Who We Are
Appointed to the MS Australia Board in 2014, and appointed President in 2019, having served previously as vice president. Des also serves on the Board of MS Limited and MSRA and previously as Board Chair of MS Tasmania and has recently been appointed to the MSIF Board.
With over thirty five years' experience in health and human services, Des has held senior public sector positions in various States. He was the inaugural CEO for the Mental Health Council of Australia and has represented Australia at a number of international forums.
Des' qualifications include nursing, a Master of Science (Mental Health), and an adjunct position with the University of Tasmania. Six years after his diagnosis of MS he retired as the Deputy Secretary Children, and Executive Director, Policy, Information & Commissioning Groups, with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Professionally, one of Des' most prized achievements was the dedication of a Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Award to the Mental Health Council of Australia for his services to consumer and carer participation in health service planning and individual care.
BCom, CA, Member of ICAA
George was appointed to the MS Australia board in 2017. He joined the MSWA Board in 2010 as an appointed member. After Chairing the Audit and Risk Committee and Fundraising Committee, George became President of MSWA in 2013. George’s interest in MS is due to seeing his Mum and close friends live with the disease.
George’s background is of a financial nature. Graduating with a commerce degree in 1996, he has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants since 1999, a registered company auditor and a specialist Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) auditor.
He is a director of Flinders Financial a financial services based business providing financial advice and planning for privately owned businesses and their owners.
LLB (ANU), BEc (ANU)
Ron was appointed to the MSA Board in 2018. He is also currently chair of the Australian Research Integrity Committee that considers disputes over research integrity providing advice to the CEO’s of the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council.
Ron recently retired as Australia’s first Aircraft Noise Ombudsman (ANO), having held the position from 2010 to 2017. Prior to this, he held the role of Commonwealth Ombudsman for six months and before that, Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman for seven years. He also has experience in management and leadership having been Director of the National Film and Sound Archive for 10 years, as well as policy and legal roles in various Government departments.
Ron has served on a number of Boards and is currently on the Board of the National Folk Festival alongside his roles with Multiple Sclerosis Limited and Multiple Sclerosis Australia.
Chris Gillies is a person living with MS. In addition to serving on the Board of MS Australia since 2001, she serves on the Boards of MS Limited, holding the position of Chair from 2006-2013, Australian Home Care Services, and until recently MS Research Australia.
Chris brings to the Board extensive executive experience in mergers, acquisitions, organisational change and information technology. She is an independent Non-Executive Director serving on a number of boards and committees and advises boards on establishing IT Governance leadership. Prior to her board career, Chris was Group Executive, Group Services at St George Bank where her role included managing the integration with Advance, Chief Information Officer for the Bank of Melbourne and Victorian Director of the DMR Group.
Chris has over 20 years’ experience as a Director and more than 40 years’ experience in business management and IT.
BCom, CA, Member of ICAA
Sophie Langshaw has worked to make a difference to people with MS since her brother’s diagnosis in 2003.
Sophie was appointed to the Board of MS Australia in 2013, while also serving on the MS Limited Board, as well as chairperson of the MSL Audit and Risk Committee. She is also a member of the Sydney MS Angels who raise awareness and important funds for MS Research Australia.
She is a Partner at PwC, with 17 years tenure in their Assurance practice. .Her experience includes financial accounting, risk management, due diligence and internal controls evaluations. Sophie’s expertise is in managing large complex multi-location audits and related projects for a range of clients.
As a qualified chartered accountant (ICAA), Sophie also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Accounting & Business Law, UNSW). She is a member of the AICD and Institute of Internal Auditors.