ESSA National Board

Read about updates from the ESSA National Board

President - Dr Brendan Joss

Dr Brendan Joss is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and ESSA Fellow, and Managing Director of HFRC, where they deliver exercise based rehabilitation programs following complex orthopaedic surgery to optimise recovery. Brendan has worked as an AEP since 2001 at HFRC where he also completed a PhD in the Clinical and Biomechanical Comparison of Fixed vs. Mobile Bearing Unicondylar knee replacement in 2006. Subsequently, he undertook a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at Queens University, Canada. In conjunction with his clinical work, Brendan has continual involvement is applied research to develop evidence-based treatment models for orthopaedic and musculoskeletal conditions and holds an adjunct Assoc. Professor position at the University of Western Australia. 

From 2009 to 2014 Brendan served as a Director and Vice-President of the ESSA Board, in addition to a previous role as WA State Chapter chair. More recently being a member of the ESSA scientific conference organising committee for 2016, and the Chair of the organising committee for the ESSA Business forum in 2017. Having returned to the ESSA Board in 2017, Brendan is looking forward to contributing to the positive future direction of ESSA and its members. 

Vice-President - Dr Emma Beckman

Dr Emma Beckman is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Exercise physiology at the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia. Emma is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and an Accredited Sport Scientist (Level 2) and combines her interests in people with neuro-musculoskeletal impairments and in elite sport and channels this into a passion for para-sport. Emma is an accredited Paralympic Athletics Classifier both nationally and internationally, and volunteers for Athletics Australia and World Para Athletics in this capacity, having classified at two Paralympic Games and three World Championships. She was recognised as a Female Leader in Exercise & Sports Science in 2019 by Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA). Emma has a keen interest in inter-professional practice and collaboration and also undertakes research to help develop student competencies in working in teams.

Having served as a QLD State Chapter Chair for ESSA for a number of years, Emma is looking forward to contributing her expertise to the National Board.

Elected Director - Distinguished Professor Aaron Coutts
Aaron Coutts is a Professor in Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). He has published more than 150 scientific papers which mostly focus on improving our understanding of the factors that affect sporting performance. He has specific interest in conducting applied research and providing evidence-based recommendations for athlete monitoring, performance analysis and training design.

Aaron currently consults to several top-level professional sporting teams is an advisor to the Nike Sports Research Laboratory and the Digital advisory panel for the Australian Sport Commission. He has also been the recipient of an Australian Teaching and Learning Citation for outstanding contributions to student learning in sport and exercise sciences. He is currently an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance and Science and Medicine in Football. Aaron is also a practising Accredited Sport Scientist and a Director of Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA).


Elected Director - Associate Professor Steve Fraser
Associate Professor Steve Fraser has served ESSA and held various leadership positions in the profession including:
-ESSA Accreditation Council 2017-2021 (Chair 2019-20)
-ESSA Vic Director: Continuing Education 2011-2014
-ESSA Liaison Officer for Deakin University 2010-2015
-Chair Victorian Clinical Exercise Educators Group 2018-present
-Vice President, Council of Heads of Exercise, Sport & Movement Sciences (CHESMS) 2016-2021.

Steve was recognised in 2019 as an ESSA Fellow. His current position is Discipline Lead: Clinical Exercise in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University, and he is also Director of Deakin’s Masters of Clinical Exercise Physiology. He has previously been Course Coordinator, Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science, RMIT University 2004-2007. He is Co-lead, Exercise and Nutrition for Cancer Research Group, in the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, Deakin University. Steve has a career research focus on integrating AEP led exercise in clinical settings to improve health outcomes in people with chronic disease. He has a particular interest in exercise (and nutrition) for cancer patients including prostate, breast, lung, adolescent and young adult cancers, and haematological cancers.

Elected Director - Dr Niamh Mundell 

Niamh is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with a background in private practice and hospital-based practice. Niamh works as a practitioner and as a lecturer for the Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology at Deakin University. Niamh has also served on the ESSA Standards Council, and for several years on the ESSA Victoria Chapter. Interest areas include the role of AEP’s and exercise in managing chronic diseases, cancer recovery, mental illness and persistent pain. She was recently awarded her PhD on investigating the benefits of multimodal exercise for cognitive function and mood in men treated with androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer.

Elected Director - Ms Katie Lyndon 

Katie Lyndon is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Accredited Exercise Scientist with 17 years of health sector experience spanning health advisory consulting, senior level allied health association leadership, establishment of private practice and delivery of transformation and operational improvement projects across the health system.

Katie is currently a Director within the Deloitte Health Advisory practice - providing strategic and operational advice and support to clients across health and human services sectors. Katie has previously worked in an advisory role at Queensland Treasury Corporation, partnering with Hospital and Health services in the delivery of financial sustainability and operational improvement and transformation programs of work. Katie has a broad understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the exercise and sports science sector, through her previous roles as ESSA National Manager Policy and Advocacy and ESSA Standards Council member.

Appointed Director - Steve Telburn

Steve Telburn is an experienced CEO and director of technology companies. He currently provides innovation, strategy and growth advisory services to small and mid-market companies, including many in the sports science and healthcare sectors. Steve is an appointee of Innovation and Science Australia, a statutory board that advises the Australian government on science and innovation matters. Steve holds a BSc (Pharmacology, Psychology), an MBA and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Steve was the founder/CEO of five high-growth technology companies, all based on science developed within Australian research institutes. The companies developed products such as artificial intelligence platforms, customer service solutions and IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Steve secured investors and partners for each company, enabling growth into international markets. Steve also led the creation and management of an investment fund for an ASX-listed company, investing in IT, life-sciences and engineering companies.

Steve is a keen runner and lives on the Sunshine Coast with a fit and active young family.

Appointed Director - Dr Matthew Fisher

Adjunct Associate Professor Matthew Fisher joined the ESSA Board in April 2022 and brings broad experience in healthcare associations and tertiary education both as a CEO and as a director. He holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours), PhD and Graduate Diploma of Dietetics from Deakin University. Matthew was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of Health Studies by Charles Sturt University in recognition of his contribution to the development of the University and in improving regional health services. Matthew has attended Harvard and London Business Schools to explore leadership potential and its application in business.

Matthew is described as an astute and transformational leader of people and organisations, having an ability to enhance an organisational vision and outcomes by bringing people along a journey of collective and individual achievement. He has maintained a life long passion for ocean swimming and enjoys spending time on his SUP.  He looks forward to assisting ESSA achieve its Vision.

Matthew has been recently appointed the CEO of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists.

Appointed Director - Dr Tracie Edmondson

Dr Tracie Edmondson is an esteemed sports communication strategist and senior executive, boasting nearly four decades of experience in the media-sports realm. With an impressive portfolio spanning diverse sports such as National Ruby League, Women’s Hockey Australia and Surf Life Saving Australia, she’s also contributed her expertise to major state, national, and global events – including five Olympic Games, Rugby League World Cups, the AFC Asian Cup and the Invictus Games.

Tracie started her career as a print journalist specialising in sports coverage before transitioning into sport communication management and public relations. Presently, she holds the position of Head of Communication and Community Engagement at NSW Rugby League since 2015.

Beyond her professional achievements, Tracie holds a PhD in Communication (2022), a Graduate Diploma in Professional Communication (with a focus on Public Relations) and a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Journalism and Human Movement. She’s a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Director of Sport NSW since 2015.

Tracie is also a certified personal trainer and holds the NSW state masters records for 10km, half marathon, and marathon events.