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
William Peter Day, LLB (Hons), M Administration, FCPA, FCA (Aust & UK), FTIA, MAICD (Chairman)
Peter 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 Ansell, Federation Centres, Orbital and SAI Global.
Peter is also a member of the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board and was appointed a member of the Takeovers Panel in February 2010.
Garry R Whatley, GAICD, BBus (Accounting and Information Technology), MBA (Deputy Chairman)
Having 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.
Chris 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 was appointed Chief Executive of WorkSafe Victoria in November 2012 with over 20 years of experience in senior management positions in human resources development, operational management, strategy, planning and communications.
Prior to joining WorkSafe, Denise worked for New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). Her most recent role with the ACC was as General Manager, Claims Management, responsible for the management of ACC operations as well as other areas including the clinical directorate, health procurement and innovation functions.
Prior to working with the ACC Denise was Assistant Auditor-General, Strategy at the Office of the Auditor-General.
Don Ferguson BEd, MCouns
Watching some friends live with MS inspired Don Ferguson to join the Board of Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MS - ACT/NSW/VIC) as a Non-Executive Director in December 2013.
His admiration for how his friends cope with a chronic condition such as MS fuelled Don’s commitment to doing what he can to improve the outcomes for people living with this complex disease.
Don’s interest in health and community support issues can be traced across his 20 years of experience working in community and disability services. He is a former Executive Director and Acting Deputy Chief Executive of NSW Ageing Disability and Home Care, where he led a number of cross-sector reforms to improve services and outcomes for people with disability.
He currently holds the position of General Manager of the Lifetime Care and Support Authority of NSW. This organisation provides for the treatment, rehabilitation and attendant care services for people severely injured in motor accidents in NSW. Generally the people eligible for the scheme will have a brain or spinal injury; amputations; severe burns; or blindness as a result of the accident.
Don holds a Masters Degree in Counselling, a Bachelor of Education and is currently undertaking a Master of Business Administration.
Ian Pennell AM
Having friends living with MS, Ian Pennell is committed to minimising the impact on those people affected by MS.
Ian was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of ACT in April 1999 and retired from the position 24 October 2000, subsequent to which he was elected Vice-President of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of ACT 25 October 2000. In 2003 he was appointed President. Further to the merging of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of NSW/VIC with the Multiple Sclerosis Society of ACT in 2008, Ian was appointed to the Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MS) Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director and was Chairman of the MSL ACT Regional Advisory Board until 2011.
He is also a Director and Vice President of Multiple Sclerosis Australia, a member of the Executive Committee of Multiple Sclerosis Australia.
Ian has extensive experience in management, including commerce, the military and the not for profit sector. In 1987 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (Military Division) for his outstanding contribution to resource management. 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, holding the positions of Director Overseas Program, Director Operations, Director Administration and Company Secretary.
Karen Hayes FAICD
After 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 (MS - ACT/NSW/VIC) 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 - ACT/NSW/VIC, 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 MS - ACT/NSW/VIC 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.
Major General Ian Gordon AO, Retd, BSc
Ian Gordon is personally committed to making a difference in the lives of people living with MS. His wife Ula was diagnosed with MS in 2006 and her condition has deteriorated rapidly. Ian is now Ula's full-time carer.
Ian Gordon was appointed to the Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MS) Board of Directors as a Non-Executive Director in 2011. He was also appointed the Chairman of the MSL ACT Regional Advisory Board.
Ian served for 39 years in the Australian Army and he specialised in field communications, training, personnel management and project management. Ian's military service included operational deployments with United Nations peacekeeping missions in the Western Sahara, East Timor and the Middle East. He is now the Director of a small book publishing business.
Robert McEniry, MBA
Rob McEniry has a niece living with MS.
Rob was appointed to the Board of the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Victoria as a Non-Executive Director in 1998 and became a Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MS) Director subsequent to the consolidation of the Multiple Sclerosis Societies of NSW & Victoria in 2006. He is also a Director of our subsidiary, Australian Home Care Services and a member of the MSL Audit and Risk Committee.
He brings to the board extensive marketing and management expertise both in Australia and overseas. His experience is primarily within the automotive industry, along with the auto supplier sector, housing and construction and biotechnology industries.
He has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited. Previous roles include Chief Executive Officer of SPT Limited and Chief Executive Officer of Nucleus Network Limited.
For more than eight 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 Foundation 5 Million Plus and 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 30 years of marketing, branding, advertising and creative experience to Multiple Sclerosis Limited (MS - ACT/NSW/VIC) 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. It has offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong and India and delivers across 11 countries and seven languages.
Scott looks forward to sharing what he has learnt with the Board and utilising his extensive range of contacts to assist MS - ACT/NSW/VIC 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 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 17 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
Appointed 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 joined the MS Board in June 2016. Sharlene is a previous Ambassador and Board Member of the WA MS Society and MS Tasmania.
Sharlene is a Governance professional, having worked as Company Secretary, General Counsel and General Manager with a large Tasmanian utility. She brings this knowledge and experience to the Board as well as a passion to advocate and represent those less able.
Sharlene is an Affiliate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a member of the Governance Institute. Her most important position is 'Mum' to her delightful son, and like so many, Sharlene lives day to day with RRMS.