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Board and Management Team

Parkinson’s Victoria Board 

Professor David Finkelstein 

Chair, 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. 

Sue Harper 

Chair Governance Committee  
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 Research Committee
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.

Philip Thomas 

Member Governance Committee 
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.

Dylan Hardy

Member Finance and Investment Committee
BA (Bachelor Arts)
Appointed: June 2017

Dylan brings local and international commercial experience and skills encompassing customer driven service leadership, operational excellence, sales and marketing development to the Board.

Dylan has spent time on the board of a not-for-profit in the United States (Central Ohio Diabetes Association) and worked as a member on various committees. 

Diagnosed with Parkinson’s aged 32, Dylan is able to bring his unique perspective of living with Young Onset Parkinson’s in regional Victoria.

Celia Robinson

Member of Finance and Investment Committee
M.Pub&IntLaw, B.Bus (Local Government)
Appointed: June 2017

Celia has been working in the public sector for over 20 years during which time she has developed considerable skills and expertise in the areas of public policy, governance and community engagement.  Celia comes with financial management experience and has interests in advocacy and partnership development. 

Jason Karametos

Chair Finance and Investment Committee
B Com/LLB (Hons),  LLM.
Appointed: April 2018

Jason is a PwC Partner leading the national industries corporate tax team and has over 18 years’ experience advising Australian and multinational public companies on broad corporate tax and international tax issues. 

Having worked in professional services firms in Australia and abroad, Jason has developed strong international networks and expertise in navigating complex global regulations and risk.

Jason's late father had Parkinson's and through his work with the Board he aims to raise awareness of Parkinson's within the broader community and be an advocate for increase funding for community services and research.

Jason is also an Australian Lawyer of the Supreme Court of Victoria and is a board member and chair of finance for an Independent School in Melbourne. 

Parkinson's Victoria Management Team

Emma Collin
Chief Executive Officer

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 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
Executive Manager, Marketing and Development

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.    

Melissa King
Operations Manager / Company Secretary

Melissa is Company Secretary and responsible for the Operations function at Parkinson’s Victoria, enabling its staff and stakeholders to optimally perform their responsibilities.

Melissa boasts more than 20 years professional experience performing administrative and related roles in both the Corporate and Not-for-Profit sectors including Tennis Australia, National Australia Bank and Royal Dental Hospital.  She draws on this diverse experience to ensure highest standards of administration delivery across Parkinson’s Victoria Operations.

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