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Ethics Advisory Group

Fostering the spirit of collaboration, the Ethics Advisory Group was formed to assist the Caroline Chisholm Centre for Health Ethics in guiding Catholic Healthcare Ethics formation, through interpretation and application, further enabling the Catholic healthcare sector to deliver ethics based care to the communities in which they serve.

Margaret Somerville

Professor of Bioethics
School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame, Sydney

  • Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal 2013
  • UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics in Science 2004
  • AM, FRSC, A.u.A (pharm.), LL.B. (hons),
  • D.C.L., LL.D. (hons. caus.), D.Sc.(hons. caus.), D.Hum.Let.(hons. caus.).
  • Emerita Samuel Gale Professor of Law; Emerita Professor, Faculty of Medicine;
  • Emerita Founding Director, Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, McGill University,
  • Professor of Bioethics, School of Medicine (Sydney campus), Affiliate of the Institute for Ethics and Society, The University of Notre Dame Australia
  • Samuel Gale Professor of Law Emerita, Professor Emerita in the Faculty of Medicine, and Founding Director of the Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law Emerita at McGill University, Montreal
  • Active in the worldwide development of bioethics and in the study of the wider legal and ethical aspects of medicine and science
  • Widely published works include Death Talk: The Case Against Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide (2002); and The Ethical Imagination: Journeys of the Human Spirit (2006). Her most recent book is Bird on an Ethics Wire: Battles about Values in the Culture Wars (2015).
  • An invited speaker at numerous international conferences on ethical and legal aspects of science and society
  • A regular contributor to all forms of media.

Reverend Doctor
Hoa Trung Dinh

Lecturer in Moral Theology and Bioethics, Catholic Theological College, Melbourne

  • BTheol (MCD) MBBS (Melb) MBioethics (Monash) MTS (MCD) STL (Weston), PhD (Boston College)
  • A priest of the Society of Jesus in Australia
  • Trained as a medical doctor and practised medicine for five years before becoming a priest
  • Holds the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Melbourne, a Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Master of Bioethics from Monash University, Master of Theological Studies from the MCD University of Divinity, Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and Doctor of Philosophy from Boston College (USA). His doctoral research studied the virtue-based approach to medical ethics. 
  • Lectures at Pilgrim Theological College of the University of Divinity in Contemporary Christian Ethics
  • Serves on the ethics committee of the Mercy Hospital for Women, and in the advisory committee for the Catholic AIDS Ministry of the Archdiocese of Melbourne
  • Main academic interests include virtue ethics, biomedical ethics, scripture and ethics, narrative ethics, and ethical issues related to HIV/AIDS.

Dr Daniel Fleming

Group Manager Ethics & Formation, St Vincent’s Health Australia, Sydney

  • PhD in moral philosophy and theology
  • Previously Dean of Studies and Senior Lecturer in Theology and Ethics at The Broken Bay Institute
  • Conjoint lecturer for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Newcastle
  • Adjunct lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Tasmania
  • Author of over 20 publications in the areas of theological ethics, moral theology, social ethics, religious education, moral education and theology

Reverend Associate Professor
Cormac M. Nagle

Hospital Ethicist, Mercy Hospital for Women, Melbourne

  • Sr Maria Cunningham Lifetime Contribution Award 2015
  • D.C.L., Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Moral Theology, OFM, Degree in Sabbatical Studies in Bioethics
  • Involved in Catholic healthcare since 1974, starting as a lecturer in bioethics to midwives at Mercy Hospital
  • Lectured in social justice and ethics
  • Worked as a hospital chaplain
  • Served on Mercy Health’s Research Ethics Committee
  • Has had a number of articles published on ethics and morals including: “Public Policy and Morality” Compass 38:4(2004)9-14; “A Natural Law Approach to Ethics and Morals” Chisholm Health Ethics Bulletin 12:4(2007)4-7; “Freedom in the End of Life Context,” Chisholm Health Ethics Bulletin 13:4 (2008): 4-7. “Genetic Testing and Insurance.” Chisholm Health Ethics Bulletin 15 (2010:4): 9-12. “Person-centred care” Health Matters 59 (Spring 2011) 30-31.
  • Teaches and provides expertise in the areas of Human Research, Ethics, Bioethics, as well as Mission and formation to Catholic Health Australia members
  • Assisted with course development and presentation of Catholic Health Australia’s inaugural Online Ethics Course, launched in 2015

