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About Us


icon-jump_to About Arthritis Australia

icon-jump_to Arthritis facts

icon-jump_to Funding

icon-jump_to Constitution

icon-jump_to Board of Directors | icon-jump_to Emeritus Directors |  icon-jump_to Patron icon-jump_to Executive

icon-jump_to Scientific Advisory Committee



Arthritis Australia's Vision and Mission statement


To bring quality of life to all people with arthritis and eliminate their suffering.


  • To provide dignity, support and education for Australians suffering from arthritis and their carers.
  • To radically restrict the rate of growth of arthritis in Australia.
  • To be a leader in funding and advocating world class research.
  • Arthritis Australia to be identified as the only independent, arthritis focused and patient driven national body.

About Arthritis Australia

Nearly one in five Australians - that's 3.85 million people - has arthritis. Arthritis Australia is a charitable not-for-profit organisation, and is the peak arthritis body in Australia. It is supported by affiliate offices in ACT, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Arthritis Australia:

  • provides support and information to people with arthritis as well as their families and friends
  • promotes awareness of the challenges facing people with arthritis across the community, and to leaders in business, industry, and government
  • funds research into potential causes and possible cures as well as better ways to live with arthritis, and
  • aims to keep health professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and community nurses informed.

About Arthritis Australia's website

Arthritis Australia endeavours to ensure the accuracy and relevance of information on its website. Consumer information materials are reviewed and updated on an annual basis, with the process including a full literature review to ensure scientific accuracy. Development and review of all Arthritis Australia resources follow a stringent process which is in line with Arthritis's premier National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Guidelines for Consumer Information. The process is as follows:
• Audit of gaps/consumer demand
• Literature reviews to support information to be included in the resource
• Resource written
• Tested with consumer focus group re understanding of content as well as layout
• Reviewed and signed off by Arthritis Australia's Consumer Representative (and Board Member); Arthritis Australia's Resource Development Working Group (made up of a combination of health educators and consumers); Arthritis Australia's Medical Director; Arthritis Australia's Scientific Advisory Committee; Australian Rheumatology Association (co-badge our materials and are the peak group for rheumatologists - specialists in arthritis and musculoskeletal disease); and other relevant organisations pertinent to subject matter - e.g. The Australian General Practice Network, Australian Physiotherapy Association, Australian Practice Nurses Association, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. The reviewer organisations are acknowledged on each material where appropriate.

News pages are reviewed on a daily basis, other amendments uploaded as they occur and, overall, a six monthly review of the full website is undertaken to maintain accuracy and relevancy.

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Arthritis facts

  • nearly one in five Australians has arthritis
  • today arthritis impacts directly on 3.85 million people, or 18.5 per cent of the population and indirectly on their businesses, colleagues, friends and family1
  • by 2050, it is projected there will be 7 million Australians with arthritis2
  • it costs the economy about $23.9 billion a year. Emotionally and socially, the hidden costs of arthritis are immeasurable3
  • arthritis is Australia's major cause of disability and pain
  • it's wrong to think arthritis is just an inevitable part of getting older; it isn't!
  • most people diagnosed with arthritis are of working age
  • children get arthritis too
  • arthritis was declared a National Health Priority in 2002
  • there are more than 100 different types of arthritis
  • most forms of arthritis are thought to be a reaction of the body against its own joint tissues
  • osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout and lupus are some of the most common forms of arthritis
  • we do know you've got to move it or lose it; rest can make pain and other symptoms much worse
  • there's no cure... yet
  • but there's a lot that can be done
  • and with your help we can make life for people with arthritis a whole lot better!

    *1,2,3 - Refer Arthritis Australia's website / reports - Painful realities: The economic impact of arthritis in Australia 2007 (REPORT BY ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LIMITED FOR ARTHRITIS AUSTRALIA 31 JULY 2007)

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This website is only funded by Arthritis Australia. Arthritis Australia relies on the generosity of community groups, individuals, and corporate sponsors for most of its funding. For more information on how you can support people with arthritis please call 1800 111 101.

Arthritis Australia wishes to acknowledge funding support from the Commonwealth Department of Health under the Chronic Disease Prevention and Service Improvement Fund * for the following projects: National Local Exercise Program, Osteoarthritis website MyJointPain, Consumer information sheets and Multicultural resources.

* for funding period 2013-2015.

