Our Team

Directors

Justin Hogg

Justin is an accountant and Company Secretary. He runs his own business, Right Source, which specialises in not-for-profits. Justin is currently the Company Secretary for 5 not-for-profits.

Justin’s passion and the driving force in his career are people. Through multiple leadership positions and business experience, Justin has gained a unique ability to communicate and relate with people of all walks of life.

Justin Hogg is a Member of CPA Australia and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.

R. Rachel Makepeace

Rachel has lived with very severe ME for about 20 years. Despite her determined efforts, she found that obtaining an accurate diagnosis, appropriate healthcare and adequate support for everyday life took her an extremely long time. Her lived experience inspired her to initiate change and work towards the provision of clinical care for people living with ME.

Prior to studying business at Griffith University, she had fulfilled office management responsibilities and assisted projects. When she got very ill with severe ME, she was an associate member of CPA Australia and held a Client Manager position at a small accounting firm.

Geoff Bryant

Geoff has over a decade of experience in the health sector, in a range of roles, including project and program management, health strategy and planning, and organisational governance.

Geoff is interested in enhancing services for under-served groups, and maximising the impact of the health system through greater emphasis on value-based care and health economic analysis, enabling clinicians to work to top of scope, innovative approaches to funding and prioritisation, and ensuring opportunities for consumers to participate in decision-making processes.

Geoff’s interest in ME stems in part from the experiences of a lifelong friend who has been affected by ME for more than 18 years. He hopes to contribute to more integrated, accessible and holistic care for people with ME in Queensland.

Geoff has tertiary qualifications in law, politics, public policy and health economics. Before working in health, he spent time in the social housing and taxation fields in Australia and the UK.

In this spare time, he enables his son’s passion for basketball and enjoys running, travel and delicious food!


Team Members

Michael Corcoran – Corporate Governance Partner

Michael is a Corporate Governance Partner at Right Source. His background is in the financial services sector, in industry superannuation funds. Most recently, his roles have involved providing secretariat services to Boards of superannuation funds.
Michael has a great interest in equality, social justice and impact investing. He aims to use skills and experience gained from years in financial services to help not-for-profit organisations to reach their goals.

Stanley Du Preez – Community Coordinator

Stanley is a junior doctor with the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service and PhD candidate with the National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases (NCNED), Griffith University. He is an aspiring physician that aims to support ME and Post COVID-19 Condition/Long Covid patients through clinical medicine, research, and advocacy. Additionally, he hopes to improve the understanding and involvement of other clinicians to achieve greater health and social outcomes for people with ME and Post COVID-19 Condition/Long Covid.

Occupational Therapist (Hons)

Nicole Roudenko

Nicole has a background in Immunology. She worked in diagnostic pathology and research as a senior scientist at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, the Gold Coast University Hospital and Mater Public Hospital. Nicole specialised in the immunophenotyping of hematopoietic malignancies, HIV and immunodeficiencies. After 20 years in the science field Nicole had a desire to connect more with the people she was impacting. She retrained in occupational therapy and graduated with first class honours in 2023 and currently works for OccAssess Pty Ltd.

Her honours research into the lived experience of severe ME prompted her desire to improve healthcare services in Australia for people living with ME/CFS. Nicole has a passion to destigmatise ME/CFS through education and training of the condition for individuals, their families, other healthcare professionals and the broader community. Nicole believes every person with ME/CFS has the right to a timely diagnosis and the support to enable a life with meaning and purpose.

Nicole’s family, husband, three children and fluffy white cat – PhilCat, bring her the most joy in life. Otherwise, any outdoor activities, cooking and discovering new people/places is how Nicole likes to spend her spare time.


Advisors

Knowledge Translation and Research Advisor to the Board

Dr Maria Alejandra Pinero de Plaza, PhD

Alejandra is a scientist committed to facilitating healthy living and better public health services through knowledge translation and health research. She is a Research Fellow at Flinders University and the National Health and Medical Research Council, Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing. Her studies are focusing on the design, implementation, and evaluation of interventions regarding behaviour change, high-tech solutions, and partnering with end-users to ensure better access, care, equity, safety, and quality services to improve health and wellbeing outcomes.

MRI and Neuroimaging Research Advisor to the Board

Dr Kiran Thapaliya, PhD

Kiran is a Research Fellow working at National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases (NCNED), Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Gold Coast campus. His research interest lies in developing new neuroimaging methods for the direct in vivo mapping of tissue microstructure like myelin/iron in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). His research focuses on understanding the relationship between tissue microstructure and clinical as well as autonomic measures that potentially lead to identifying biomarkers for ME/CFS.

Research Advisor to the Board

Dr Natalie Eaton-Fitch, PhD

Natalie is a Research Fellow at the National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases (NCNED), Griffith University. Natalie holds a multidisciplinary PhD in Immunology and Epidemiology in the field of ME/CFS. Natalie’s research at the NCNED has been instrumental in the identification of the pathology of ME/CFS and identification of treatment strategies. Her current research aims to develop a diagnostic test and implement best care practices to improve health outcomes for people living with ME/CFS.

Occupational Therapy Advisor to the Board

Julie Hughes

Julie is an Occupational Therapist with over 30 years of experience in clinical, academic and managerial roles.

She graduated from the University of Queensland, and currently teaches as a Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the Australian Catholic University, Brisbane.

She was the first fulltime Occupational Therapist in the Leeds Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) service (UK) where she offered Occupational Therapy to people with ME/CFS. Her time in this role was the beginning of her a longstanding interest in this area and she later completed her MSc research on the topic of ‘Chronic fatigue syndrome and occupational disruption in primary care: is there a role for occupational therapy?

Her professional and clinical experiences made her a passionate advocate for ME/CFS to access specialised Occupational Therapy services in Australia.

She is also involved in collaborative research with Deakin University and Western Health (VIC) looking at ways to better support people with Long Covid.

Medical Advisor to the Board

Dr Gary Deed

Dr Deed is a general practitioner with a passionate interest in promoting quality patient care of diabetes and obesity in general practice through education, development of resources including guidelines, policy development, research and strategic collaboration.

He is the Chair of the Diabetes Specific Interest Network for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP). He is the editor for the General Practice management of type 2 diabetes guideline for the RACGP and remains a member of the ADS Clinical Guidelines/Standards Advisory Committee. He is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow of Monash University and helps co-ordinates the NHMRC funded ‘STAREE’ Statins in Reducing Events in the Elderly trial. He is a co-investigator and has published peer reviewed journal articles in diabetes and is an editor for Diabetes Therapy and adviser/editor for Endocrinology Today.

Honorary Clinical and Research Advisor to the Board

Professor Sonya Marshall-Gradisnik

Sonya is an Immunologist and Director at The National Centre for Neuroimmunology and Emerging Diseases (NCNED), Griffith University.

She is also Myalgic encephalomyelitis: International Consensus Criteria (ME-ICC) Co-author and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis International Consensus Primer for Medical Practitioners (ICP) Panel.

NCNED is a world-class research facility focusing on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).

Their research is world-leading in the area of identification of the pathology, development of a screen/diagnostic test and drug treatments for ME patients. Their aim is to translate their research to improve ME patient outcomes in the area of preventative medicine, social and clinical care, and public health.