Foundation leadership

Mara-Jean TilleyMara-Jean Tilley 
Director of the Foundation

Mara-Jean is the Director of the marketing and fundraising arm of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Formerly the Director of Philanthropy, Bequests and Campaigns, Mara-Jean commenced working at Garvan in 2011. Prior to joining Garvan, Mara-Jean was the Foundation Executive at the Sydney Theatre Company where she held a variety of positions over more than 8 years with the organisation. Mara-Jean is a member of the Perpetual Foundation and Centenary Foundation Advisory Committee.


BBrad Timmsrad Timms
Deputy Director

Brad commenced with the Foundation in 2016 as Head of Fundraising and was then Director of Fundraising, Marketing and Communications prior to his current role.  Before joining Garvan he was National Events Manager at Cancer Council Australia for 4 years and has held marketing and fundraising related roles with some of Australia’s best known charities, including Red Cross and the Heart Foundation. 

Foundation Board of Directors

The Garvan Research Foundation Board was established in 1981. The Foundation provides an additional source of research funds by attracting financial support from companies and individuals. The Board is subject to the ultimate direction of the Garvan Institute Board.

Russell ScrimshawRussell Scrimshaw – Chair

Dr Scrimshaw is the Garvan Research Foundation Board Chair. He is Vice Chairman of Ignition Wealth Management, Non-Executive Chairman of Tech Project Group P/L and the Executive Chairman of Torrus Capital P/L, the Australian Philanthropic Fund, the Scrimshaw Foundation and Scrimshaw Nominees P/L. Previously, he held executive positions at Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (FMG), Commonwealth Bank, Optus and IBM. He was also a non- executive Board Director for Commonwealth Properties Ltd, EDS Australia, Mobilesoft Ltd, Telecom New Zealand Australia P/L, and Athletics Australia. Mr Scrimshaw is a non-executive Director of the Garvan Institute.


Benjamin Kile - Executive Director 

Benjamin Kile

Prof Benjamin Kile brings with him an extensive background in academic and research leadership, most recently serving as the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide, and formerly as Head of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at Monash University. He has also held leadership roles at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI). 

Prof Kile’s research career has focused on the molecular regulation of blood cell formation and function, with a particular interest in the impact of targeted cancer therapies on cellular survival. His scientific achievements have been recognised by numerous awards and fellowships throughout his career. He has served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of MuriGen Therapeutics and currently serves on the boards of the Australian Genomics Research Facility and the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute. 


Peter Croucher - Deputy Director


0c281aff-70c4-43cb-b63b-6840ee3146a3.pngProf Peter Croucher joined Garvan in 2011. Prof Croucher is a bone biologist and cancer researcher with a longstanding fascination for disorders of the skeleton, particularly osteoporosis and cancer-associated bone disease. He completed his postdoctoral training at the University of Cambridge and the University of Sheffield.

Before becoming Executive Director (interim), Prof Croucher was Deputy Director of Garvan and led Garvan’s Healthy Ageing Research Theme, a multidisciplinary group of over 150 researchers and clinician-scientists who study a range of diseases related to ageing.


Abrahams_Nick.jpgNick Abrahams

Mr Abrahams is the Global Head of Technology and Innovation at Norton Rose Fulbright and has deep commercial expertise and global networks in the technology space. He is the Founder of leading online legal site, LawPath. He is a non-executive director on ASX300 software company, Integrated Research. He is a director of the Sydney Film Festival and is on the board of the Vodafone Foundation, and past President of the Australian Communications and Media Law Association and writes regularly on technology and future trends for The Australian Financial Review. He is the author of two Kindle Business books: Digital Disruption in Australia and Big Data, Big Responsibilities: A Guide to Privacy & Data Security for Australian Business.

jane-allen.jpgJane Allen

Ms Allen is a founding Partner of Maritana Partners, a specialist Governance Advisory business. Previously she was a Managing Partner at Egon Zehnder in Australia, where she also held a leadership role across Asia Pacific. A member of Chief Executive Women, Ms Allen has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College. She is also a Director of the American Australian Association Limited, which promotes cooperation and understanding between the United States and Australia.

