Janine Alan 

File 354

Data Linkage Branch Program Manager
BA(Hons), PhD

Janine graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours in Psychology). After a few years working in the ageing and disability sector, she then went on to complete a PhD in casemix classification. During this time, she was introduced to linked data analysis, and has remained a devotee ever since.  Janine has a variety of data experiences, including as a data custodianThe person within an organisation/agency formally assigned to collect, manage, secure and disclose a dataset on a day-to-day basis at the direction of the Data Steward., data manager, senior data analyst and Human Research Ethics Committee deputy member with the Department of Health, proof-of-concept researcher in collaboration with the Data LinkageA complex technique for connecting data records within and between datasets using demographic data (e.g. name, date of birth, address, sex, medical record number). Also called ‘Record Linkage’ or ‘Linkage’. Branch, and independent researcher with the University of Western Australia, Curtin University and Silver ChainAll of the linked records thought to belong to a single person.. She is a keen advocate of translational research, particularly where it can inform health care policy, planning, and purchasing decisions, as well as initiatives that improve health outcomes for vulnerable and marginalised populations. Janine co-manages the Data Linkage Branch with Alex Merchant and Tom Eitelhuber, supported by a talented team of system support specialists, linkage officers and analysts.




Client Services

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Alexandra MerchantFile 57
Team Manager of Clients Services  

BA (Hons)(W.Aust), GradDipRecMgnt&Archiv MInfoMgnt (Curtin)

Alex graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Archaeology, then went on to study Archives and Information Management at Curtin University. Alex began working as a Linkage Officer in March 2008 and three months later moved to the Client Services Team as Project Officer. In June 2010 she began working as the Project Manager and in this role coordinates the approvals and linkage and extractionCan refer to: (1) the extraction of linkage keys (by Linkage Officers); or (2) the extraction of service data to which these keys will be appended (by CARES or the relevant Data Custodians). work for DLBData Linkage Branch: the specialist team at the Department of Health who are responsible for developing and maintaining the WA Data Linkage System, performing data linkage, and the facilitation of access to linked data. projects.



Mikhalina Dombrovskaya
Acting Team Manager of Clients Services

File 336BBNSc (Hons) (Monash), MPH (Melb)

Mikhalina has a background in science and health research. She has worked on various projects, including an investigation into potential therapeutic drugs for Alzheimer’s disease at the Mental Health Research Institute, a pilot study of acceptability and feasibility to enhance GP screening of STIs in young adults, and the Founders and Survivors project helping recordA single data item sourced from a data collection, which typically refers to one event, instance or registration (e.g. hospital discharge, birth registration, car crash), although in rare cases can refer to more than one. The specifics of what constitutes a record varies between data collections, depending on how the data is recorded and stored. Each record contains: (1) demographic information (names, addresses, etc), that DLB uses to link the data, and; (2) service information (diagnoses, procedures, etc) that are used by Applicants to perform analysis. the historic life course of Tasmanian convicts at the University of Melbourne.

In 2012 she completed her Master of Public Health and joined the DLB at the end of the year.




Emma Douglas File 559
Acting Senior Project Officer
Emma completed a Bachelor of Science (Health Promotion) in 2006 and has since worked mainly for NGO’s on a variety of prevention programs, predominantly in the areas of chronic disease prevention and Aboriginal health. Prior to starting with the data linkage branch in June 2017, Emma worked for Telethon Kids Institute on a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder research project based in the Pilbara. Emma has a broad interest in public health and is a committee member of the Public Health Association Australia (WA Branch). 







Data Linkage 

Keep up to date with Data Linkage - check out their weekly Dashboard!

Tom Eitelhuber
BCm (W.Aust)File 280

Tom joined the Data Linkage Branch in 2006, after completing a Mathematics degree at The University of Western Australia. Tom has previously held the positions of Linkage Officer, Senior Linkage Officer and Data Coordinator, and was responsible for the development and implementation of the Custodian Administered Research Extraction Server (CARESCustodian Administered Research Extract Server: a DLB initiative that streamlines linked data extraction, quality control and delivery services.), a system which centralised and improved how the Branch responds to requests for linked data. In 2014, Tom moved to the role of Manager, Data Linkage Systems, after the retirement of long-time DLB member Carol Garfield. In this role he has been responsible for managing the Linkage and Systems teams as well as liaising with data providers and DLB stakeholders around the acquisition and linkage of new datasets.






Steve HodgesFile 385
Data Linkage Senior Consultant
BB(IP) Curtin

Steve has gained vast systems experience through his career, highlights of which include having worked with a major mining company, and redeveloping systems used by emergency services and incorporating GIS into this process. Steve subsequently worked as a GIS consultant, before moving into biotech, which he worked with, and patented, ways to deconstruct DNA using computer software. Now in the Health Department's Data Linkage Section, Steve works within the Systems Team as a Developer. 






Margaret WoodFile 65
Principal Linkage Officer
BA (Hons)(Cantab.)Mathematics, MA (Cantab.), PGCE

Margaret has an M.A. from Cambridge University where she studied Mathematics. She worked as a primary school teacher, until the ever-increasing paperwork prompted a career change into I.T. She spent many years developing software, mostly for companies in the Oil and Gas industries. In 2002 she migrated to Australia, and the following year began working at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research providing programming and database support to the Population Sciences Division. This role included working at the Data Linkage Branch for one day a week. In 2007 she became Principal Linkage Officer at the Data Linkage Branch. In this role she supervises and trains other Linkage Officers and develops new strategies for linkage, data extraction, and control selection.




