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Board and Management Team

Parkinson’s Victoria Board 

Associate Professor David Finkelstein 

Chair; Member of Governance and Research Committee

B.Sc., Grad. Dip. Scientific Instrumentation, M. Sc., Ph.D.
Appointed:  May 2014

Physiologist and neurobiologist David Finklestein is the head of the Parkinson’s Disease Laboratory at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health. In this role, he uses his skills and knowledge to investigate possible new medical interventions for Parkinson’s. He has led many research projects, authored over 100 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and presented his innovative work to medical researchers all over the world. David is committed to raising awareness of Parkinson’s research within the broader community and increasing the profile of Parkinson’s research in Australia. He assists Parkinson’s Victoria to advocate for more funding from government grants for Parkinson’s research and support for Parkinson’s services. 

Andrew Suggett OAM 

Vice Chair; Chair of Governance and Research Committee 
Dip. Acc., Cert. Retail Management 
Appointed: November 2013

Andrew has been living with Parkinson’s for many years. Living in Warrnambool, he is the coordinator of the Warrnambool Parkinson’s Peer Support Group and a Parkinson’s Victoria Ambassador. In 2013, he was awarded the Order of Australia Medal for his services to Parkinson’s Victoria and community involvement with Rotary. Andrew is committed to continuing to raise awareness, represent and support people living with Parkinson’s in regional Victoria.

Adam Conrad 

Treasurer; Chair of Finance and Investment Committee 
B. Comm., CPA 
Appointed: November 2012

Adam is a qualified CPA Accountant with 15 years’ experience both in Australia and overseas working for companies such as Accenture, Deutsche Bank and ANZ. He has spent the past 10 years in Finance and Business roles and shares his business acumen with Parkinson’s Victoria as Treasurer and Chair of Finance and Investment Committee. Adam’s late father was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s when he was 35 years and lived with the condition for 30 years. Adam is committed to making a difference to the lives of people living with and affected by Parkinson’s and ensuring people feel well supported with help, advice and support services. 

Damian Farrell 

Member of Finance and Investment Committee
B.A., ACU, FAIM, MAICD 
Appointed:  November 2012

Through a distinguished career in the higher education sector, Damien has built a reputation as an innovator and founder of highly regarded adult education institutions. He has led the development of several market-leading education providers including the Workplace Training Advisory of Australia, the Australian School of Applied Management, Work and Leadership Australia and the National Leadership Institute. He has also held several private sector directorships. Damien was inspired to join the Board after witnessing the wonderful support received by his mother through her journey with Parkinson’s. In his role as President, he assists Parkinson’s Victoria improve the quality of life for thousands of Victorian living with Parkinson’s by ensuring the talented team has the best available resources.

Sue Harper 

B.A., Grad. Dip. Ontological Coaching 

Appointed:  November 2013

Sue has 20 years of management and leadership experience at Commonwealth, State Government and international levels in taxation, industry policy, employment and industrial relations. She is an executive coach and mentor to senior public sector executives in Australia and overseas, and has worked with not-for-profit organisations in the Asia-Pacific region. A member of Sue’s family has Parkinson’s and through her work with the Board, she aims to realise an increased commitment to fund national and international research and support local community based initiatives in Victoria. 

Karyn Spilberg 

Member of Engagement and Advocacy Working Group
B.Ed., Grad. Dip. Computer Education, Grad. Dip.  English as a Second Language
Appointed:  June 2014

Karyn was diagnosed with Parkinson’s more than 10 years ago. Since diagnosis she has immersed herself in the national and international Parkinson’s community to learn more about the condition and better understand the needs of the Parkinson’s community. Along her journey, she has made significant contributions to the Parkinson’s community. She is a regular blogger, sharing her knowledge and experience online; she founded Young @ Park, a support group for people living with early onset Parkinson’s; raised thousands of dollars through fundraising activities to support services and research; acted as a media ambassador for Parkinson’s raising awareness through numerous media interviews and appearances; attended national and international conferences and is an active advocate for the Parkinson’s community; and is the 2013 winner of the Sir Zelman Cowen Award. She brings a great deal of passion and experience to the Board.

