Curriculum Vitae

Sam Heard



1972                     Year 12 (Honours)  South Australia

1979                     MBBS (Credit)  University of Adelaide


1979               Internship   Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, Australia

1980-83         Vocational training in General Practice at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, UK.

3 months                            Induction in General Practice

6 months                            Acute Psychiatry/Geriatrics

6 months                            Paediatrics/Neonatology

6 months                            Obstetrics/Gynaecology

6 months                            Accident and Emergency

9 months                            General Practice Training

1987               “More effective teaching” 3 day course, St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School. Brian Jolly, David Newble.

1996               “Problem Based Learning: Tutor’s Course” Flinders University of South Australia, Office of Medical Education.

2001               “Senior Management Workshop” Australian Graduate School of Management, University of Sydney and New South Wales.

2010               “Company Directors Course” Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Postgraduate qualifications

1983                     Diploma, Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (DRCOG).

1983                     Family Planning Certificate.

1983                     Certificate of experience in General Practice (UK)

1984                     Member of the Royal College of General Practitionersw

1994                     Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

2003                     Foundation Fellow, Australian College of Health Informatics


1983-1992    Lecturer, Department of General Practice, Medical College of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Full time until 1984, part time 1985-1991, full time 1991-1992.

1984-1985    Assistant Course Organiser, City and Hackney GP Vocational Training.

1984-1992    Principal in General Practice, The Lawson Practice, London N1. Inner City teaching practice (undergraduate and registrars) established by me and expanded to 4 doctor practice with 14 ancillary staff.

1988               Curriculum working party, St. Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Hospital Medical Colleges.

1989-1992    Director, Computer Development Unit, Department of General Practice, St. Bartholomew’s Medical College.

1989-1992    Adviser to the City & East London Family Health Authority on computerisation.

1990-1992    Vice chairman, City and East London Medical Audit Advisory Group.

1992               Clinical co-ordinator, European Health Record Project, AIM A2014, European Commission.

1992-1994    Part time remote locums in the NT.

1993-1995    Research Fellow, St. Bartholomew’s Medical College, London.

1993-1997    Visiting Fellow (1993) and Senior Lecturer in Health Information and Education (1994-97), Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin, Australia.

1993-2005    Senior Lecturer (Honorary), Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney.

1993-2002    Regional Director, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Training Program, from 2001 Northern Territory General Practice Education.

1994-2007    Part time general practitioner and GP Obstetrician, Malak Medical Centre, Darwin NT (undergraduate and post-graduate supervision)

1994-2007    Short term locums (2-4 weeks) in remote health clinics in Maningrida, Daly River, Alyangula, Tiwi Islands

1993-1997    Member and Manager of Rural Incentives Program, Top End NT  (TERASP).

1994-1997    Member of Wellcome Trust Tropical Medicine Resource, World Advisory Group.

1995-1997    Member of Course Monitoring Committee, Bachelor College, Health Studies.

1996-              Recognised as GP Supervisor by RACGP

1997-2006    Part time general practitioner, Bagot Community, Darwin NT and Visiting Medical Officer to Juninga Old People’s home (In addition to Malak)

1996-1998    RACGP representative, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Council Workforce Issues Subcommittee, Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, Department of Health Australia.

1998-             Director, Ocean Informatics

1997- 2002   Director of the General Practice Education and Research Unit, Northern Territory Clinical School, Flinders University, Royal Darwin Hospital.

1997-1999    Steering committee, Bush Crisis Line, CRANA.

1997-1999    Program leader, Communications and Information, Cooperative Research Centre in Aboriginal and Tropical Health.

