Our Team

Led by health specialist Dr Mark Penny, our world class medical team is dedicated to preventative medicine. We complement your existing healthcare arrangements and help you prioritise your health management.

Our Doctors are knowledgeable medical practitioners who have years of experience in working with individuals to improve their health through the identification of health risks that may warrant further attention and counselling on lifestyle risks. Their skill is in building rapport with participants and providing recommendations that are achievable and targeted to the individual’s needs.

Our Exercise Physiologists and Health Coaches are degree qualified professionals who work closely with our medical teams to ensure you receive optimum assistance to achieve your health goals.

All our staff are committed to their cause – to optimise the health potential of each and every individual who is striving to put their health first.

Life First is managed and operated by industry experts. All of our health professionals including Doctors, Exercise Physiologists, Health Coaches and Nutrtionists have extensive experience in the field of executive health and preventative health care. They all hold the necessary qualifications to practice in their field and we have stringent criteria for appointment and employment retention to ensure we deliver on the very best health care.

Life First Doctors have been handpicked by Professor Ron Penny to work in our business due to their experience, references and
particular interest in the Corporate Health industry. Many of our doctors have been with Life First for over a decade.
At Life First you have the choice between a male or female Doctor. Feel free to learn more about our Doctors and their experience.

Dr Mark Penny - PhD, MBBS, FRACP

Dr Mark Penny is the EHS Medical Director, overseeing Doctors recruitment and training, quality control and program design. Dr Penny is a practicing physician at the St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney, specialising in hypertension and nephrology.

Current Appointments:
Senior Staff Specialist, Nephrology, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney
Head of Department, Nephrology & Hypertension, St Vincent's Clinic & Private Hospital, Sydney
Chairman, Drug Committee, St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Sydney
Conjoint Senior Lecturer in Medicine, University of Notre Dame


With 25 years of practice, Dr Peter Slezak is one of the most experienced and highly respected Consulting Physicians for medico-legal cases, insurance medicals and executive health checks.

His aim is to “help executives achieve a healthy balance between work and home life for the benefit of their careers, employers, family and friends.”

Dr Slezak is particularly experienced in managing the challenges to health faced by executives as a result of stress, eating habits, lack of exercise and conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep disorders and depression.


Leonie is a great believer in a holistic approach to health and in "identifying risk factors for both physical and mental health issues with the expectation that if positive action is implemented these risks can largely be avoided or at least mitigated.”

"On several occasions I have made a diagnosis which has been lifesaving.”

Leonie has been a practicing physician for the past 35 years, working in both Sydney and the UK.

Leonie is one of our long standing corporate health doctors and has worked out of St Vincent's Clinic Health Assessment Centre since 1998.

Dr Lena Attebo

Lena’s passion is preventative medicine. Lena has been practicing for more than 25 years and has been working in corporate health and specifically for Life First for the past seven years.

After working in acute care medicine in places such as Intensive Care & Anaesthetics, General Practice, Early Childhood Health and Surgical Assistance she was attracted to “preventative care and being able to change the destiny and quality of life of people going forward.”

Dr Celeste Spamer

“Life First makes an effort to ensure continuity of care and this can be very rewarding for both the doctor and the client."

"The trust that develops over a long period of time, greatly enhances the experience for both the doctor and the client.”

Celeste qualified as a Doctor in 1990 and has been practising medicine for 23 years. She has been working in the
corporate health industry for 14 years, all of which has been for Executive Health Solutions.

Celeste has a thorough understanding of the demands and needs of executives when it comes to assessing and managing their health.

“As a corporate health doctor you have the time to get to know your clients very well. The consultation is not rushed and you therefore have the opportunity to explore all aspects of their health, rather than having to focus on a specific problem. Generally our clients are highly motivated people so it can be very rewarding to measure the positive health outcomes
after they have made some effective lifestyle changes."

Dr Ted Arnold

Ted studied Medicine at the University of Sydney, graduating in 1972 with a Distinction in Preventive Medicine and Public Health.

He worked in general practice and administration and in 1982 Ted received his Masters in Health Education from the University of London.

On returning to Sydney, he commenced general practice in earnest, running a successful prevention orientated practice in Banksmeadow until the late 90’s.

Joining our team in 1999 has allowed Ted to concentrate on the area of Medicine he finds most rewarding.

Dr Miriam Jaffe

Miriam studied medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, London. She graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery.

During her medical studies, Miriam also completed a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) 2nd class (Hons.) at University of London.

A Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (UK) followed in 1994 and in 1995 a Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning. Miriam became a Member of the Royal College of General Practitioners in 1996 and after arriving in Australia she became a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.

Before migrating with her family to Australia in 2006, Miriam was a principal (partner) in a busy General Practice for 9 years. When she arrived in Australia in early 2006 Miriam worked in a General Practice in Sydney’s eastern suburbs before joining our team in May of 2007.


