Meet the PICNIC Team

  • Richard Ball

    Richard Ball

    Chief Investigator

    Richard is an Accredited Practising Dietitian working in Health Promotion at the Mid North Coast Local Health District. Richard is coordinating the PICNIC Project as part of his PhD and providing support to Peer Educators in the Hastings Macleay Region.

  • Alison Walton

    Alison Walton

    Alison is a dietitian working in Health Promotion on the Mid North Coast. She has worked in Health Promotion for five years working with schools, canteens, parents and children to improve children's dietary intake and improve physical activity levels. ​Alison has also completed a Masters of Public Health. 

  • Rachel Gerathy

    Rachel Gerathy

    Rachel is a Dietitian working in Health Promotion on the Mid North Coast. She has over 12 years’ experience working with children and families in private practice and community based nutrition and physical activity programs. Rachel has a special interest in paediatric feeding difficulties, having completed additional training in both Australia and the United States.


  • Jacqueline Smith

    Jacqueline Smith

    Associate Investigator

    Jacqui is a Nutritionist (Bachelor of Nutrition) working in Health Promotion at Coffs Harbour Women’s Health Centre. Jacqui has worked as a Community Nutritionist for 7 years across Central QLD, regional NSW and New Zealand. Jacqui has a passion for using the Health at Every Size (HAES) model and will be assisting the implementation of PICNIC from Macksville to Coffs Harbour.

  • Professor Clare Collins

    Professor Clare Collins

    Associate Investigator

    Clare Collins is a Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics in the School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medicine at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

    Professor Collins holds a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellowship. She currently holds the position of Co-Director of the Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition.

    Clare has published over 300 manuscripts and supervised 25 Research Higher Degree candidates to completion.

  • Professor Gail Whiteford

    Professor Gail Whiteford

    Associate Investigator

    Professor Gail Whiteford is a Professor of Occupational Therapy in the School of Allied Health Science at Griffith University, Queensland. 

    Gail is an experienced qualitative researcher and has led several research teams, was a former Research Centre Director and was Australia's first Pro Vice Chancellor for Social Inclusion at Macquarie University.

    Gail's recent and current research projects include the Widening Participation project with Aboriginal Elders; as an Evaluator and Monitor for a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade funded program in Indonesia and as the Evaluation Lead for a refugee settlement service in Queensland.

  • Dr Kerith Duncanson

    Dr Kerith Duncanson

    Associate Investigator

    Kerith Duncanson is a Rural Research Program Manager for the Health Education and Training Institute (NSW Health), an Accredited Practising Dietitian, and Lecturer and Course Coordinator in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Newcastle. 

    Kerith’s PhD studies investigated how and what parents feed their children. Her experience in the Rural Research Capacity Building Program has fueled her interest in the research process, leading to her current role in researcher development for HETI.

    Kerith’s current research interests are diverse and include gastrointestinal nutrition, Aboriginal health and nutrition, child feeding and health education.

  • Dr Tracy Burrows

    Dr Tracy Burrows

    Associate Investigator

    Tracy is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian who is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

    Her major research areas include dietary assessment, validation methodologies, childhood obesity, food addiction and has published over 80 scientific manuscripts.

  • Dr Andrew Bailey

    Dr Andrew Bailey

    Associate Investigator

    Dr Andrew Bailey is the District Manager Health Promotion, Mid North Coast Local District (MNCLHD). He is a clinical psychologist with over 15 years' experience in specialist paediatric and family health settings, and has worked in senior management and executive roles in both Health and Family and Community Services. 

    Dr Bailey holds a BA (Psychology) (Hons) and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. Dr Bailey is currently an Associate Investigator on a number of research programs with extensive experience in developing stakeholder partnerships. He is a representative on NSW Healthy School Canteen Reference Group and the NSW Regional Health Partners Healthy Weight Strategy Working Party.

  • Emma Davidson

    Emma Davidson

    Social Media Advisor

    Emma is currently in her final year at the University of Newcastle undertaking a Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics (Hons). Emma's previous experience includes 5 years in Public Relations and Digital Marketing, working with numerous leading brands.  Emma's rural upbringing has fuelled her desire to influence health outcomes in rural and remote communities.