Michael Wong
Head, Global Health and Strategy - Executive Management Team
Shiva Shrestha, MHA 
Global Health Manager, Regional Vaccine Initiatives

Shiva joined NCIRS in 2021. Shiva has over 13 years of experience managing advocacy campaigns and projects on behaviour change communication,  capacity building and technical assistance on infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and Leprosy. Most recently he served as Head of Campaigns with Results Australia, undertaking high-level advocacy to raise funds from the Australian Government for multilateral institutions such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance. Between 2007 and 2017, Shiva worked in India with international organisations, including the International Union Against TB and Lung Diseases (The Union), FHI 360, PATH and Lepra, where he worked closely with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, state health departments, non-government organisations and corporate sector partners. Shiva is passionate about ending diseases of poverty and holds a Masters in Health Administration (MHA) degree from the Tata Institute of Social Science, India.

Kidest Nadew
Global Health Manager, Regional Vaccine Initiatives

Kidest Nadew joined NCIRS in June 2021. She is a healthcare professional with over 25 years of work experience in clinical care, healthcare program management, and education. In addition to working on in-country programs in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Australia, the Republic of Ireland and Nigeria, in areas such as child health, HIV/AIDS and PMTCT, prevention and management of infectious diseases, and human resources for health as hospital management and leadership advisor, Kidest has also collaborated with healthcare teams and ministries of health in Libya, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, PNG and Indonesia. She has led the development of multiple capacity-building programs in healthcare service delivery and leadership. Kidest holds a Masters of Health Science from the University of Sydney and is a doctoral candidate with Glasgow Caledonian University Health and Life Sciences.

Padmasiri Eswara Aratchige MBBS, MSc, GDipEpi, MD
Global Health Technical Officer

Padmasiri (Pad) joined NCIRS in February 2021. Pad is a medical graduate with postgraduate qualifications in epidemiology and community medicine. He previously worked at NCIRS from 2006 to 2008 as a research officer before joining the World Health Organization (WHO). He worked as a medical officer with WHO in tropical diseases and immunisation for 12 years in South-East Asia and the Western Pacific, including Pacific Island countries. He has also worked as a public health specialist in Sri Lanka and Botswana, and undergone advanced training in public health medicine in Australia. His particular interest is the introduction of new vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, in developing countries.

Guddu Kaur
Global Health Technical Officer

Guddu Kaur joined NCIRS in June 2021. She has a Bachelor of Health Science and is currently completing masters in global health. Before joining  NCIRS, Guddu has worked in low-resource and complex settings across the Pacific, Asia and Africa on surveillance systems for epidemic-prone diseases, outbreak response and disease control strategies. Guddu has a keen interest in vaccine preventable diseases and vaccine delivery to low-resources countries in the Indo-Pacific region. 

Dr Jana Lai  BSc (Biomedical Science), MAE, PhD
Global Health Technical Officer

Jana is an epidemiologist with over 11 years of public health experience across the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and Kiribati. She specialises in many disciplines, including laboratory, microbiology, vaccinology, communicable diseases, epidemiology, governance and health emergencies. Jana has previously worked at WHO as part of the Health Emergencies team in Lao PDR and across the different divisions in the country office to strengthen emergency preparedness and response. Her work covered all communicable diseases, including vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). Jana has supported countries to build their immunisation programs and responded to multiple VPD outbreaks, including cVDPV and measles in Lao PDR. Jana holds a Masters of Applied Epidemiology (MAE) from the Australian National University and a doctorate from Menzies School of Health Research on pneumococcal epidemiology in East Asia. 

Karina Stamef 
Global Health Program Officer

Karina has extensive experience coordinating project and program teams across multiple sectors, including ICT, telecommunications and the airline industry. Most recently, Karina worked as Community Engagement Manager at Sutherland Hospital, where she managed over 150 volunteers, the Consumer Advisory Group, fundraising and community engagement activities. Karina also supported the hospital’s Infection Prevention and Control Team in their response to Covid-19. Karina holds a Bachelor of Arts (Development Studies) from Macquarie University. She also worked in Tonga through the Good Return's Field Support Officer Program with a local microfinance organisation (South Pacific Business Development) that assists women with microenterprise development services.

Robyn Short  BAT, BPH
Global Health Program Officer

Robyn joined NCIRS in September 2021. Previously, Robyn has worked for major multinationals such as Microsoft and Novartis but transitioned into public health via a role with the International Diabetes Federation. She went on to manage their international aid program, Life for a Child, then active across 40 countries, encompassing diverse cultures and needs. A passionate advocate of equity in healthcare, Robyn worked jointly for the Seniors Rights Service and the Older Persons Advocacy Network before joining Health Infrastructure (NSW Health) on the $1billion Westmead Hospital Redevelopment and Westmead's Mother and Baby Unit, part of the State-wide Mental Health Infrastructure Program. She holds a Bachelor of Human Sciences, major in Public Health: Policy and Promotion (Macquarie University) and is currently completing a Master of Public Health and Master of Health Management at the University of NSW, specialising in Community Development and Public Security.

Heidi Williams
Administration Officer, Global Health 

Heidi joined NCIRS in June 2019. Previously, Heidi worked at Kids Research in various roles within the operations team for over 12 years. Heidi has experience in various areas of research, including operations support, administration and research animal care.

Last updated October 2021