diversification of HSSA’s portfolio of activities beyond Defence is both timely and eminently sensible, noting that CBR threats to the health of military personnel are also threats to public health and to the civilian first responders deployed as part of any coordinated crisis response,” said Dr Hodge.