Our Executive Team
The MS Executive Team is a passionate group of people with a broad mix of skills and decades of collective experience.
Robyn Hunter, CEO
Robyn was appointed as CEO of MS in March 2013. She was promoted from the role of COO, which she had held since March 2011.
Robyn’s appointment marks a new era as we focus on building the organisation into a thriving social enterprise. This will deliver benefits to people living with multiple sclerosis in the new landscape shaped by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
With more than 20 years in the health sector, starting as a clinical physiotherapist in rehabilitation, Robyn understands the challenges faced by people living with multiple sclerosis. These are not abstract issues for Robyn as her mother, Elsa, was diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS when Robyn was a child.
The memory of her mother inspires Robyn’s deep commitment to better meet the needs of people affected by multiple sclerosis and to maximise every opportunity to manage the impact of the disease on their lives.
Robyn’s career trajectory includes providing home and hospital-based rehabilitation services in Australia and overseas before moving into senior management roles in private sector health and private health insurance. Her significant achievements include managing Medibank Private’s preparation for privatisation and holding senior executive roles responsible for operational management, corporate strategy and planning and health services strategy and purchasing.
Since joining our organisation, Robyn succeeded in getting the MS Needs Analysis off the ground, a national study being used to provide a base for future planning of services and advocacy for people living with MS. Robyn also established the Risk management and Quality Frameworks that focus on enhancing outcomes for people affected by multiple sclerosis.
Robyn’s focus remains on ensuring the organisation is well positioned for the future and she will continue to play a crucial role in influencing the development of DisabilityCare Australia on behalf of people with MS.
With more than 15 years of management experience, Robyn holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).
Sandra Walker, GM Service Innovation
Sandra joined us as General Manager Service Innovation in November 2013 following a distinguished career during which she originally trained as a nurse. She went on to gain her RMIT Graduate Diploma in Quality and Business Management and has held a number of senior management roles spanning the public and private sectors, primary health, community health, charitable organisations and mental health services.
A Kiwi by birth, in one of her recent roles Sandra was the General Manager, Specialist Mental Health Services at the Canterbury District Health Board in New Zealand. She has chosen to make Australia her home and held the position of CEO of Gippsland Medicare Local.
Throughout her career, Sandra has remained passionate about maintaining a focus on the consumer and she has been a willing advocate for those most in need. She also firmly believes in using evidence-based models that are proactive and lead to making a difference in the longer term to the lives of the people she serves.
Dyranda Hortle, GM Strategic Marketing and Sales
With more than 20 years of experience in health marketing, communications, government relations, advocacy and building brand, Dyranda started in the role, General Manager Strategic Marketing and Sales, in December 2013. Most recently, Dyranda held positions of Director of Marketing Asia Pacific, Group Manager Global Marketing Communications and Regional Director Southern Asia for Cochlear, the pioneer of the bionic ear and world leader in implantable hearing solutions.
Prior to Cochlear, Dyranda worked as Director of Communications with the NSW Government’s Department of Trade and Investment, including responsibilities as part of the management team for the International Media Centre during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Her early career includes roles in arts communications and a key position as Public Relations Manager for the Queensland Government’s participation at World Expo 88.
This combination of experience gives Dyranda a dynamic set of skills to apply to building our organisation’s brand and its influence across the philanthropy, consumer and medical sectors. Dyranda has a long-standing interest in the not-for- profit sector and is passionate about making a contribution to the community.
Annette Mercuri, Director Strategy & Projects
Annette was appointed as Director Strategy & Projects in December 2016, following a role as a consultant Project Director for MS since April 2015.
Annette has a diverse background in strategic planning and major projects with senior executive experience in health services and the not for profit sector. Annette has over 25 years’ experience in strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, governance and risk management, change management and the management of major projects.
Her career commenced in the education and travel and tourism sectors, but quickly moved into the health/not for profit arena following an opportunity for her to lead a major transformation program at Royal District Nursing Service. This was followed by a role as Director Strategy & Service Development at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne where Annette developed the RCH Service Plan, as the first step in the RCH redevelopment process, including the facilitation of an extensive consultation process with staff and stakeholders, and then subsequently led the process for the development of the RCH Redevelopment Full Business Case and Master Plan – resulted in Government approval of the project and the development of the new Royal Children’s Hospital.
Her core strategic health planning and project director skills were utilised in a similar role for St Vincent’s Health, where she managed major projects, tender processes and the implementation of a program for lean thinking and clinical redesign.
The later stages of Annette’s career have included Managing Director of a management consultancy business, which focused on a variety of projects related to strategic health planning, transformation and major capital projects. She has worked for clients across Australia, both in the private and government sectors.
Annette is passionate about achieving a great outcome for clients and staff in all of the projects she has been involved in and is keen to apply her skills and expertise to the challenges facing the not for profit sector. She is very pleased to have the opportunity to work with MS and contribute to the achievement of their strategic goals.