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Board and Management Team

Parkinson’s Victoria Board 

Philip Thomas 

Board Chair
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.

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. 

Karyn Spilberg 

Member 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.

Celia Robinson

Member Research 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. 

Steve Watts

Member Governance and Risk Committee
Grad. Cert. Applied Management, Adv. Dip. Business Management.

Steve has a background spanning 34 years in Emergency Services and was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2017. His experience has been gained by fulfilling committee roles across a variety of management and leadership positions, as a fire officer he has established an operational and functional leadership/management style with an emphasis on personal communication, wellbeing and accountability. Steve has deployed to fire & flood emergencies across the state, interstate and internationally.  He reflects on engaging with people having their best days, but also holding the hands of people having their worst day. His roles within the emergency services as Commander highlight his work ethics, attention to detail and ability to engage and look after people to get the job done.

Orlando Viola

Member Finance and Investment Committee
Member of Governance & Risk Committee
BBus (Bachelor of Business – Accounting)

Orlando has over 30 years work experience in the Commonwealth Public Service.  During this period he undertook a range of roles and responsibilities covering the technical, operational and administrative realms.  He has worked in both a leadership and project management capacity and has a sound understanding and application of compliance and governance business principles.  With both parents impacted by Alzheimer’s and Dementia respectively, Orlando has experienced first-hand the issues faced by those caring for and living with neurodegenerative disease. Orlando’s empathy and compassion for people living with such illnesses, and for their carers, is what drives his commitment to supporting work associated with the betterment of their lives.

Faye Spiteri

B.A., GradCert PubRelations

An accomplished strategist Faye has an excellent record of moving strategic ideas through to successful implementation, underpinned by practical, sound governance. She has led organisations - through clear vision and strong purpose - to meet rigorous governance standards in social and financial performance, accountability and transparency to create value and build social capital for social impact. She was an executive leader within the Clemenger Group for 17 years as Communications Director for Cultural Perspectives and more recently a Partner at Hall & Partners. Faye is the current and first female President and Board Chair of Fronditha Care, a leading provider of aged care services. She recently retired as Board Chair of inTouch, Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence, a role she held for the last 10 years; she led that organisation to become a recognised leading provider of services for women, children and families experiencing family violence. Passionate about achieving better social outcomes driven by genuine collaboration and engagement, she was recognised for her contribution to driving social change and awarded the Victorian Premier’s Achievement Award in 2001. In 2019, she was recognised for her significant contribution to the Victorian community and inducted to the Victorian Honour Roll for Women.

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.

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.

Joanne Hansen
Chief Operating Officer

With more than 20 years’ experience working with not-for-profit organisations and local governments, Jo has been responsible for contract management, strategic planning, product development and project management, and has held a number of operational senior management roles including Corporate Services Manager, Contract Manager and Regional Manager for YMCA Victoria, a community development, not-for-profit organisation.

She is an energetic and experienced Senior Operations Manager with a business and commercial background and is passionate about supporting local communities, having being involved in a range of board member and community volunteer roles over the past two years.

Aaron Robinson
Database & Systems Manager

In his role at Parkinson's Victoria, Aaron drives operational strategy through analysis of multiple complex data sources. Aaron is actively involved in developing, integrating, and managing computational technology systems to further accomplish Parkinson's Victoria's mission.

With the help of his professional experience in both Australia and overseas, Aaron brings a wealth of IT capability to the organisation, lending technical expertise to enable maximum outreach to people living with Parkinson's and their families.


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