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Garry R Whatley (Chair)

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GAICD, BBus (Accounting and Information Technology, MBA (Chair)

With both family and friends living with MS, it’s something close to Garry Whatley’s heart. He’s passionate and committed to helping MS Plus achieve its goals through his extensive professional skills.  

Garry was previously appointed as:

  • Non-Executive Director in 2009
  • Deputy Chairman in 2013
  • Chairman in 2019.

He brings to the board over 30 years of experience in the Information Technology (IT) industry and is well-respected in his field.
Garry is currently Managing Director of CIO Advisory, providing IT advisory services to boards and CEOs.

Some other career highlights include:

  • holding various interim CIO roles with everything from start-ups to large multinational corporates
  • working in several C level positions at Corporate Express/Staples Australia for 14 years
  • experience across numerous industries including not-for-profit, finance, insurance, retail, distribution, warehousing, higher education, manufacturing and mining
  • due diligence and integration for over 54 acquisitions
  • delivering business transformation programs across multiple years and countries
  • building an organisation’s digital channel.

Karen Hayes, AM (Deputy Chair)

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FAICD (Deputy Chair)

After a highly successful corporate career, Karen Hayes uses her impressive business skills to strengthen not-for-profit organisations.

Karen has several close friends with MS and understands the critical role MS Plus plays in helping people live their best with MS. She’s committed to drawing on her expertise to support the great work done by MS Plus. Karen is currently a board member of Vision 2020 Australia and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Some other career highlights include being:

  • inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2017, in recognition for her extensive business and community contribution
  • a finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards
  • a founder and board member of the Breast Cancer Network Australia until 2013
  • board member of the Melbourne Football Club from 2006 to 2013.

Ron Brent (Board Member)

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LLB (ANU), BEc (ANU)

Ron Brent has an extensive career working in management and leadership, covering both policy and legal roles.

He is currently semi-retired but remains Principal of Dunera Consulting Pty Ltd, providing services in community engagement, complaint handling, as well as providing advice on airport related issues of noise, health and social impact.

He was previously on the boards of MS Australia and MS Research Australia.

Some other career highlights include being:

  • Chair of the Australian Research Integrity Committee. The committee reviews disputes over research integrity and provides advice to CEOs of the:
  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • Australian Research Council.
  • Australia’s first Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO)
  • Commonwealth Ombudsman and Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman
  • Director of the National Film and Sound Archive (for over 10 years)
  • Various government departments in policy and legal roles.

Other boards on which he has served include Film Australia, the National Science and Technology Centre, and the National Film and Sound Archive.

When he’s not enjoying family time, sport, reading or travel, Ron has filled numerous volunteer roles such as coaching in a range of junior sport teams, club committee roles and race organizer.

Alison Brown (Board Member)

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Alison Brown is an experienced financial professional who’s worked with not-for-profit organisations for over 25 years.

She’s a chartered accountant and graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Alison is currently:

  • Finance and Business Director of Loreto and South East Asia.
  • Director of R.I.S.F Ltd as trustee of Religious Institutes Central Investment Fund
  • Company Secretary of Mary Ward International Ltd.

Some other career highlights include:

  • 11 years as an Assurance & Advisory Partner at Deloitte
  • Leading the Deloitte Private not-for-profit industry group for 5 years
  • being a member of the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission’s professional user group from inception in 2012 to 2017.

Sharlene Brown (Board Member)

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Sharlene Brown is a specialist legal and governance professional with an impressive career working on a number of board committees. Sharlene brings her knowledge and passion to her work as a committed volunteer and advocate. She joined the MS Plus board in June 2016.

Sharlene is currently: 

  • Chair of the MSCEC Committee for the ACT, NSW, Tas and Vic
  • A member of the Risk, Audit and Finance Committee
  • Specialist counsel for a government business enterprise

Other career highlights include being:

  • Current Chair of the Advocacy Committee for the MS Australia Board
  • An ambassador and board member of the WA MS Society and MS Tasmania
  • Interim CEO of MS Tasmania during its merger with MS Limited (now MS Plus)
  • Deputy Chair of the Tasmanian Audit Risk Committee
  • Certified past member of the Governance Institute
  • Previous General Manager, Company Secretary and General Counsel with a number of Tasmanian organisations.

