Board

Chairman

Ian McRae

Ian McRae AO
Ian is a Chartered Accountant who has spent the greater part of his working life in arts administration, principally as General Manager of The Australian Ballet from 1991 to 2002. He has held many Board positions across the arts and is currently Chair of the Australian National Academy of Music and a Director of Malthouse Theatre. He also works with Leo Schofield to tour leading international ballet companies to Australia. 
 
Since 2006 Ian has cared for his wife Gael, who has FTD – and, together with two other carers, formed the first Carer Support Group in Victoria.
 
In 2002 he was honoured as Cultural Leader of the Year by the Australian Business Arts Foundation and is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

Secretary

Elaine Black

Elaine is a full time carer to her husband who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1997 aged 47.  In 2008 he was diagnosed with a frontotemporal dementia probably in association with his Parkinson’s Disease. 

 

Elaine trained as a nurse in the late 60’s working in both Melbourne and rural NSW.  She worked in various other medically related areas as her husband’s Radiology practice expanded over the ensuing years.  She was a board member of the Gippsland Grammar School during her children’s time there and continued as a board member for some 6 years after the children had completed their schooling.  She was chairperson of the Marketing and Enrolment committee and deputy chair of the school Foundation for many years. More recently Elaine has been a founding member of the FTD Carers group.

Board Members
 
Dr Amy Brodtmann MBBS FRACP PhD
Amy is Co-Division Head of Behavioural Neuroscience and NHMRC Clinical Career Development Fellow at the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne, Australia. She is a stroke and cognitive neurologist at Austin Health and Director of the Eastern Cognitive Disorders Clinic.
 
Her research focuses on imaging correlates of cognitive decline in stroke, post-stroke behavioural syndromes, and the diagnosis and management of focal onset dementias. She has received many awards and grants for her work in stroke and dementia, including Project grants and both NHMRC Post-Graduate and Post-Doctorate Fellowships. She sits on the editorial boards of Neurology and the International Journal of Stroke, the Dementia Research Grants board of Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria, is an inaugural member of the Wicking Strategic Review Panel, and a founding member of the Australian Frontotemporal Dementia Association.

Professor John Hodges 

Professor Hodges trained in medicine and psychiatry in London, Southampton and Oxford before gravitating to neurology and becoming enamoured by neuropsychology. In 1990, he was appointed a University Lecturer in Cambridge and in 1997 became MRC Professor of Behaviour Neurology. A sabbatical in Sydney in 2002 with Glenda Halliday rekindled a love of sea, sun and surf which culminated in a move to Sydney in 2007. He has written over 400 papers on aspects of neuropsychology (especially memory and languages) and dementia, plus six books.

 

He has built a multidisciplinary research group focusing on aspects of frontotemporal dementia. The Hodges clinical research group is dedicated to the study of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and related disorders, notably motor neurone disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). The members of the frontotemporal dementia group are investigating the cognitive, behavioural, psychological, and brain changes associated with this disease and the impact on patients and their families. They are also studying how changes in FTD differ from those seen in other progressive neurodegenerative brain disorders, and in healthy aging.

Garry Holloway
Garry cares for his wife Drena who was diagnosed with a semantic variant of FTD in 2009.
 
He is a jeweller and diamond expert with two suburban Melbourne stores. He originally graduated as a geologist and is actively involved in diamond cut research with a team of leading scientists and engineers from Russia and India. Garry’s experience on boards has mainly been with the gemmological Association of Australia where he has held state and national positions.
 
Garry was one of the early and founding participants in the first carer support group in Melbourne established by Melissa and Tracey. Garry is committed to the belief that carer support groups are beneficial for carers and will ultimately save the community money and resources by reducing the need for medical contact and support. 
Helen
Helen James
Helen cares for her husband Gordon.  He was diagnosed in 2005, aged 65, with Semantic Dementia, which is a variant of FTD. 
 
Helen spent her career in the corporate environment and continues to use her expertise through various roles in Probus and volunteering her time at the Alzheimer’s Association. She is passionate and committed to educating and supporting carers not only about the disease, but the far reaching impacts each stage can have on family and friends. Helen’s goal is to improve the awareness of Dementia and to support fundraising for further research into this debilitating disease. 
Melissa Kettle
Melissa works as a Cognition Nurse Consultant for the Eastern Cognitive Disorders Clinic. In this role she provides assessments, advice and coordinates support service referrals for clients with dementia and their family carers. She also co- facilitates the clinic’s frontotemporal dementia carer support group meetings. 
 
Melissa is a registered nurse with extensive experience in aged care assessment within both the public and private sector. She previously worked as Manager of the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service in Victoria (DBMAS). DBMAS is part of the Commonwealth Dementia Care Initiative, providing a 24 hour free advisory services for carers of people with moderate to severe behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia. Therefore, Melissa is experienced in providing education and counseling to patients and carers attending the clinic regarding these symptoms. Before joining the DBMAS VIC team in April 2009, she had established a Cognitive Hospital Admission Risk Program (HARP) at Box Hill Hospital, providing inpatient and post acute follow up for patients with undiagnosed cognitive impairment, dementia and delirium. 
Olivier Piguet BPsych MA (Clin Neuropsych) PhD MAPS
A/Prof Olivier Piguet is a clinical neuropsychologist, and principal research fellow at the UNSW, with 15 years clinical experience in the field of ageing and neurodegeneration. He is the co-director of FRONTIER, the frontotemporal dementia clinical research group based at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) in Sydney and the director of the memory programme of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders. A/Prof Piguet trained in Geneva and Melbourne and completed his PhD at the University of Sydney. After a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at MIT, he established his research group at NeuRA in 2007 at the UNSW, which has now moved sites to the University of Sydney. 
 
His research focuses on early clinical markers of frontotemporal dementia and related younger-onset dementia syndromes. He is particularly interested in the biological correlates underlying changes in social cognition, memory and executive function in these disorders. A/Prof Piguet’s has published over 75 peer-reviewed articles on these topics. His research is funded by the NHMRC and the ARC.
Tracey
Dr Tracey Wardill  M.A. (Clinical Neuropsychology); PhD
Tracey has nearly 30 years experience as a clinical neuropsychologist and has worked extensively in the public health system.   She is a principal partner of Melbourne Neuropsychology Services (MNS), a private practice which provides neuropsychology services to private patients and public health providers throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.
 
She has worked in all areas of adult neuropsychology and is experienced in the diagnosis of dementia.  She has a particular interest in young onset dementia. In 2008 Tracey was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study frontotemporal dementia in the leading FTD clinics in the United States and England.  As a result of her fellowship, she established the first support group for carers of people with frontotemporal dementia in Victoria, which she ran from 2009 to late 2012. Tracey worked extensively with FTD patients and their families during the six years in which MNS provided services to the Eastern Cognitive Disorders Clinic at Box Hill Hospital.  She continues to see FTD patients and their families through Melbourne Neuropsychology Services.  Tracey has recently been appointed to the Membership Committee of the newly formed International Society for FTD (ISFTD).