Stroke Foundation Consumer Council is a Board sub-committee representing the interests of stroke survivors, carers and family members.
The Council provides leadership in consumer engagement to achieve the Stroke Foundation’s mission. Members work to influence debate, advocate for the needs of stroke survivors and carers and to improve treatment and rehabilitation across Australia. The Council provides advice and support for Stroke Foundation campaigns, programs, publications and services.
Mr Robert Campbell
CA, CPA, MSW, BSW (Hons), GAICD, RCA, RTA Non-executive Director representing interests of consumers and Chair of Consumer CouncilMr Robert Campbell is the managing director of Australian Audit, a specialist audit firm based in Perth. He is a chartered accountant, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a registered company auditor, a registered tax agent and a social worker. He holds…
Mr Robert Campbell is the managing director of Australian Audit, a specialist audit firm based in Perth. He is a chartered accountant, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a registered company auditor, a registered tax agent and a social worker.
He holds a BSW with Honours and a MSW from the University of New South Wales School of Social Work. He completed the Graduate Course in Accounting at the University of Technology, Sydney and is a member of the professional advisors’ group for the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission . He advises on complex charity tax matters.
He had over 25 years leading social welfare and educational organisations in a variety of CEO positions in New South Wales and the Northern Territory before returning to public practice as an auditor. He has served on the boards of charities working in the areas of homelessness, mental health recovery, drug and alcohol addictions and disabilities
At home, Mr Campbell has supported his wife in her recovery from two strokes and deeply appreciates the need for integrated health solutions for stroke survivors.
Ms Elisha DeeganAt 16 weeks pregnant aged 29 and married just 6 months, Elisha had three ischemic strokes over two days. She was initially misdiagnosed as atypical migraine, and was sent home. The following day she had the third stroke in her brain stem. This resulted in…
At 16 weeks pregnant aged 29 and married just 6 months, Elisha had three ischemic strokes over two days. She was initially misdiagnosed as atypical migraine, and was sent home. The following day she had the third stroke in her brain stem. This resulted in left sided paralysis and severe acute symptoms, and she was admitted. Treated as migraine for that day and the next, it took until four days after Elisha’s first presentation to be given an MRI and to be diagnosed with stroke. She was then put under the care of the stroke team and things started to improve immediately.
What followed was rehabilitation focussed on preparing for first time motherhood. Elisha had to learn to walk, cook, and care for herself and to care for the tiny baby that had hung on through the journey too.
Seven years after her stroke, Elisha was finally able to return to paid employment. She is a registered nurse, originally graduating in 2000. She now works as a Clinical Care Manager at a disability service organisation and is also completing research to inform and reduce the substantial gap that exists in healthcare access for people with a disability. Her advocacy skills are honed from years of nursing practice, and her experience as a stroke survivor makes her passionate about inclusivity and equity for all Australians regardless of demographics, disability or social status.
Elisha has lived experience of stroke and of many of the challenges that a person may face following a stroke. She also teaches disability support staff about stroke, first aid and the longer-term implications of working with someone who has survived a stroke.
Ms Kim BeesleyKim, from regional New South Wales, is the mother of a young stroke survivor. Her daughter Emma, a lawyer, had a stroke at the age of 33 in September 2016. She has ongoing paralysis of her right arm, hand, and ankle, and also has aphasia.…
Kim, from regional New South Wales, is the mother of a young stroke survivor. Her daughter Emma, a lawyer, had a stroke at the age of 33 in September 2016. She has ongoing paralysis of her right arm, hand, and ankle, and also has aphasia.
It came as a complete shock to Kim and the rest of the family that stroke could affect someone young and fit. Emma has made significant gains despite an experience of rehabilitation that was not ideal. This experience included a lack of understanding of aphasia and the mental health challenges it can cause. As a result, Kim has an overwhelming desire to help spread awareness of young stroke and of the challenges carers face, and to advocate for more widespread understanding of the invisible disability that is aphasia.
