President - Kirsty Rawlings

Kirsty Rawlings is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and is currently Vice President and President Elect of ESSA, and a Lecturer in Clinical Exercise Physiology at UniSA.

She has extensive experience as an Exercise Physiologist within private practice, university and government settings, having practised as an Exercise Physiologist for the last 22 years, and being a full member and Accredited Exercise Physiologist with ESSA since 2002. She led the SA ESSA Chapter as State President/Chair for four years, and contributed her skills and experience to the ESSA Exercise Physiology Advisory Group for 3 years. Kirsty has undertaken teaching, research and clinical roles with the University of SA. Kirsty has worked within South Australian and Australian Government in primary health care roles, managing the Primary Health Care and Workforce unit with Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Through her most recent roles at executive level in primary health care, within not-for-profits and social enterprises, Kirsty has gained extensive experience in corporate and clinical governance, strategic planning, risk management and legal compliance, industry research and stakeholder and member engagement.

She is passionate about advancing the professions of Exercise Scientists, Sport Scientists and Exercise Physiologists, and ensuring that graduates are equipped to operate within these sectors effectively.

Vice-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. 

Director - Dr. Simon Rosenbaum

Dr Simon Rosenbaum is a Research Fellow in the School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales and an Honorary Fellow at the Black Dog Institute and the George Institute for Global Health. His research interests are in the role of physical activity and exercise in improving the physical and mental health of people experiencing mental illness. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed publications and has experience working as an exercise physiologist in a variety of settings including public and private hospitals, general practice and community health centres.

Director - Prof. Steve Selig

Professor Steve Selig is the retired Chair in Clinical Exercise Science at Deakin University, was an academic in cardiovascular exercise physiology for 32 years, and is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Cardiology, The University of Melbourne. Since 2005, he has served as Director on the National Board of Exercise & Sport Science Australia (ESSA), and during most of that time he chaired two peak national advisory groups for ESSA. In addition, Steve twice led national initiatives to review and restructure the ESSA Professional Standards for Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEP). The professional standards covered by the work of Steve and his colleagues span the period 2008-2021. You could say that ESSA is one of Steve’s hobbies in retirement, along with keeping fit!

Steve’s academic leadership has been recognised by many awards, including the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in E-learning at Victoria University in 2002, and a National Citation for an Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning in 2006. In 2010, he was honoured to receive the ESSA President’s Award for services to clinical exercise physiology

Director - Prof. 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).

Director - Dr Emma Beckman

Dr Emma Beckman is a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Exercise physiology at the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, 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. Dr Beckman 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. Dr Beckman was recognised as a Female Leader in Exercise & Sports Science in 2019 by Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA). Dr Beckman 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.

Director - Philippa Ellis

Philippa Ellis joined the ESSA Board in March 2015 and serves on the Governance & Nominations Committee. She brings a wealth of corporate knowledge and extensive governance experience to the Board, underscored by a 30 year career in the financial services sector in Australia and New Zealand. Philippa is a team player with a unique ability to constructively challenge the status quo and a track record of getting things done resourcefully. Her strong business acumen, combined with whole brain thinking and curiosity, encourages innovation and enables wider perspectives to guide a business and drive change. Philippa has a natural ability to connect with people and build valued relationships in ways that promote collaboration and deliver successful business outcomes.

Throughout her life Philippa has enjoyed competing and participating in a variety of team and individual sports and has focused on keeping fit and healthy with regular exercise. Her true passion is “wellness” which is strongly aligned to ESSA’s vision “To enhance performance, health and well-being through the science of exercise and sport”.

Philippa is also currently a non-Executive Director on the Board of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia Australia.

Director - Emeritus Professor Julie Cotter

Julie Cotter is an experienced Non-Executive Director, Advisory Board Member and Committee Chair with a track record of ensuring strong governance and oversight for large, complex organisations. Current board roles include Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, and Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) Scientific Advisory Board. 

Julie is an Emeritus Professor of the University of Southern Queensland where she held executive positions including Head of the Department of Accounting and Director of the Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development, a commercial research unit. 

Julie is a Fellow of CPA Australia, Chartered Accountant, Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a life member of Coolaroo Australian Rules Football Club. Julie’s personal values and interest in health and wellbeing align with ESSA’s vision and mission. 

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.