Diversity and Inclusion committee

The Monash BDI Diversity and Inclusion committee is a research and advisory committee which provides guidance and recommendations to the People and Culture committee, which directly advises the Monash BDI Executive.

The committee’s terms of reference are aligned with the Monash University Diversity and Inclusion framework, encompassing matters relating to:

  • Gender equality and equity
  • Indigenous staff and students
  • Staff and students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Staff and students from low socio-economic backgrounds
  • Staff and students of diverse genders, sexes and sexualities
  • Staff and students with disabilities or ongoing health conditions


  • We strive to provide a balanced, inclusive and rewarding work culture, in order to attract, develop and retain the world’s best researchers.
  • We recognise that an equitable workforce brings strength and diversity of thought for the broader benefit of the workplace


In 2015, a group of senior researchers chaired by Professor Kim Cornish and Professor John Carroll formed the first Faculty of Biomedical and Psychological Sciences Gender Equity Committee.  Professor Moira O’Bryan took over as chair of the renamed Monash BDI Gender Equity committee in 2016. These groups focused on understanding and addressing a lack of diversity in senior academic and leadership positions.

In 2017, under the leadership of Professor Dena Lyras, the committee was renamed the Monash BDI Equity Committee, to broaden the remit and promote a more equitable, inclusive culture for all our staff and students. After an audit across all aspects of the Monash BDI, specific processes were instigated to address inequity issues and changes continue to be implemented.

The current committee membership was established in 2020. The committee aims to promote diversity and inclusion across five intersecting themes:

  1. Gender equity
  2. Culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  3. Diverse genders, sexes and sexualities
  4. Disabilities and ongoing health conditions
  5. Inclusion regardless of socio-economic background

A Mental Health and Wellbeing committee, led by Associate Professor Priscilla Johanesen, is currently in development.

Meet the committee

  Dr Anne Fletcher (she/her)

Chair, Monash BDI Diversity & Inclusion committee
Head, Stromal Immunology laboratory
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Monash Biomedicine Discovery institute
Phone: +61 3 9905 1743
Email: Anne.L.Fletcher@monash.edu

“An equitable workplace is healthier, fairer and more productive. My aim is to continually appraise our performance, identify opportunities for growth, and recommend achievable initiatives. I also sit on the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Diversity and Inclusion committee."

Professor Dena Lyras

Deputy Director, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
Chair, Monash BDI People and Culture Committee
Department of Microbiology.
Phone: +61 3 9902 9155
Email: Dena.Lyras@monash.edu

“Scientific research is about creative thinking and ideas – diversity in people brings diversity in thinking and generates better collective outcomes, and everyone should have an equal opportunity to participate in something that is so important to our community.”

Ms Andreea Arsenie (she/her)

Senior HR Business Partner
Email: andreea.arsenie@monash.edu

“I am passionate about building a stronger culture of equity, diversity and inclusion throughout our Monash community.”

Associate Professor Jane Bourke

Head, Respiratory Pharmacology Laboratory,
Department of Pharmacology
Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
Email: jane.bourke@monash.edu

“I'm passionate about diversity with inclusion to create opportunities for an equal voice and to foster a supportive environment where different perspectives are valued.”

Ms Bianca Chan

Manager, Research and Engagement
Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
Email: bianca.chan@monash.edu

“I believe diversity is critical for paradigm shifting science- diversity of thought, training, and background enrich our research teams at the Monash BDI and makes us what we are today. Now, more than ever,  we need to support and celebrate our diversity. I am excited to work with the new Diversity and Inclusion Committee to deliver new initiatives that do this.”

Ms Julie Dao

PhD candidate, Department of Physiology, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
Student representative, Monash BDI Diversity & Inclusion committee
Email: kim.dao@monash.edu

“I am passionate about D&I as I believe we need to acknowledge and share the diverse experiences of all our staff and students regardless of discipline, sexuality or discipline.”

Dr Ayan Dasvarma (he/him)

School and Institute Manager
Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and School of Biomedical Sciences
Email: ayan.dasvarma@monash.edu

I am passionate about diversity and inclusion because it is through recognition, celebration and respect of a wide variety of viewpoints, backgrounds and experiences that everyone can feel engaged and collaborate meaningfully, driving innovation and success individually and as a whole.”

Dr Luke Formosa (he/him)

Research Fellow , Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
Email: luke.formosa@monash.edu

“When people are confident to be their authentic selves, that's when they are capable of their best- that is why Diversity and Inclusion are important to me.”

Dr Jason S. Massey (he/him) 

Lecturer, Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology
Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
Email: jason.massey@monash.edu

“My passion for diversity and inclusion stems from being an anatomy educator to first and second year medical students and its importance in teaching them to recognise that variation is not a deviation from "normal" but the definition of Normal.”

Dr Terry Kwok-Schuelein.

Senior Lecturer, Department of Microbiology
Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
Email: terry.kwok@monash.edu

“In diversity there is beauty and there is strength” - Maya Angelou

“Being a mother, a lecturer and a lab head of a team made up of members of different genders and social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, I witness on a daily basis how diversity and inclusion empower talents, enrich our lives, and drive creativity; we need to do everything to respect and promote these essential values.”

Associate Professor Martin J. Stone (he/him).

Associate Professor (Research and Teaching)
Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute.
Email: martin.stone@monash.edu

“My commitment to supporting equal opportunity stems from my experiences as a committed educator, supervisor, mentor, colleague, parent, and partner of a successful woman, as well as my fundamental belief that social equity benefits both individuals and society as a whole.”