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.
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 Avner Pancreatic Cancer 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.
Lisa is the Foundation’s National Volunteers and Event Manager and has been with the Foundation since 2016. She has a background in advertising, event management and television production in Australia and internationally. She wanted a job that would “give back” to the community and after meeting with Caroline Kelly she knew that she had found the perfect fit.
Kristjan joined Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation in November 2018 with a long and diverse background in media, marketing, social and content management at high profile Australian based organisations throughout his career. Key projects in recent years have been focused on digital transformation and data driven marketing, and he is specifically passionate about creating exceptional customer experiences, and compelling stories that connect brands to their key audiences. Kristjan is active in his community contributing his time to local sporting and community-based organisations in a volunteer capacity while managing his full-time role with the Avner Foundation.