Board and committees

Board of Directors

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.
Kristine Riethmiller

Chair - BA CMC MIMC MAICD

Board Member of Arthritis Australia 2008-2011 and re-elected in 2013. Chair since 2017.

Director and Secretary of Arthritis ACT from 2006 to 2013.

Kristine is a professional management consultant who advises government, private sector and not-for-profit organisations on governance, strategy and people management. Kristine has been in private practice since 1998 and is based in Canberra.  Previously she held Senior Executive and Executive positions in Territory and Commonwealth Government agencies.  Kristine is a partner at Vu Ja De Partners, Director of KMR Consulting and sits on a number of advisory bodies as a small business or industry representative.

Roger Mattar

Deputy Chair & Secretary - BComm/LLB (UNSW) Member AICD

Arthritis Australia Board Member since 2010. Former Chair (2014-2017). Deputy Chair since 2017.

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.

Michael Touma

Treasurer - MBA (Macquarie), M.Comm (UNSW) & CPA

Arthritis Australia Board Member since May 2018 and a member of the Finance Advisory Committee. Treasurer since November 2018.

Mr Touma has had more twenty years senior leadership experience, including Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer, Finance Director and Executive Director roles in subsidiaries of multi-nationals and Australian family owned groups, wide knowledge across diverse industries including consumer goods, distribution, transport and 3rd party logistics.

Michael has completed the AICD’s Company Director’s course and was a Non-Executive Director of Learning Links form 2015 to 2016.

Prof Susanna Proudman

Medical Director - MBBS (Hons) FRACP

Arthritis Australia Board Member and Medical Director since 2014.

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

Wendy Favorito

Consumer Director - BAppSc (Sp. Path.)(Hons)

Arthritis Australia Board Member and Consumer Director since 2010.

Mrs 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.

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.

Colette Smith

Director - BComm (Marketing and Financial Planning)

Arthritis Australia Board Member since August 2018.

Director of Arthritis SA from 2009 – 2018 (President from 2012 – 2018). Chair of Arthritis Australia Council of Advice from 2015 – 2018.

Colette has a corporate background spanning twenty years in sales, senior management and advisory roles with Telstra and KPMG respectively. Based in Adelaide, Colette currently is the owner of a boutique advisory business called Revenue By Design that specializes in management consulting for the mid-market. More specifically, this involves helping clients with a renewed approach to marketing, sales and customer strategy to support sustainable revenue growth.

Having had a normal start to life, at the age of seventeen Colette contracted a severe and progressive form of inflammatory arthritis. This situation required Colette to adapt in many ways, her ability to manage her condition ultimately leading to her successful corporate career and dedication as a board Director for arthritis and musculoskeletal organisations.  

Patron

His Excellency General the Honorable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd)

Governor-General

His Excellency General the Honourable David John Hurley AC DSC (Retd) was sworn in as the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 July 2019.

David Hurley joined the Australian Army in January 1972, graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon into the Royal Australian Infantry Corps. In a long and distinguished 42-year military career, his service culminated with his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force.

He commanded the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment during Operation SOLACE in Somalia in 1993, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross. Following promotion to Colonel, he was appointed Chief of Staff, Headquarters 1st Division in June 1994, attending the U.S. Army War College in 1996 and 1997. He commanded the 1st Brigade from 1999-2000 in Darwin, supporting Australian-led operations in East Timor. He was appointed the inaugural Chief of Capability Development Group from 2003-07, Chief of Joint Operations Command in October 2007, and Vice Chief of the Defence Force in July 2008. Promoted to General, he succeeded Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston as Chief of the Defence Force on 4 July 2011 until his retirement on 30 June 2014. In 2010, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the Australian Defence Force.

Prior to being sworn in as Governor-General, David Hurley served as the 38th Governor of New South Wales from October 2014 – May 2019.

David Hurley was born in Wollongong, New South Wales on 26 August 1953, the son of Norma and James Hurley. His father was an Illawarra steelworker and his mother worked in a grocery store. He grew up in Port Kembla and attended Port Kembla High School where he completed his Higher School Certificate in 1971. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College, Duntroon in 1975. He is married to Linda with whom he has three children: Caitlin, Marcus and Amelia.

He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Wollongong in 2013; a Doctor of the University, honoris causa, from the University of New South Wales in 2015; made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering in 2016; and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Macquarie University in 2017.

Emeritus Directors

Ita Buttrose AO OBE
Dr 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.

Prof Patrick McNeil

MBBS (Hons) PhD FRACP GradDipHEd

Professor Patrick McNeil served as Chair of Arthritis Australia from 2010-2014.  Patrick is currently Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Macquarie University.

Executive

Andrew Mills

CEO of Arthritis Australia - B.Ec (USYD).

After being appointed Deputy CEO at Arthritis Australia in November 2017, Andrew is now the current CEO.

Arthritis Australia is dedicated to finding better outcomes for the 4 million Australians living with arthritis. Andrew’s role will help bridge the gap between our aspirations and our funding, and to bring about real change to ensure that people with arthritis can live well with dignity, respect and independence.

Prior to this, he was General Manager Marketing & Communications with Alzheimer’s Australia NSW (now Dementia Australia). Andrew’s role is to seek better outcomes for people living with arthritis by raising the voice, visibility and sustainability of the organisation. Andrew has more than 25 years’ experience in marketing, branding, communications, PR, business development and senior management roles, across a range of industries including Hospitals and Healthcare, Not-For-Profit, Consumer Products, Information Technology, and Oil & Gas – including seven years working in Asia. Prior to this, he was General Manager Marketing & Communications with Alzheimer’s Australia NSW (now Dementia Australia). Andrew’s role is to seek better outcomes for people living with arthritis by raising the voice, visibility and sustainability of the organisation. Andrew has more than 25 years’ experience in marketing, branding, communications, PR, business development and senior management roles, across a range of industries including Hospitals and Healthcare, Not-For-Profit, Consumer Products, Information Technology, and Oil & Gas – including seven years working in Asia.

Scientific Advisory Committee

This committee provides the Arthritis Australia Board with medical expertise

Assoc Prof Peter Youssef

Chair - MBBS (Hons) FRACP PhD

Prof Peter 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.

Prof 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.

Prof Peter Brooks AM

AM MD FRACP FAFRM FAFPHM FRCP (Glas, Edin) MD Hon Causa (Lund)

Prof Brooks is Hon Prof Centre for Health Policy at the University of Melbourne and Research Lead Northern Health Epping. He is the author of more than 400 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 and has a strong research agenda around patient participation and digital health.

Dr 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.

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.

Dr Scott Graf

Dr Scott Graf is a practising rheumatologist with a broad interest across all areas of rheumatology including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis, vasculitis and connective tissue diseases. Dr Graf has a particular interest in the management of gout and is involved in research and education in this area.

Prof David Hunter

MBBS FRACS MSc PhD

Prof Hunter is a rheumatology clinician researcher whose main research focus is 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 and Chair of the Institute of Bone and Joint Research.

Prof Graeme Jones

MBBS (Hons) FRACP FAFPHM MMedSc MD

Prof Jones is 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.

Prof 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.

Dr 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.

Dr Andrew Taylor

MBBS FRACP CCPU

Dr Taylor is a consultant rheumatologist at Royal Perth Hospital, and the Fiona Stanley 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.