1998               Chair of Course Assessment Committee, Health Studies, Bachelor College, Northern Territory.

1998-2002    Member of the Post-graduate Medical Council, Northern Territory

1998-1999    Member, Electronic Health Record Architecture Working Party, General Practice Computing Group

1998-             Foundation member, openEHR Foundation

1999-2005    NT Representative, Australian Association of Academic General Practice

1999-2003    Steering Committee, Pilot Remote Vocational Training Scheme, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and RACGP

2002-2006    Chair, Standards Australia IT-14.9.2 Working Group – EHR

2000-2003    Secretary, Australian Association of Academic General Practice

2001-2003    RACGP, Rural Faculty Aboriginal Health Steering Committee

2001-2003    Rural Undergraduate Steering Committee, Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care

2001-2005    Steering Committee, Aboriginal Health Training Support, National Association of Community Controlled Health Organisations and RACGP

2002-2005    Chair, HL7 EHR Technical Committee and Australian delegate to HL7 International

2002-2008    Australian delegate to Centre de European Normalisation (CEN)

2002-             Director, openEHR Foundation

2002-2005    Chair, Education National Standing Committee, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

2002-             Honorary Senior Visiting Research Fellow, University College London

2002               Executive member of the Australian College of Health Informatics

2004-2013    CEO, Ocean Informatics

2004-2007    Adjunct Professor, Health Informatics, Central Queensland University, Australia

2005-2007    Vice President, Australian College of Health Informatics

2006-2010    Co-chair, Standards Australia IT-14-9 Committee – Electronic Health Records

2006-2016    Chair, Board of Northern Territory General Practice Education, Australia

2009-2012    Part-time General Practitioner, Coolalinga, NT (2 days per week)

2011-2014    Chair, openEHR Foundation, London UK.

2013               GP Supervisor and clinical mentor, Top End NT (Katherine and Darwin) with Australian Defence Force clinics and Palmerston Super Clinic.

2014-2016    Principal general practitioner supervisor, Palmerston Super Clinic, NT

2016               Chair, Top End Clinical Council, NT Primary Health Network

2017-              Medical Director, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress

2018-              Associate Professor, Flinders University, Centre for Remote Health

2018-              Medical Director, Central Australian Remote Training Hub, Flinders University

2019- Director, Australian Digital Health Agency

Research grants and competitive academic allocations;

1987               Practice development, Department of Environment UK,  £120,000 to establish inner city teaching practice, London UK

1990               Computer Development, Family Health Authority,   £60,000, St Bartholomew’s Medical College

1991-1993    Computer Medical Record structure (GEHR), European Community  £1.9 million, with Prof. David Ingram, Medical Informatics

1993               Healthy Heart Story, National Heart Foundation, $56,000 Menzies School of Health Research

1995               Hand held record for Antenatal care in the Darwin region, $75,000, Division of General Practice

1995-2001    Rural Undergraduate Placement Program (RUSC), $68-100,000 annually

1999-2001    Medical School in the Bush, Accommodation and development project, $900,000

2000               The General Practice Computing Group (GPCG) Trial of the Good Electronic Health Record, $230,000

2001               The Rural and Remote Area Placement Program (ACRRM), $220,000

2001               GPCG Trial of conversion of legacy data with SA Health Commission, DSTC, $100,000

2001               GPCG Trial of Diabetic messaging between General Practice and Specialist Clinics with MCA, $70,000

2002               GPCG Trail of conversion of GP data to the format of the Good Electronic Health Record, $90,000

2002               HealthConnect openEHR software trial design with the Distributed Systems Technology Centre, $670,000 Phase 1

2004               GPCG openEHR Archetype Tool Development Project developing software tools and documentation to support the uptake of archetypes, $70,000

2004               ITOL grant to establish an EHR repository for the New South Wales Cancer Registry $30,000.

2005               GPCG Archetypes for Communication project. $105,000

I have been the co-author of many other grants with the local Division of General Practice leading to a health locum support and continuing education program, (1995 – $250,000, 1996 $613,000), research into the role of allied health and relationship with remote general practitioners (1996 – $15,000) and have authored or co-authored a number of CRC Projects (Best Practice IT Development $200,000, Health Models and Communications ($50,000).


1984               “District Alcohol Policy” City and Hackney Health Authority working party on Alcohol use chaired by Professor Anthony Clare.

