Our people

At the top level of our organisation structure is our national Board who guide the strategic direction of Special Olympics Australia. They officially meet at least four times a year but can be often seen at a competition or fundraising event.

Board

Cameron Brownjohn (Chairman)

Cameron is a career investment banker and is currently Division Director of Macquarie Bank’s Corporate & Asset Finance division. Prior to joining the corporate world, Cameron was competitive at state and national level across a range of sports. In addition to combining his passions for sport and the community, Cameron brings his business acumen, corporate knowledge and fiscal skills to the Board.

Michael Hogan

Michael Hogan brings a depth of capability in public affairs, public profile management, policy analysis, government relations and stakeholder management. He is a passionate believer in the work of Special Olympics Australia and has a son who has participated in the organisation. Michael says, ‘I truly admire the value of Special Olympics Australia and I look forward to sharing my skills to help provide the services that allow people with intellectual disability to fulfil their true potential.’

Ben Haack

As a Special Olympics athlete, coach, volunteer and leader, Ben brings vast experience to his role on the Board. He has played sport at all levels, completed athlete leadership training and also serves on the Board of Special Olympics Inc, our gloabl headquarters. Ben is the third athlete representative to the Board continuing the good work of Kim Flannigan (SA) and Andrew Williams (VIC). Ben also serves on the Board of Special Olympics Inc.

Irena Reiss

Irena is a lawyer with an extensive career providing high-level commercial advice and dispute resolution services to a broad client base, including the corporate, private and public sectors. Irena understands the needs of people with an intellectual disability having served on a club committee and as a parent of a Special Olympics athlete. Irena’s passion for Special Olympics Australia is driven by a long-standing commitment to human rights, social responsibility and cultural diversity.

Shaun Fraser

Shaun is a Chartered Accountant with over 26 years’ experience, including 14 with one of the Big 4 accounting firms. He is a founding partner of McGrathNicol. Shaun has spent most of his career assisting companies, boards and stakeholders through difficult situations and has managed some of Australia’s largest and most complex insolvency and restructuring cases. He is responsible for the development of McGrathNicol’s business, including the Corporate Advisory Practice.

Anna-Louise Kassulke

Anna-Louise is Service Manager at Gold Coast Recreation & Sport. She is passionate about sport and Special Olympics Australia, and was instrumental in establishing Special Olympics Queensland. She is a volunteer, athlete mentor and has been Head of Delegation for three Australian teams competing at the World Games, including the most recent World Games in Los Angeles in 2015.

Allison O'Shea

Allison has a diverse professional background with over 25 years in the finance, law, insurance, tourism technology, health and sports industries and philanthropy. She currently runs her own leadership consultancy business. Previously she has held senior management and executive roles and has been integral in managing stakeholder and client relationships as well as business and team leadership and performance with a particular focus on positivity, fairness and diversity.

Nicole Swaine

Nicole has over 10 years experience in the disability sector including over four years as the CEO of Spastic Centres of South Australia were she oversaw programs that included sport participation for adults with severe and multiple disabilities. Nicole is a member of AICD and has sat on numerous sporting and disability Boards. 

Megan Lavender

Megan is an experienced director having served on a number of Boards including corporate, government and not for profits. Her experience spans marketing, consulting, public relations and corporate affairs and sporting organisations. Megan is a member of AIM, AICD and has served as a Ministerial Advisor to the Australian Minister for Sport, Minister for Tourism and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Sydney 2000 Games.

Ruby Lawler

Ruby is an active member of Special Olympics Gladstone and her local swim club. She regularly volunteers at the RSPCA and is committed to investing in her local community as a Youth Ambassador with Gladstone Community Linking Agency. Of her appointment, Ruby said, “I am excited to work alongside Ben to represent Special Olympics athletes, to have an opportunity to share ideas, good news stories and opinions that are important to all of us."

Corene Strauss, CEO

Corene is a passionate cause-related marketing and management professional who spent seven years as National Marketing Manager for Legacy Australia where she unified the organisation, increased donations and partnerships. Her most recent role was as CEO of the Men of League Foundation which she brought back into positive revenue by increasing income streams, growing members and embedding the funding received by the NRL into the organisation.

Staff

Corene Strauss, Chief Executive Officer

Caroline Stewart, Executive Assistant
Caroline provides administrative support to the CEO and Board, including preparation of reports and policy documents. She is also minute secretary for the Board and sub-committees of the Board.           

SPORT

Terry Visscher, General Manager
Terry is responsible for the design and management of sports development and competition pathways across the country.

Simon Rodder, Sports Development & Partnerships Manager
Simon is responsible for national sports partnerships and for increasing sports participation and providing access to competition pathways in VIC/SA/TAS.

Michelle Parr-Smith, National Sports Administrator
Michelle coordinates national sports programs and supports state and national teams.

Rob Regent, Sports Development
Rob is responsible for increasing sports participation and providing access to competition pathways in NSW/ACT.

Suzy Chainey, Sports Development
Suzy is responsible for increasing sports participation and providing access to competition pathways in QLD/WA/NT.

Daniel Ogle, Asst. Sports Development
Daniel works closely with the Sports Development Manager to increase sports participation and provide access to competition pathways in QLD/WA/NT.          

Lisa Hester, Asst. Sports Development
Lisa works closely with the Sports Development Manager to increase sports participation and provide access to competition pathways in VIC/SA/TAS. She also manages netball.

Georgia Beardman, Sports Development Coordinator, WA
Georgia works with the Sports Development Manager to develop sports programs throughout WA.

NATIONAL GAMES 2018

Bredette Koen, Games Director

Gareth Hogan, Operations Manager

FUNDRAISING

Fran Eustace, National Fundraising Events Manager
Fran organises corporate fundraising events on a national scale and works in partnership with over twenty organising committees to help with the implementation of these events.

Mabel Park, Fundraising Events Coordinator
Mabel works with the events manager to facilitate and promote fundraising events throughout the country.

FINANCE

Rick Van Brugge, Chief Operating Officer
Rick is responsible for oversees finance, IT, risk and compliance, HR and general legal matters.

Patricia Sugita, Financial Accountant
Patricia is responsible for all accounting operations, including monthly financial reports, accounting records, budgets designed to mitigate risk and reporting of company results.

Wenham Qi, Accountant
Wenham secures revenue by verifying and posting receipts, resolving discrepancies and performing weekly bank reconciliations.

Rex Goldring, Accounts Officer
Rex completes payments and controls expenses by receiving, processing, verifying, and reconciling invoices.

Maureen Scott, Database Manager
Maureen is responsible for maintaining the accuracy and reliability of all databases and software packages. First level IT Support and administration.

Edward Smith, Database Officer (p/t)
Edward assists in maintaining the accuracy and reliability of all databases. He is also a Special Olympics Australia athlete.

PEOPLE AND CULTURE

Terence Young, General Manager
Terence works closely with volunteers and staff to provide effective planning, implementation and evaluation of volunteer programs and services.

COMMUNICATIONS

Paul Wiggins, Marketing & Communications Executive
Paul is responsible for internal and external communications/marketing, digital channels, including website, social media and email communications.

Chris Bunton, Assistant (p/t)
Chris assists with anything communications-related, including acting as a roving reporter. He is also a Special Olympics Australia athlete.