Kim is currently the Secretary of the Australian Aphasia Association and a member of the Aphasia Centre for Research Excellence Consumer Advisory Group. She has a Bachelor of Arts; Graduate Diploma in Librarianship and a Graduate Diploma in Teacher Librarianship. She retired in December 2020 after a career as a Teacher Librarian in NSW public schools for 20 years and prior to that working in public, university and technical libraries.
Mr Kevin EnglishKevin English suffered a ruptured cerebral aneurism (Subarachnoid haemorrhage) in 2010 while living in Singapore and working throughout Asia as an electrical engineer specialising in telecommunications. This immediately lead to an operation to place a clip over the site of the bleed and a six-month…
Kevin English suffered a ruptured cerebral aneurism (Subarachnoid haemorrhage) in 2010 while living in Singapore and working throughout Asia as an electrical engineer specialising in telecommunications. This immediately lead to an operation to place a clip over the site of the bleed and a six-month hospital stay, one month in Singapore and a further five months of rehabilitation in Melbourne. Despite good progress over this period, including regaining his driver’s license with the assistance of a steering knob, Kevin was left with a left hemiparesis. This has caused some ongoing walking impediments and a lack of movement in his left arm and hand. He is now retired. He is married with three adult children and six grandchildren who have provided invaluable support throughout his ordeal. Ongoing support from his wife in a carer role continues to be a crucial factor.
Kevin is an Ambassador in Melbourne for the Stroke Safe program run by the Stroke Foundation for education of community groups on stroke and stroke risk minimisation. He is a stroke sufferer representative on the Consumer Council of the Stroke Foundation and won the Stroke Foundation Volunteer of the Year award in 2019. Kevin also attends a regular coffee group of stroke survivors nicknamed ‘Blokes with Strokes’. He continues to seek medical solutions that may help restore further function. He is passionate that all stroke sufferers receive the best medical help as quickly as possible, to optimise their recovery following the devastating impacts of a stroke. Early and full participation in available Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy programs, and full support from family and friends, are crucial factors in their recovery.
Ms Tala Olins-MillerTala, from Western Australia, has a passion for advocating for stroke awareness and supporting the Stroke Foundation, stemming from her personal experience of being a stroke survivor. She suffered a cerebellar stroke at the age of 13 however it wasn’t diagnosed until two days later.…
Tala, from Western Australia, has a passion for advocating for stroke awareness and supporting the Stroke Foundation, stemming from her personal experience of being a stroke survivor. She suffered a cerebellar stroke at the age of 13 however it wasn’t diagnosed until two days later. Through countless hours of rehabilitation over the following two years she was lucky enough to make a full recovery however knows the importance that early detection plays in a stroke survivors’ prognosis. While stroke awareness continues to expand, there is still so much more that can be learnt, particularly in the field of paediatric stroke.
She is the chairwoman for the Stroke Foundation’s Childhood Stroke Lived Experience Advisory Group which advocates for the childhood stroke community nationwide, having input into the development of projects and activities for stroke survivors and providing guidance to the community. She has also fundraised for the Stroke Foundation through participating in events such as the HBF Run for a Reason and Rottnest Island Channel Swim highlighting her passion for keeping active, something that plays an important role in the prevention of stroke.
She is a physiotherapist by profession who helps stroke patients through the NDIS with gross motor rehabilitation to achieve their personal goals. She believes as a volunteer for Stroke Foundation, she can provide further input, knowledge, and experience from both ends of the spectrum as both a stroke survivor and a health professional.
Mr Tony FinneranAged 62 years young, married to the lovely Amanda and having two daughters and two granddaughter, Tony is a stroke survivor after a debilitating stroke on Easter Sunday 2013. It really wasn't in his plans! Three and a half weeks in ICU and then a…
Aged 62 years young, married to the lovely Amanda and having two daughters and two granddaughter, Tony is a stroke survivor after a debilitating stroke on Easter Sunday 2013. It really wasn't in his plans! Three and a half weeks in ICU and then a further 3 weeks waiting for a Rehab vacancy in which time all his muscles had atrophied.
