Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors volunteer for countless hours to help improve the lives of people affected by multiple sclerosis. Every Board member has a personal connection to multiple sclerosis and a passion for making a difference to the lives of others. Their mix of skills and more than 100 years of cumulative experience provide solid business acumen to back our strategic direction.

Personal experience with multiple sclerosis

Company Secretary

  • Kim Farrugia

Garry R Whatley, GAICD, BBus (Accounting and Information Technology), MBA (Chair)

Garry R WhatleyHaving both family and friends living with MS, Garry is passionate about and has a strong personal commitment to making a significant contribution to the goals of Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MS) through his extensive professional skills.

Garry Whatley was appointed as a Non-Executive Director to the Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MS) of Directors in 2009, and as Deputy Chairman in December 2013 and he was appointed Chairman on 1 July 2019. He brings to the Board over 28 years of experience in the Information Technology industry and is well respected within his field. 

Garry is currently Managing Director of CIO Advisory providing IT Advisory services to Boards and CEO’s. Over the past 4 years he has held 4 Interim CIO roles with organisations ranging in size from start-ups to large multinational corporates. 

Prior to his current role Garry was at Corporate Express/Staples Australia for 14 years where he held several “C” level positions. During this time, he was involved in the due diligence and integration for over 54 acquisitions, owned and delivered a multiple year, multiple country business transformation program and built the organisations digital online channel.

Karen Hayes, FAICD (Deputy Chair)

Karen HayesAfter a highly successful corporate career, Karen Hayes has turned her impressive business skills to strengthening not-for-profit organisations. She was appointed as a Non-Executive Director to Multiple Sclerosis Limited in 2014.

Having several close friends living with MS, Karen is very committed to being able to draw on her extensive corporate and not-for profit expertise to support the great work done by MS, in making a difference in the lives of all those impacted. She is a great believer in the valuable role played by organisations such as MSL to assist people with chronic health conditions to lead fulfilling lives.

Karen was appointed as CEO of Guide Dogs Victoria in November 2011, after spending eight years as the Director, Corporate Engagement and Human Capital with UXC Limited, an ASX300 company and the largest Australian owned ICT Company in the country. She was previously CEO for Planpower, a dominant player in the project management and business consulting arena and one of 10 Business Units of the UXC Group.

Karen is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD). She is also a past finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year Awards, was a founder and Board member of the Breast Cancer Network Australia until April 2013 and spent eight years as a Board member of the Melbourne Football Club from 2006 to 2013. She is currently a Board member of Vision 2020 Australia and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Karen was also inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women, in 2017, in recognition of her extensive business and community contribution.

Ron Brent LLB (ANU), BEc (ANU)

Karen HayesRon is currently chair of the Australian Research Integrity Committee, a review committee that considers disputes over research integrity providing advice to the CEO’s of the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council.
Ron recently retired as Australia’s first Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO).  He held the position for two terms from September 2010 February 2017.   The role of ANO is to enhance the management of complaints, improve aircraft noise information and develop more effective consultation.

Prior to taking up his role as ANO, Ron held the role of Commonwealth Ombudsman for six months and before that, Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman for seven years.  He also has experience in management and leadership having been Director of the National Film and Sound Archive for 10 years.  Before that he worked in policy and legal roles in various Government departments.
Ron has served on a number of Boards and is currently on the Board of the National Folk Festival alongside his roles with Multiple Sclerosis Limited and Multiple Sclerosis Australia.
Ron is married with three children and when not working enjoys sport, reading and travel.  He has also done extensive volunteer work with a range of sports as a coach for junior teams, Committee member in club and organiser of races.

Alison Brown

Alison BrownAlison is an experienced finance professional who has worked with not-for-profit organisations for over 25 years. She is currently the Finance & Business Director of not-for-profit group, Loreto Australia and Sth East Asia. Prior to this Alison spent her career as an external auditor, including 11 years as an Assurance & Advisory Partner at Deloitte. During this time, she specialised in working with not-for-profit clients across education, aged care, disability and community services. Alison led the Deloitte Private not-for-profit industry group for 5 years and was a member of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’s professional user group from inception in 2012 to 2017. Alison is a director of R.I.S.F Ltd as trustee of Religious Institutes Central Investment Fund and company secretary of charity Mary Ward International Australia Ltd.

Alison is a chartered accountant and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting)/Bachelor of Arts (Japanese) from Swinburne University.

Sharlene Brown

Sharlene BrownSharlene joined the MS Board in June 2016, having previously held roles as an Ambassador and Board Member of the WA MS Society and MS Tasmania. Sharlene was the interim CEO of MS Tasmania during its merger with MSL, having sat on the Board for many years previous. Sharlene was also the Deputy Chair of the Tasmanian Audit & Risk Committee.

She is the Chair of the Tasmanian Project Steering committee, and a member of the Australian Home Care Services Strategic Review committee.

