About Us – Hepatitis ACT

Hepatitis ACT is Canberra’s community hepatitis organisation. We are funded by ACT Health to deliver a comprehensive range of hepatitis related information, education, training, advocacy, policy, preventative and referral services. We aim to reduce transmission, and the associated morbidity and mortality, and to minimise the personal and social impacts.

Overview of services

Hepatitis ACT delivers a comprehensive range of services including hepatitis-related information and education, training and workforce development, health promotion, prevention (needle and syringe program), resource distribution, support, advocacy and referral.

Click here for more information about support provided by Hepatitis ACT

Organisational history

Before the creation of an ACT hepatitis organisation, members of our community requiring information about viral hepatitis needed to contact the then newly established “NSW Hepatitis C Council”. In the early days of the community response to hepatitis C, Councils such as NSW’s were formed by affected communities and others. They included a federally funded Australian Hepatitis Council – now operating as Hepatitis Australia – serving as the peak community organisation to progress national action on issues of importance to people affected by hepatitis C. Today, Australia is well served by Hepatitis Australia and a national network of state/territory hepatitis organisations.

Hepatitis ACT until late 2013 was known as the ACT Hepatitis Resource Centre,and before that the ACT Hepatitis C Council. Over the years we have been situated in a range of locations – and currently we enjoy a leafy inner-north outlook at 36 David St, Turner (opposite the O’Connor Shops).

Organisational structure

Hepatitis ACT is an incorporated association operating under the Associations Incorporation Act 1991. We are a not-for-profit, membership-based, non-government organisation responsible to our members through an elected Board of Directors. Our staffing profile is:

  • Executive Officer – responsible for day-to-day operations and service delivery
  • Business Manager – ensuring the quality and efficiency of administration functions
  • Education Coordinator –responsible for the planning, implementation and evaluation of our community education and health promotion activities
  • Hep B (CALD) Community Education Project Officer

Board of Directors


Melanie WalkerMelanie Walker is the President of Hepatitis ACT and the Chief Executive Officer Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL).

Prior to commencing in her current role, Melanie was an independent consultant and worked for a number of years as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Public Health Association of Australia.Melanie has also held a range of senior positions in the Commonwealth Public Service across various portfolios including the Service Delivery Analysis Branch of the Department of Human Services, the Substance Use Section of the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and the Drug Strategy Branch of the Department of Health and Ageing.Melanie was also previously a Senior Policy Officer with the Corrections Health and Alcohol and other Drugs Programs in the ACT Health Directorate.

Prior to joining the public service, Melanie worked as a consultant to the Australian Parliamentary Group for Drug Law Reform, a coordinator of a community-based alcohol and other drug service, an advisor to the ACT Chief Minister and a Queensland Senator, a project officer with the Alcohol and Other Drugs Council of Australia and as a broadcast journalist.

Vice President

LaurenLauren Bradley currently works in Community Development with a focus on vulnerable and marginalised groups.Before moving to Canberra, she spent several years in Ecuador as Country Coordinator of a not-for-profit organisation for disadvantaged children. Following that she spent a period of time as Operations Manager for a medical not-for-profit managing medical clinics in remote areas of the Amazon and the Andes ensuring that rural communities had access to health care.

Whilst completing a Bachelor of International Development and Diploma of Languages (Spanish), Lauren undertook an internship at the International Labor Organization in Jakarta as a Policy Officer, contributing to a study on Indonesia’s largest employment capacity building programme. She also has a Masters in Applied Project Management.


Sharon Tuffin is the Chief Executive Officer for Karralika Programs, having previously held the role of Services Director for 4 years. Sharon has almost 25 years’ experience in the health and social policy fields across government, private sector and community sector organisations. Sharon is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has a commitment to good governance, holding several Board Director positions with not for profit organisations in the ACT in the alcohol and other drug, homelessness and community services sectors. Sharon has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) and a Postgrad Diploma in Public Health.

Gaylene Coulton began her healthcare career as a Registered Nurse, later specialising in domiciliary palliative care and post graduate clinical education. Gaylene then moved into business development and executive management, including 3 years leading care services across a statewide health, welfare and aged care organisation.

Building on her passion to establish an integrated primary health care sector, in 2008, Gaylene became the CEO of a Division of General Practice. In November 2011, Gaylene established her own executive management consulting firm undertaking a contract to establish South Weston Melbourne Medicare Local (SWMML) as a new not-for-profit company which officially opened in July 1, 2012. She then spent six months as the Transitional Chief Executive Officer before being appointed inaugural Chief Executive Officer in December 2013.