mike-cannon-brookes.jpgMichael Cannon-Brookes

Mr Cannon-Brookes is a Director of Cannon-Brookes Consulting Pty Ltd, and a CEO level executive coach with Foresight Global Coaching. He established Citibank in Australia in 1985. He retired from IBM in July 2012, where he was IBM’s Vice President, Global Strategy for Growth Markets, based in Shanghai, China. Mr Cannon-Brookes, a UK citizen, took Australian citizenship in 1994. He graduated with Honors in Law from Cambridge University. He was a Global Board Member of, and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Sue CatoSue Cato

Ms Cato is recognised as one of Australia’s leading issues management experts, having managed some of the largest issues confronting corporate Australia and beyond. Ms Cato established Cato Counsel in 2003 as a corporate communications company providing high-level strategic transaction support and public and corporate affairs advice. Cato Counsel has since evolved into Cato & Clive. Ms Cato is on the board of the National Gallery Australia Foundation, is an advisory board member of Sydney Contemporary and is an Ambassador of Women for Election Australia. She is also a member of Chief Executive Women and is on the steering committee of the creative think tank, A New Approach.  

wallis140.jpgWallis Graham

Ms Graham is a finance industry professional, with experience in funds management, corporate finance, private equity and investment banking. She is currently a Director of Servcorp Limited, a member of the Board of Governors of the Wenona School, a Director of the Wenona Foundation, a Director of the Sydney Youth Orchestras, and a Director of the John Brown Cook Foundation. She also holds a Senior Consulting role with Energy Capital Partners. Wallis has a BA in Economics Modified with Mathematics from Dartmouth College in the United States.

rajeev_gupta.jpgRajeev Gupta

Mr Gupta is a Partner of the cross-over technology focused investment fund, Alium Capital. Mr Gupta began his career at Goldman Sachs where he worked in the investment group in Hong Kong, Singapore & New York with a focus on listed & unlisted technology companies. He then utilised his technology investment experience as a portfolio manager at both Tribeca & Merricks Capital where he ran global technology funds. He then built his own 25-person technology start up called Geckolife, before establishing Alium Capital. Mr Gupta has an Honours degree in Finance & Econometrics from the University of Sydney.

Screen Shot 2023-04-06 at 11.44.58 am.pngMaria Halasz

Maria Halasz is Chief Executive Officer of Stride Equity, a venture capital group funding and supporting innovative companies in the healthcare and technology sectors. Her current role is built on a career as chief executive of an ASX listed life sciences company and prior to that as corporate finance director, dedicated to funding listed technology companies in healthcare, biotechnology, and medical devices.
Recognised for her broad, international experience in life sciences, she has worked with organisations at all levels of the biopharma sector building enduring business relationships in Australia, the USA, Europe, Japan and China at senior levels within the biopharma and healthcare industries. A graduate of the University of Western Australia and the Chairmen’s Mentoring Program of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Maria has extensive executive, board and governance experience in listed and unlisted public and private companies. Maria is a non-executive director of the Garvan Research Foundation, a member of the Advisory Board of the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre and NSW Councillor of the Australian Industry Group (AiG).

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Bruce Liu

Bruce Liu has worked in Sydney, New York and Singapore as a M&A lawyer for Allen Allen & Hemsley (Allens Linklaters) and investment banker for Merrill Lynch & Co (BofA Securities); he was financial advisor to the Government of Singapore in the demutualisation, merger and initial public offering of Singapore Exchange. Bruce also held a leadership role in Barito-Pacific Holdings, controlling entity of listed MSCI indexed industrial holdings. Bruce is a non-executive director of Sydney Stock Exchange Limited, director of Garvan Research Foundation and member of the Alumni Admission Council of Northwestern University. Previously, Bruce held appointments, including Councillor of the Power Institute Foundation at the University of Sydney and Director of Cranbrook Foundation. He is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Sally Loane

Sally Loane is a Chairman and Non-Executive Director, and a former business executive, journalist and broadcaster.The former CEO of the peak industry organisation for financial services, the Financial Services Council, Sally is Chairman of Destination NSW, a Director of Chubb Insurance Australia and a director of PanKind, the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Research Foundation. She is a member of the Advisory Board of consulting firm Orizontas and a mentor with McCarthy Mentoring. Sally is a former Director of Venues NSW; she was the first female Director of Waratahs Rugby. Sally uses her experience in financial services policy development to advocate for women to become financially independent, through mentoring and as an advisor to the NSW Council for Women’s Economic Opportunity and the NSW Domestic and Family Violence and Sexual Assault Corporate Leadership Group. She has also had a long history of service to the community and various Australian charities.

