Alan is the current Chair of the Avner Foundation. He, like so many, has been witness to the suffering of friends and family due to Pancreatic Cancer. Commencing his career in Canberra, Alan has held positions as Managing Partner and CEO of some of the largest law firms in Australia and New Zealand. Amongst various other positions, he was Chair of the General Practice Section of the Law Council of Australia.
When Avner and Caroline considered setting up Avner’s Fund, it was in recognition that something needed to be done. Unlike cancers of other parts of the body, there was no Australian Foundation dedicated exclusively to Pancreatic Cancer. With the help of friends and supporters, Avner’s Fund became a reality with a simple aim, to raise funds for research so that there could be hope for future patients and has invested $7m in Pancreatic Cancer research grants, clinical trials and other research projects in its first 10 years. Since the incorporation of the Foundation in July 2010, that simple aim has been expanded to include awareness, advocacy and a future Patient Hub. Caroline has been the driving force behind the establishment of the Grants program, Scientific Advisory Panel and community walks. Caroline is the first full time employee of the Foundation.
Recognised as one of Australia’s leading marketers, Luke Dunkerley began his career as an advertising copywriter at Leo Burnett. In 2002 he became Managing Director of M&C Saatchi Retail, heading up the Woolworths account, where he first worked with Avner. Luke went on to be Managing Director of The Campaign Palace and then STW Communications. In 2007 Luke returned to retail to lead Woolworths supermarkets as their General Manager of Marketing. Luke has been a key and active advisor since inception and joined the Board in May 2015.
Andrew is the Executive General Manager, Corporate Affairs for the Commonwealth Bank. Andrew manages the Commonwealth Bank's engagement program with a wide spectrum of stakeholders, including government, media and regulators. A former journalist, Andrew worked in federal politics for 11 years, including five years as federal director of the National Party. Andrew was Director of Corporate and Public Affairs at Woolworths from 2007 - 2013, where he worked with Avner. Andrew joined the Board in May 2015.
Peter is the Director/owner of GHO, a creative digital agency and was chairman of Avner’s Foundation from July 2015 – Nov 2017. Peter has been central to the establishment and ongoing success of Avner’s Foundation and its precursor, Avner’s Fund. Avner initially hired Peter’s marketing agency, GHO, for Peter’s marketing expertise and from that basis, a friendship developed. Peter’s commitment to the Foundation and pursuit of its goals are without question, inspirational.
Sally is CEO of the Financial Services Council which represents members in Australia’s largest industry sector, financial services. Prior to joining the FSC, Sally was the Director of Media and Public Affairs at Coca-Cola Amatil from 2006-2014. Sally comes from a background in media, having worked as a journalist for Australia's major print, radio and television media organisations. She spent several years in the press gallery in Parliament House, Canberra, and five and a half years as a broadcaster for ABC radio in Sydney. Sally joined the Board in July 2015.
Former CEO of Woolworths, Grant was Avner’s best man, friend, confidante and colleague. Grant has been central to the launch and ongoing success of Avner’s Foundation and has been the driving force behind the strategic planning of the Patient Hub, and Network of Excellence projects.
Warwick is the Chief Executive Officer at Stone Advisory and is the former Managing Director, Australasia for Coca-Cola Amatil. Warwick lost a close friend and mentor to Pancreatic Cancer in the months after Avner died. This tragedy has driven his passion to improve outcomes for those affected by the disease. Warwick joined the board in February 2012.
Paul is the Finance Director of Apple. Paul oversees Apple’s Finances and Governance for Australia, New Zealand, and the South Asia region. Paul began his career with Price Waterhouse Coopers and progressed to become the Finance Director of Apple in 2005. Paul tragically lost his father to Pancreatic Cancer in 2016, six years after diagnosis. He is committed to supporting the work of the Foundation to deliver improved outcomes for other sufferers of the disease. Paul has been a member of the Board since November 2016.
Michelle joined Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation in August 2019. With a background in medical research funding, foreign investment attraction, digital health and international clinical trials, she has spent many years working across global, transformational projects. Michelle was a key member of the team that transformed the research funding environment for brain cancer from ‘forgotten cancer’ to national health priority in the capacity of Head of Research Strategy and then CEO. Michelle has served on many committees including advisory to Cancer Australia for the Australian Brain Cancer Mission, the Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) and was Co-Chair of the Global Patient Advocacy Committee for GBM AGILE. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Advanced Science and Masters of Public Health, both from The University of Sydney. Michelle is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.