Gaylene has held national and state board positions and is an experienced Company Secretary. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. The skills and experience Gaylene brings to Hepatitis ACT include governance, leadership and executive management (including financial and business development), knowledge of the health system, policy planning, strategic planning, and stakeholder engagement.


Sharon Flanigan is currently heading up a human resources area in a community based organisation, having previously held senior positions in the Commonwealth Public Service across numerous portfolios. Sharon has almost 30 years’ experience working across a diverse range of health programs, policy development, program delivery, public health emergency management, service delivery, corporate services and Indigenous affairs. Sharon has previously held several Board positions with not for profit organisations in the ACT in the community services sector. Sharon has a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management and a Masters of Public Administration and is passionate about leadership and strong governance. She brings a range of skills to the Board including policy and program development, strategic planning and analysis, leadership and extensive knowledge of the health system.

Srinivas Machikanti is a strategy and public policy consultant at Nous. He blends his background in economics and education to develop pragmatic, rigorous and client-focused solutions. At Nous, Srini has worked with a range of clients across the education, health, justice and utilities sector. His prior experience includes working as a teacher at a low socio-economic school through the Teach For Australia program, and working as a financial policy consultant for an NGO in the Solomon Islands.

Our vision

Continuing reduction in the prevalence of viral hepatitis, with people affected by hepatitis in our community:

  • making respected and meaningful contributions to decision making that affects their lives
  • having full access to relevant information, care, treatment and support, and
  • enjoying a full range of rights in keeping with Human Rights legislation and the Ottawa Charter, irrespective of culture, age, religion, sexuality, social or economic status and race.

Our values

  • We act with respect and integrity.
  • We enable self-determination.
  • We provide inclusive and confidential services.
  • We work together to be leaders in our field.
  • We value accountability and evidence based practice.

Strategic Plan 2013 – 2016

  • People in the ACT are aware of the transmission of viral hepatitis and take appropriate action.
  1. Implement a range of education and health promotion projects to raise awareness about viral hepatitis in the general community and in priority populations.
  2. Work in partnership with other organisations to ensure that people at risk of contracting viral hepatitis are aware of transmission risks.
  • Priority populations including people living with viral hepatitis have ready access to testing, treatment and support.
  1. Inform priority populations including people living with chronic viral hepatitis about testing and treatment pathways and how to access support.
  2. Build referral pathways between Hepatitis ACT and other support organisations.
  3. Discrimination is reduced, and quality of life is improved for those affected by viral hepatitis.
  4. Raise the profile of viral hepatitisas a chronic condition affecting many in the Canberra community, especially within priority populations.
  5. Develop and implement programs and services to encourage people living with viral hepatitis to self-manage their condition.
  6. Develop quality resources for the diverse range of people living with viral hepatitis.
  • Discrimination is reduced, and quality of life is improved for those affected by viral hepatitis.
  1. Raise the profile of viral hepatitisas a chronic condition affecting many in the Canberra community, especially within priority populations.
  2. Develop and implement programs and services to encourage people living with viral hepatitis to self-manage their condition.
  3. Develop quality resources for the diverse range of people living with viral hepatitis.
  • Funding bodies and policy makers in the ACT recognise hepatitis C and hepatitis B as serious and ongoing health priorities
  1. Advocate for and contribute to reduce the impact of viral hepatitis in the ACT community.
  2. Build the organisational profile and expertise of Hepatitis ACT as the ACT’s community hepatitis organisation.
  3. Develop effective relationships with decision makers, policy makers and leaders in the ACT community and encourage effective action to ensure the interests of priority populations including people living with hepatitis are recognised and addressed.
  • Hepatitis ACT is a sustainable and well governed organisation
  1. Ensure Board arrangements are aligned with current community governance practices.
  2. Work towards financial sustainability for the ongoing work of the organisation.
  3. Maintain an organisational environment that supports staff and delivers results.
  4. Ensure continuous improvement at all levels of the organisation.

Annual Reports

Click here to download the annual Report 2013-14
Click here to download the annual Report 2014-15
Click here to download the annual Report 2015-16
Click here to download the annual Report 2016-17
Click here to download the annual Report 2017-18


Hepatitis ACT is funded by ACT Health. We gratefully acknowledge the ACT Government’s ongoing support.

The Hepatitis B Community Education projects are supported by a community grant under the Hepatitis B Community Education Project administered by Hepatitis Australia and funded from the Australian Government, Department of Health, under the Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissible Infections Prevention Programe.