Hamish McLennanHamish McLennan

Mr McLennan is a media and marketing industry executive. He is the Chairman of Rugby Australia, REA Group, and of HT&E, and a non-executive director of Magellan Financial group. He was Executive Chairman and CEO of Ten Network Holdings until July 2015 and prior to that he was Executive Vice President, Office of the Chairman, at News Corp (formerly News Corporation). Mr McLennan has also held the role of global Chairman of Young & Rubicam, part of WPP, the world’s largest communications services group. In 2017, he joined technology start-up Tiger Pistol in an advisory capacity. He has previously served on the Board of Directors for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and the US Ad Council.

John MeacockJohn Meacock

Mr Meacock is a Global Advisor and Non-Executive Director. Until recently he was the Global Chief Strategy Officer responsible for Strategy, Innovation and Geo Political Risk for Deloitte across the Globe. He is an advisor to Deloitte In Asia and Australia, Advisory Board Member of Clear Dynamics and Weare8 and an adviser to a range of ASX100 companies. He was previously the Deputy Chair of Deloitte’s Global Board, a member of the US Finance and Investment Advisory Board for the Australian Government, Chairman of the Brett Whiteley Foundation, Director of Asia Society and Director Wenona Girls School.

Simon MordantCav Simon Mordant AO

Prof Mordant is Executive Co- Chairman of Luminis Partners. He is also the Chair of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Lend Lease Barangaroo Public Art Committee, a board member of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Wharton Executive Board in Asia, Co-Vice Chair of MOMA PS1 in New York, a Trustee of the American Academy in Rome and a member of the Executive Committee of Tate International Council and of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. An Enterprise Professor at the Centre of Visual Art (CoVA) at the University of Melbourne, and an Adjunct Professor at Universita Cattolica in Milan and Rome, he is also on the boards of the Centre for Independent Studies and the Ethics Centre. He has been awarded a Knighthood in the Order of the Star of Italy, and is Inaugural International Ambassador for Gallerie dell'Accademia Museum in Venice. Prof Mordant has recently been appointed to the Council of Marlborough College in UK and is a member of the British Council Italy Cultural Advisory Board.

Greg Paramor AO Greg Paramor

Mr Paramor is the Chairman of the Leftfield Group and a non-executive director of the Charter Hall Group. He the former Managing Director of Folkestone Limited. He was the co-founder of Growth Equities Mutual, Paladin Australia and the James Fielding Group and CEO of Mirvac. He is a past president of the Property Council of Australia and of the Investment Funds Association. He has been involved with of a number of not-for-profit groups including the current chair of BackTrack Youth Works, and a director of The Nature Conservancy – Australian Trustee. He is a board member of the Sydney Swans and Sydney Swans Foundation.

geoff-raby.jpgGeoff Raby AO

Dr Raby is Chairman and Founder of Geoff Raby and Associates, a Beijing-based corporate advisory firm providing strategic advice and analysis on China.  He is an Independent Non-executive Director of Yancoal and OcenaGold and was also on the Board of Fortescue Metals Group. He was Australian Ambassador to China (2007–11), DFAT Deputy Secretary responsible for North Asia and for Trade Negotiations (2003–07), APEC Ambassador, and Ambassador to the WTO.  He was Head of the Trade Policy Issues Division at the OECD in Paris and Head of DFAT’s Trade Negotiations Division. He founded and led DFAT’s East Asia Analytical Unit. He also Chairs a number of not-for-profit organisations in Australia.

isabella-rich.jpgIsabella Rich

Ms Isabella Rich is a Principal at Our Innovation Fund Venture Capital, LP. She previously worked at Boston Consulting Group in both Australia and the US where she was strategic consulting across multiple industries, including advising some of the largest pharmaceutical companies globally. Ms Rich is also on the Board of JCA, co-leading the 25-40 cohort. She also has experience in the not-for-profit space, consulting for organisations such as The Bread-and-Butter Project and Carriageworks. Ms Rich joined the Foundation Board in August 2021.

John SchubertJohn Schubert AO

Dr Schubert is Chairman of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, and a director of the Garvan Research Foundation Board. He has held positions as Chairman of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, non-executive director of BHP Billiton Limited, BHP Billiton Plc, and Qantas Airways Limited, Chief Executive Officer of Pioneer International Limited, Chairman of WorleyParsons Limited and G2 Therapies Ltd, Chairman and MD of Esso Australia Ltd, and non-executive director of Hanson Plc.