Sharlene is a legal and governance professional, certified past Member of the Governance Institute and has worked as General Manager, Company Secretary, and General Counsel with a number of Tasmanian organisations. Sharlene is currently the Group General Counsel for a Tasmanian and Qld based organisation, and when called upon as a guest lecturer with the University of Tasmania.  Sharlene has worked overseas as a legal executive and in other States of Australia. She brings this knowledge and experience to the Board as a passionate advocate and as a committed volunteer.

She lives with RRMS, and understands first-hand the limitations a diagnosis may have on those affected. She is a water polo, and tee ball coach for her son’s school and enjoys nothing more than those opportunities to be a ‘soccer Mum’.

Desmond (Des) Graham

Des GrahamDes was appointed to the MS Australia Board in 2014 and elected Vice President in November 2018.  Des has also been a Board member of MS Limited since June 2016 and previously served as Board Chair of MS Tasmania. He was also recently appointed to the Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia (MS Research Australia) Board.

With over thirty-five years’ experience in health and human services Des has held senior executive public sector positions in a number of States across a broad range of portfolios responsible for clinical, service delivery and policy and planning portfolios.  He was also the inaugural CEO for the Mental Health Council of Australia and continues to have engagements with a broad range of non-government organisations.  Des has represented jurisdictions on a broad range of national forums including the Council of Australian Government committees.  Of note was Des’s role in national committees responsible for the moulding and implementation of the Rudd Health Reforms and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  In addition, Des has represented Australia at a number of international forums.  Des has held an adjunct Associate Professor position with the University of Tasmania, College of Health and Medicine and is active in the Menzies Institute for Medical Research MS Flagship.

Des' qualifications include undergraduate and post graduate nursing and a Master of Science and is a member of the AICD. Six years after his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis Des retired as Deputy Secretary with the Department of Health and Human Services, Tasmania.

Professionally, one of Des' most prized achievements was the dedication of a Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Award to the Mental Health Council of Australia for his services to consumer and carer participation in health service planning and individual care, a principle he continues to advocate strongly for today.

Jeannette Lechner-Scott

Professor Lechner-ScottProfessor Lechner-Scott graduated at University of Heidelberg in Germany, where she also completed her PhD about pain pathways. She trained in Neurology in Freiburg, Germany and Basel, Switzerland, where she worked with Ludwig Kappos at one of the major MS centres in Europe. She developed together with Ludwig Kappos a training scheme for EDSS assessment as well as a tool for assessment over the phone. She is a senior staff specialist at the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle and a conjoint Professor of the Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle. She leads the Hunter New England MS clinic in the John Hunter Hospital caring for over 1000 patients with MS in the area. She is a pioneer in epigenetic research in MS but also has an intense interest in the impact of the disease on cognition and new MRI techniques to monitor disease activity in MS. She represents Australia since 2019 on the MSIF Scientific Advisory Committee and is co-chief editor for the journal MSARD.

Scott McCorkell

Scott McCorkellFor more than eleven years, Scott McCorkell has been inspired by Jacqui Tracey, one of his employees who has MS and who is an active fundraiser for MS Research Australia (MS Research Australia). Jacqui is a former MS Angel and an ongoing supporter of the annual Kiss Goodbye to MS campaign, run by MS Research Australia.

Jacqui inspired Scott to become one of the Founding Members of the MS Saints for MS Research, another MS Research Australia fundraising group and now he wants to use his considerable advertising, marketing and media expertise to assist people who live with MS.
Scott brings more than 35 years of marketing, branding, advertising and creative experience to Multiple Sclerosis Limited Board which he joined as a Non-Executive Director in 2013.

The crown of his career so far is his company McCorkell and Associates which he started in 1991 and nurtured into a respected marketing company that is thriving in the new age of digital communications across Australia and Asia.

Scott’s company embraces a broad range of communications services, including marketing, advertising, data, event management, digital and contact centre services. M&a has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong and India and delivers across 11 countries and seven languages.

Scott looks forward to continuing to share what he has learnt with the Board and utilising his extensive range of contacts to assist MSL to raise funds and provide services so it can enhance the lives of people affected by MS.

Adriana Zuccala

Adriana ZuccalaAdriana, a qualified lawyer, has twenty years’ experience in the financial services, property and legal sectors. She is the managing director of Supra Capital, a boutique funds management business providing quality investment opportunities and funding for developers. Adriana previously worked for nearly ten years operating contributory mortgage schemes and property development funds. She was also general counsel of the property development and funds management company CGA Bryson, and prior to that a partner of a large national law firm, specialising in property development and financing.

Adriana has a Masters degree in Commercial Law from the University of Melbourne, and a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with Honours from Monash University. She also holds a Diploma of Financial Services, is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia. Adriana’s former directorships include deputy chair of VincentCare Victoria and VincentCare Community Housing.

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