Board of Heartbeat Victoria Council Inc.

ROBYN FENNELL
President

Robyn Fennell recently retired from her Nursing career with fifty years’ experience in many areas of the Health Care Sector, including management and training.

Robyn is a veteran in many voluntary community activities and currently continues in this role with her work with Heartbeat Victoria.

In 1999, Robyn was awarded Tatura’s Australia Day “Citizen of the Year Award” and the Heart Foundation Victoria “Presidents Award” in 2013.

Robyn is the first Consumer Representative appointed in 2018 to the Heart Foundation’s Cardiovascular Health Advisory Committee.

With a young family of four in 1980, Robyn’s husband required open heart surgery. It was a natural fit in 1986 to become an inaugural member of Heartbeat Goulburn Valley Branch. Robyn has remained continuously involved with Heartbeat peer support and the HBVC Board of Management.

What do you find most rewarding about your association with Heartbeat Victoria?

It is gratifying to be part of a dedicated team of Heartbeat Volunteers operating heart peer support groups throughout Victoria. The focus is on motivating and empowering those with heart disease or heart conditions, family and carers with support and activities that enhance individual positive health and wellness outcomes.

I value the opportunity to take part in activities to raise awareness about the importance and management of heart disease and its risk factors in our local communities.

I understand the importance of listening to our consumers and other stakeholders in our efforts to fight heart disease, improve services and outcomes for patients and carers.

LOUISE ZAMBELLO
Board Secretary

Louise has been providing legal administrative support for over 40 years.  For the last decade in her role as Client Manager of Thoughtpost Governance, a board advisory consultancy, she has gained a strong knowledge of governance and strategic planning.  She has project managed and coordinated numerous board performance reviews and board governance workshops for not for profit, private and public sector organisations from a variety of industries.  Through her business, My Distant Assistant, Louise also advises businesses on how to establish efficient and effective office systems.

Louise has a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University.  She is currently Acting President/Secretary of Heartbeat Victoria Sunbury Branch and a member of the Sunranges Business Collective, Sunbury Business Association, the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Women in Business.  In her spare time she likes growing vegetables, cooking, playing the piano and keeping fit.

What do you find most rewarding about your association with Heartbeat Victoria?

Many people in the community are unaware that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in Australia. I want to assist in saving more lives and improve the heart health of all Australians and in particular support people living with a heart condition. With assistance and education from an organisation such as Heartbeat Victoria, I want to help people improve their quality of life and wellbeing.

CHRIS KUNARATNAM
Treasurer

Chris is an experienced finance and management executive. She is currently working for the Anti-Dumping Commission (ADC), which is responsible for administering Australia’s trade remedies systems. She also has over 20 years’ banking experience with her last role as Director, Project Finance at National Australia Bank where she managed a significant portfolio of public, infrastructure assets.

She has been involved in non for profit work for a long time including some 13 years as a volunteer at FareShare, which operates Australia’s largest charity kitchen. She has previously volunteered for the Red Cross and the Asylum Seeker Resource Center.

She loves trying new recipes, travel and learning French and Italian.

What do you find most rewarding about your association with Heartbeat Victoria?

My father suffered his first heart attack at the age of 37 and underwent many major cardiac surgeries throughout his life. Both my grandfathers and 2 uncles also died of heart attacks.

My family migrated to Australia soon after my father’s first attack and my mother, without any other direct family support, had to care for my father during his cardiac operations as well as managing a family and working full-time. I am quite conscious of the physical and emotional toll of cardiac-related issues on the individual concerned and their families and wish to make a difference to peoples’ quality of life, post any cardiac issues.

ARTHUR FENNELL
Board Member

Arthur worked in the Insurance Industry for many years, before making a late career change to become a Personal Care Assistant in Aged Care. Arthur is now retired. Over the years, Arthur has held office bearer positions in community groups, service clubs and for Heartbeat Victoria.

What do you find most rewarding about your association with Heartbeat Victoria?

As a person with heart disease and thirty years’ association with Heartbeat Victoria I still find it gratifying to be able to volunteer to help other heart disease patients in peer support groups.

I value the information and support I have received over these years from Heartbeat Victoria which has contributed to my current ongoing healthy and fulfilling everyday life.

