The Implementation Taskforce has a central role in preparing for the practical implementation of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act (2017) and will provide expertise, focus and leadership.

The Department of Health and Human Services will act as secretariat to the taskforce while it investigates, advises on and oversees implementation.

During the 18 month implementation period, the taskforce will coordinate resources, processes and systems needed to ensure safe and compassionate access to voluntary assisted dying. This includes developing community information and consumer guidelines, substance and dosage guidelines, the permit process, clinical guidelines, a training program and models of care and protocols.

A range of resources are already available under the Community and consumer information and Health practitioners and services information sections.

Implementation Taskforce terms of reference


Julian Gardner AM (Chair)* Mr Julian Gardner is a lawyer and immediate past Victorian Public Advocate, with extensive experience in advocating for vulnerable people. He is currently deputy chair of Alfred Health and the chair of Mind Australia Ltd, and has previously served as president of the Mental Health Review Board.
Dr Catherine Mandel

Dr Catherine Mandel is director and councillor for the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Victoria; councillor, Faculty of Clinical Radiology, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists; director, Colac Area Health; director, Victorian Doctors Health Program; radiologist, Swinburne University of Technology; and secretary-general for the Australian and New Zealand Society of Neuroradiology. Dr Mandel is representing AMA Victoria on the taskforce.

Felicity Topp** 

Ms Felicity Topp is the Chief Executive Officer of Peninsula Health. 

Felicity is an experienced health administrator and a qualified nurse. Most recently she worked at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre where she was the Deputy Chief Executive, and prior to that the Chief Operating Officer.  

She has also held senior roles at Barwon Health and the Royal Melbourne Hospital. 

Felicity also has a Masters of Public Health, Bachelor of Nursing Science and Bachelor of Health Counselling.

Dr Greg Mewett

Dr Greg Mewett is a palliative care physician in the Grampians Regional Palliative Care Team at Ballarat Health Services. He works across bed-based, consultancy and home-care settings.

Mr Jarrod McMaugh

Mr Jarrod McMaugh is a practising pharmacist and proprietor in Coburg. He is a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) national policy and advocacy committee, current PSA Victorian Branch vice president, and the chair of the National and Victorian PSA voluntary assisted dying working groups. He is representing the PSA on the Taskforce.

Professor John Catford

Professor John Catford is the executive director, Academic and Medical at Epworth HealthCare. Professor Catford has extensive experience as an emeritus professor in public health, and is currently the inaugural chair of the Latrobe Health Assembly and a member of the Clinical Council, Melbourne Primary Health Network.

Professor Margaret O'Connor AM* Professor Margaret O'Connor AM is an Emeritus Professor of Nursing at Monash University. She has extensive clinical and academic expertise in palliative care, and has previously served as president of Palliative Care Australia, and as a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Mary Draper AM*

Ms Mary Draper AM is a board director at Austin Health and immediate past CEO of the Health Issues Centre. She has experience and expertise in academic and practical health administration in quality and safety, and analysing healthcare from a consumer's point of view.

Molly Carlile AM

Ms Molly Carlile AM hasa longstanding and extensive clinical and leadership experience in home-based, acute and bed-based palliative care, person-centred end of life care and a particular interest in community engagement and death literacy. She has held multiple senior leadership roles in the sector and is currently CEO of a large metropolitan community health service.

Associate Professor Morton Rawlin AM

Associate Professor Morton Rawlin AM is a practising GP in Melbourne and adjunct associate professor at the Department of General Practice, Sydney University. He has extensive experience in general practice medical education at all levels, including as a general practice supervisor and medical educator. He is representing the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners on the taskforce.

Associate Professor Peter Hunter

Associate Professor Peter Hunter is a senior geriatrician and clinical program director of Rehabilitation, Aged and Community Care at Alfred Health. He is also the chair of the Care of the Older People Network and associate professor of Aged Care at Alfred Health. Peter has a long standing interest in quality improvement and person-centred care.

Tricia Malowney OAM*

Ms Tricia Malowney OAM is a health advocate for people with disabilities and is currently board chair of Independent Disability Services. She was the inaugural president of the Victorian Disability Services Board and previously served as deputy chair as the Victorian Disability Advisory Council.

* Member of Ministerial Advisory Panel on Voluntary Assisted Dying

** From 1 October 2018

Working with the community

The Implementation Taskforce will engage broadly with stakeholders and community groups to ensure they are included throughout implementation.

The taskforce will approach stakeholder engagement based on a set of principles that:

  • Put the person, and the needs of the person, at the centre in considerations about implementing voluntary assisted dying.
  • Respects the expertise and knowledge of the range of people supporting others approaching the end of their life.
  • Acknowledges the differing views among providers about voluntary assisted dying, recognising that individuals may wish to contribute to implementation activities, but choose not to participate in voluntary assisted dying.
  • Focuses on problem solving and the resolution of contentious issues to ensure compassionate and safe implementation of voluntary assisted dying in Victoria.
  • Implements voluntary assisted dying in a way that respects the diversity of culture and values among Victorians.