BTAA Committee and TEAM
BTAA is run by a volunteer committee. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the BTAA Committee. See our rules and constitution.
The BTAA AGM on 14 September 2016 elected a new team, including an expanded committee.
Catherine Hindson (Chair), Philip Steel (Vice Chair), Tricia Berman (Secretary), Pat Wynn (Treasurer), Susan Pitt (Assistant Secretary),
Committee: Julia Robertson (QLD), Pam Hubner ( QLD), Sally Payne (NSW), Alice Parsons (NSW), Janet Micallef (VIC), Rigoula Roussakis (VIC), Mel Tempest (VIC), Mark Dalliston (ACT).
The public officer is an unelected position and remains Tricia Berman.
Caption: New Committee, AGM 14/9/16: L to R: Janet, Trish, Susan, Rigoula, Catherine, Pam, Philip, Alice, Sally.
Absent: Julia, Mel, Mark
Profiles of Committee and BTAA Team
Catherine Hindson (Chair)
Catherine lives in Canberra and was a Registered Nurse for 40 years. Her interest in Brain Tumour support arose in 2010 when her then 36 year old daughter Renee Hindson was diagnosed with a Grade 3 Astrocytoma. Catherine is well supported in her BTAA activities by her husband Bill. Call 1800 857 221 to talk to Catherine.
Hear Renee speaking at a BTAA forum at the Cancer Council Queensland about her on her experience in a podcast here.
Philip Steel (Vice Chair, Co-convenor of the ACT Brain Tumour Support Group)
Canberra based. Retired high school Principal diagnosed with a mengingioma. Using his skills to establish an efficient office for BTAA at the Pearce Community Centre. Driving BTAA's new strategic plan.
Patricia Berman (Secretary, Public Officer)
Canberra based Patricia (Tricia) Berman lives with her family in Canberra, having retired in 2014 from the Commonwealth public service where she oversaw Australian innovation policy. Tricia wants to continue to support the community and is doing so through her work for BTAA. Tricia currently manages the BTAA Cancer Australia grant project, to make resources available in a range of culturally and linguistically diverse languages assisted by a grant from Cancer Australia.
Susan Pitt (Assistant Secretary)
Susan came to BTAA through her son Matt, co-founder of BTAA. Susan is breast cancer survivor and trained breast cancer and Consumers' Health Forum (CHF) representatives' course participant and mother of four children, including Matt. Susan has a Bachelor degree in Professional Writing and a Masters degree in public policy (ANU). Susan represents Cancer Voices in the ACT.
Mark Dalliston (Newsletter editor, Ordinary committee member, Co-convenor of the ACT BT Support Group)
Mark finds joy in exercise, peace in the present and love in his family. He is a 6 year survivor of an Oligoastrocytoma. By working with BTAA, Mark hopes that he can make the journey of other survivors easier than it was 6 years ago. Mark has a daughter Cara born shorted after his diagnosis. See Mark's articles in our newsletters. Mark is supported by his wife Susan. Mark co-convenes the ACT Brain Tumour Support Group.
Julia Robertson (Ordinary Committee member)
Julia is Brisbane based. Julia was diagnosed in 2003 with a benign ventricular tumour. Julia was 29 and she writes: "My children were quite young. After 8 years and continued decline, I went to see Dr Charlie Teo who successfully removed it. One half of my brain and been pushed around into the other half. If it had been left any longer it would have killed me. A benign tumour does not mean it is not life threatening. I am now five years post op and study Psychological Science".
Julia also volunteers for the Peace of Mind Foundation, helping with the Women's Retreat in 2015. She organised Tunes for Tumours to raise funds to support Peace of Mind Foundation in 2016.
Pam Hubner - To come
Sally Payne - To come
Pat Wynn - To come
Alice Parsons - To come.
Janet Micallef (Ordinary Comittee member)
Janet is a Melbourne based patient and co- founder of Grey Matters Brain Tumour Support Group - a registered Charity with Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) endorsement. "My Brain Tumour Journey started in 1984 with a Menigionoma - last operation was 2014.
Retired from Commonwealth Public Service after 30 years and now I am enjoying
giving back to others through support and assistance on their BT Journey."