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Arthrtis Australia Constitution

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The board of directors of Arthritis Australia is made up of corporate, health and community representatives who are committed to:

  • developing further initiatives for assisting Australians with arthritis
  • restricting the rate of growth of arthritis in Australia
  • ensuring arthritis is on the national agenda, and
  • advocating world class research into the disease



icon-female Kristine Riethmiller BA CMC MIMC MAICD - Chair   

Former Board Member of Arthritis Australia (2008-2011). Re-elected in 2013.

Recently re-appointed to the Arthritis Australia Board, Ms Riethmiller is a management consultant who advises government and private organisations on governance, strategy and people management. Kristine established her consulting business in 1998 and is based in Canberra. She is a Director of the Canberra Business Council, Chair of the Small Business Task Force and a Committee member of Canberra Women in Business.  She was a Director and Secretary of Arthritis ACT from 2006 to 2013.


icon-male Roger Mattar BComm/LLB (UNSW) Member AICD  - Deputy Chair

Arthritis Australia Board Member since 2010.

Mr Mattar commenced legal work as a student volunteer at Redfern Legal Centre while completing his commerce/law degree at UNSW. Following his graduation he worked as a paralegal and later as a solicitor in a large national law firm in the property, construction and banking practice groups. Since 1997 he has been a solicitor at Kemp Strang lawyers where he was appointed a partner in the Property Banking and Finance (Commercial) Group in 2004. Roger practises in the area of property, leasing, banking and finance.

icon-male Wayne Jarman Grad Dip Fin AMP (Harvard) FAICD - Treasurer

Arthritis Australia Board member since 2007 and Treasurer since 2010.

A Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Finance and Treasury Association, Wayne consults for the service firm Deloitte, Maddocks Lawyers and Burnvoir, an Advisory firm in the Infrastructure and Resources sectors. Mr Jarman is also Chairman of the Investment Advisory Board of Altius Asset Management. Prior to these engagements Wayne was Executive Director of the NSW Government Asset Management Task Force which had carriage of a number of NSW Government asset sales. Earlier, Wayne was Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of RBC Capital Markets and CEO of TCorp, the New South Wales Government’s Central Borrowing Authority, a position he held for a period of ten years.

icon-female Susanna Proudman MBBS (Hons) FRACP  - Medical Director

Assoc Prof Proudman is the newly appointed Medical Director of the Arthritis Australia Board and is also a member of Arthritis Australia’s Grants Assessment Committee. Susanna is a Senior Consultant in Rheumatology at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Adelaide. She is Chair of the Australian Scleroderma Interest Group.


icon-female Wendy Favorito BAppSc (Sp. Path.)(Hons) - Consumer Director

Arthritis Australia Board Member and Consumer Representative since 2010.

Mrs Wendy Favorito is well-versed with what it means to live with arthritis and, through her personal and professional experiences, with the health system and services provided. She currently  works part-time as a Speech Pathologist in private practice in Sydney and is a part-time Professional Practice Educator in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Australian Catholic University.
At the age of six years, Wendy was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). In her teens and early 20s she actively assisted Arthritis New South Wales in their JIA activities, including being a member of the Working Committee for their inaugural JIA Camp. These annual camps continue to be a popular and effective support for children in NSW and interstate.
Wendy recognises the importance of widespread arthritis awareness & education and believes the support of family, friends, health professionals and workplace are paramount in managing your arthritis.


icon-female Judith Nguyen OAM BA DipTchg 

Former Consumer Representative and Board Member of Arthritis Australia (2003-2010). Re-elected in 2014. 

Mrs Nguyen has also been President of Arthritis Tasmania (2004-2005) and is actively involved in consumer advocacy. A corporate communication specialist, Mrs Nguyen headed a secondary school English department, was a councillor of the Tasmanian Council of the Australian Marketing Institute, was Corporate Communications Manager for two organisations in Tasmania, and then Director Communications Policy at the Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet. Since her retirement in 2005 Mrs Nguyen has served on a number of arthritis-related steering committees and advisory groups. 

In 2013 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the community, particularly in the field of arthritis.



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icon-female Ita Buttrose AO OBE

icon-female Mona Marabani MBBS (Hons) FRACP

icon-male Patrick McNeil MBBS (Hons) PhD FRACP GradDipHEd


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icon-male His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd)

Office website:

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icon-female Ainslie Cahill

Ainslie Cahill is CEO and Secretary of Arthritis Australia. This national peak organisation has made significant investments in musculoskeletal research; awareness & education; and health consumer advocacy for more than 30 years. 

