Our expert advisors

An experts advisory group has been established to guide the development of the Tūmanako project and includes:

Professor Julia Rucklidge

Professor of Clinical Psychology, Mental Health and Nutrition Research Group

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Julia completed her PhD at the University of Calgary in clinical psychology followed by a two year post-doctoral fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. In 2000, she joined the Department of Psychology where she teaches child psychology in the Clinical Psychology Programme. Her interests in nutrition and mental illness grew out of her own research showing poor outcomes for children with significant psychiatric illness despite receiving conventional treatments for their conditions.

In the last decade, she and her lab has been running clinical trials investigating the role of broad-spectrum micronutrients in the expression of mental illness, specifically ADHD, mood disorders, anxiety and stress associated with the Canterbury earthquakes.

Julia has over 100 peer reviewed publications and book chapters, has been frequently featured in the media, and has given invited talks all over the world on her work on nutrition and mental health. She was the recipient of the Ballin Award 2015 from the NZ Psychologist Society, an award that recognises notably significant contributions to the development or enhancement of clinical psychology in Aotearoa New Zealand. She was also named in the top 100 Most Influential Women in New Zealand in 2015 and received a Braveheart award in 2018 for her contribution to making Christchurch a better place to live. Her 2014 TEDx talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dqXHHCc5lA has been viewed over 900,000 times. 

Julia is passionate about helping people find alternative treatments for their psychiatric symptoms and being a voice for those who have been let down by the current mental health system.


Dr Gabrielle Jenkin

BA (Sociology), DPH (Dist), MPH (Dist), PhD,Deputy Director, Suicide and Mental Health Research Group

Dr Gabrielle Jenkin is a Social Scientist and the Deputy Director of the Suicide and Mental Health Research Group at the University of Otago, Wellington.

She is currently engaged in mental health research with a focus on suicide and suicide prevention.

A key area of her research is looking at the design, philosophy and social regime of acute psychiatric facilities in New Zealand.


Tim Dugan

Founder & CEO HeartGP, Sydney & former CEO, The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse

Tim has more than 29 years’ experience in diverse roles in health and medical research including executive management and business development. 

In 2008 he was appointed as the CEO of the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse (www.mylifehouse.org.au) and left in early 2014. He took the business from being a complete start-up employing two staff, through the development and implementation of strategy over 5 ½ years to 280 staff in 2014. This encompassed oversight for the financing of, design, construction and operational commissioning of, a $260m comprehensive cancer facility, and included oversight for all operational planning and recruitment of 280 staff and the delivery of services to patients.

Prior to 2008 Tim was the Chief Operating Officer of the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute where for over the 8 years he was there he tripled the size of the organisation. In addition he has extensive commercial business development experience.

Tim’s key strength is in commercial health strategy and implementation. He has extensive experience in complex, delicate and detailed, multi-stakeholder negotiations with political leaders, Governments, government agencies, major corporations as well as unions and staff. Extensive operational P&L management experience in technology based organisations undergoing rapid growth.

He has a passion for the advancement of society through innovation and disruptive enterprise … and doesn’t mind if its complex, as long as there’s a vision for doing something better.