Board President - Sandra Di Blasio
Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts, Accountancy (UniSA), CPA
Career: Sandra has over 20 years experience in internal and external audit, risk management and governance, having worked in the public and private sector both in Adelaide and Sydney. This range of experience has provided her with the tools to be able to look at issues from many perspectives and problem solving to ensure solutions are practical outcomes.
Why MDA? As a mum of three young children and having always had a social conscience, MDA and Sandra found each other - MDA needed some skills in her area of expertise and Sandra felt she needed to contribute to something greater than day to day life. It’s a win - win situation!!
Sandra observes that MDA is passionate about people and is impressed with the client focused nature of the organisation. She says ‘This is a very dedicated group of which I am proud to be a part and look forward to a long association.’
Qualifications: BSc (Hons), Adelaide 1965; PhD, Adelaide 1971; Postdoctoral Training, Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, University of the Saarland, Germany 1972-1973
Career: Lecturer level A, The University of Adelaide 1966-1970; Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Principal Lecturer and Associate Professor, South Australian Institute of Technology 1970-1990; Associate Professor of Physiology, University of South Australia 1990-1997; Professor of Physiology, University of South Australia 1997-2005; Adjunct Professor, University of South Australia 2005-Present.
Why MDA? Allan’s doctoral research was on muscle function and the mechanism of the muscle disease myotonia congenita. A maintained research interest in muscle diseases has led to long-term voluntary work for MDA.
Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts - Communications (UniSA), Graduate Certificate Case Management, Advanced Diploma Community Services Management, Cert IV - Training and Assessment, MA (Communications), Diploma of Management
Career: Tara has worked for the City of Port Adelaide Enfield for eight years, in both community care and community development. She has experience in working with volunteers, various community groups, planning and developing new initiatives and running community events. Tara also teaches community development at TAFE on a casual basis.
Why MDA? Tara’s mother, Colette, had myotonic dystrophy and died in November 2008. She is passionate about assisting MDA through her special interest areas of marketing and promotions, community engagement and fundraising.
Qualifications: MB BS (Adel)
Career: Janakan is currently a Staff Specialist in the Neurology; Stroke Units at the Royal Adelaide Hospital; Head of the Neurology; Stroke Service at the Lyell McEwin Hospital. He also works as a neurologist in private practise. His special interest area is in Adult Neuromuscular and Neuro-immunological Disease and conducts a clinic in this area at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Why MDA? Janakan has had a special interest in muscle disorders since the time of his training as a neurologist. Janakan hopes working with MDA will enable a link to be established between the MDA community and the hospital system.
Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts, Accountancy (Uni SA), Chartered Accountant
Career: David is a recently retired Chartered Accountant having had over 20 years experience as a manager and partner in a Chartered firm in Adelaide and, previously, some 18 years in management and technical positions in the ATO.
In a career in both larger and smaller organisations, that variously involved the production of solutions for a wide range of issues, David has developed knowledge and skills in a number of areas including financial analysis, business systems and people management.
Why MDSA:With some time on his hands, David was keen to give something back to the community, and the offer to join the Board at MDSA has provided one excellent way of doing this. The community spirit and the striving for excellence in the delivery of client services are evident and admirable features of the work being carried out at MDSA. David is proud to be associated with this work and is keen to be able to assist in whatever way he can.
Qualifications: Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Hons) (University of Adelaide), Company Directors Course Diploma (Austrlian Institute of Company Directors), Global Strategic Management Executive Program (Harvard Business School), Governor’s leadership Program (Leaders Institute of South Australia.
Career: Tim has over 20 years experience in strategic leadership, consulting and management roles in technology, professional services and commercialisation. He has worked in diverse industries, including water, engineering, law and education, and at a state, national and international level.
Why MDA : Tim has a personal connection to people with neuromuscular disorders as both his wife, Nicole and father-in-law, Fred, were diagnosed with Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy Type 2 (MMD2) in 2005. Fred since passed away in 2011. Tim is passionate about applying his business skills and experiences to serve and support the MDA in its mission to improve the lives of people living with neuromuscular disorders
Qualifications: BMgmt Marketing (UniSA), fellow. Governor’s Leadership Foundation (2003)
Career: Glen is currently an Associate Director with the IT Advisory practice in KPMG Adelaide. He advises a broad cross section of clients on opportunities and issues relating to IT strategy, performance, sourcing, cloud services, ehealth and the broader digital economy. Glen’s previous role was Chief Information Officer with the Royal District Nursing Service (RDNS) in South Australia. Glen has over 15 years experience in information technology, business management, marketing and procurement with both private and public sector orgainisations. Glen is also President of the Burnside Country Fire Service (CFS), and has been an active volunteer with CFS for over 20 years.
Why MDA: Glen has no direct connection to people with MD however, through exposure with the RDNS, has worked closely with clinicians and clients to trail and impletment technology solutions that improve the lives of individuals with chronic, palliative and short term health conditions. Glen is passionate about finding new ways to use technology to improve the quality of life for individuls, their families and support networks living with MD and other neurological disorders. Glen is married to Sue, a physiotherapist specialising in neurology, and proud father of twins Cassie and Josh.
Qualifications: LL.B, G.D.L.P
Career: Since graduating in 1992, Melissa has specialised in the area of wills, deceased estates and trusts. She is a member of the Law Society’s Succession Law Committee and co-editor of their publication The Last Testament. Melissa also contributes to the succession law modules for the post graduate legal practice courses run by the law Society and Flinders University. Melissa is a member of the board of a private foundation which supports the arts, education and medical research in South Australia.
Why MDA: Melissa has always felt that the saying “those to whom much is given, much is expected” is something to live by and looks for ways to participate in the community. Melissa’s father Bob had polio as a child and now suffers from post-polio syndrome. It was only after becoming involved with MDA that Melissa discovered the vast range of neuro muscular conditions covered by MDA and the fact that post-polio syndrome comes under that umbrella gives her further reason to do what she can to help.