Sharlene’s passion is advocacy, and as someone who lives with RRMS, she can relate to the many challenges faced by members. 

Desmond (Des) Graham (Board Member)

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Des Graham has over 35 years of experience in health and human services. During this time, he held senior executive public sector positions in a number of states across clinical, service delivery, and policy and planning portfolios.

Des is living with MS, so he has lived experience with the condition.

Des is currently:

  • on the MS Australia board
  • involved with the Menzies Institute for Medical Research MS Flagship.

One of his proudest achievements is receiving a Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Award from the Mental Health Council of Australia. He won this for his service to consumer and carer participation in health service planning and individual care.

Some other career highlights include being:

  • Deputy Secretary with the Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania
  • CEO for the Mental Health Council of Australia
  • a representative for national forums, including the Council of Australian Government committee
  • a key player in the moulding and implementation of the Rudd Health Reforms and National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • a representative for Australia at a range of international forums
  • an Adjunct Associate Professional at the University of Tasmania, College of Health and Medicine.

He was also Vice President of MS Australia in 2018 and a previous Board Chair of MS Tasmania.

Jeannette Lechner-Scott (Board Member)

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Jeannette Lechner-Scott is a professor and neurologist with an extensive medical background. She completed her PhD on pain pathways and trained in neurology in Germany and Switzerland, working at one of the major MS centres in Europe. She has extensive experience working with people living with MS.

Jeannette is currently:

  • leading the Hunter New England MS Clinic, which cares for over 1,000 local patients with MS
  • a senior staff specialist and a conjoint professor at the John Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle
  • Co-Chief Editor for the journal MSARD
  • an Australian representative on the MSIF Scientific Advisory Committee.

Some other career highlights include working with Ludwig Kappos to develop:

  • a training scheme for EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale) assessment
  • a tool for assessment over the phone.

Jeannette is a pioneer in epigenetic research, which shows how environmental influences can affect DNA. She has a keen interest in MS and how it impacts cognition, and how MRI technology can be used to monitor MS progression.

Scott McCorkell (Board Member)

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Scott McCorkell is the Sydney based CEO and Owner of McCorkell & Associates - the first integrated B2B marketing agency in the Asia-Pacific region that delivers end-to end services in creative, marketing technology, events, contact centre, content, adtech, account strategy and CRM/data.

Scott brings 40 years’ experience working in the marketing industry and has earned himself a reputation for successfully introducing global brands into the Asia Pacific region and growing their market share and customer base very quickly...just ask Salesforce, IBM, SAP, Oracle, Lexus, VMware, National Dental Care, Harley Davidson and Google.

Passionate about his work, Scott’s experience and deep understanding of IT&T global channel challenges led him to develop an integrated agency for businesses that needed a 'one-stop shop solution.' A one-of-a-kind agency where businesses could receive every service that falls under the banner of marketing.

Now, 30 years later since Scott opened his agency to the IT&T industry, the increasing demand for McCorkell & Associates' services has seen the agency’s exponential growth in the Asia Pacific region. With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and India, McCorkell continues to innovate in the new age of digital communications.

With a passion and enthusiasm, Scott lends his expertise to many not-for-profit organisations, and he has been on the Board since 2013 and is an MS Saint – MSRA the research arm of MS.

Adriana Zuccala (Board Member)

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Adriana Zuccala is a qualified lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in the financial, property and legal sectors. She has friends living with MS.

Adriana is currently:

  • Managing Director of Supra Capital, a boutique funds management business
  • a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia.

Adriana is the former Deputy Chair of VincentCare Victoria and VincentCare Community Housing.

Some other career highlights include:

  • over 15 years of experience operating contributory mortgage schemes and property development funds
  • being General Counsel of CGA Bryson, a property development and funds company
  • being a partner of a large national law firm, specialising in property development and financing.

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