TRI Board

TRI BOARD of directors

Read about the members of the TRI Board of Directors below. 






Dr David Watson has a PhD in accounting from Ohio State University, and has previously worked as Associate Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Professor of Accounting and Business Finance at the University of Queensland 1978-89, Head of the Department of Commerce 1978-82, and twice Dean of the Faculty of Commerce and Economics. He also served in the House of Representatives as MP for Forde 1984-87. He was then elected MP for Moggill at the 1989 state election, becoming Deputy-Leader of the Liberal Party until 1992. He was appointed a Parliamentary Secretary in 1996, becoming Minister for Public Works and Housing in 1997.

Following the government's defeat at the 1998 election, he was elected Liberal Leader and retired from politics at the 2004 election. In 2004, David was appointed a Commissioner for the Commission of Enquiry into the Integrity Management Systems in the Queensland Racing Industry. David is Deputy Chair of the Board of the Queensland Competition Authority and member of the Board of Directors of Tatts Group Limited. He is also on the board of the Accounting Hall of Fame (USA).

David has also been a non-executive Director of Sun Retail Pty Ltd, Stanwell Corporation Limited and Sun Gas Retail Pty Ltd. Dr Watson is a Fellow of CPA Australia and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.




Prof Robyn Ward is the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) at The University of Queensland.  She took up this role after many years of work within hospital and academic settings in New South Wales, including Director of the Prince of Wales Cancer Centre and Clinical Associate Dean at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

Until the end of 2015, Professor Ward was the Director of the Translational Cancer Research Network, a multi-institutional group based in NSW and supported by the Cancer Institute NSW; while for the Commonwealth, she chairs the Medical Services Advisory Committee and is a long standing member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.  Professor Ward was chair of the NHMRC’s Human Genetics Advisory Council and Member of the NHMRC council until June 2015.

Throughout her career, Professor Ward has shown a sustained capacity for innovative research into the range of issues that underlie the problem of human cancer. At UNSW, Professor Ward led an independent research group that has produced over 200 journal articles, letters and monographs, as well as several patents. As Head of the Adult Cancer Program at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre UNSW, and prior to that as a clinician researcher at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, she has made several important contributions to translational cancer research in the area of bowel cancer, including studies of the precursor lesions of this common disease, and the development of novel immunotherapies. More recently, she has used her expertise as a medical oncologist and clinical cancer geneticist to better define population-based screening strategies for hereditary bowel cancer. By recognising that constitutional epimutations of tumour suppressor genes can predispose to cancer, she has also helped to better define the medical management of individuals and families with these epigenetic changes.




Prof Sharma has played a leadership role in development of Australian research capability in information and communication technology.

He was co-founder of National ICT Australia Limited (NICTA) – Australia’s national centre of excellence, and was the inaugural Director of its largest research laboratory. He is a member of the Queensland Premier’s Smart State Council and a member of the Premier’s Business Roundtable.

His current board memberships include QMI Solutions Ltd, qutbluebox Pty Ltd, Cooperative Research Centre for Integrated Engineering Asset Management and Cooperative Research Centre for Smart Services.

He received a PhD in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1990, his postdoctoral training in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1990-91) and his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani in 1985.




Dr Ashby is one of the state’s most experienced clinicians and health administrators. In 2010, Dr Ashby was awarded a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia for service to emergency medicine, to medical administration, and to a range of professional associations. He is active across a broad range of medical areas, including teaching, research and consultancy.

Dr Ashby was most recently the Executive Director and Director of Medical Services at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH). He was appointed Director of Emergency Medicine at the Royal Brisbane Hospital in 1989, a post he held until his appointment as Executive Director Medical Services at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) in 2000. In the period 2000-2006, he also acted as District Manager at both the RBWH and PAH for lengthy periods.

Dr Ashby contributes to a significant number of organisations/committees. His roles include: Member, Australian Medical Council; Vice President Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (2010-2012); Board Member, Diamantina Health Partners; Board Member, Australian e-Health Research Centre; Member, e-Health Governance Board (Queensland Health) Chair, Queensland Policy and Advisory Committee on Health Technology; Member Queensland Health Renewal Executive Committee; Member, Queensland Health Clinical Innovation Board

Dr Ashby’s qualifications: MB BS University of Queensland 1976; Bachelor of Health Administration, University of New South Wales, 1986; Fellow, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners 1983 (FRACGP); Fellow, Australasian College for Emergency Medicine 1984 (FACEM); Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators 1986 (FRACMA).




Jim Walker is the Vice President and Managing Director of Rockwell Collins Asia Pacific.  Employing over 20,000 people, Rockwell Collins is one of the largest suppliers of avionics and communications' products to  the global aerospace and defence industries.

Jim has over 30 years’ experience in engineering, manufacturing and technology development in the aerospace industry. He has been the CEO of a number of companies and was also General Manager of The Boeing Company's Network Enabled Systems Business Unit in Australia. Prior to this, Jim served in the Royal Australian Air Force working in the areas of satellite operations, communications, intelligence, engineering and training.

Jim has held a number of Board appointments throughout his career and is currently the Chair of Mater Research and is a Director on the China Eastern and Rockwell Collins Joint venture in Shanghai.  Jim is a Member of the Order of Australia, an award which recognises his contribution to the Australian aerospace industry.