Transferred to Bankstown Hospital Stroke Ward and a six week program of total muscle and strength building after being fully paralysed in the first four weeks. Goal setting was a major factor in Tony's journey and since the stroke he has written seven books about the Australian Bus and Coach Industry, which he has lived and breathed for 40 years or so.
In addition, Tony served over 37 years service with the Army Reserve and reached the senior soldier position of Warrant Officer Class One. He was a Driver Testing Officer continuously from 1986 until his discharge in 2015.
His life with the Bus and Coach Industry commenced with various bus and coach companies ranging from positions as a driver, Operations Manager, charter organiser to name a few. He also worked for four years with a respected freight Company (Simon Transport) where he learnt his skills as a salesman.
Tony moved onto various bus chassis manufacturers and a bus bodybuilder, where he has spent over half his working life as a chassis and body salesman and then a specialist bus and coach driver trainer. He is now self employed in developing bus and coach drivers and assessing their driving style when he is not writing his books.
The books are fundraisers for Stroke Foundation and as at 30 Jun 20 over $38000 has been donated to the Foundation.
He is a member of the Bankstown Lidcombe Hospital Community Participation Committee, the Treasurer for the Bankstown Stroke Support Group as well as participating in various hospital Specialist training roles as a patient, as required. He also has a regular segment on 90.1FM Community Radio discussing stroke issues.
In his spare time he is also a Stroke Safe Ambassador teaching Stroke awareness and encouraging life style changes as 80% of strokes are preventable. For sports, Tony plays lawn bowls as his weapon of choice and is a keen Canterbury Bankstown "Bulldogs" supporter. Tony also won the Stroke Foundation Creative Award for his books in 2020.
The stroke has not disempowered him. In fact, the opposite is true ..it has empowered Tony and made him realise that this was his journey and thankfully for his Army Training, it has given him the ability to adjust and overcome with the assistance of very capable professionals at Bankstown Hospital.
Mr Tony Rolfe
Deputy ChairFollowing a stroke in February 2017 and a period of rehabilitation, Tony Rolfe joined the National Disability Insurance Agency in a stakeholder engagement role in theQueensland Central region. Tony is also the NDIS contact officer for all Federal Members and Senators with offices located in…
Following a stroke in February 2017 and a period of rehabilitation, Tony Rolfe joined the National Disability Insurance Agency in a stakeholder engagement role in the
Queensland Central region. Tony is also the NDIS contact officer for all Federal Members and Senators with offices located in the NDIA Queensland Central Region.
Prior to his stroke, Tony was Policy Adviser to the Hon Jane Prentice, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services and experienced the initial rollout of the NDIS from the perspective of the Minister’s Office.
Tony had worked for six other Federal Members and Senators in Adviser roles since 2003 interspersed with time as the inaugural CEO for an ethno-specific community organisation providing community care, residential aged care and retirement living options. During this time, Tony was a Board member for Aged Care Queensland (now Leading Aged Services Australia, Queensland) and a senior manager at other community care organisations during the transition to consumer directed care arrangements.
Tony also has thirty years’ experience in several government departments and agencies in Canberra - primarily in the Department of Health. Tony was a senior manager at the time of the HIV/AIDS crisis and worked on the Grim Reaper TV campaign; the development of Commonwealth legislation for the creation and use of Stem Cells and Human Cloning; and the ethics of human participation in research.
Tony has built extensive networks and contacts across a broad range of disability, health and aged care specific areas across Australia and brings this government and community expertise to his Stroke Foundation activities.
In July 2020, Tony retired from full-time work with the NDIS and has established a small group of clients he supports with advice and consulting services in the disability and aged care sectors.
