We put people at the center of our organisation, both customer and our employees. We believe a great employee experience is the single most powerful tool in ensuring a great customer experience. Our team works across Living Well (Client Services), Partnerships & Engagement and Finance & Operations and there is plenty of opportunity to make a difference in someones life every single day. We are grateful for the support of our outstanding volunteers who give up their time to empower our work.
With an average tenure of 6 years, we maintain an impressive corporate knowledge to ensures our information is relevant, contemporary and accessible. Our Board and Leadership Team work closely to ensure we translate strategy into action and lead with purpose for the community we serve.
Rugby league legend and our Patron – Wally Lewis is a wonderful ambassador for Epilepsy Queensland Inc. and for our epilepsy community.
Wally is not only a sports champion, but a champion in raising awareness and advocating for understanding of epilepsy in the community. He generously gives his time to appear as a guest speaker at Epilepsy Queensland functions and never hesitates to spend time with our members and supporters.
Wally recounts his personal experience of epilepsy in his book (co-authored by Neil Cadigan) “Out of the Shadows” which is available here.
You can also find out more about Wally in the interview below, in which he discusses his inspiration, achievements, experience of epilepsy and his hopes for the future of epilepsy care.
Our Leadership Team
Chief Executive - Chris Dougherty
Chris joined as Chief Executive in September 2020. He brings with him 15 years commercial and profit-for-purpose experience in senior roles across disability, mental health, aged care, policy / advocacy, technology and retail operations. An award winning senior HR leader and most recently an accomplished operations leader of profit for purpose organisations he will lead the organisation in breathing new life and energy into the services we offer our members and clients and the impact we have in our community.
Chris also serves as Director and Treasurer of Epilepsy Australia Ltd, Non-Executive Director of The Alive Project Ltd, and as an external subject matter expert for Foodbank Queensland’s People & Performance Committee
Manager, Finance & Organisational Support - Natalie Lee
Natalie has worked in senior finance roles for well over 15 years and her shared passion for community service and finance prompted her to first join the Epilepsy Queensland team in 2008 as Finance Officer. Her dedication and strong determination for helping the epilepsy community progressed Natalie to Operations Manager in 2017. Natalie strives to achieve the best possible outcomes for people living with epilepsy and their carers year after year and is still as passionate today as she was the first day she started.
Manager, Partnerships & Engagement - Melissa Simpson
Melissa is a results-driven leader with over 18 years of experience building innovative partnerships and executing strategic multi-channel campaigns in the for purpose and for-profit sectors. She is a committed advocate for the health, disability, and mental health sector and is driven to improve health outcomes for these groups. Prior to joining the team at Epilepsy Queensland, Melissa worked for various not-for profit health organisations including HeartKids, White Cloud Foundation, and Lymphoma Australia. She holds advisory and governance positions with Children’s Health Queensland and Queensland Health.
Melissa’s 12 year old son was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 18 months, her personal connection to epilepsy drives her to achieve impact for the epilepsy community.
Manager, Living Well - Samantha Swales
Samantha Swales joined Epilepsy Queensland in July 2021 to lead person-centred services and projects that will increase health and wellbeing outcomes for people living with epilepsy, their families, and carers. Sam brings a wealth of experience to the organisation that she has gained from roles in local, state and national positions in health promotion, community development and project management.
Sam is passionate about driving co-designed approaches that advance grass roots and evidence-based health outcomes and is committed to developing partnerships that increase capacity and impact for individuals and communities to live well.
Coordinator, Education & Training - Jenny Ritchie
Jenny comes from a background that has a strong connection to the lived experience. She has a passion for the narrative, hearing people’s stories and walking with them on their journey. Jenny is an experienced counsellor, trainer, coach and consultant who has been working with people with epilepsy and their support network at Epilepsy Queensland for 15 years. She has a dream to have a support team in every major city in Queensland, available to people with epilepsy and looks forward to the day when people experiencing epilepsy can feel safe.
Our Board brings together a strong mix of skills, knowledge and experience to ensure strong and effective corporate governance to the organisation
on behalf of our members. Almost 50% of our board members also have lived experience of epilepsy which ensure we find the right balance between a sustainable and financially strong organisation and meeting the
needs of the community we serve.