As well as being a strong and effective health consumer advocate, Ainslie has had a distinguished senior management career in publishing, film & television and vocational education. 

She has fulfilled several terms on the Consumers Health Forum Board (2008-2014), including four years as Deputy Chair, and currently serves on The Life Saving Drugs Program Review Reference Group; and Comcare Health Benefits of Work Advisory Group. 


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This committee provides the Arthritis Australia Board with medical expertise.

icon-male Peter Youssef MBBS (Hons) FRACP PhD - Chair

Assoc Prof Youssef is a staff specialist in rheumatology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. His research interests are in the mechanisms of joint damage in inflammatory arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, and the effects of therapy on the synovium.'

icon-male James Bertouch MBBS MD FRACP MWQ

Prof Jim Bertouch is a consultant rheumatologist and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales. He is Chairman at the Department of Rheumatology, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, Chairman and Head of Rheumatology Department Committee NSW and ACT and, Chairman and Convenor Friday Rheumatology Group. In 2014, he was appointed Chairman of the Governance and Compliance Committee of the Australian Rheumatology Association.

Proving his commitment to health consumers and medical research, Prof Bertouch was the official doctor and member of the Ascent for Arthritis Group which climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in 2007. The group raised $95,000 for the Arthritis Australia National Research Program, specifically for projects associated with Ankylosing Spondylitis.

icon-male Peter Brooks AM MD FRACP FAFRM FAFPHM FRCP (Glas, Edin) MD Hon Causa (Lund)

Prof Brooks is Director, Australian Health Workforce Institute at the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland. He is the author of more than 300 publications in the areas of rheumatic diseases, drug therapy and psychological aspects of chronic disease. He has been a major driver of health workforce and education reform.

icon-male Simon Burnet MBBS FRACP

Dr Burnet is Arthritis South Australia’s Alternate Director. An Adelaide-based rheumatologist, he is a consultant at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and also Medical Director of Arthritis SA.

icon-male Julien de Jager MB BCh FRACGP FRACP

Dr de Jager is Senior Visiting Rheumatologist at the Gold Coast Hospital and a visiting consultant rheumatologist at Allamanda and Pindara private hospitals in Queensland. He is an international fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and a past president of the Australian Rheumatology Association. As of early 2011, Dr de Jager is also a Professor of Medicine at Griffith University.

icon-female Anna Dorai Raj FRCP FRACP GradCert Higher Education

Dr Dorai Raj is a rheumatologist in private practice in Canberra and a visiting medical officer at the Canberra Hospital. She is also a clinical lecturer at the Australian National University Medical School.

icon-male David Hunter MBBS FRACS MSc

Prof Hunter is a rheumatology clinician researcher whose main research focus has been clinical and translational research in osteoarthritis. He is the Florance and Cope Chair of Rheumatology and Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney and the Royal North Shore Hospital. He is also Consultant Rheumatologist at North Sydney Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Centre.

icon-male Graeme Jones MBBS (Hons) FRACP FAFPHM MMedSc MD 

Prof Jones Chair of Arthritis Australia's Grants Assessment Committee. He is Head of the Musculoskeletal Theme at the Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania and a rheumatologist in private practice. 

icon-female Michelle Leech MBBS FRACP PhD

Prof Leech is also a member of Arthritis Australia’s Grants Assessment Committee. Michelle is a research fellow at Monash University Melbourne, and Director of Clinical Teaching Programs at Monash Southern Clinical School. She is also a consultant rheumatologist at Monash Medical Centre.

icon-female Mona Marabani MBBS (Hons) FRACP

A practising rheumatologist, Dr Mona Marabani was president of Arthritis Australia from 2006 to 2010.  Dr Marabani has previously served the Australian Rheumatology Association as vice-president and councillor, the NSW Branch as Honorary Secretary and the NSW Advanced Trainee Selection Committee as Chair. She maintains an active interest in health education, equity and advocacy.

icon-male Andrew Taylor MBBS FRACP

Dr Taylor is a consultant rheumatologist at Royal Perth Hospital, Clinical Associate Professor with the University of Western Australia, and is engaged in private practice at St John of God Healthcare, Murdoch. He is past head of the Rheumatology Unit and Director of the Goatcher Clinical Research Unit at Royal Perth Hospital.



A register disclosing relationships between members of the Scientific Advisory Committee and pharmaceutical companies is available upon request. Please call Ainslie Cahill on 02 9518 4441.

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Reviewed and updated November 2017


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