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Team

Cure Brain Cancer is led by a team of passionate people from a cross-section of the medical and professional community. Find out more about who we are below

The Executive Team

 
A/Prof Kerrie McDonald, Chief Executive Officer

A/Prof McDonald is one of Australia's leading brain cancer researchers, who has worked as Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s Head of Biomarkers and Translational Research at University of New South Wales for the last nine years. A/Prof McDonald has dedicated most of her working life to finding better treatment options for people impacted by brain cancer. In she was the recipient of a $1.4 million research grant administered by the Medical Research Future Fund’s Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Needs Clinical Trials Program and was the keynote speaker at the prestigious Andrew Olle Media Lecture – a testament to the calibre of her vision, leadership and strategic thinking.

 
Andy Burke, Chief Operating Officer and Company Secretary

Andy joined Cure Brain Cancer Foundation in March 2017 after more than 25 years in the Financial services industry. Andy is a Chartered Accountant whose expertise includes process optimisation and governance, team collaboration, and cost management. Andy is fiercely committed to the fight against cancer having lost his wife to the disease in 2007.

 
Dan Chapman, Head of Marketing & Communications

Dan has a background in journalism, has edited major publications, managed successful teams, and is a digital content specialist. Experienced in data-driven marketing, Dan joined the Foundation after losing his uncle to glioblastoma (GBM) and is passionate about using his marketing and communications expertise to help people living with the disease.

 
Dustin Perry, Head of Partnerships

Dustin has worked tirelessly for people with brain cancer since his young daughter Chloe was diagnosed in 2013. Tragically, Chloe died in 2017, but not before a letter from Dustin to PM Turnbull went viral, bringing the him to national prominence. Dustin played a key role in the formation of the Australian Brain Cancer Mission and currently sits on the Strategic Advisory Board for the Australian Brain Cancer Mission at Cancer Australia. Dustin’s experience and influence make him one of Australia’s most effective brain cancer advocates. 

 

Scientific Advisory Committee 

Dr Webster K. Cavenee, Ph.D 

Dr Cavenee is Director of Strategic Alliances in Central Nervous System Cancers at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, San Diego and Distinguished Professor at University of California, San Diego. His work on the genetic basis of cancer predisposition and progression comprises more than 300 publications and has been recognized with more than 80 honours and awards. Read more.   

Prof Mark Rosenthal 

Prof Rosenthal is Director of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre’s Clinical Trial Unit and is Chairman of the Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology(COGNO). Read more.  

Dr Helen Wheeler 

Dr Wheeler has been a Medical Oncologist at Royal North Shore Hospital since 1990, sub-specialising in neuro-oncology. She has extensive experience in initiating and running clinical trials. Read more.

Prof Angel Lopez
Prof Angel Lopez, Ph.D

Professor Angel Lopez AO is Co-Director of the Centre for Cancer Biology (CCB), a medical research Institute in Adelaide that focuses on cancer. He holds an MD from the University of Rosario, Argentina, a PhD from the University of London, UK, and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. He has worked for over 30 years on the structure and function of cytokine receptors and their mechanism of action in health and disease. Read more.

Our Ambassadors

Johnny Ruffo

A singer, actor and television presenter, Johnny is one of Australia’s most loved entertainers, having shot to fame as a finalist on X Factor Australia in 2011. Johnny was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2017 and has used his considerable profile to raise funds and awareness for brain cancer.

Tracey Gollan

Tracey is a passionate advocate for brain cancer since losing her father Denis to the disease. She has hosted Walk4BrainCancer Toowoomba for the past four years, raising more than $100,000, as well as 'Pig Day Out' and selling her own unique range of merchandise.

Kieran McLeod

Kieran has been living with brain cancer since 2014. At just 18 years old, he organises Walk4BrainCancer Ipswich, is an Australia Day Young Citizen of the year and now, he's a stand-up comic!

Kristen Davidson

Kristen is Canberra’s leading female media personality. She’s hosted Canberra’s Number 1 FM Breakfast radio show on MIX 106.3 for 5 years, is the Entertainment Reporter for WIN News and writes for News.com.au and Mamamia. She first hosted Brainstorm for a Cure in Canberra after following the story of a young family affected by DIPG in the Capital.

Elly Symons

Elly Symons’ inspirational son Samuel lived with brain cancer for more than 20 years. Driven by her deep frustration at the lack of breakthroughs during Samuel’s lifetime, she is determined to speak out and demand better outcomes for Australians diagnosed with the disease in future.

Bec Lucas, Tony Lucas Research Grant

Bec’s father Tony Lucas died in 2011 and was a passionate supporter of the Foundation. Bec founded the Tony Lucas Research Grant in his memory, as well as the annual Beach Walk for Brain Cancer on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

 
Senator Catryna Bilyk

Having survived two brain tumours, Tasmanian Labor senator Catryna Bilyk lead the Senate Select Committee in Low Survival Cancers with a focus on Brain Cancer. Senator Bilyk is also Chair of the Parliamentary Brain Cancer and Tumour Awareness Group.

 
 

Jacob Walker

Jacob is a long-term brain cancer survivor, who is passionate about sharing his story to benefit the cause. He and his wife Kaitlynn openly and honestly share their story on Instagram, detailing the realities of a brain cancer diagnosis to a new audience. 

 
 
Candice Wyatt, Journalist and presenter

Candice is a journalist and currently co-presents Ten Eyewitness News in Melbourne. Candice is a passionate advocate for brain cancer research after losing her mum to the disease in 2013. 

Peter Psaltis

Peter is a Queensland radio and television sports commentator and was inspired to become an ambassador for Cure Brain Cancer  after losing a family member in 2015. Peter wants to help raise awareness and funds to get new treatments to patients faster.

David Horwitz 

David is a Rugby Union player who currently plays for the Connacht Rugby in Ireland, who he joined in 2018 after more than five years with NSW Waratahs and Melbourne Rebels. 

 

Jane Gordon

On 22 July 2016, Jane Gordon became just the 5th Queensland woman to successfully complete a solo crossing of the English Channel. Inspired by her late friend Jess Warner who passed away from brain cancer at just 32 years of age, Jane founded “Swimming 4 Jess” to tell the story of Jess’s battles and raised in excess of $149,000 during the year long fundraising campaign.

Louise Burrows | Louise 'Cookie' Burrows

Australian Rugby Wallaroo and Advocate for Women in Sport, Louise Burrows has played in three World Cups as well as a Tri Nations series. Louise was selected in the 2016 Wallaroos Squad to play two test matches against the NZ Black Ferns, including the double header at Eden Park before the Bledisloe Cup. Captain for ACT women's Brumbies and a PE teacher for Canberra Girls Grammar School, Louise became Cure Brain Cancer’s Canberra Ambassador after a close family friend had been diagnosed with a GBM.

Joe Hildebrand

As co-host of Studio 10, Joe is a household name across the country. He is also a well-known and respected journalist, who was recently appointed editor-at-large of news.com.au. Passionate about using his profile to help others, Joe became an ambassador in 2018 following the diagnosis of his friend and colleague Johnny Ruffo.

Mark Rudan

Former professional football player and title winning coach-turned pundit Mark became an ambassador in February 2018 following his mother’s brain cancer diagnosis. Mark travelled the world as an athlete in a career spanning 18 years. Since retirement he has worked with Fox Sports as their Chief Analyst, and now with SBS on their EPL coverage.

Meet our Board of Directors