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Who We Are


Deidre Mackechnie

Deidre commenced with MS Australia in early 2013 in the role of Executive Officer and Company Secretary before her appointment as CEO in 2015.  Deidre has had an extensive career in Health, initially training as a nurse which led to clinical education, followed by a move to Human Resources and subsequent roles in senior management.  Deidre has post graduate qualifications in Education, Human Resource Management and Governance.  

Andrew Giles
National Policy Officer

Andrew Giles was appointed as National Policy Officer at MSA in April 2014.  He comes to MSA after 25 years in various roles at Deakin University, having worked in several Faculties as a Research Administrator, in the University’s Planning Unit, as an Executive Officer in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, and as Director of Community Relations.  He has expertise in policy development, project management, and strategic and operational planning. He reads widely and is interested in landscape gardening and unusual travel destinations.

Andrew Potter
National Advocacy Coordinator

Andrew has been MSA’s National Advocacy Coordinator since May 2014. He has a long history of advocacy and lobbying, and substantial experience in the disability and inspectorial sectors. Having had MS for over 25 years, Andrew maintains he treats it with the respect and contempt it deserves! He believes that in sharing Advocates’ experiences, the program is a vehicle for positive political and social change. His passions include genealogy and nature. He lives in regional Tasmania with his wife, Jane. They have two daughters.

Patrick Foong

Patrick has more than 20 years of working experience with both charitable and for-profit organisations. He joined MS Australia as an Accountant in August 2014. He has worked for organisations including Philips, Exel Logistics and Macquarie Leisure. His experience with charitable organisations include Australian Red Cross Blood Service, JDRF, Cystic Fibrosis NSW and Cure Cancer Australia. Patrick enjoys going to the gym, walking and reading.

Mary Michaliades
Executive Assistant

Mary has been working with the multiple sclerosis organisations for over 15 years. She commenced with MS Society of Victoria in 2000 when the office was located in Toorak Victoria and later moved to Blackburn in 2001. She transferred to MS Australia in July 2016 in the role of Executive Assistant where she provides executive support to the CEO, the MSA Board of Directors and other MSA Staff and stakeholders. Mary enjoys going for long walks, cooking and spending time with her family.

Mark Campbell
National Digital Communications Officer

Mark Campbell brings to MS Australia 7 years of experience as a support worker for people with MS. He also previously worked for 6 years at World Vision Australia across several departments, in their Feedback, Marketing, Customer Service and Digital teams. His roles there included online editing, social media co-ordination, and piloting their Online Chat function. Mark spends his time outside of work-hours making and performing music, and enjoying the little joys in life with his wife Melissa.

Lisa Montague
National Advocacy, Publications and Media Officer

Lisa brings to MSA over 20 years' experience in strategic communications, PR and writing for the arts, corporate, disability, education, government, hospitality, Indigenous and not-for-profit sectors. She was Media/Communications Manager for the Victorian College of the Arts, a Publicist for the Melbourne International Arts, Comedy and Film Festivals, and Events/Marketing Manager for Richmond Hill Café & Larder. Lisa is passionate about diversity and inclusion, fitness, industrial design, travel and food.