I would like to see more Heartbeat support groups operating across Victoria to assist heart patients improve and maintain a healthy life style with less hospital admissions.

MEREDITH CROWE
Board Member

Meredith Crowe is an Organisational Development Consultant at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. She describes her work as “the people stuff”, assessing organisational and team needs, and designing programs and materials to support development. She manages initiatives in relation to change management, leadership development and cultural change, and has a keen focus on measuring outcomes in this space.

What do you find most rewarding about your association with Heartbeat Victoria?

Working in healthcare, I am incredibly interested in prevention interventions and believe they should be an integral part of any health strategy. I believe the first step to nudge our communities towards a preventative mindset to illnesses such as heart disease is to raise awareness of the realities of the disease. I fully appreciate the value of peer support, and of enabling and encouraging people to help themselves and each other. Patients starting a health journey can easily become oversaturated with information and peer support for them and their families to help them navigate the resources are available, and contextualise their own experience is invaluable.

LILLY MOYLE
Board Member

Lilly Moyle is a Marketing Manager for an Indigenous Affairs charity. She has over eight years of experience working in all aspects of communications; from marketing to fundraising, PR to digital campaigning.  She has a proven track record for developing and executing effective communication strategies and brings with her a range of digital skills and a deep understanding of the not-for-profit health sector.  Lilly has completed a Bachelor in Media and Communications and has always held a passion for health promotion.

What do you find most rewarding about your association with Heartbeat Victoria?

With a passion for health promotion and a family history of heart disease I decided that I wanted to give back to my community and take part in an organisation offering support and to people who are recovering from a cardiac event or living with heart disease.  My goal is to utilise my digital communication skills to bring awareness to the incredible work that Heartbeat Victoria does, so that more Victorians can improve their health and quality of life.

DARYL PETER
Board Member

Daryl Peter is an experienced IT management professional. His career spans more than a decade working with large Australian and multinational publicly listed companies across media, telecommunication, recruitment and electrical industries, as well as in conjunction with government agencies including the Australian Defence Force.

Commencing in his current role with Transurban as Microsoft Services Manager in 2017, Daryl leads a team of engineers that empower and support Transurban staff with technical solutions and tools.

Currently undertaking his MBA at Melbourne Business School, Daryl thrives on learning and development, enjoying new challenges and the opportunity for personal and professional growth.

What do you find most rewarding about your association with Heartbeat Victoria?

My grandmother suffered from heart disease, and it’s becoming more prevalent in the community. In recent years I have become interested in learning more about heart disease; and would also like to actively contribute to the community through Heartbeat Victoria by using my extensive corporate and technology background to help further their mission and spread awareness about heart disease.

LYNDA ANDREWS
Board Member

Lynda has over 40 years’ experience in the Financial Markets, Funds Management, Financial Planning and Compliance and initially was located in the London working for Midland Bank and ANZ Bank. In Australia, Lynda has worked for Citibank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Colonial Mutual Life, ANZ Funds Management, Suncorp Bank, HBOS Australia, BankWest and Morrows Private Wealth. Most of Lynda’s career involved middle management roles dealing in financial market products, managing fixed interest portfolios for superannuation funds, financial planning portfolio for large private clients and regulatory compliance management in financial planning.

Lynda recently retired and is currently President of an eastern suburbs Combined Probus Club, as well as leading the Club’s investment Group. She tutors English to migrants on a volunteer basis and offers her time to help people with drug addiction and relationship problems. In her spare time Lynda is keen to stay healthy and fit so most mornings you will find her either at the gym, walking or swimming. Lynda also plays bridge, loves to travel and is learning Italian.

What do you find most rewarding about your association with Heartbeat Victoria?

Heart disease is a silent killer. Often people receive no warning before a life threatening event occurs. I’m keen to make a difference to help people understand that maintaining a healthy heart is easier than they think. Lifestyle changes can make all the difference and there is wonderful support available from organisations like Heartbeat Victoria.