Helen Wichmann File 154
Principal Linkage Officer
BABehaviouralStudies (EdithCowan), GradCertAppEpidem(Curtin), MNurs (Curtin)

Helen joined the DLB in February 2011 after six years with the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Curtin University where she worked and published research in the areas of kinship care, in-hospital transitional care, collaborative models, Indigenous maternal and child health, and the role of communication in pain management in the elderly. Immediately prior to this Helen spent a number of years teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) in Perth and overseas. She was also a founding staff member of the Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry, which opened in 1994, and where she worked for six years on the WA Family Study of Schizophrenia. Helen has expertise in a range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including the analysis of linked data. The latter experience prompted her interest in learning more about 'how' data linkage is done. In her current position Helen assists with the linking of core datasets.




Bhaval Chandaria

Senior Linkage OfficerFile 327
BSc Hons (ANU), BSc (ECU)

Bhaval graduated from Edith Cowan University with a Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science), majoring in human genetics in 2010. She then went on to complete her Honours in Population Health with the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University in Canberra. Her honours thesis explored the impact of environmental factors, particularly lead exposure, on IQ and cognition. Bhaval is excited to continue to explore her interests in public health. Before she began her role as a Linkage Officer in 2013, Bhaval worked as a clinical research assistant with the University of Western Australia's Bone and Vascular Research Group.



Siobhan MannersFile 324

Senior Linkage Officer
BHlthSc Hons. (UWAUniversity of Western Australia)


Siobhan graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Health Science (Hons) majoring in Public Health and Anatomy and Human Biology. She has assisted as a researcher on several projects, including investigation of sun protection usage with the Lions Eye Institute. Whilst undertaking a research project into Retinal Detachment with the University of Western Australia which utilised linked data, Siobhan gained an interest in linked data applications, and began working as a Linkage Officer in late 2014, assisting with the linking of core data sets, and project work.



Natalya BaynhamFile 572
Linkage Officer
BSc Hons, BSc Nursing, GradCert Population Health Studies 

Natalya joined DLB in 2018 after previous careers in software development and nursing. Graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Human Sciences she started work as a computer programmer in the graduate program of a major multinational company. During her IT career she specialised in testing computer systems. She left IT in search of more meaningful work; this search lead her to nursing where she has worked as a Community Nurse and Public Health Nurse. During her nursing studies she worked as a Research Assistant at UWA School of Population Health mostly with the Occupational and Respiratory Epidemiology Group. It was here that she first encountered WA data linkage. Natalya is committed to public health, has a Graduate Certificate in Population Health Studies and sees her work at DLB is an opportunity to contribute to health research, policy and planning




Carol LamFile 573
Linkage Officer
BEng (UWA)

Carol graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Engineering Degree with Honours in Information Technology. She then worked in the Centre for Water Research at UWA as a software project officer in the field operation group. Carol was responsible for data acquisition & processing software development, field data management and overseeing all real-time data monitoring systems. After 20 years, Carol was looking for a career change. Her passion for working with data has led her to be a Data Linkage Officer at DLB.




Tanner PerhamFile 334
Linkage Officer
BSc Psych. (UWA)

Tanner joined the Data Linkage Branch in December 2014. Early in 2017 he completed his Masters of Public Health at the School of Population Health at the University of Western Australia. Previous to working at the DLB, Tanner was a Research Assistant at the Centre for the Built Environment and Health.





Matthew Vince File 574
Linkage Officer
BEc (UWA), MMgmt (Info Mgmt) (UWA), BA (Japanese & Photomedia) (ECU)

Before joining DLB in early 2018, Matt worked for nearly ten years at the National Trust in a varied role that included  the design and development of numerous information systems projects. Prior to this experience he lived in Japan for many years working as a language teacher and occasional translator. This time in Japan was spent mainly in Tokyo, but he also spent a year at Himeji Dokkyo University in Hyogo prefecture. Matt has a Bachelor of Economics and a Masters degree in Information Management from UWA, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese and Photomedia from ECU.





Systems Support


File 70

James Thackray 
BCompSc (W.Aust)

James graduated from UWA with a Bachelor of Computer Science and joined the DLB in 2007 as a contract programmer.
He is currently working on the development of a new data linkage system.






Adam BodestyneFile 72
BCM (W.Aust)

Adam graduated from the University of Western Australia in 2005 with a Bachelor of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, with a majors in Computer Science and Information Technology Systems. In early 2006 Adam joined the Data Linkage Branch as a programmer on the Linkage System Re-engineering Project, and in 2007 moved into his current role as the DLB’s general systems/application/maintenance programmer.





File 351Tim Gilchrist

Tim began his career as a spatial software developer before broadening his skills to work for a range of local and state Government, finance and biotechnology organisations. Tim's primary role within Data linkage is as a software developer, but his sysadmin skills are regularly put to use. Outside of his professional life, Tim is very active in the Perth Hacker/Makerspace community and believes there's nothing one can't do when equipped with a laser cutter and 3D printer.





Data Delivery

Julie Cruz

CARES Co-ordinator

Julie has more than 16 years of experience in the IT industry specialising in data warehouses and database applications and is an Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate. She has been involved in various full software development from requirements gathering, analysis and design, coding, testing, implementation to maintenance and user support in Philippines, North America, Singapore and now Australia. Julie sees challenges and changes as opportunity to grow, hence, she does not fear them. If there is no solution she is up and very motivated to find an answer. She always asks, why and why not? She is always willing to help and loves to see people succeed in a fair and just way. One of her dreams is to have a foundation to help those in need in Philippines.






David BrayFile 563

Data Analyst
BSc in Engineering

Dave has a worked in the software development industry for over 15 years which started with a fascination for data and how it can be used to solve problems. Graduating with a BSc in Engineering he was immediately drawn to the prospect of using computing tools to solve practical challenges and has worked in a variety of industries from manufacturing and utilities to finance and banking. New to Perth, Dave is discovering the culinary delights of the sausage sizzle and shrimp barbie.