Shane Murphy 

Member of Engagement and Advocacy Working Group
Appointed: November 2015

A former lecturer and teacher, Shane was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at 44 years old.  Since Shane’s diagnosis in 2003, he has been an ambassador for Parkinson’s Victoria, sharing his lived experience of Young Onset Parkinson’s in the media and broader community. Shane is actively involved in research, and is a member of the Young@Park Peer Support Group. He has professional experience as a lecturer at the Australian Maritime College and more recently in high school teaching, and was a Board Member for the Technical Teacher’s Association. Shane is committed to ensuring the needs of people living with Parkinson’s - in particular those diagnosed at an early age - are represented Parkinson’s Victoria’s work and that research remains a priority.  

Philip Thomas 

M. ComLaw, B.Bus.,Grad. Dip. CSP.,ASA, FCSA, FCIS, F.Fin, MAICD
Appointed: June 2016

Philip is the Principal of Oakland Group a specialist in Governance and Compliance practice, assisting a wide variety of companies from ASX listed entities to the not for profit sector. Having worked in a variety of Accounting and Financial Services firms at the senior level in Australia and Asia, Philip has developed a keen interest in the area of business management and boardroom governance. He is a frequent guest speaker to industry on development, control and assessment practices including governance procedures for management and Boards. This area includes training in aspects and support for directors and company secretaries of practical governance and business solutions. He is currently a director four companies, including for profit and not for profit entities.


Parkinson's Victoria Management Team

Emma Collin

Chief Executive Officer
emma@parkinsons-vic.org.au

Emma has a professional background and extensive experience in the not-for-profit and local government sectors. Prior to joining Parkinson’s Victoria as CEO, she held a number of senior management roles including Executive Manager, Carer Representation and Engagement with Carer’s Victoria and General Manager, Community Services with Melton City Council.

The focus of Emma’s current role is on securing government, philanthropic and community support for people with Parkinson’s, including legislative and social policy reform. She leads a dynamic team who provide information, education, advice and peer support services to the Parkinson’s community as well as manage fundraising and community awareness raising activities.

Emma is a passionate advocate for vulnerable members of the community. She is committed to ensuring people living with Parkinson’s and their families are able to have a representative voice and access to a range of high quality services that are flexible and responsive to individual needs.

Emma holds a Bachelor of Business from RMIT and is currently completing her Executive MBA at RMIT University, Melbourne.

Victor McConvey

Parkinson’s Clinical Nurse Consultant – Health Team Manager
victor@parkinsons-vic.org.au

Victor has been a nurse for 25 years and has worked in the area of neurology for the past 18 years. He has worked in clinical management and service development positions in both Australia and the UK, including establishing the Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist position in Leeds, UK.

In his role at Parkinson’s Victoria, Victor leads the Health Team, providing direction to the development and roll out of our information, peer support education programs.

Victor is currently involved in a range of projects including developing the role and profile of the Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist in Australia and participating in the working party reviewing clinical and consumer information generated by Parkinson’s Victoria. He has written journal articles, presented at international conferences and received a number of awards and fellowship related to his work with the Parkinson’s community.

Sonya Kennedy

Fundraising and Membership Manager
Sonya.kennedy@parkinsons-vic.org.au

Sonya has led a variety of major projects and held senior management positions in marketing, fundraising and communication across commercial, government and not-for-profit sectors.  
With a keen interest in health, her passion and expertise lies with building strong communities and fundraising.  She has held a variety of marketing and fundraising positions with organisations including the National Heart Foundation, Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria and Cystic Fibrosis Victoria.  

In this time she has led the strategic development of long term fundraising plans that have delivered growth within existing and new fundraising streams.  Her skills in building relationships at a community level and delivering large scale events have given significant benefit to both the NFP and the community it supports.

Sonya leads our work with the community to build support for our work through the team in supporting community fundraising opportunities that present themselves everyday whilst growing existing events such as A Walk in the Park and delivering new initiatives.    


Read more about Parkinson's Victoria in our 2014-15 Annual Report

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