1987               “A student-led approach to teaching.” S. Heard, L. Southgate, P. Toon, M. Salkind. Journal of Medical Ethics 13(3) 1987 p139-143

1988               “Psychiatric emergencies.” S. Heard, C. McLauchlan. The Practitioner Aug 1988 p857-60

1988               “Genital herpes during pregnancy”. S. Heard. Letter. BMJ 297 p 1539 Dec 1988

1989               “ParaDoc, A health information system for inner city general practitioners”. This system was written in Paradox, a relational database. Innovations centred on the normalisation of practice data to the Post Office address database allowing strict knowledge of households. Tracing people for follow up or screening was thus facilitated.

1991               “A standard medical record for Europe – a view from primary care” Abstract of presentation. 40th workshop in Clinical Decision systems, Royal College of Physicians, London.

1992               “The Good European Health Record” Abstract of Presentation. WONCA, Vancouver, Canada.

1992               “Clinical Requirements for a comprehensive Electronic Health Record.”  Advanced Informatics in Medicine programme, Directorate General XIII, European Commission.

1993               “Functional Specification for an Electronic Health Record”.   Advanced Informatics in Medicine programme, Directorate General XIII, European Commission.

1993               “Ethical and legal requirements for a European Electronic Health Record”. Advanced Informatics in Medicine programme, Directorate General XIII, European Commission.

1995               “Pathways to information”. Proceedings of 1995 Council of Remote Area Nurses of Australia Conference, Darwin October 1995.

1995               “The Good European Health Record” Final Report. Advanced Informatics in Medicine programme, Directorate General XIII, European Commission.

1996               “Support for remote health practitioners with Information Technology” Proceedings of the Joint Congress of the Australian College of Health Service Executives and the Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators, Darwin August 1996.

1997               Heard S, Doyal L. “The importance of moral and legal regulation of the Electronic Patient Record.” British Journal of Healthcare Computing and Information Management. March 1997;14(2):26-28

1998               Weaner J, Heard S et al. The report of the 3rd National Undergraduate Rural Health and Curriculum Conference, Phillip Island 1998. Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care ISBN 0642 393591

1998               “The Good Electronic Health Record” Proceedings of the 1998 General Practice Evaluation Program Conference, Sydney, New South Wales. National Information Service.

1999               “The Good Electronic Health Record” Proceedings of the 1999 HISA Conference (HIC), Hobart, Tasmania. Health Informatics Society of Australia.

2000               Heard S. “The Good Electronic Health Record.”  British Journal of Health Care Computing and Information Management. February 2000.

2000               Heard S, Grivel A, Schloeffel P, Doust J. “The benefits and difficulties of introducing a national approach to electronic health records in Australia” in “A Health Information Network for Australia” National Electronic Health Records Taskforce. Department of Health and Aged Care, Commonwealth of Australia. July 2000.

2000               Kennedy EM, Heard SR: The boomerang effect: seven years of the Top End medical student experience – do they come back? 16th Wonca World Congress of Family Doctors, Durban, South Africa

2000               Heard S, “The GPCG Trial of the Good Electronic Health Record” Proceedings of the Health Informatics Conference, Health Informatics Society of Australia. August 2000.

2000               Heard S, “Electronic Health Records”, The Australian Health Forum 2000;3:24-25.

2000               Spencer J, Blackmore D, Heard S et al. “Patient-oriented learning: a review of the role of the patient in the education of medical students” Medical Education 2000;34(10):851-857.

2001               Kennedy E, Heard S. “Making mistakes in practice. Developing a consensus statement.” Aust Fam Physician. 2001 Mar;30(3):295-9.

2001               Heard A, Heard S. “Asthma clinics in general practice: what is the evidence?” Med J Aust. 2001 May 7;174(9):483-4.

2002               O’Rourke I, Heard S, Treacy J, Gruen R and Whitbread C. “Risks to feet in the top end: Outcomes of diabetic foot complications.” ANZ Journal of Surgery 72 (4), 282-286.

2002               Bird L, Goodchild A, Heard S. “Importing clinical data into electronic health records – lessons learnt from the first Australian GEHR trials.” Proceedings of the 2002 HISA Conference, Melbourne, Victoria. Health Informatics Society of Australia.