Rigoula Roussakis (Ordinary Committee Member)
Rigoula is based in Melbourne. Rigoula is active in the Consumers Health Forum. She was elected to the committee in 2014. Rigoula wrote: "I had a ‘normal’ life with a career as an Executive Officer with Local Government. My life included being a career woman and juggling family life with a husband and newly born daughter. Overnight in late 2002 I awoke with what turned out to be an epileptic seizure. I was then diagnosed with a mixed oligoastrocytoma brain tumour and within a week had successful brain surgery. 2002 was a big year! I was 33 years of age and my beautiful daughter Christiana was born in March, I was diagnosed with my brain tumour in August and then separated from my husband in October. In 2004 the tumour showed some slow regrowth and in 2007 I underwent a course of combined radiotherapy and chemotherapy. This has proved to be successful, however I still have some tumour remaining and I continue to take daily medication for epilepsy. Some 16 months ago I was diagnosed with a very rare form of Ovarian Cancer only found in 0.5% of this type of tumour. Within a week I underwent two successful surgeries. I will continue to be engaged regularly with specialists for both conditions for the rest of my life. In such circumstances I feel you need to believe, look forward, not back and continue to be a survivor. Reflecting on my experiences throughout the past 12 years I now have a strong desire to share my story with others going through their cancer as well as their family and friends."
Unelected Team Members
Diana is the BTAA WA State Development Contact. She is also a Community Representative for Cancer Council WA. Perth based, Diana became involved with supporting people with brain tumours and brain tumour medical research in Perth in April 2015 after Jeff, her best friend of 32 years, and robust 51 year old husband, passed away after a sudden diagnosis and 5 month battle from a highly aggressive GBM. Passionate about brain tumour awareness raising and scientific medical research, Diana offers voluntary support with the University of Western Australia for Neuro-oncologist, Professor Anna Nowak at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
Nicola Sheehan (Consumer Research Liaison Coordinator)
Canberra based. More about Nicola to come.
Dr Anita Berghout (Patient Liaison, former Ordinary Committee Member)
Anita lives in Newcastle and has a PhD in Linguistics. Anita is active in the Hunter Brain Tumour Support Network and raises awareness in her community. She is well supported in her advocacy activities by her husband Bob. She was elected to the committee in 2014. Anita wrote:
"I had my Brain
Tumour diagnosed in August 2003. My
tumour is a Ganglioglioma, which tends to grow slowly. I had three operations in Newcastle—in September 2006, March 2009, and August 2011—and then Radiation at the Royal North Shore in Sydney. Because the
tumour is deep inside the Left part of the brain, it cannot be totally removed.
It has affected my bilingualism a bit after my third
operation—for a while I mixed up Dutch (my
childhood language) and English for spelling and readings of words! I have
stopped working as a Linguistics lecturer at the University of Newcastle. I
feel so supported by family and friends that I now feel totally ready to
support others affected by Brain Tumours."
Thanks also to Phoebe and Amanda at S.H.O.U.T., Canberra who provide administrative support.
BTAA receives advice from former committee members Matt Pitt, Denis Strangman and Mary Anne Rosier who stood down from the committee at the 2015 AGM after seven years of service. Although no longer on the BTAA committee, nor representing BTAA, each are available to provide specialist advice to BTAA upon request and continue as financial members of BTAA.
Matthew D. Pitt (Founding Chair)
Matt Pitt is a co-founder of Brain Tumour Alliance Australia in 2008, serving as the volunteer inaugural Chair since this time. Matt was diagnosed with a low grade glioma in 2001, at the age of 19, and experienced a recurrence in 2003. The frustration and isolation of living with a poorly understood cancer-type, and realisation that outcomes remained poor, led him towards brain tumour patient advocacy work from 2004 onwards. Matt has seven years experience as a regulatory toxicologist, and recently moved to a related field in medical technology. He has a Bachelor (Honours) degree in biotechnology, and a Masters degree in public health, both from the Australian National University. Matt lives in Canberra. Hear more about Matt and his experience as a brain tumour survivor in a You Tube video
of his 2012 presentation here.
Mary Anne Rosier Canberra based MaryAnne has lost a brother and a sister to brain tumours. Over her long involvement with BTAA she has initiated the Paediatric Resource Project, initiated the Wear a Hat for a Day for BTAA, answered the BTAA Freecall and co-convened the ACT Brain Tumour Support Network. Mary Anne has worked as a primary school teacher and a
practice manager. She holds a post graduate diploma in community counselling.
She has also been a Lifeline Counsellor and was a palliative
care volunteer for ten years.Hear more about Mary Anne in her presentation on the challenges of coping with a brain tumour in the family
Denis Strangman AM (Founding Secretary, former Public Officer)
Having lost his wife Marg to a brain tumour Denis is the foundation secretary of BTAA and previous Chair of the International Brain Tumour Alliance (www.theibta.org). He was chosen for his a public service award by the US-based Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) for his dedication and service to the BT community. He was awarded an AM in June 2015 for his services. Denis co-founded BTAA and the International Brain Tumour Alliance (IBTA). He is available to BTAA as a specialist adviser although no longer on the BTAA committee. He is an active member of BTAA, including the ACT Brain Tumour Support Network.