Mr Luckmika PereraLuckmika is an academic and scholar (former Assoc. Professor) with a multicultural background, who has held senior leadership positions in various academic and corporate institutions. He currently has his own strategy consulting firm and works for a number of clients including foreign governments, NFP and…
Luckmika is an academic and scholar (former Assoc. Professor) with a multicultural background, who has held senior leadership positions in various academic and corporate institutions. He currently has his own strategy consulting firm and works for a number of clients including foreign governments, NFP and Corporate sector organisations globally. He is also an expert in corporate reporting and is a global authority on Integrated Reporting and Integrated Thinking.
He has experienced a stroke first hand. He is a passionate advocate of mindfulness living.
Luckmika has a PhD in Governance and Reporting, and a number of other academic achievements. He is an ardent musician (classical piano) and also sings as a baritone in his spare time. He has been an advocate for stroke awareness.
Ms Toni ArfarasToni Arfaras was 46 yo when she had her first stroke in 2013. This stroke did not display any of the F.A.S.T (Face.Arms.Speech.Time) signs and her stroke was diagnosed one week after the onset of vague symptoms. This was then followed by three TIAs over…
Toni Arfaras was 46 yo when she had her first stroke in 2013. This stroke did not display any of the F.A.S.T (Face.Arms.Speech.Time) signs and her stroke was diagnosed one week after the onset of vague symptoms. This was then followed by three TIAs over the next two years. Toni was a Primary School teacher at the time of her stroke as well as volunteering in a variety of roles. While stroke did not impact Toni physically, it has had a huge impact on her life. Toni experiences sensory overload daily, she is unable to go out by herself, no longer able to drive and was assessed as being unable to work.
In 2016, Toni began volunteering with Stroke Foundation as a StrokeSafe Presenter. She was part of the Young Stroke Project’s Lived Experience Working Group and the YSP Steering Committee. She is a member of Living Stroke Guidelines Consumer Panel. Toni has written blogs for the YSP and EnableMe with one piece resulting in her being invited to co-author an editorial for the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal.
Toni was a consumer representative on Safer Care Victoria’s Stroke Clinical Coordinating Committee. She currently holds an appointment with SCVs Culture and Capability Program where she provides consumer representation for their Applied Clinical Governance for Boards training. In 2021 Toni began an appointment as part of the RESET Advisory Group (Resuming Employment after Stroke: Enhancement through Tele-coordination) and since 2020 has been part of the Future Health Today Consumer Advisory Group.
Ms Amy JenningsAmy was 32 when she had a stroke in 2013, as a result of an Arteriovenous Malformation, which caused a haemorrhage. The stroke resulted in Amy being completely paralysed on the right side and she lost her speech. Following a long and committed rehabilitation journey…
Amy was 32 when she had a stroke in 2013, as a result of an Arteriovenous Malformation, which caused a haemorrhage.
The stroke resulted in Amy being completely paralysed on the right side and she lost her speech. Following a long and committed rehabilitation journey in both the public and private health systems, Amy was able to regain her mobility and independence, however, still suffers from a right side deficit and mild aphasia.
With the help of the NSW Stroke Recovery Association, Amy founded the Port Macquarie Stroke Club in 2018 and continues as President of the club. Amy has been a StrokeSafe Speaker for the Stroke Foundation on the Mid North Coast of NSW since 2020 and regularly provides support to the local health district to meet with recent stroke survivors.
Amy has participated in numerous neurological and stroke research projects and trials around the country related to aphasia, fatigue, stress and rehabilitation. Amy also supports universities in the tutoring of their speech pathology students to educate and provide feedback from a client perspective on speech pathology services.
For her services to the Stroke cause and Aphasia awareness, Amy was recognised in NSW Parliament in 2019. Amy has a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing & Human Resource Management, has a Certificate 3 Allied Health Assistant and a Certified Practicing Accountant.