Dr Caroline Ong

Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea

  • M.B.,B.S. (University of Melbourne), FRACGP, Dip RANZCOG, MA in Bioethics and Health Policy (Loyola University, Chicago)
  • A Religious Sister of Mercy and general medical practitioner
  • Serves as a part-time GP at The Clinic Deer Park in Melbourne’s western suburbs, an accredited GP supervisor with the Victorian Metropolitan Alliance, and supervises GP registrars at The Clinic Deer Park
  • Holds a Fellowship with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • Completed her Master of Arts in Bioethics and Health Policy at Loyola University in Chicago in 2013
  • Previously a part time senior research assistant of the Caroline Chisholm Centre for Health Ethics
  • Research interests include end of life care as well as the integration of spirituality, bioethics and medicine
  • Currently working on PhD

Xavier Symons

Research Associate at the Institute for Ethics and Society, The University of Notre Dame Australia

Xavier Symons BA(Hons.), MA (Res.) is a Research Associate at the Institute for Ethics and Society, The University of Notre Dame Australia. He is also a bioethicist on Austin Health’s Human Research Ethics Committee, and a member of the Ethics Advisory Group for the Caroline Chisholm Centre for Health Ethics. Xavier has published several papers on bioethical topics, in journals such as the Medical Journal of Australia and the Journal of Medical Ethics. He is a regular contributor to The Conversation, and deputy editor of the online bioethics news service  In May-June Xavier was an academic visitor at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, The University of Oxford.


Associate Professor
Bernadette Tobin

Director, Plunkett Centre for Ethics, Sydney

  • BA, M Ed (1st class), MA (Philosophy) (1st class), PhD (Ed)
  • Lay member of Medical Tribunal NSW; Honorary Consultant to the Sydney Institute of Palliative Medicine; Previously Chair of AHEC’s sub-committee revising Ethical Guidelines on Assisted Reproductive Technology; member of Council of Australians Donate; member of NSW Ministerial Advisory Council on Biotechnology; member of AHEC; member of executive of Australian Bioethics Association; Chaired AHEC’s Transplantation Ethics Working Party
  • Lecturer in Philosophy with Melbourne’s Institute of Catholic Education, and then with Sydney’s Catholic College of Education
  • Inaugural (ARC funded) Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Appointed Foundation Director of the Plunkett Centre for Ethics at Australian Catholic Univeristy and St Vincent's Hospital Sydney
  • In 1996 was made Senior Lecturer (then Associate Professor and Reader) in Philosophy at ACU
  • Honorary positions with a number of Australian Universities
  • Published book chapters on issues in ethics and healthcare ethics in particular, and co-authored articles in refereed journals such as the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, the Journal of Law and Medicine, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, Clinical Ethics, and the Medical Journal of Australia
  • Serves on the Editorial Board of Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics.
  • Significant contributions to a range of hospital and governmental advisory bodies dealing with research and professional ethics and public healthcare issues, and boards of professional healthcare and bioethics associations

Reverend William Uren

Rector, Newman College, Melbourne

  • SJ, AO, BA (Hons), MA, BD MCD, DipJuris Sydney, MLitt Oxon, Hon.D.Univ. ACU
  • Entered the Jesuits in 1954, studied at Universities of Melbourne and Sydney, ordained in 1968;
  • Studied at the University of Oxford and the Melbourne College of Divinity
  • Lectured in moral philosophy and bioethics at Murdoch and Edith Cowan Universities (Perth), the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland.
  • Foundation Director of the Goody Centre for Bioethics in Perth
  • Rector of three Jesuit University Colleges: Newman College, St Thomas More College in Perth and St. Leo’s College in Brisbane.
  • Provincial Superior of the Australian and New Zealand Province of the Society of Jesus
  • Served on clinical and research ethics committees in hospitals, institutes of medical research, universities and professional bodies
  • Former member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council (2001-2006)
  • Currently board member of Melbourne College of Divinity, formerly board member of Cabrini Hospital, the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and Boystown Family Care; foundation Chair of the Xavier College Council
  • Published widely on issues such as the law and abortion, moral and ethical aspects of assisted reproduction, euthanasia, stem cell research, treatment of the human embryo, gene therapy, ethical dilemmas in rationing the health dollar and informed consent for research