Freecall Infoline

1800 644 189


Board and Management Team

Fight Parkinson’s 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 Fight Parkinson’s to advocate for more funding from government grants for Parkinson’s research and support for Parkinson’s services. 

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.

Fight Parkinson’s 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 Fight Parkinson’s 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.

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 been involved in a range of board member and community volunteer roles over the past two years.

Joshua Donchi
Fundraising Manager

Joshua has more 13 years’ experience leading and developing high performing fundraising teams. He specialises in building long-term, sustainable fundraising systems covering all aspects of income generation and has been responsible for the creation of many National fundraising campaigns and events at Kidney Health Australia, Beyond Blue and Make-A-Wish Australia.

Joshua is a very passionate person, with excellent attention to detail, whose goal is to be an integral part of any organisation to make a difference in the Australian community.

Victor McConvey
Parkinson’s Clinical Nurse Consultant – Manager, Health Team, Clinical and Support Services

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 Fight Parkinson’s, 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 Fight Parkinson’s. 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.

David Phillips
Education Manager

David is a collaborative and results-driven educator, facilitator and high-performance coach with 25+ years of expertise in managing commercial, private and post-secondary facilities as well as senior leadership roles in national/international sport organisations. 

Across sport and higher education sectors, he has demonstrated experience in aligning technology and innovative approaches with academic research in the areas of curriculum, online learning & development, instructional design, learning management systems, teacher education, mentorship, and program evaluation.

David’s passion is to support those around him and share knowledge, expertise and insights that facilitate growth and development. In his role at Fight Parkinson’s, he oversees the Education strategy, including the application and integration of digital approaches to community and health professional engagement.

David holds a Masters in Higher Education from OISE at the University of Toronto in addition to High Performance Coaching qualifications in Tennis and Squash.

Related Information