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.

For a fuller description of the Board's governance, see the MSL corporate governance statement. 

Personal experience with multiple sclerosis

Company Secretary

  • Kim Farrugia

William Peter Day, LLB (Hons), M Administration, FCPA, FCA (Aust & UK), FAICD (Chairman)

William Peter DayPeter Day joined the Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MS) Board as a Non-Executive Director in 2007. He was appointed Chairman of the MSL Audit and Risk Committee in 2008 and accepted the Chairman’s role on the MSL Board in December 2013. He also serves on the Board of Multiple Sclerosis Australia (MSA).

He has extensive professional financial and general management experience in a range of industries including mining, manufacturing, food and financial services, along with a number of public interest areas.

Peter’s last Executive role was as Chief Financial Officer for the global packaging group Amcor; he has held Senior Executive and Director positions with Bonlac Foods, Rio Tinto, CRA and Comalco.
He is a former Chairman of the Australian Accounting Standards Board, and was Deputy Chairman of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Current Directorships include Alumina, Ansell and Australian Unity Office Fund.

Peter was appointed a member of the Takeovers Panel in February 2010.

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

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 Deputy Chairman in December 2013. He brings to the Board over 24 years of experience in the Information Technology industry and is well respected within his field. In 2006, he received an award from the CIO Executive Council for his contribution to the IT Industry in Australia.

His current role is Vice President, IT and Business Services AU and NZ of Staples Australia. Prior to joining Staples Australia, Garry held the role of General Manager of Information Technology, Telecommunications and e-Business for Sony Australia Limited. He has also provided consulting services to a number of medium to large Australian organisations in the corporate and government sectors.

Christina Gillies

Christina GilliesChris Gillies is a person living with MS. Chris was appointed as a Non-Executive Director to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Victoria Board in 1991 and to the Boards of the Multiple Sclerosis Societies of New South Wales and Victoria in 2003 and as Chair of the Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MS) Board in 2006. She held this position until December 2013. She also serves on the Boards of our subsidiary Australian Home Care Services, Multiple Sclerosis Australia (MSA) and MS Research Australia (MSRA).

Chris brings to the Board extensive executive experience in mergers, acquisitions, organisational change and information technology. She is an independent Non-Executive Director serving on a number of boards and committees and advises boards on establishing IT Governance leadership in the boardroom. She also uses her current and past experience as an executive mentor and facilitator. Boards include Oakton, Corporate Express, Emergency Services Telecommunications Statutory Authority Victoria and CenITex.

Prior to her board career, Chris was Group Executive, Group Services at St George Bank where her role included managing the integration with Advance, Chief Information Officer for the Bank of Melbourne and Victorian Director of the DMR Group, an international IT consulting company where she specialised in mergers and acquisitions and in designing and implementing major IT change programs to deliver business results.

Chris has over 20 years experience as a Director and more than 40 years experience in business management and information technology.

Denise Cosgrove

Denise CosgroveDenise was appointed as a Non Executive Director of MSL in 2013. Denise Cosgrove is the Chief Executive Officer for Presbyterian Support Northern in New Zealand. Her previous roles have included being chief executive at the Victorian Work Cover Authority in Australia, a general manager at the Accident Compensation Corporation and an assistant auditor general.

Denise has over twenty years’ experience in senior management positions, human resources development, operational management, strategy, planning and communications.

Denise is currently on the Board of Talklink NZ and is also very active in supporting socially-minded entrepreneurs, especially in the accessibility/disability sector, and is on the Advisory Board of an innovative start-up called Clickability, which is enabling greater choice and control for people with disabilities under the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Australia

Ian Pennell AM

Ian PennellHaving friends living with MS, Ian Pennell is committed to minimising the impact of the condition on people affected by MS.

Ian has been appointed to roles as CEO, Vice-President and President for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of ACT and to the Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MSL) Board as a Non-Executive Director, as well as Chairman of the MSL ACT Regional Advisory Board until 2011.

Ian has extensive experience in management, including commerce, the military and not for profit sector. In 1987 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (Military Division). Promoted to Colonel in 1987 he was appointed Director Defence Force Health Services Staff, Headquarters Australian Defence Force. Following 24 years military service, Ian joined CARE Australia as a member of the senior management team from 1992-1998.

He is immediate Past President of Multiple Sclerosis Australia.

Karen Hayes FAICD

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.

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 (MSRA). Jacqui is a former MS Angel and an ongoing supporter of the annual Kiss Goodbye to MS campaign, run by MSRA.

Jacqui inspired Scott to become one of the Founding Members of the MS Saints for MS Research, another MSRA 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.

Sophie Langshaw, BCom, CA, Member of ICAA

Sophie LangshawSophie Langshaw joined the Board to try to make a difference to people with MS, following her brother’s diagnosis in 2003. She is also a part of the MS Angels group (since 2011) working on projects to sponsor MS researchers in the quest to find a cure for MS. Sophie also serves on the Board of Multiple Sclerosis Australia (MSA).

Sophie was appointed to the Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MS) Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director in December 2012. She was appointed chairperson of the MSL Audit and Risk Committee in December 2013 and has been an ARC member since July 2011. She is a Partner at PwC, with 20 years tenure in their Assurance practice, predominantly in the Sydney and London PwC offices.

Sophie’s experience includes financial accounting, risk management, due diligence and internal controls evaluations. Her expertise is in managing large complex multi-location audits and related projects for a range of clients including publicly listed companies in Australia and the UK, subsidiaries of multinationals and large private companies, as well as not-for-profit organisations.

As a qualified chartered accountant (ICAA), Sophie also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Accounting & Business Law, UNSW). She is a member of the AICD and Institute of Internal Auditors.

Desmond (Des) Graham

Des GrahamAppointed in June 2016. Des was previously Board Chair of MS Tasmania from 2013 to 2016.

With over twenty years' experience in both health and human services, Des has held senior public sector positions in various State's. He was the inaugural Chief Executive Officer for the Mental Health Council of Australia and has represented Australia at a number of international forums.

Des' qualifications include nursing, a Master of Science (Mental Health), and he holds an adjunct position with the University of Tasmania. He has retired as the Deputy Secretary Children, and Executive Director, Policy, Information & Commissioning Groups, with the Department of Health and Human Services.

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 remains passionate about.

Sharlene Brown

Sharlene Brown

Sharlene 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 challenged water polo, and tee ball coach for her son’s school and enjoys nothing more than those opportunities to be a ‘soccer Mum’.

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