Andrew has been a practicing Doctor for the last 24 years and has been specialising in the corporate health industry for the past six years.

Andrew has “an appreciation of the importance of preventative health and the early detection and correction of cardiac risk factors (high blood pressure, poor cholesterol, pre-diabetes, etc.) in the prevention of serious disease.”

After initial residency placements in Sydney (Prince of Wales, Royal North Shore Hospitals), Andrew has 20 years’ experience in the Critical Care Units of The Wesley Hospital as a Career Medical Officer.

That is, General Intensive Care, Cardiothoracic Intensive Care and Coronary Intensive Care. Andrew has also done some locum work in the Intensive Care Units at The Mater Private and Holy Spirit Northside.

Dr Christopher Oh

Christopher is a Victorian graduate of the University of Melbourne/Austin Hospital Clinical School.

He has been practicing medicine for the past 18 years and is currently working in a clinical private General Practice in the CBD of Melbourne.

Christopher sub-specialises in Skin Cancer Medicine/Surgery at Camberwell Dermatology & Skin Cancer clinic.

He spent a few years out of clinical medicine (MBA at the Melbourne Business School), trying out different corporate Medical Advisory/Business Development roles in both Melbourne & Sydney, including the Pharmaceutical Industry in North Ryde, Sydney. His passion for medicine, however, saw him return to clinical practice, with a particular focus and passion for preventative medicine, particularly in the corporate health field.

Christopher's motivation for entering the corporate health industry started with an “initial intrigue at how ‘high level managers’ in the corporate world cope with self-health, and what effects the corporate lifestyle in the 21st Century has on their overall well-being. It is generally hard to experience this patient group in the time-poor environment/chaos of day-to-day General Practice."

Dr Sue Sullivan

“I enjoy preventative health care, especially seeing clients make changes and return with improved health parameters. It’s terrific having more time with clients than in general practice.”

Sue graduated in 1981 and has worked since then except for five years whilst looking after her young children. Since that time Sue has spent ten years in general practice, some time in Defence Force Health as well as doing some part-time surgical assisting.

Sue is committed to the corporate health industry and has been working for Executive Health Solutions for more than 10 years.

Dr Annie Wong

After graduating in 2001 in the UK, Annie worked in Leicester until 2005 and then studied to become a GP in Cambridge, practicing there from 2005-2010 at which point she moved to Sydney.

The motivation for Annie to work in the corporate health industry was her desire to practice preventative medicine and in particular seeing healthy individuals who are interested and motivated by their health and their future.

Annie has been working with Life First since 2012.  She continues to work in General Practice and has worked in our two Sydney CBD clinics.

Dr Bill Appleton

Bill has an extensive background in general practice, both country and suburban, student health and prison medicine plus medical administration.

Bill has been the Deputy Medical Director at Prince Henry’s Hospital, Medical Director at Mercy Public Hospital & St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Sydney and he currently also still consults at Mills St Clinic in Middle Park.

Bill has been working with Life First since 2000 in Corporate Health Assessments. He is also a medical member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Dr Janet Chan

Janet has been practicing medicine for almost 20 years. Janet is an Intensive Care Specialist and prior to joining Life First worked as an Intensivist at St Vincent’s Hospital. She also worked as a Simulation Specialist in Critical Care Resuscitation.

Janet is particularly passionate about being a part of her clients health journey. "The health assessment at Life First allows the doctor the time and place to get to know the client and address their health concerns, as well as the opportunity to make a difference to someone’s health and well-being."

Janet has a strong interest in medical simulation and continues to be involved in resuscitation and other educational courses.

Life First Health Professionals have extensive experience working with our clients to deliver a service that exceeds participant’s experience. They cover a wide range of health disciplines including nursing, health coaching, dietetics, psychological health and exercise physiology. The following biographies are from a selection of our team.

Health Coaches and Dieticians

Nicole Akdagcik - BSc (Hons), NUT, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY

Nicole is a qualified Dietitian who graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in 2002.

Since graduating, Nicole has spent most of her career dedicated to helping individuals achieve better health through the prevention of chronic conditions.

Nicole is a firm believer that anyone can achieve their health goals through making small changes and that you can achieve health through applying the principal of ‘everything in moderation’.

Nicole has 6 years’ experience in working in corporate health providing her with a great understanding of the current demands of the workplace. She is well equipped to help employees achieve health goals in a busy, demanding environment, having worked on some of the largest workplace health programs in Australia.

Anthea Lee - BSc (Hons), M Nutr Diet Adv Dip Couns

Anthea is a qualified food scientist (University of NSW), dietitian (University of Sydney), sports dietitian (Australian Institute of Sport) and counsellor (Australian Institute of Family Counselling).

Since graduating in 2002 as a dietitian, Anthea has been working with Life First as a dietitian, then later as a health coach so is experienced with the executive lifestyle and the challenges faced.

