Sign in to CMS Desk.

MND Australia's people

Meet the staff, board, patrons, ambassadors and members of MND Australia.


The MND Australia Team; Sharon Wang, Stephanie Williams, Janet Nash, Rachel Rizk, Carol Birks, Alison Mudie.


Carol Birks – Chief Executive Officer
Carol has been working with people living with MND since January 2000 when she took on the role of managing and developing the MND Association of New South Wales Family Support Service. In October 2006 she was appointed as National Executive Director with MND Australia. In 2013, Carol was elected Chairman of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations.

Dr Stephanie Williams – Executive Director Research
From 2015 Stephanie managed MNDRIA’s grant application processes, annual research meeting, fundraising and communications, together with Janet Nash. Stephanie has more than 20 years experience in health and medical research, advocacy, senior management and science communications. She began her career as a cancer researcher. After studying journalism, Stephanie moved into science communications and not-for-profit management. Stephanie was appointed Executive Director Research in 2017.

Janet Nash – Executive Officer Research
Janet had a career in neuroscience research before joining the MND Association of New South Wales in 1995 as their first Care Coordinator. This was the beginning of the MND NSW Family Support Service. Janet left MND NSW in 2005 to take up the role of Executive Officer of the MND Research Institute of Australia (MNDRIA).  MNDRIA amalgamated with MND Australia in 2010 and Janet continued as Executive Director Research until 2017.

Rachel Rizk – Research Manager
After working as Communications and Information Manager at MND Australia for four-and-half years, Rachel assumed the role of Research Manager. She has worked for more than fifteen years in various science communication roles in the university and public sectors.

Sharon Wang – Finance and Administration Officer
Sharon joined MND Australia in 2016.  She has a background in Finance and Accounting. Sharon coordinates all administration and accounting aspects of MND Australia.


The board of MND Australia consists of an independent elected President and a nominated representative from each state MND association board, up to three Independent Directors and the Chairman of the Research Committee.

MND Australia is the sole member of the MND Research Institute of Australia and as such is responsible for the operations of MNDRIA. The board of both organisations comprise of the same directors.

President – David Ali
David has been a Director of MND Australia since 2006 and was elected National President in November 2013.  He has also been a Director of MND Victoria since 2000 and State President from 2006 to 2013. David is currently Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria), and previously a management services consultant and a senior public sector executive.  David has over 25 years experience as an Executive and non-Executive Director on government and not-for-profit Boards.

Vice President – Lara Kirchner
Lara has worked in local government and public sector for over 20 years, principally in senior management roles.  Her professional background includes extensive strategic and operational experience, in organisational change, service delivery, financial management and community engagement. She has a strong personal commitment to making a significant contribution to MND Australia through her professional skills. Lara is currently the President of MND NSW. 

Treasurer - David Lamperd
David has been involved within the MND Community in the capacity of Director/Board Member since his father-in-law died of MND in 1999, firstly in Western Australia and then Victoria from 2001. David became Secretary of the MND Research Institute from late 2001 until 2005 and has held the roles of Treasurer, Vice President and more recently, State President of MND Victoria.  He has a finance background with over 20 years at National Australia Bank in a variety of roles. For the last 13 years David has been a Partner within a successful Finance Broking business in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. 

Secretary - Kristine Colliver
Kristine joined the MND SA Committee of Management in 2016 where she is a dedicated member of the fundraising committee and spends time as a volunteer community visitor for those diagnosed with MND. Kristine’s own mother was diagnosed with MND in July 2014, and she became her mother’s carer throughout the MND journey which only lasted 16 months. Kristine’s background is in the Superannuation industry, most recently as a Senior Manager in Administration for a large consultancy in Sydney. Kristine is extremely passionate about offering exceptional customer experiences and bringing innovative solutions to challenges. Kristine resides in regional South Australia where she and her husband manage a design and renovation business. 

Joyce Schuringa
Joyce has been involved with the Tasmanian MND Association since her father died of MND in 1998. She has served on the Boards of a variety of NGO's for 23 years and as the MND representative on the Neurological Alliance of Tasmania since its inception in 2006. She is a Senior Physiotherapist in the Tasmanian Health Service. Joyce is currently the President of MND Tasmania. 

Professor Samar Aoun
Samar is Professor of Palliative Care, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine and Associate Dean of Research, Faculty of Health sciences, Curtin University, Australia and Adjunct Professor, Monash University and La Trobe University, Australia. She is a palliative care researcher with a public health approach and a focus on under-served population groups such as people with MND, terminally ill people who live alone and family caregivers pre- and post-bereavement. Samar is currently the Vice-President of MND WA.

Peter Denham

Peter is the President of MND Queensland. 