2003               Heard S, Bird L, Warren J. “Editorial” and Guest Editors. Journal of Research and Practice in Information Technology Vol 35, 2. May 2003.

2003               Barretto S, Warren J, Goodchild A, Bird L, Heard S, Stumptner M. “Linking Guidelines to Electronic Health Record Design for Improved Chronic Disease Management” Proceedings American Medical Informatics Association, November 2003.

2004               Heard S, Fischetti L, Dickinson G. “HL7 EHR Systems Functional Model and Standard” Health Level Seven,

2004               Sturmberg J, Heard S. “General Practice Education in Australia”. Aust Fam Physician. 2004 May;33(5):353-5.

2004               Heard S. “Pruritis ani”. Aust Fam Physician 2004 July;33(7):511-13

2005               Hovenga E, Garde S, Heard S. “Nursing constraint models for electronic health records: a vision for domain knowledge governance”. Int J Med Inf  2005;74: 886-898.

2006               Heard S. “Electronic Health Records” Chapter in Conrick M Ed. “Health Informatics: transforming healthcare with technology” Thompson Social Science Press, Australia 2006.

2006               Gruen RL, Bailie RS, Wang Z, Heard S, O’Rourke IC. “Specialist outreach to isolated and disadvantaged communities: a population-based study”. Lancet 2006;368(9530):139-146.

2006               Beale T, Heard S, Kalra D, Lloyd D. “The openEHR Specifications”,  The openEHR Foundation (http:// .

2006               Garde S, Heard S, Beale T, Granz J, Hovenga E. “The management of openEHR archetypes for semantically interoperable electronic health records.” German Health Informatics Proceedings (GMDS) 2006.

2006               Schuler T, Garde S, Heard S, Beale T. “Towards Automatically Generating Graphical User Interfaces from openEHR Archetypes” Procedings MIE, Maastricht August 2006.

2007               Beale T, Heard S. “An ontology-based model of clinical information”, Proceedings Medinfo Aug 2007.

2007               Garde S, Hovenga E, Heard S. “Towards Semantic Interoperability for Electronic Health Records: Domain Knowledge Governance for openEHR Archetypes”. Methods of Information in Medicine. 46(3): 332–343.

2009               Leslie H, Garde S, Heard S, McNicoll I. “Engaging Clinicians in clinical content: herding cats or pieces of cake?” MIE Proceedings, Aug 2009.

2010               Editors Hovenga E et al. “Health Informatics : An overview”.  Chapter: Hovenga EJS, Heard S. “E-Health Records and Future Healthcare”, Chapter: Madsen M, Leslie H, Hovenga EJS, Heard S.  “Sustainable Clinical Knowledge management: An archetype development life cycle.” ISBN :978-1-60750-092-6, 2010.


1986               “Evaluation of discussion groups on changing attitudes of medical students.” S. Heard, L. Southgate, M. Levin, M. Salkind. Association of University Teachers in General Practice conference Poster presentation Aug 86.

1990               “Working in the National Health Service” Abstract of presentation, Le Pari de la Qualite, Federation de Associations Medicine Generaliste de Belgium. Brussels. Oct 90

1995               “Issues of ownership”- Data ownership and computerised health information. Central Australian Remote Practitioners Association Conference, Alice Springs, May 1995

1996               “Collecting Data in Practice” 2nd National Rural Health Research Workshop, Australian Rural Health Research Institute, Darwin.

1996               “The paperless medical record” IT Week, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia

1997               “The History of Computers in Medicine.” Fifth Biennial Conference of the Australian Society of the History of Medicine. Darwin, Northern Territory.

1997               “Ethics for Health Professionals involved in Homebirth.” 17th National Homebirth Conference. Darwin, Northern Territory.

1998               “Procedures for dealing with registrars in difficulty” National Medical Education Meeting, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Sydney, New South Wales.

1998               “The External Clinical Teaching Visit – a formative assessment tool?” National Medical Education Meeting, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Sydney, New South Wales.

