Our people

The Lifestyle Medicine Foundation

Board of directors

Prof Garry Egger AM

Garry Egger has qualifications in behavioural biology and epidemiology. He has worked in public, corporate and clinical health for over 4 decades. He is the author of 30 books (including five texts) over 160 peer-reviewed scientific and research articles and numerous popular media articles on health and fitness. He is a Professor of Health and Human Sciences at Southern Cross University and an Advisor to the World Health Organisation and several Government and corporate bodies in chronic disease prevention. In the 1990s Dr Egger initiated the GutBusters, men’s waist loss program, the first of its kind in the world. He started training programs for Fitnes Leaders in Australia in 1982, was one of the initiators of the Australian Lifestyle Medicine Association (ALMA) in 2008 and runs training programs in Lifestyle Medicine for doctors and allied health professionals around Australia and the Pacific. He recently received an Australia Medal for his services to medical education and health promotion. His recent interests and publications concern the link between obesity, climate change and economic growth.

A/Prof John Stevens

John Stevens is a health scientist and Associate Professor (Adj.) with Southern Cross University’s School of Health and Human Sciences in Australia. He is also the Director of a number of companies engaged in the Health Education and Research. In the past John has been Head of the School of Nursing and Health Practices (SCU), the Director of Post Graduate studies (which included convening and teaching the first ever Master’s Award in Lifestyle Medicine – and which he continues to teach) and Director of Professional Development and Enterprise. He has over 60 peer reviewed publications including books on dementia and obesity management.

Prof Stephen P Myers
BMed, ND, PhD

Stephen Myers is the Director of the NatMed-Research Unit within Southern Cross Plant Science at Southern Cross University. He was the Foundation Director of the Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education and Research (ACCMER) [2001-2006] and the Foundation Head of the School of Natural and Complementary Medicine at Southern Cross University [1996-2001]. He has been an leading academic in the development of complementary medicine as a university academic discipline. He has qualifications in naturopathy (ND), western medicine (BMed) and basic and clinical pharmacology (PhD).

Stephen Penman
MAppSc(Res), Grad Cert (Tert Teach Learn)

Stephen Penman is Executive Director (CEO) of the Lifestyle Medicine Foundation and the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine (ASLM), and the Co-Founder of Open Health. Previously, Stephen was CEO of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) from 2008 to 2013. Prior to that between 2004 and 2008, while a Masters by Research candidate at RMIT University, Stephen conducted the widely regarded ‘Yoga in Australia’ study, assisted with research into the attitudes of General Practitioners and Nurses to complementary therapies and was also appointed inaugural Course Co-ordinator of ‘Wellness, Health Enhancement and Lifestyle Management’, an online course he delivered for three years both as an undergraduate elective and as a core unit in the Master of Wellness at RMIT. During this time he also served as Vice President and then President of Yoga Australia. Earlier in his career, Stephen was Financial Controller of an intellectual property licensing company. He brings a strong business, financial and information technology background, academic credentials in both research and online teaching and learning, and a passion for health and well-being to the Foundation.

Open Health

Management team

Stephen Penman
MAppSc(Res), Grad Cert (Tert Teach Learn)

In addition to being the CEO of the Lifestyle Medicine Foundation, Stephen Penman is also the Co-Founder of Open Health, a social enterprise developing a world first online comprehensive lifestyle change program.

The idea for Open Health first formed back in 1999 as a result of Stephen’s experience with a personal health crisis and the apparent absence of support in the health system for people trying to make comprehensive lifestyle changes. Find out more about the journey of Open Health here.

Tristan Penman

Tristan is the Co-Founder of Open Health, and is a passionate Software Engineer, with experience that covers a wide range of business domains, including Telecommunications, Web Analytics, and Video Streaming technology. More recently, he has worked on Machine Learning and personalisation systems at Amazon, and has been involved in building and managing Cloud-based systems.

Benita Eldridge
BCI (CommDes), Dip (VisArts)

Benita is the Executive Assistant for Open Health and the Lifestyle Medicine Foundation. Benita’s background is in event management, print advertising production, administration, marketing, and the coordination of surgical clinical examinations. She has a Bachelor of Creative Industries (majoring in Communication Design) and a Diploma of Visual Arts. Her role encompasses administrative support, communications, meetings and events, grants and fundraising, and governance. Benita is interested in health and wellbeing, and behaviour change, and is very excited to be contributing to the lifestyle medicine movement.


Nest Coworking

Open Health and the Lifestyle Medicine Foundation have their home in an awesome collaborative co-working community with a not-for-profit and social enterprise focus in Melbourne’s inner north. It’s called Nest Coworking.