Chair - Samuel Bryce
Sam Bryce is an agribusiness professional with 25 years of progressive leadership experience in the sector. He currently holds a senior position at GrainCorp Liquid Feeds and has a degree in Agricultural Economics from the University Of New England. Throughout his career, Sam has achieved success nationally and internationally in corporate, private small enterprise and start-up companies due to his business development acumen, strategic vision and strong relationship management skills.
Sam has a firsthand appreciation of living with and caring for someone living with the condition. He was diagnosed with epilepsy as a teenager, and his son was diagnosed before his first birthday- both are well controlled with medication.
Sam loves all sports, especially rugby! He enjoys spending quality time with his family at ‘the farm’ on the weekends and during the holidays.
Deputy Chair - Kim Davis
Kim Davis is currently Patron Services and Security Manager at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and holds qualifications in Events and Project Management. She has extensive industry experience including sponsorship, corporate events, arts administration and marketing communications. Kim is a long-serving board member for Epilepsy Queensland and has been providing leadership and expertise in this capacity for over five years.
As a mother of a young adult with epilepsy, Kim has a personal understanding of the importance of the support and advocacy that EQI provides to individuals and their network of family and friends. Kim believes that through raising the community’s awareness of epilepsy, we can ensure that people with epilepsy have the opportunities to fulfil their goals and dreams.
Treasurer - Kalvin Booth
Kalvin Booth is a Chartered Accountant and is the Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary at Chesterfield Australia Pty Ltd. Kalvin has extensive experience working for large public listed companies as well as multi-national private enterprises. His industry experience includes banking, private equity, agriculture, manufacturing and construction working in Australia, the UK and the US.
Kalvin has a passion for improving the lives of people with epilepsy and the families around them. Through his role as a board director, he is looking forward to helping play a part in Epilepsy Queensland providing this service.
Secretary - Louise Prychidczuk
Board Member - William Tuffley
William is a Chartered Accountant and is currently an Associate Director at BDO where he assists a range of individuals and businesses with their everyday accounting, tax and business advice needs.
Passionate about driving positive change in the sport sector, William specialises in providing accounting and financial service to professional athletes to secure their financial welfare during and beyond their sporting careers.
Not only bringing his professional skills and networks to the Board, William was drawn to the organisation as an opportunity to bring hope to people living with epilepsy through community, in particular through the inclusive power of sport.
Board Member - Simon Watt
Simon is currently a Senior Consultant within the People Advisory Services division at EY. Specialising in change experience and workforce transformation, Simon hold a Bachelor of Business Management with majors in Human Resources and Marketing.
Importantly, he also brings lived experience of epilepsy to the Board, being diagnosed at an early age and having ongoing treatment. Simon understand the importance of ensuring our organisation is sustainable and contemporary so that we can provide hope and support to others and their families.
Board Member - Katrina Tune
Katrina is the Chief Operating Officer for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems.
She has more than 15 years experience working in a variety of leadership roles within higher education, including the UQ Schools of Medicine and Business. She was also the Head of Partnerships for the Children’s Hospital Foundation during one of their most successful fundraising years, raising more than $12M through their annual telethon appeal alone.
Katrina has been a Director of Epilepsy Queensland since 2018 and understands first-hand the challenges experienced by people living with epilepsy. Katrina has an 8-year of son who has a severe epileptic encephalopathy as well as numerous other extended family members who has epilepsy due to a rare gene variation. Katrina is passionate about increasing community awareness of epilepsy and raising funds that support research into improved treatment options and ultimately a cure for epilepsy.
Board Member - Andrew Barnes
Andrew is the Chief Executive Officer of Go1. A Rhodes Scholar, he completed a MSc in Education at Oxford University before going on to complete his PhD at the University of Queensland.
Andrew has been on the board of Epilepsy Queensland since 2010. He has a passion for education and social impact, and through his role on the board looks forward to helping Epilepsy Queensland with its vision of being a beacon of hope for people living with, and impacted by epilepsy in Queensland.