1998               Workshop at “Working together for an Electronic Patient Record”, the National Meeting Health Informatics Society of Australia, Brisbane.

1998               “What sort of Electronic Health Record” Presentation at the National Scientific Meeting of the  Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Melbourne.

1998               “The Northern Territory RACGP Program: the story of a region”. National Medical Education Conference, RACGP, Brisbane, Queensland.

1998               Suckling H, Heard S. “Balint Seminars” RACGP Annual Scientific Meeting, Adelaide, October 1998.

1999               O’Rourke I, Heard S. “Diabetic Feet” Poster presentation at Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Surgeons Scientific Meeting, Melbourne, August 2000.

2000               Heard S. “The Good Electronic Health Record” RACGP Computer Conference, Sydney, February 2000.

2001               “The Good Electronic Health Record” At Integrating Technology in Health Conference, Melbourne, February 2001. Invited speaker.

2001               Heard, S. “Electronic Health Records” Conference of the National Demonstrator Hospital Projects Phase 3, Sydney Convention Centre, October 2001. Invited Speaker.

2001               Heard, S. “Information Technology – Master or Slave”. Royal Australian College of General Practitioners 11th Computing Conference, Melbourne August 2001. Keynote Speaker.

2002               Heard, S. “The EHR and the future: a clinician’s view.” EHR Clinical Aspects and Standards Workshop, Central Queensland University, Yepoon, August 2002. Invited Speaker.

2002               Heard, S. “The EHR and HL7.” HL7 International Affiliates meeting, Melbourne August 2002. Invited speaker.

2003               Heard, S. “openEHR and International Developments” The Electronic Health Record, IIR Conferences, Sydney Australia, June 2003. Invited Speaker.

2003               Heard S, Beale T, Schloeffel P. “openEHR Tutorial” Proceedings, of the 2003 HISA Conference and RACGP Computing Conference (HIC), Sydney Australia August 2003.

2004               Heard S. “Archetypes – a user perspective” Keynote address at HL7 Australia National Meeting, Melbourne, Australia 2004.

2004               Heard S, Elkin P. “The relationship between archetypes, templates and terminology”. HL7 Australia National Meeting, Melbourne, Australia 2004.

2005               Heard S, Shabo A. “Lifelong health records: an investigation of the role of independent health record banks” HIC, Melbourne 2005

2005               Heard S. “openEHR – recent developments.” Keynote address, HL7 Australia National Meeting, Sydney November 2005.

2006               Heard S, Chen R “openEHR, a health computing platform for the future”. Workshop and address to the China Healthcare Information Network Conference (CHIMA, CHITA) Xi’an, China May 2006

2006               Heard S “openEHR: the first formal specification for sharing and communicating electronic health records”. Key note address, HINZ Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, July 2006

2006               Heard S, Beale T. “openEHR, a health computing platform for the future”. Workshop, Medical Informatics Europe Conference, Maastricht, Netherlands, August 2006.

2006               Heard S. “Standards and Electronic Health Records” The World of Health IT Conference, Geneva, Switzerland, October 2006.

2006               Heard S. “openEHR and semantic interoperability” Health Informatics Conference, Antalya, Turkey, November 2006

2007               Heard S, Leslie H. “openEHR Archetypes and Clinical Modelling” Medinfo, Brisbane Australia, August 2007.

2009               Heard S. “Electronic health records and terminology” ANS, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

2009               Heard S. “Using personal health information for population health and research
with openEHR as the semantic framework”, Health Informatics Seminar, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

2011               Heard S. “openEHR: The new world record” HL& International Health Interoperability Conference, Florida, USA.

2013               Heard S. “openEHR: what part of the puzzle?” Keynote address at HINZ Conference, Rotorua, New Zealand.

