The CEO of Emerge Australia, Dr Heidi Nicholl, has today announced her resignation after more than 3 years in the role.
In acknowledging her exceptional contribution and performance as CEO, Emerge Australia Board Chair, Mark Clisby, highlighted Dr Nicholl’s untiring advocacy and drive for improving all aspects of the ME/CFS environment – research, public and health policy, diagnostic and clinical frameworks, access to better and more appropriate services, community education, and above all advice and support for people with ME/CFS and their carers in Australia. “Dr Nicholl leaves Emerge Australia in a very much stronger and more sustainable position and on behalf of the Board, staff, volunteers and the ME/CFS community I thank her for her leadership and commitment.”
During her time at Emerge Australia, Dr Nicholl has strengthened Emerge Australia’s role at a national level; advocated strongly for systemic reform at all levels of government, and for improved access to better healthcare for people with ME/CFS; lobbied for increases in community support and to drive more biomedical research into ME/CFS; and introduced a range of community, national and international events and initiatives that aim to increase awareness of ME/CFS as a biomedical illness.
Particular contributions have included establishing a telehealth nurse service, GP Education program, appointment of the first Emerge Australia Celebrity Ambassador, MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner and a professional, twenty-first century ready InfoLine for enquiries. Dr Nicholl has built strong relations with a key group of philanthropic supporters and also secured a range of research related partnerships, funding and projects including a $1million grant from philanthropic trust, the Mason Foundation, to establish the first Australian ME/CFS biobank and patient registry, and the launch of the Open Medicine Foundation Australia (OMF Australia) in late 2020, following a fundraising partnership with OMF.
Dr Nicholl leaves Emerge Australia in mid-May and has accepted the newly created role of CEO at Humanists Australia.