Meet Our Team

IDFA Staff

Carolyn Dews

Executive Officer, IDFA

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.”

Maria Pirovic

Business Development & Strategic Member Support

Maria has been with IDFA since 2018, initially as a volunteer before joining our team in a professional capacity in 2019. She has a degree in Psychology and continues to educate herself on emerging therapies and psychological trends with Post Graduate studies in counselling, to build skills to work with people experiencing personal challenges in their life.

Maria has experience in counselling and member support for IDFA. Her approach is a combination of generating a sense of engagement by developing the grounds of self-care and self-respect, creating a safe space for people to receive support. This approach is to ensure members can navigate their way to improved health outcomes.

Belinda Yeats

Marketing & Communications

Belinda has been with IDFA since September 2019 providing administrative, marketing and communications support across all IDFA projects. She has qualifications in library and information services and has a diverse background in administration from both public and private sectors. Belinda also has a practical knowledge of business operations, having owned, operated and provided support across several businesses.

Having been a full-time carer Belinda understands the emotional, physical and financial burdens this can put on families. From this lived experience she brings an empathetic approach to her work at IDFA.

Rachel Pearson

Administration and Membership

Rachel has been with IDFA since September 2019 and provides part-time administrative support across operations and membership. She has a background in nursing and over 13 years of administration experience in the not-for-profit and disability sector.

Rachel brings both a practical and compassionate nature to her work at IDFA. She is passionate about supporting and encouraging people to live their lives to full potential.

IDFA Board Members

Lara Alexander

Board Chair (Board member since November 2015)

Lara has worked in the not-for-profit sector for over 20 years, in various senior management and executive roles with organisations such as St John Ambulance, Cancer Council, Save the Children, Bethesda Hospital, in the Aged Care sector with Presbyterian Care Tasmania and currently as the CEO of St Vincent de Paul, Tasmania. Lara’s expertise is predominantly in finance and budgeting, management, human resources, payroll and fundraising.

“I have a passion for the charitable sector and feel strongly about supporting charities that advocate for individuals, families and their carers to take control of their health journey.”

Geraldine Dunne

Deputy Chair, Medical Advisory Committee (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.

Josh Snow

Finance Chair (Board member since September 2018)

Josh has over 15 years of accounting and finance experience at a senior level in the corporate sector including Head of Finance for Vodafone. Currently, he is the founder of technology recruitment startup – nextmile. Josh maintains his membership with CPA Australia and is passionate about supporting not-for-profits.

As the finance chair of the board for IDFA, Josh provides the board and executive team with financial support to enable IDFA to continue its great work advocating for and supporting its members.

Cath Bampton

Company Secretary (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.

Dr Melanie Wong

Medical Advisory Committee Chair
(Board member since August 2011)

Dr Melanie Wong is a Paediatric Allergist and Immunologist and is currently a senior staff specialist at the Westmead Children’s Hospital. Melanie is currently Chairperson on the Board of Allergy and Immunology Foundation of Australia (AIFA), Chief Examiner for the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) Immunopathology training program and ASCIA’s representative on the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) Board. She is also a past President of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).

Melanie has an invested interest in primary immunodeficiencies with much of her clinical and research interests focused on newborn screening, genetic testing and transplantation.

Image courtesy of: https://www.allergy.org.au/

Adam Friederich

Patient Advisory Committee 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.

Alex James-Martin

(Board member since September 2018)

Alex is a barrister at the Victorian Bar and has significant experience in commercial litigation and government law and has a particular interest in corporate governments.

Alex joined the IDFA board based on his own diagnosis with an immunodeficiency and a desire to increase knowledge and awareness of immunodeficiencies. He’s passionate about assisting IDFA to raise the profile in both the medical community and government.

Based on his own experience his areas of interest are secondary immunodeficiencies and relating to malignancies and treatment.

Craig Mathieson

(Board member since January 2015)

Craig has over 40 years’ experience in running small to medium business. The nature of small business means he has hands on experience in sales, administration, human resources, strategic and financial planning and workplace health and safety. Craig is a graduate of the AICD Diploma Course for Directors and has served as a Director on various small businesses as well as not for profits. Craig has two children with a primary immunodeficiency.

Dr Luke Droney

Medical Advisory Commitee
(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).