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
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.
BA Acc (S.A.I.T.), Grad Dip App Fin & Inv, FCA, GAICD
Christine was appointed to the MS Australia Board in 2016. Following a period as Acting CEO of MS SA & NT in 2017, she returned to the MS Australia Board in late 2017 and resumed as President of MS SA & NT.
Christine has extensive global experience in strategy and operations across diverse industries in the public and private sectors as CEO and other executive roles including with Santos Ltd, F H Faulding & Co Ltd and Barossa Valley Estate Ltd.
She has been responsible for major change including revenue growth; restructure; M & A and efficiency improvements. Christine has raised equity and debt funding and has been awarded multi-million dollar government grants.
Christine now consults with organisations, advising on improvement and growth opportunities, financing, preparation of strategic and business plans and assistance with implementation.
She also co-wrote and now delivers the capstone subject in the Masters of Applied Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Adelaide, guiding entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas.