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Consumer Council

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.

  • Jeniffer Muller

    Ms Jennifer Muller PSM

    MAICD, Dip Rad (Diag), Grad Dip Hlth Ed, MEnv&ComHealth

    Non-executive Director representing interests of Consumers and Chair of Consumer Council

    Ms Jennifer Muller has a lived experience of stroke and has been a consumer advocate for stroke survivors on various state and national committees over the last five years. She also brings to the Board her experience and knowledge of public health, health systems and…
    Ms Jennifer Muller has a lived experience of stroke and has been a consumer advocate for stroke survivors on various state and national committees over the last five years. She also brings to the Board her experience and knowledge of public health, health systems and strategic planning and held the position of Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Public Health and Social Work, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology for six years.

    Prior to her current role, Ms Muller was a Senior Executive in Queensland Health and led the development and implementation of the state-wide cancer screening services BreastScreen Queensland, the Cervical and Bowel Cancer Screening Programs including; establishing information systems, state level clinical quality registers and ensuring equitable access to services for people in rural and remote areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people from diverse cultures and disadvantaged groups.

    Ms Muller holds a Master of Environmental and Community Health from Griffith University, a Graduate Diploma of Health Education from Queensland University of Technology and a Diploma of Radiography (Diagnostic) from NSW University of Technology and is the recipient of an Australian Public Service Medal Honours Award and an Australia Day Achievement Medallion. 
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  • Ms Saran Chamberlain

    Saran is a 43 year South Australian stroke survivor, who had an ischaemic stroke at age 38. Saran is a specialising in implementing software and systems into businesses. Saran is an intercountry adoptee who has chaired a group of adult adoptees called East Meets West…
    Saran is a 43 year South Australian stroke survivor, who had an ischaemic stroke at age 38. Saran is a specialising in implementing software and systems into businesses. Saran is an intercountry adoptee who has chaired a group of adult adoptees called East Meets West and represented South Australia on the Intercounty Adoptee Support Network. Saran is a member of Fightstroke and is an active member of our Facebook community. She has spoken alongside Clinical Council member Associate Professor Susan Hiller at forums and seminars focusing on professional education and stroke research.

    Saran writes: 
    “I had my stroke in 2013 when I was 38.  While the treatment I received was excellent it was obviously targeted at a much older person.  I am constantly amazed by the number of people (both health professionals and the public) who don’t realise that stroke can happen at almost any age.  I want to try to raise awareness within the general community that stroke is an issue that effects all people regardless of age and try to ensure that services are available and modified to suit survivors of different ages. I would you like to see more access and awareness of therapies and trials, current and future.  More funding for research for not only at the time of or prevention of stroke but also post-stroke. With the right support, stroke survivors can improve their health and mental state.”
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  • Ms Elisha Deegan

    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…

    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.

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  • Ms Jasmina Behlic

    Jasmina, from Victoria, became the carer for her father Irfan, who had a stroke during the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. She has been admitted into practice as Australian Lawyer, with a Bachelor of Laws and Graduate Diploma in Legal practice and is currently working…

    Jasmina, from Victoria, became the carer for her father Irfan, who had a stroke during the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. She has been admitted into practice as Australian Lawyer, with a Bachelor of Laws and Graduate Diploma in Legal practice and is currently working in the healthcare industry. In addition, she is also a tennis coach with Tennis Australia, and is incorporating these skills in her father’s rehabilitation program. 

    Jasmina and her father were both born in Bosnia and came to Australia in 1994, after leaving their home country because of the civil war in former Yugoslavia. With English as a second language for both, the challenges associated with Stroke and Aphasia were amplified. Acting as carer and translator, this father and daughter duo are making strides in recovery and, as a family, are living a new normal’ after stroke. 

    In September 2020, Jasmina ran 100km in 7 days for National Stroke Week to raise money and awareness for the Stroke Foundation. She raised over $3100 and at the end of her 100km journey said, “This one for you Dad, and all the other people who are fighting so hard to live a new life after stroke!”.

    Jasmina has joined the Stroke Foundation as a member of the consumer council to advocate and represent the interests of stroke survivors and families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds who may also face additional challenges of language and cultural barriers. Her father's strength throughout his stroke recovery journey is truly her biggest motivator; she is keen to share her family’s strength and knowledge to support other stroke survivors and their families in the community.

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  • Ms Kim Beesley

    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.…

    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.

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  • Kevin English

    Mr Kevin English

    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…
    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. 
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  • Tony Finneran

    Mr Tony Finneran

    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…
    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. 
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  • Nadia Moffatt

    Ms Nadia Moffatt

    Nadia is a highly experienced and qualified non-executive director, chair and committee member with over fifteen years’ experience in business, government and the not for profit sectors across Australia in corporate, telecommunications, health and community services. Nadia is a trusted board adviser in all areas…

    Nadia is a highly experienced and qualified non-executive director, chair and committee member with over fifteen years’ experience in business, government and the not for profit sectors across Australia in corporate, telecommunications, health and community services. Nadia is a trusted board adviser in all areas contributing to an organisation's performance. Nadia’s tertiary background is in Economics and accounting, these studies have been enhanced by formal qualifications as a company director. Nadia’s scholarships include the Leaders for Tomorrow program and the Copland, Centre for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) leadership program.

    Nadia’s global insight into social innovation through research and policy was developed by attending an - European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation in Helsinki (Eu-SPRI). Current directorships include, election to the board of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), member of governance subcommittee and board member, Brain Injury SA, (previous chair of the member and External communications subcommittee, current member of governance subcommittee).

    Nadia is currently a member of the consumer council for the Stroke Foundation, a member of the consumer consultative forum of the Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA), a member of the Health Practitioners Tribunal and a member of the Medicare benefits schedule review committee and the consumer subcommittee. Nadia’s diverse background and experience enables Nadia to add value, offer a diverse perspective and offer creative solutions. 

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  • Tony Rolfe

    Mr Tony Rolfe

    Deputy Chair

    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…
    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. 
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