She also works as a nutrition service provider to the NSW Institute of Sport and local sporting associations, and is a seminar presenter for other organisations.

In addition to her enjoyment of working alongside clients to support them in their health goals, Anthea enjoys spending time with her young family.

Chloe McLeod - BNutrDiet (Flinder University), MPH (Sydney University)

Chloe graduated from Flinder’s University with a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics and has completed training in Sports Nutrition (AIS) and Health Coaching ( Health Coaching Australia), along with completing a Master of Public Health (Sydney)

Chloe has worked as a tutor/lecturer at university level, and also has experience in private practice, and clinical and community based roles, along with consulting to a variety of other sporting teams, from junior to elite level.

Chloe enjoys motivating her clients to be their healthiest self, and finds great satisfaction in helping individuals achieve their goals. In her spare time, Chloe enjoys keeping active through running (having completed two marathons herself), cooking and developing recipes, and exploring Sydney’s hidden beaches.

Exercise Physiologists

Rebecca Roskam - Bsc EX.SC

Rebecca graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Exercise Science in 2010.

Since then Rebecca has had a vast range of corporate health experiences across Brisbane conducting health assessments and providing lifestyle counselling.

With a particular interest in the prevention of lifestyle related diseases Rebecca is driven to improve the wellbeing of her clients through optimising exercise and nutrition.

Nicolas Oughton - Bsc ESHM, M. AppSc (Ex Rehab), ESSAM, AEP, Cert III Pathology

Nic completed his studies at Victoria University leaving with a Masters of Applied Science (Exercise Rehabilitation) in 2010.

Whilst completing his studies Nic worked on research projects with Victoria University, Austin Health and Deakin University in Melbourne. Since graduation, and prior to joining Life First, Nic gained experience in inpatient rehabilitation, occupation rehabilitation and phone based health coaching.

Nic has developed a passion for educating his patients on making healthy lifestyle choices and the role that it plays in preventing and managing chronic health conditions. He has a keen interest in resistance training and the role that it plays in health management.

Registered Nurses

Cathie Cowell - RN

Cathie Cowell has worked as a Registered Nurse at Life First since 2000.

She has a strong interest in preventative medicine and believes that good health is vital for meeting the challenges of work and harmony in personal life.

Cathie has nursing experience in general medicine, women’s health and gynaecology. She is a certified immunisation nurse, having experience in childhood immunisations, travel medicine and influenza vaccination programs.


Linda Jays - MA (Psych), Dip Clin Hyp, MAPS (Clinical & Counselling)

Linda has practiced as a Clinical and Counselling Psychologist for over 25 years, with her professional practice being largely with executives and professionals, both men and women.

Linda has worked extensively with a broad range of presenting issues, including stress, anxiety and depression through to career and work concerns, lack of direction and relationship issues.

“Working with EHS enables me to provide clients with the understanding and skills to better manage concerns before psychological wellbeing further erodes”.

“Life First's health assessment processes go beyond ‘medical screening’ to assessing for potential mental health and psychological well-being issues to help clients understand when they may need to get ‘on the front foot’. Life First's doctors’ ability to engage clients in conversations to seamlessly connect clients, where needed, with a Life First psychologist for confidential assistance is a critical part of the health management programs.”

Life First’ management team has significant experience in the delivery of executive health programs to
individuals and organisations as well as primary healthcare expertise.

John Hall
Chief Executive Officer

John Hall has 20 years’ experience working in public and private health sectors both in Australia and overseas.

John has been employed in corporate health since 1999 in varied service delivery roles before being appointed the General Manager of Good Health Solutions in 2005.

In 2010 John was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Executive Health Solutions. John holds degrees in Nursing and Sports Science and a Masters degree in Public Health. He strongly believes in the “practice what you preach” mantra and enters several community based sporting events each year.

Paul Flanagan
Manager Director

Paul Flanagan is a clinical and organisational psychologist with extensive experience in health services, organisational consulting and services management.

Professionally, Paul has consulted to many Australian and global organisations over the past 20 years, particularly in regard to employee and organisational wellbeing and performance.

Paul was a primary owner and the Managing Director of the Davidson Trahaire group for many years up until the end of 2008.

Paul has held various company director roles, has been President of a national, professional, association and held honorary positions at two leading universities. A keen runner and cyclist, Paul actively balances his busy career with family and his own exercise routines.

Doctor Mark Penny
Medical Director

Dr Mark Penny is the EHS Medical Director, overseeing Doctors recruitment and training, quality control and program design. Dr Penny is a practicing physician at the St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney, specialising in hypertension and nephrology.

Current Appointments:
Senior Staff Specialist, Nephrology, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney
Head of Department, Nephrology & Hypertension, St Vincent's Clinic & Private Hospital, Sydney
Chairman, Drug Committee, St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Sydney
Conjoint Senior Lecturer in Medicine, University of Notre Dame