Meet the Management Committee
Parkinson’s Queensland’s Management Committee is as follows:
George Mellick obtained a PhD from the University of Queensland in 1996 (in the field of Medicine). Following postdoctoral research at the Karolinska Institute Sweden (Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics) and the University of Queensland, he was appointed Lecturer in the School of Medicine (University of Queensland) in 2004. He joined the Eskitis Institute Griffith University in 2006 as Associate Professor and was made Deputy Director of the Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery in 2013 and full Professor in 2014. He also holds Honorary appointments in Neurology at the Princess Alexandra and RBWH, Brisbane and an Adjunct Appointment at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research. George is an interdisciplinary scientist who works on all aspects of neurodegenerative disease with an emphasis on Parkinson’s disease and related disorders. He has authored over 130 peer-reviewed research publications and is a regularly sought after reviewer for International Granting Agencies, Advisory Groups and Research Journals. George is also is an advocate for people affected by Parkinson’s disease and has been a member of PQI since 1999. He has previously served on the PQI Management Committee as the President and Vice-President and on the Board of Parkinson’s Australia. Prof Mellick is currently serving as President of PQI and is Vice President of Parkinson’s Australia.
PETER SILBURN AM
Prof. Silburn graduated from The University of Queensland and completed his neurology training at Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford, England holding a position as lecturer in Neurology at Oxford University. Prof. Silburn went to the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, as a Research Fellow in the Dept. of Molecular Medicine and then returned to Australia and began as a full Professor in Neurobiology. He was Foundation Professor of Clinical Neuroscience at The University of Queensland. From 2006-10 he served tow of the five principal committees of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Health Ethics Committee and the Principal Research Committee. Prof. Silburn has served Parkinson’s Queensland Inc for over twenty years, at times as President, Patron and as a Life Member. He is currently Vice President of PQI. With Prof. Mellick he helped establish The Queensland Parkinson’s Project which is a major ongoing resource for research into the clinical, aetiological factors, molecular and cellular biology of Parkinson’s Disease. Prof Silburn was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2013 Australia Day Honours for his work on neurodegeneration and particularly Parkinson’s Disease. Prof Silburn has published over 160 internationally, peer reviewed papers in the field of neurodegeneration, particularly in the areas of Parkinson’s Disease, molecular neuroscience and Deep Brain Stimulation. He has contributed to the establishment of a number of neuromodulation centres in Australia and the Asia Pacific region and was a Foundation member of the Deep Brain Stimulation User Group of Asia Pacific and has been directly involved in over 1000 functional neurological cases.
Karen O’Maley has worked as a Registered Nurse in the speciality of neurology and Neurology since 1990. This speciality area of medicine has allowed her to gain firsthand experience into the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders which includes Parkinson’s disease. Karen’s Master of Nursing degree was a research project evaluating education to people living with Parkinson’s about their medications. She has been clinically involved with PwP and their families for over 15 years. Most of this time has been in assisting neurologists treating PwP using advanced therapies. This also includes providing ongoing, long term support of these people and their families, as well as other healthcare professionals. This role has provided Karen with valuable and privileged insight into how PwP and their support people manage a diagnosis of PD, manage therapy and treatment while meeting the everyday challenges we all face. It is her aspiration that PwP and their families, support networks and healthcare providers have a trusted, value add association for information, education and resources. It is hoped this can be achieved with a strong cohesive Parkinson’s Queensland Inc.
Paulette has been Coordinator of the Ipswich Support Group of Parkinson’s for the past three years. From June 2014 to May 2016, she was a member of the Ipswich Community Reference Group of the West Moreton Hospital and Health Care Services; a valuable forum for Parkinson’s. She is also on the Management Committee of U3A Ipswich & West Moreton Inc. Paulette brings to her role as Secretary her extensive experience of project management and public relations. Over a period of 15 years, Paulette worked as a locally-engaged staff member of the Canadian High Commission in Canberra as Academic & Public Affairs Officer and followed by 6 years as Official Travel Coordinator for the Canadian Embassy in Paris. Since moving to Ipswich 2014, Paulette has involved herself with community groups and has become a strong advocate for support groups.
Peter Byrne, or ‘PJ’ as he is known; joined his Father in the Financial Services industry in 2000 after his father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. PJ has witnessed and supported his Father and family from this time on and developed the original family business into Mr Insurance, which is now one of Australia’s most reputable and awarded Life Insurance advice businesses. His personal experience with Parkinson’s, has helped him ensure other families are protected and well supported. He has more than 15 year’s experience finding the right insurance solutions for families and their businesses. PJ personally provides advice and loves assisting with claims management. PJ has personally ensured more than 10 million dollars in claims have been paid to his clients promptly. Outside of helping clients, PJ is married to Meaghan and has two young daughters Sienna and Matisse. PJ is a passionate fisherman that according to his stories even catches a few. PJ enjoys exploring on his mid-life crisis Harley Davidson.
Ruth Coleman is a Part-time Sales Consultant in Townsville and is also the serving Management Committee representative and Support Group Coordinator for Townsville. One of her main missions is to be able to let every person diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease know that there is support out there and that they are not alone. Ruth hopes that her knowledge and experience as a person living with Parkinson’s can contribute to Parkinson’s Queensland.
Daniel Sullivan is an insurance lawyer at Mullins Lawyers in Brisbane. His work involves personal injury claims and requires him to liaise with doctors of various specialties including in the neurological area. Earlier in his career Daniel had postings as a researcher/drafter for the Federal Court judges in Brisbane and the Lord Chancellor in the United Kingdom. His wife works for the Department of Disability Services and he is the father of two young children. Daniel looks forward to the opportunity to help people affected by Parkinson’s and believes he can make a contribution towards providing assistance to those who need it in a way that is effective and meaningful.
DR LESLEY VAN SCHOUBROECK
Dr Lesley van Schoubroeck brings her broad experience and knowledge of mental health and public service into Parkinson’s Queensland. Until recently, Dr van Schoubroeck was the Mental Health Commissioner in Queensland, an appointment she held from 2013 until her retirement in June. Her service to mental health and public sector governance and policy has been considerable. Previously, Dr van Schoubroeck served in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (Western Australia) between 2002 and 2011. Prior to these roles Lesley worked in various areas of public policy where she was integral in structuring opportunity for building community partnerships and engaging ageing and marginalised groups, people with disabilities and family and children’s services. Lesley is no stranger to the Parkinson’s community either, having a close and personal experience through her family which coupled with her extensive background and standing in the heath community, makes her addition to the Management Committee a positive step for Parkinson’s Queensland. Prior to her career in government Dr van Schoubroeck taught mathematics, science and computer studies in high schools in Queensland and Western Australia. In addition, Lesley has served on several advisory boards and committees including the Queensland Health Suicide Prevention Taskforce and Queensland Mental Health and Drug Advisory Council, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and in 2009, received her PhD in governance and public policy from Griffith University.
Parkinson’s Queensland thanks all of the members of the Management Committee for their valuable contributions to the organisation, now and in the future.