Meet Our Team
Carolyn joined the IDFA team in March 2020. She is a dynamic and experienced professional with significant experience working across a range of industry sectors and in the not for profit sector. Carolyn is passionate about working with people to achieve outstanding organisational results and supporting members to ensure optimal quality of life.
“It is an honour to work at IDFA, to understand the needs and concerns of our members and to utilise my significant skills in business. I have an interest in health to ensure the key priorities of raising awareness, providing education and advocacy campaigns are achieved by the organisation.”
Chontelle brings over 13 years of marketing and communications experience to the team. Joining IDFA in August 2021, Chontelle has previously worked across the diverse sectors of the arts, retail, fashion, food, lifestyle and healthcare.
Chontelle is excited to engage with members and the broader community through marketing campaigns and communications to raise awareness of immunodeficiencies and the IDFA.
Estela brings her experience empowering and supporting diverse community groups with complex health conditions, as well as working with health service providers.
At IDFA, Estela is excited to plan and develop meaningful and effective education and advocacy strategies to promote the priority needs of our members.
Away from the office, she enjoys exploring hiking trails and keeping up with her busy family.
Finance & Administration
Andriana has worked in administration and operational roles for over 17 years across various industries. She is passionate about streamlining business processes in order to make them cost efficient and so that the business can flourish.
Andriana’s role at IDFA is to support the team with day-to-day operations, acting as the point of call for all enquiries and managing finance administration for the organisation.
A fun fact about Andriana is that she loves to bake and when she isn’t baking she enjoys time with her family.
IDFA Board Members
Board Chair, Medical Advisory Panel (Board member since September 2018)
Geraldine is a Clinical Nurse Consultant in Immunology and Infections disease at Sydney Children’s Hospital. She has a strong background in Paediatric Nursing in both Australia and the UK.
Geraldine manages, supports, educates and assists children and their families living with PID and SID including preparing and supporting children who require transplant (HSCT) for severe PID. Her role has been pivotal in establishing and then expanding the SCIg program the department offers.
Geraldine is an active member of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA) and participates within its working groups and sub committees on the topic of paediatric immunology nursing. She is also a member of advisory groups and working groups within the National Blood Authority relating to immunoglobulin products.
Deputy Chair, (Board member since November 2014)
Catherine is a financial professional with extensive corporate and public sector experience in financial management and reporting. Her experience extends beyond accounting to strategy development and planning, commercial analysis and operational management. Catherine also lives with a primary immunodeficiency.
Company Secretary, Risk and Audit Committee
Brendan is a senior executive who has worked in the health and education sectors for more than 25 years. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Australasian College of Dental Surgeons.
Originally qualified as a Podiatrist and having worked in both the public and private health sectors, Brendan has held a number of senior appointments in the not for profit and government sectors, working across primary and tertiary healthcare in both Australia and the United Kingdom. This has included as Chief Executive of General Practice Training Valley to Coast and senior roles with the Western Sydney Primary Health Network, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the South Australian Institute of Medical Education and Training.
Brendan holds formal qualifications in management, education, health and corporate governance.
General Board Member
(Board member since October 2021)
Louise is a solicitor admitted in Queensland and the High Court of Australia.
Louise joined the IDFA board after her daughter Isabelle was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID) at 4-months of age. Isabelle spent 94 days in hospital, survived a Stem Cell Transplant and was able to isolate at home with her family while her immune system slowly reconstituted.
Louise is passionate about advocating for people living with primary and secondary immune deficiencies, with a particular focus on getting Newborn Screening for SCID implemented nationally.
General Board Member
General Board Member
Dr Melanie Wong
Medical Advisory Panel Chair
(Board member since August 2011)
Dr Melanie Wong is a Paediatric Allergist and Immunologist and is a senior staff specialist and head of the Department of Allergy and Immunology at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Melanie is currently chair of the IDFA Medical Advisory Committee, Chair of the Board of Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australia (AIFA), Chief Examiner for the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) Immunopathology training program, Chair of the RACP Paediatric and Child Health Written exam committee and ASCIA’s representative on the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) council. She is also a past President of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).
Melanie has a strong interest in primary immunodeficiencies with much of her clinical and research interests focused on newborn screening, genetic testing and transplantation.
Image courtesy of: www.allergy.org.au
Dr Luke Droney
Medical Advisory Panel
(Board member since November 2020)
Dr Luke Droney is a Clinical Immunologist, Allergist and Immunopathologist at the Princess Alexandra Hospital as well as the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. This role encompasses clinical experience in primary immunodeficiencies (PID’s), autoimmune diseases, autoinflammatory disorders and allergy. Luke has an invested professional interest in PID’s and hopes to develop further clinical and diagnostic services in the areas of both PID’s and immunogenetics.
Luke is an associate member of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).
National Patient Advisory Panel Chair
(Board member since February 2009)
Adam has nearly 30 years’ experience with not-for-profit boards and has been a board member or office bearer with numerous not-for-profit organisations. He is regularly involved as a patient representative on Commonwealth Government health-related committees and working groups. He is also experienced at effectively representing and advocating the views of health consumers. Adam is a patient representative on the National Blood Authority’s National Immunoglobulin Governance Advisory Committee.
Adam works in the Australian Public Service, where his responsibilities focus on governance issues, including strategic and business planning, performance reporting, and financial and HR management.
Adam lives with a primary immunodeficiency (Common Variable Immune Deficiency) and is passionate about supporting people with immunodeficiencies, their carer’s and families.
Risk and Audit Committee, Deputy Chair
Pearl Sims is an Organisational Change Manager with a background in ICT projects who has Common Variable Immunodeficiency. She lives in Queensland with her husband Justin and two dogs. Pearl has really appreciated the support that IDFA has provided over the last few years and the connections made with our members and is hoping to help others by joining the Board.
Risk and Audit Committee, Deputy Chair
Healthcare Professionals Panel
Dr Alisa Kane is a clinical immunologist and immunopathologist at St Vincent’s and Liverpool Hospitals. Dr Kane’s clinical and research specialties are in the diagnosis and management of Primary Immunodeficiency. She has established an adult immunodeficiency bone marrow transplantation service at St Vincent’s hospital, and is actively involved in translational research investigating mechanisms of disease and improving clinical outcomes in people with primary and immunodeficiency. She serves on the National Blood Authority’s Immunology Specialist Working Group for Immunoglobulin Governance, and is a board member of CIRCA (Clinical Immunogenomics Research Consortium of Australia).
Hayley is an accomplished and energetic science and technology professional, specialising in technology development, project management and public policy.
A confident and prolific communicator, Hayley has over 5 years of high-level local, government and international stakeholder relationship management and is currently working for the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra.