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Wind Farms and Human Health Reference Group 

Credit:  Australian Government; National Health and Medical Research Council | www.nhmrc.gov.au ~~

Member information and Declarations of interest

NHMRC asked each expert reference group member to document their interests and involvement (financial and non-financial) in activities regarding wind turbines and human health issues. The members were also asked to consider perceived conflict of interest as well as real interests.

The members were specifically asked to identify, to the best of their ability, interests regarding:

  • Relationships or support for pharmaceutical companies or other companies whose products or services are related to Wind Farms and human health;
  • Affiliations or associations with organisations having an interest either for or against the issue;
  • Involvement in the development of guidelines, standards, education material or fact sheets relating to wind farms and human health; and
  • Financial interests or relationships including honoraria, research funding, consultancies, employment or ownership.

Reference Group Members

Professor Bruce Armstrong (Chair)

Professor of Public Health and Medical Foundation Fellow, Public Health
School of Public Health
The University of Sydney

Relevant experience:

  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science
  • Honorary Life Member of the Public Health Association of Australia.
  • Honorary Member of the International Association of Cancer Registries.

Professor Armstrong is internationally recognised for his research into the causes and prevention of skin cancer and melanoma.  His present research covers genetic and environmental causes of cancer and the quality and performance of cancer services.

Declared Interests:

Professor Armstrong has no declared interests.

Professor Ronald Grunstein

Professor of Sleep Medicine, Central Clinical School
Woolcock Institute of Medical Research
The University of Sydney

Relevant experience:

  • Professor Grunstein is a staff specialist physician in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and has an honorary appointment in respiratory and sleep medicine at St Vincents Hospital Sydney.
  • He has a strong interest in translational clinical research in sleep health and current interests involve metabolic and neurobiological effects of sleep loss.

Declared Interests:

Professor Grunstein has no declared interests.

Professor Debra Rickwood

Professor of Psychology
Faculty of Health, University of Canberra
Head, Clinical Leadership and Research
Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation

Relevant experience:

  • Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society.
  • Holds adjunct appointments at the Centre for Mental Health Research, ANU and Orygen Youth Health at the University of Melbourne.
  • Professor Rickwood is a social and behavioural scientist who researches the factors that affect people’s mental health and wellbeing, focusing on help-seeking behaviour and access to appropriate support.

Declared Interests:

Professor Rickwood has no declared interests.

Professor Wayne Smith

Director, Environmental Health Branch, NSW Health
Conjoint Professor of Epidemiology, University of Newcastle
Honorary Professor of Public Health, University of Sydney

Relevant experience:

  • Professor Smith has extensive epidemiological methodological experience including, conducting, analysing, interpreting and publishing on a range of areas in epidemiology. Professor Smith is working in the areas of genetic and molecular epidemiology, and the health consequences of the built and industrial environment.

Declared Interests:

In his capacity as Director, Environmental Health Branch at NSW Health, he has been required to undertake the following tasks relating to wind turbines and their health effects; comment objectively on potential health risks from environmental sources, comment on guidelines, attend meetings with interested parties to discuss scientific evidence and critically appraise grey literature in briefings to the Chief Health Officer and Minister for Health.

He holds two professorial positions, neither position, or the associated duties causes any past or foreseeable conflicts of interest.

Professor Michael Abramson

Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine
School of Public Health & Preventative Medicine
Monash University

Relevant experience:

  • Professor Abramson is an environmental epidemiologist and respiratory physician with interest in public health issues including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), allergies and their occupational and environmental risk factors, including air pollution. 

Declared Interests:

Professor Abramson has no declared interests.

Dr Elizabeth Hanna

Convenor – Climate Change Adaptation Research Network – Human Health
Fellow, National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health
ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment

Relevant Expertise:

  • Dr Hanna’s research investigates the impacts of environmental determinants on population health, and the adaptive or preventive responses adopted by community members and the health sector. Her expertise lies in environmental health assessments, health impacts of exposures to climate change, heat and chemicals, and occupational health and safety. 

Declared Interests:

Guideline Development:

As National Convener of the Environmental Health Special Interest Group, Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA), Dr Hanna developed PHAA’s policies on climate change.

Research Funding:

Is a Coordination Investigator (CI) on several NHMRC grants researching the health impacts of climate change.


The Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) developed a Submission to the Inquiry on the Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms. Dr Hanna was not an author or contributor to the report, however, during the development phase she was on the CAHA email list and had access to draft versions.

Dr Hanna is also the Royal College of Nursing Australian representative on the CAHA Committee of Management.

Dr Norm Broner

Practice Leader – Acoustics, Noise and Vibration
Sinclair Knight Merz

Relevant experience:

  • Dr Broner has over 30 years of consulting experience in Acoustics, Noise and Vibration. Through his consulting experience he has been heavily involved in the preparation of Environmental Impact Statements and with the preparation of Environmental Management plans.

Declared Interests:

Guideline Development:

Developed low frequency noise limits that have been adopted by the NSW Department of Planning.


Has published papers on infrasound and low frequency noise since 1976.

Anne McKenzie

Consumer Advocate
The University of Western Australia’s School of Population Health and the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research

Relevant experience:

  • Anne has a key strength in providing a bridge between consumers / community members and stakeholder groups. Anne understands the importance of networks, collaborative partnerships and systems to enhance consumer and community input and participation at a strategic level of an organisation.

Declared Interests:

Ms McKenzie has no declared interests.

Source:  Australian Government; National Health and Medical Research Council | www.nhmrc.gov.au

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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