2015               Heard S, Cahill R “Tackling the challenge of education, training and workforce in the Northern Territory – a corporate solution?” GP15, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Melbourne

2017               Heard S. RACP Conference, Alice Springs NT. Opening Address “Working in the NT”.


2008             “RACGP National Faculty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health : Standing Strong Together Award” with Ms Ada Parry MRCGP (Hon)

2017              RACGP 2017 GP Supervisor of the Year.

2019 Order of Australia Medal

Clinical Practice

I am a general practitioner who keeps up to date with modern practice. I have a wealth of experience from inner city London, Darwin urban practice, remote locums, semi-rural practice at Coolalinga, 24 hour urgent care at the Palmerston Super Clinic and most recently in Central Australia working in an Aboriginal community controlled health service. I remain passionate about my profession. I care about my patients but recognise that practice needs to be efficient and achieve the most benefit for the most people, which inevitably leads to focusing on areas of need and proven prevention. I am comfortable dealing with the full range of practice including mental health, minor operations and women’s health. I am prepared to challenge patient’s view of their situation in a supportive way and have an excellent relationship with my patients and co-workers.

From 2013-2016 I worked as Clinical lead at the Palmerston Super Clinic, south of Darwin NT, and briefly with the Australian Defence Force Medical Services at Tindal in Katherine and at Robertson Barracks in Darwin. Palmerston Super Clinic was a large teaching practice run by FCDHealth, a non-profit of Flinders and Charles Darwin Universities. This 24/7 clinic provided comprehensive primary care, allied health and specialist services as well as urgent care to a population of more than 25,000 people in Palmerston and the rural areas south of Darwin. I supported a team which included 14 GP registrars and 10 full time medical students who rotated to other services during the 6 month term.

Since 2017 I have been Medical Director at the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress as Medical Director, with a staff of 400 and 11 Clinics across Central Australia as well as many other programs to improve the health of people in this part of the world. In 2018 I took on the part-time role of Medical Director of the Central Australian site of the Flinders Remote Training Hub as part of the Congress appointment, in an Associate Professor role.

I am an effective team player and have considerable management experience.

Health Education and Communication

I am perhaps at my core, a teacher. I thrive on helping people become better doctors, challenging assumptions and supporting those under pressure. I tolerate intensity and pressure well and share any feelings of stress with others. I seek to work in an environment that is taking improvement and learning seriously.

Until 2007 I had only worked in teaching practices and am well versed in ensuring that patients and registrars benefit mutually from a supportive environment that is seeking to provide an excellent service. I have done many 100s of visits to GP Registrars in practice throughout the NT and used video extensively with undergraduates.

I have been a medical academic from 1983-2002 and concentrated on communication and interviewing skills. I remain involved with the training of health professionals in primary care settings throughout my career and still teach regularly as well as Chair the board of NTGPE.

I have been an assessor for the NT Medical Board and supervised GPs who are working towards independent practice.

Health Informatics

I have been involved in standards of electronic health records and have presented and worked around the world. I am a primary author of the openEHR Foundation’s EHR specifications – a free and open specification for electronic health records. I have been working for and leading a national company, Ocean Informatics, working in eHealth since 2004.

I am an experienced researcher and Foundation Fellow of the Australian College of Health Informatics. I have been involved in the establishment of openEHR as a platform for clinical health records initially within the research environment and now in the commercial sector. Ocean Informatics has led the field in developing tools to express clinical content in a formal way using the openEHR methodology and this approach is now in use in the UK, Sweden, Brazil, Slovenia, Norway and Australia. Ocean Informatics is working with agencies in a number of countries around the world. I am a director of Ocean Informatics and a director of the openEHR Foundation based in the UK. Since 2019 I have been a director of the Australian Digital Health Agency.

Other Interests

I grew up in rural South Australia and have lived in Darwin since returning from the UK in 1992. I am presently in Alice Springs. We are now very firmly settled in the NT. My wife and I have four children and a growing nest of grand-children (12), most of whom live in Darwin. I love to play music and am part of a national GP band (Cheeky Docs) which plays from time to time at national conferences and more regularly in Darwin and around the country. I continue to surf despite the crocodiles (only ever seen 2 when surfing) and the stingers (who hate waves). I read very widely.

One thought on “Curriculum Vitae

  1. After reading everything here, it is no wonder why Dr Sam Heard is the best doctor I have come across in my 44 years of nursing.

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