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The executive team in a meeting

External Advisory Group (EAG)

Meet the members of our External Advisory Group

The External Advisory Group (EAG) - also known as the Lambert Initiative Non-Executive Advisory Board - providies strategic guidance and external engagement opportunities.

The appointed members are influential in their fields and have a wealth of experience across a range of industries. The EAG is governed by Terms of Reference.

Duncan Ivison

Chair of the Advisory Board

Professor Duncan Ivison

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Professor of Political Philosophy, Duncan Ivison has research and teaching interests in contemporary political theory, the history of political thought and moral philosophy.

Prior to this role, he was Dean of the University of Sydney's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 2010. He has also held appointments at the University of Toronto and the University of York.

As DVC Research, Professor Ivison is responsible for helping to develop and deliver the University’s research strategy, and supporting the pursuit of outstanding fundamental and applied research across the institution. His portfolio is responsible for commercialising research and facilitating partnerships with industry as well as providing access to University expertise, ideas and technologies for research and development

Kathryn Refshauge


Professor Kathryn Refshauge

Professor Kathryn Refshauge is Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney. She is a member of several boards and committees in the health sector, as well as various professional and research bodies. She has served on human research ethics committees and was involved in the Excellence in Research for Australia initiative.

Professor Refshauge was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Student Supervision in 2011 and a national award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council in 2011. She holds several honorary professorial appointments and is a member of editorial board of international journals.

Carole Ireland

Carol Ireland

Carol Ireland is CEO and Managing Director of Epilepsy Action Australia. She has an extensive background spanning 35 years in the not-for-profit human services sector and has held a variety of executive positions in operations, service delivery, marketing and fundraising.

Carol currently serves on the Australian Advisory Council for the Use of Medicinal Cannabis and Steering Committee for the NSW government’s Paediatric Epilepsy Trials (Medicinal Cannabis Research). She is also a founding Director of the newly constituted Medicinal Cannabis Council.

In her role at Epilepsy Action she has had significant contact with many individuals and families who are faced with managing very challenging forms of medication resistant epilepsy, with few or no options left in the conventional treatment bucket.

Carol has heard and seen the changes in people’s lives, including reduction in the severity and frequency of seizures, resulting from use of medicinal cannabis. She is a strong and active advocate for people living with epilepsy. 

Barry Lambert

Barry Lambert

Barry Lambert is a business man, medicinal cannabis advocate and philanthropist.

The Lambert Initiative is the outcome of an unprecedented pledge of $33.7 million by Barry and Joy Lambert to the University of Sydney in order to fund long-term research into the medicinal potential of the cannabis plant.

Barry is the Chairman of Ecofibre Limited which owns leading USA based Nutraceutical and Hemp producer Ananda Hemp.


Michael Lambert

Michael Lambert

Michael Lambert is the son of Barry and Joy Lambert, and the father of Katelyn.

Patrick McGorry

Professor Patrick McGorry

Professor Patrick McGorry is known world-wide for his development of the early intervention services for youth. He is Executive Director of Orygen, the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, and founding editor of Early Intervention in Psychiatry.

Professor McGorry is Professor of Youth Mental Health at The University of Melbourne. He also led the advocacy, which resulted in the establishment by the Australian government in 2005 of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, which in 2006 became Headspace, and he remains a Founding Board Member of that organisation.

Professor McGorry has published over 500 peer-reviewed articles in the major international journals and has raised over $150m for mental health research during the last decade. He has played a key advocacy and advisory role to government and health system reform in many parts of the world.

Accolades include:

  • Australian of the Year and Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2010
  • Recipient of the Annual Research Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in Washington DC in 2013
  • Awarded the Lieber Prize for Schizophrenia Research by the US-based Brain and Behaviour Foundation (formerly NARSAD) in 2015
  • In 2016 he became the first psychiatrist to be elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Suzanne Pierce

Suzanne Pierce works for the Centre for Medicinal Cannabis Research and Innovation, Office of the NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer.

Suzanne has held a range of senior management roles in government and the university sectors, working in science and medical research for over ten years. She has led complex policy and regulatory reform projects, including development of infrastructure and support for clinical trials and research translation. She is completing her Doctorate in the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney.

Roger Pertwee

Professor Roger Pertwee

Professor Roger Pertwee’s research on cannabinoid pharmacology began in 1968 at Oxford University, and continued at Aberdeen University from 1974.

