Our Board

President & Board Chair

Professor George Mellick

George is an interdisciplinary scientist who works on all aspects of Parkinson’s disease and related disorders. He is the Deputy Director of the Eskitis Institute, Griffith University and holds adjunct positions at the University of Queensland, RBWH and Princess Alexandra Hospital. George has authored over 100 research publications including articles in the Lancet, JAMA, Lancet Neurology and Annals of Neurology. He is also is an advocate for people affected by Parkinson’s disease and serves as the President of Parkinson’s Queensland.

Vice President

Olivia Nassaris

Olivia is the Executive Director of Parkinson’s SA, NT & ACT and The Hospital Research Foundation Group – Stroke.

Olivia has extensive experience in communications and advocacy in aged care, higher education and health both in Brazil and Australia. This role has enabled strong expertise in business development, key strategic partnerships, philanthropic grants and communications. Under Olivia’s leadership, a client-centred hub focusing on living well as we age was created. At the heart of everything, Olivia focuses on maximising choice, independence and wellbeing for people living with neurological and movement disorders. With that in mind, THRFG’s social enterprise, the Brain x Body Fitness Studio was founded which focuses on body and brain health (neuroplasticity) through exercise.

At a national level, she successfully wrote a grant application to the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building body of the National Disability Insurance Agency for $1.6 million. The Young Onset Parkinson’s Exchange (YOP-X) App provides information and education designed specifically for people under the age of 65 living with Parkinson’s and related conditions. It breaks down barriers connecting clients, health professionals, NDIA staff and contractors to access high quality education and information. YOP-X also gives people living in regional and remote communities access to quality information that is quick and easy to access. Olivia recently helped transition Stroke SA and Parkinson’s SA&NT to become charities of The Hospital Research Foundation, ensuring increased capacity to provide improved support to people living with neurological and movement disorders, more awareness and funding research into the area.

She is passionate about community health and is a Director of The Maggie Beer Foundation and Treasurer of the Rare Find Foundation, a childhood dementia charity. Olivia and her primary-aged son love to travel with friends where they can explore new places and create memories.

Treasurer

Steve Ferguson

Steve is a Chartered Accountant and was a partner with Ernst & Young for over 25 years leaving in late 2018. Steve was the Financial Services Accounts Leader for EY in Asia Pacific and as an assurance partner has led the audit of a number of large Australian multinational listed companies. He is a graduate of the Company Directors Course at the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Board Member & Public Officer

John Sheldrick OAM

John is the President of Parkinson's ACT. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon and served in the regular Army for 34 years in command, operational and training appointments before resigning as a Brigadier. During his service he was seconded to the Department of Special Minister of State as Head Protective Services Coordination Centre.  After the Army he gained a financial advisers representative certificate, worked as a defence consultant and was the inaugural Executive Officer of the Australian Forces Vietnam Veterans Trust. John completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in International Relations and History at the Australian National University as a mature student. John has been very active in supporting community organisations including the RSL where he is Chairman of RSL National Trustees, Rotary and earlier the Red Cross, the Heart Foundation and Life Education. John is married to Maxine who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's. 

Board Member

Dr Moira Watson PhD, FAICD, FAIM, FGIA

Moira is an experienced company Chair and Director on a range of Boards with a background as a senior leader in ASX listed companies and as an executive director in government. ​

 

Moira has a PhD in business management and is a graduate and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia. Moira is also Chair of Chorus Australia, Chair of Diabetes WA, a Councillor with HBF, a Director with Diabetes Australia, and a Director with Diabetes Australia Research Limited.  

Board Member

Glenn Rees AM

Glenn has worked at senior levels in the British and Australian Public Services. In Britain he worked as Private Secretary to senior Ministers, in the Cabinet Office and in Economic Departments. In Australia since 1976 he has worked in program and policy areas including Prime Minister and Cabinet, Employment and Training, Aged Care, Disabilities, Housing and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. He was Chair of the Nursing Homes and Hostels Review in 1986 and was involved in implementing the first wave of aged care reforms. Glenn was CEO of Alzheimer's Australia from 2000-2014. During his time as CEO, the Dementia Initiative was implemented in 2005 with $320 million over 5 years; important funding commitments made to tackle dementia in the 2012 Aged Care reforms including timely diagnosis, acute care and dementia risk reduction and $200 million committed to dementia research in 2014. Dementia is now a National Health Priority Area.

​Glenn has been a member of many Government advisory committees and an active member of the National Aged Care Alliance. He became Chair of Alzheimer’s Disease International in April 2015 and is an independent Board Member of Parkinson’s Australia. 

Board Member

John McDonald

John's initial education and working life was as a Civil Engineer.  Subsequently he held various managerial roles both in Australia and overseas. 

 

John has been a member of the Parkinson’s Western Australia Board for a number of years and is currently President of that organisation.  His late wife had Parkinson’s for over 30 years.

Board Member

Helen Connor-Kendray OAM