Sepsis Australia is hosted by The George Institute for Global Health which provides necessary infrastructure and in-kind operational support. Sepsis Australia is strategically managed by Professor Simon Finfer AO and operationally by Dr Brett Abbenbroek.

Simon FingerProfessor Simon Finfer AO
Director and Professorial Fellow


Prof Simon Finfer is a Professorial Fellow in the Critical Care Division at The George Institute for Global Health. He is a practicing critical care physician with an appointment as a Senior Staff Specialist at Royal North Shore Hospital and Director of Intensive Care at the Sydney Adventist Hospital, the largest not-for-profit hospital in New South Wales. Simon is an Adjunct Professor at the University of New South Wales, and a past-Chair of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) Clinical Trials Group. He is a council member and past Chair of the International Sepsis Forum, a member of the Global Sepsis Alliance Board, and a member of the World Sepsis Day Steering Committee. Simon co-chaired the first two World Sepsis Congresses, two-day free online congresses that attracted over 35,000 registrants. His postgraduate qualifications include Fellowships of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He was elected to the ANZICS Honour Roll in 2011 and in 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate (Doctor of Medicine) by The Friedrich-Schiller University in Germany, an honour awarded once every 10 years. Simon’s major research interest is the design and conduct of large scale randomised controlled trials in critical care. Simon is active in forging major international research collaborations that have conducted large scale clinical trials and epidemiological research to improve the treatment of critically ill and injured patients. He has published over 150 peer reviewed papers, many in the most prestigious journal in the world. He is frequently invited to lecture at major international conferences. Simon is an Editor of The Oxford Textbook of Critical Care (2nd Ed.), the Critical Care Section Editor for The Oxford Textbook of Medicine (6th Ed.), and was a guest editor for The New England Journal of Medicine from 2012 – 2014.

A/Prof Naomi Hammond
Program Lead, Critical Care Program

A/Prof Dr Naomi Hammond (RN, BN, MN (Crit. Care), MPH, PhD) is a Senior Research Fellow and Lead of the Critical Care Program, The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney. She also works part-time as the Intensive Care Clinical Research Manager at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney, Australia. Naomi has a background of intensive care nursing and has a Masters of Nursing (Critical Care) and a Master of Public Health. Her Doctorate examined the knowledge translation of fluid resuscitation research into critical care practice. Her other main research interests include sepsis, fever management, health economics, and long-term outcomes post critical illness. Naomi holds a number of other appointments including: Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales; Vice-Chair of the Intensive Care Research Coordinator Interest Group (IRCIG); and an Editorial Board member of Australian Critical Care Journal; and sits on the Australian College of Critical Care Nurses (ACCCN) National Research Advisory Panel.

Dr Brett Abbenbroek, Program Manager Sepsis Australia & Asia Pacific Sepsis Alliance

Dr Brett Abbenbroek (RN, BSc, MPH, PhD) is the Sepsis Australia Program Manager within the Critical Care Division at The George Institute for Global Health, Sydney.

Brett has extensive critical care clinical, education and management experience. Brett’s PhD considered the efficiency and effectiveness of critical care organisational models, and the association with patient and nurse outcomes. The impetus for this study was Brett’s role in commissioning and managing the transition of the general, cardiac and neuro ICU’s of Royal Prince Alfred Hospital into an integrated critical care ‘hot-floor’ service. Study findings aim to inform the Australasian Health Facility Guidelines for new and redeveloped ICU’s. Brett has worked in Nepal, Vanuatu, China and Croatia on projects to establish cardiac surgical and critical care programs, and system wide service improvements. Concurrently, Brett has held a range of health policy, planning, project management, digital health and clinical safety advisory roles. As the coordinator for state wide clinical service planning for ICU, ED and medical retrieval services he worked with clinicians to develop and enhance the integration of critical care services across NSW. This led to a successful Treasury bid for funding to build and implement the electronic Record for Intensive Care (NSW), for which Brett was the Program Manager for Change and Adoption. A health service planning and management consultancy business followed, leading to project manager roles within the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care on a series of national eHealth clinical safety programs, electronic medication safety and the development of evidence based national clinical care standards.


Dr Ashwani Kumar

Research Fellow, Sepsis Australia, Critical Care Program

Dr Ashwani Kumar (MBBS, MD, MBA) is a physician having a postgraduate degree in clinical pharmacology and an experienced medical researcher with a more than 14 years of cumulative academic-industry experience. In addition to Dr Kumar’s academic achievements, he has worked extensively in various roles ranging from early-to-late phase clinical and medical research. He has extensive clinical trials management and operational experience including large multinational studies. 

He is pursuing his PhD in the area of ICD-coded sepsis disease burden at Critical Care Program of the George Institute for Global Health and working as Research Fellow with the Australian Sepsis Network. In last few years, he has been actively involved in sepsis epidemiological research conducted in Australia and India. His interests areas include estimating accurate sepsis disease burden  using validated ICD coding methods in Australia and LMICs, and early sepsis diagnosis.