Professor Pertwee's achievements include the joint discovery of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin in cannabis, and of endocannabinoids, the discovery of a CB1 receptor allosteric site, and the pharmacological characterization of phytocannabinoids and notable synthetic cannabinoids.

Accolades include:

  • The ICRS 2002 Mechoulam Award
  • The BPS 2011 Wellcome Gold Medal
  • The 2013 IACM Special Award.

Professor Pertwee has served as IACM chairman, and twice as President of the ICRS.

Ingrid Scheffer

Photo credit Paul Burston

Laureate Professor Ingrid Scheffer

Laureate Professor Ingrid Scheffer is a physician-scientist. Her work as a paediatric neurologist and epileptologist at the University of Melbourne and the Florey Institute has led the field of epilepsy genetics over more than 20 years (in collaboration with Professor Samuel Berkovic and molecular geneticists). This resulted in identification of the first epilepsy gene and many genes subsequently

Professor Scheffer has described many novel epilepsy syndromes and refined genotype–phenotype correlation of many disorders. Her major interests are in the genetics of epilepsies, epilepsy syndromology and classification, and translational research. She collaborates on research focused on the genetics of speech and language disorders, autism spectrum disorders, cortical malformations and intellectual disability.

She led the first major reclassification of the epilepsies in three decades, published in March 2017, for the International League Against Epilepsy Commission for Classification and Terminology.

Accolades include:

  • 2007 American Epilepsy Society Clinical Research Recognition Award
  • ILAE Ambassador for Epilepsy Award
  • 2013 Australian Neuroscience Medallion
  • 2013 Emil Becker Prize for child neurology 
  • L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Laureate for the Asia-Pacific region for 2012.

In 2014, Professor Scheffer was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and also elected as Vice-President and Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. She was a co-recipient of the 2014 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science and she was awarded the Order of Australia in 2014.

Mark Ware

Associate Professor Mark Ware

Dr Mark Ware is Associate Professor in Family Medicine and Anesthesia at McGill University. He is the Director of Clinical Research of the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the McGill University Health Centre, co-Director of the Quebec Pain Research Network, and Executive Director of the non-profit Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids (CCIC). He is a family physician who practices pain medicine at the Montreal General Hospital and at the primary care pain clinic of the West Island of Montreal.

Dr Ware’s primary research interests are in evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medicines derived from cannabis (cannabinoids), population-based studies of the impact of pain on the population, and the role of complementary therapies in pain and symptom management.

His research is funded by the Arthritis Society, ALS Canada, the Canadian HIV Trials Network, FRSQ, CIHR, and the Louise and Alan Edwards Foundation.

A graduate of the University of the West Indies (MBBS 1992), Dr. Ware worked at the MRC Sickle Cell Unit in Kingston Jamaica from 1996-1998 where he developed his interests in pain management and cannabis therapeutics. He moved to McGill University in Montreal, Canada in 1999 and since then secured the only two Canadian federal grants to study medical cannabis.

He has published over 90 papers on pain and cannabis, 6 book chapters, and given over 200 scientific talks to local, national and international audiences. 

Dr Ware has served as an advisor to the Canadian government since 2001 on medical cannabis policy, most recently as Vice-Chair of the Federal Task Force on the legalisation and regulation of cannabis in Canada.

Phillip Wright

Philip Wright

Dr Philip Wright is the Chief Scientist for the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI). He is responsible for maintaining science excellence and developing effective science strategy for the Department’s significant ($100 million) portfolio of research.

As Chief Scientist, Dr Wright provides high level advice on technical issues and research policy to the Department and the broader NSW Government. He consults widely with academia, industry and government to ensure knowledge and research can be adapted and used to benefit NSW primary industries and the NSW community.

Dr Wright has contributed to government policy in a number of important areas including gene technology, medicinal cannabis, licit poppies, the use of research as a mechanism to address coal seam gas and agriculture land use conflict, and on delivering cross-jurisdictional initiatives.

Dr Wright holds a number of board or senior committee appointments including being the NSW representative on the Gene Technology Standing Committee and a member of the National Research and Innovation Committee.

In addition to his science qualifications (Ph.D, M.Sc, B.Sc.) Dr Wright also holds an Executive Masters in Public Administration. Prior to his senior science leadership roles Dr Wright undertook research on plant physiology of drought tolerance and on a range of plant nutrition and crop physiology issues. He has published widely and is highly cited.