Professor Matthew Kiernan
Matthew is the Chairman of the MND Australia Research Committee. He is the Bushell Chair of Neurology at the University of Sydney, Co-Director of the Brain and Mind Research Institute and Professor of Neurology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Matthew and his research team have established methods to investigate and diagnose neurological diseases, the latter particularly in relation to MND. He leads the ForeFront Motor Neurone Disease Research Clinic at the University of Sydney. He is also the Vice President of the Australian Brain Foundation and the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Independent Directors

Kevin Russo
Kevin has over 19 years of experience in the technology industry, with a core focus in the strategy development and implementation of emerging technology programs of work.  He works with some of Australia’s most innovative companies in the FSI, Telecom, and Energy & Resources sectors.  Kevin is Deloitte’s lead Technology Consulting Partner in Queensland and also leads Deloitte’s Cloud and Infrastructure Services practice in Australia nationally. 

Prior to joining Deloitte, Kevin held global roles in both management consulting and software industries, and led account management of several large multi-national Clients.   Of course he also was involved in 2 technology start-up companies in the US. Kevin is also a member of Deloitte's innovation council, responsible for reviewing and mentoring fresh ideas from Deloitte employees.  In his spare time, Kevin enjoys working with Not-for-profit companies to help bring them in to the Digital age.

Mark Grey 
Mark Grey is a professional company director with a background in national and international strategic marketing and Research and Development in the e Commerce, agribusiness and the health sector. He is currently Chairman of EyeCo; a Canberra based R&D group specializing in the development of intra ocular drugs. He is also the Chairman of ScanCare an IT company specilaising in the tracking of all consumables, equipment and time in the health and professional services sector to meet compliance and finance management challenges.

He was a NED for Guide Dogs Queensland and supported their marketing and fundraising committee and also served on the audit committee. He was also Chairman of Industrial Relations Law Group, Livingstones Australia, Chairman of Melbourne’s private Eye and Ear Hospital, VPSC, Chairman of risk mitigation company Verifact Group and was a director of global accounting and finance group CPA Australia.

Andrew Halter
Andrew is Legal Counsel and Company Secretary to PayPal Australia, managing this ASIC, APRA and AUSTRAC regulated entity’s independent Board of Directors and its Audit, Risk, and Remuneration subcommittees. Andrew also advises PayPal on the full spectrum of Australian financial services law, as well as on competition and consumer law, privacy law, IP law and contract law.

Andrew’s background is in commercial litigation, managing equity investor class actions, contractual disputes and high value commercial debt recovery.

Andrew has also served as in-house counsel to BPAY and eftpos, advising on financial services law, competition and consumer law, privacy law, IP law and contract law.


Judith Durham AO, OAM
Judith is a singer, pianist, composer and lyricist and was Australia’s first international pop princess as lead singer with The Seekers. Together with her fellow Seekers she was named as Australian of the Year in 1967. Judith’s husband Ron Edgeworth died from MND in 1994. Since that time, Judith has been Patron of MND Australia and has helped raise many thousands of dollars for MND at The Seekers’ concerts.

Sir Gustav Nossal AC, CBE
Sir Gus Nossal became patron in 1993.  He is synonymous with science in Australia.  As the then Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Sir Gus encouraged and assisted greatly in the creation of the first scientifc research conference on MND in Australia.


Ambassador: Guy Barnett
Guy Barnett is a former senator with more than three decades of experience in politics, government and law. He is currently the Tasmanian Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier and Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business. Guy is the Tasmanian Liberal Member for Lyons. Guy and his family have been strong and effective advocates for people living with MND for many years. His late mother, Lady Sallie Ferrall was one of the founding members of the Tasmanian MND Association which was established in 1986, and Guy is a past President of MND Tasmania and a past national board member.

Ambassador: Nigel Ah Wong
Nigel Ah Wong is a professional rugby player with the ACT Brumbies in Canberra. As a member of the Brumbies he participates in the Super Rugby championship which is widely regarded as one of the most challenging rugby competition in the world. His beloved Aunt Sese in New Zealand has MND and his personal experience has made him determined to do what he can to help in the fight against this disease.

Young Ambassador: Brittany Elmslie OAM
Brittany Elmslie is an Olympic swimmer who at just 18 years of age won a gold and two silver medals at the 2012 London Olympics. Brittany hopes to use her profile as an Olympian to raise awareness about MND and those people impacted by the disease.

MND Australia' s Members and associate member

MND Australia is a national federated body.  The members of MND Australia are the state MND associations. MND New Zealand is an associate member.

Members of MND Australia
Motor Neurone Disease New South Wales
Motor Neurone Disease Queensland
Motor Neurone Disease South Australia
Motor Neurone Disease Tasmania
Motor Neurone Disease Victoria
Motor Neurone Disease Western Australia
Associate member – Motor Neurone Disease Association of New Zealand Inc

Referral Pathways

Click on a state or territory.

Or to search using additional criteria visit Referral Pathways.

Disclaimer Copyright MNDcare

Funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing

MND Australia would like to advise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander users that this website may contain images or names of deceased persons.