ADRIAN CLOONAN
Board Member

Adrian has 22 years’ public sector experience having worked for the Commonwealth Department of Employment. By the time he left in 1995 to pursue other avenues, he held the position of the Department’s Melbourne CBD Business Manager. Since that time he has been involved with not only consulting to small business, but lecturing at Victoria University TAFE in Small Business Law, Marketing and Business Planning. Adrian also has extensive board management experience having been involved with a variety of organisations namely Newport TAFE College, the Australian Investors Association (where he was also editor of their National magazine), Footscray and Wyndham Rotary Clubs and the Wyndham Combined Probus Club.

Adrian holds a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment and an Advanced Diploma in Business Facilitation. Adrian currently works at Werribee Zoo as a Spring/Summer safari guide/staff trainer.

The word “retirement” [what’s that?] is not a part of Adrian’s vocabulary! His interests include family history research, creative writing, choir singing, sketching – and winter travel to warmer climates.

What do you find most rewarding about your association with Heartbeat Victoria?

Living with atrial fibrillation (and having a heart stent inserted in December 2014), I am acutely aware of the need for peer support both before and after any procedure. I strongly believe that peer support aids recovery and maintenance of heart health. I am currently involved in three medical research projects and see my participation as a way of assisting researchers to advance heart knowledge.

TED WILLIAMS
Board Member

Ted has been retired for 20 years after working in various fields of management, personnel, training, work study, methods and plant lay out in the textile industry as well as Factory Manager for an organisation in the food industry. After bypass surgery in 1960 he joined Heartbeat Epworth receiving the support and friendship of other people living with a heart condition.  

Ted’s wife also had heart surgery to replace the aortic value which prompted him to join the Committee at Epworth and serve as Treasurer for ten years. Ted has represented Epworth as a delegate to Heartbeat Victoria Council Inc for many years. He has also served four years as Secretary and one year as President on the Committee of the Essendon Probus Club as well as still remaining to be a member of the Club.

What do you find most rewarding about your association with Heartbeat Victoria?

A rewarding part for me is being part of a team that visits the cardiac wards at Epworth to assure heart patients that they can expect to return to normal activities after rehabilitation.  I also enjoy raising of funds to assist in the purchase of specialised equipment for the cardiac wards.

RUDY LOPES
Board Member

RUDY LOPES – BOARD MEMBER

Rudy is an obstetrician/gynaecologist with a longstanding interest in preventive health and holistic medicine. Throughout his specialist career and practice based in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne, he has been able to practice his philosophy in collaboration with his patients through their antenatal and gynaecological care. He is a medical graduate of Monash University and obtained his specialist training initially at Monash Medical Centre then at various hospitals in Queensland and then the United Kingdom.  He is married and has two very rambunctious boys who love soccer.

What got you interested in Heartbeat Victoria?

After more than 20 years in my specialty, I felt that is was time to contribute to community health in a broader way rather than limiting myself to solo practice.  My father passed away from a heart attack and I will always wonder what life would be like had he been given a second chance.  I saw the opportunity provided to me by being a part of Heartbeat Victoria and would love to see us making a change in the rehabilitation of patients who have undergone a cardiac event, returning them to enjoy life with their family and loved ones.  I enjoy the opportunity of networking with contacts to bring together the many diverse pieces of the cardiac rehabilitation jigsaw puzzle and thereby help patients to get on with their lives happily.

OJAS MEHTA
Board Member

Ojas is a doctor who is passionate about cardiology and health management. He has medical experience across various areas of internal medicine and surgery. He has obtained his medical degree from the University of Melbourne and has undertaken training at major hospitals such as Royal Melbourne, Peter MacCallum, Austin and Northern Hospitals. Through his interest in academia, he was a visiting medical researcher at Oxford University. In addition to his career in Medicine, Ojas was an Associate at a leading global Management Consulting firm and has worked with large private organisations as well as Government in various areas of health. In his spare time, he enjoys playing cricket and loves to scuba dive in his holidays.  

What got you interested in Heartbeat Victoria?
Both my father and uncle suffer from heart disease and have each undergone major cardiac surgery. The implication and experience of heart disease for patients and their families is monumental. Being a part of Heartbeat Victoria is in many ways a privilege. As heart disease continues to be a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, I see many patients who are affected by heart disease. Being a part of Heartbeat Victoria is an opportunity for me to shape the overall experience of individuals suffering from heart disease beyond their medical care.