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Recognising our retiring Directors

21st December 2018

We said goodbye to four of our Board Directors at the Annual General Meeting in October—Anthony (Tony) Abbott AM, Christine Umapathysivam, Helen Hoppmann, and Dr Sharon Morton—each of whom has brought their own specialised expertise, knowledge and experience to the Board.

Tony Abbott AM has resigned after 35 years on the Board, including over 10 years as President. This length of service is outstanding, and we are incredibly grateful for the wisdom and insight Tony has brought to the organisation over the years. Tony’s extensive law experience as well as his long memory of the organisation, through all of its stages, has been a valuable asset to the Board and the organisation.

In 2012, Tony was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia during the Queen's Birthday Honours for his service to the law and the legal profession, and to the disability sector through the MS Society. He was also a very worthy recipient of the MS Society’s Renee Thonard Award in 2004.

Alan Scott, Vice President and fellow Director for almost 20 years says, “I have very much appreciated Tony's valuable input into not only the SA Board but also his wise counsel when the various state societies set up the overarching organisation of MS Australia.”

“Tony's legal mind was instrumental in achieving a workable relationship between the states on this issue. At the same time, his commitment to MS Society has been noteworthy. Tony was not one to give up in times of adversity. It has been my pleasure to serve on the Board with Tony.”

Christine Umapathysivam has resigned from the Board, after accepting a new full time job based in rural South Australia. Christine has been a vital member of the Board over the past four years, bringing her expertise in people management, workplace culture, and general management as well as her perspective as a person living with MS.

During her time on the Board, Christine was passionate about making sure people with MS had a stable source of specialised advice and accurate information; as well as supporting MS research into treatments and supports, and a cause and cure.

Helen Hoppmann has decided not to seek a new term as Board Director, to focus on her passion of helping people living with MS. Helen is well-known in the Adelaide MS community as a mentor to people newly diagnosed, a peer group leader, and as the voice of people with MS in the Boardroom for the past three years. As a vital member of the MSchievous Bunch, she has helped to raise funds towards services and supports that directly help people with MS.

We will continue to see Helen around the MS Society as a mentor to our clients, a helping hand to those navigating NDIS planning, through her peer support roles, and through the MSchievous Bunch.

A special thank you to both Helen and Christine for their role in helping the Board to understand the needs and expectations of people living with MS.

Dr Sharon Morton has resigned from the Board after almost three years of bringing her unique clinical skillset and knowledge base to the organisation. Sharon’s experience in clinical management and previous governance experience in the health sector has been a great asset to us as a disability services organisation.

As a representative of the health industry, and a specialist in respiratory and sleep medicine, Sharon’s unique insight has offered a completely different perspective to the Board’s decision-making over the years.

Christine Hahn, President says, “We will miss the contributions of Tony, Christine, Helen and Sharon both inside and outside the Board room, all generously offering their time and perspectives to ensure the MS Society continues to expand services to people with MS and is making optimal use of its resources.”

Andrew Ellis, CEO says, “I thank all of the retiring Directors for their input and advice to myself and the management team.”

The MS Society would like to sincerely thank our retiring Board Directors and recognise their valuable and long-standing support of the organisation. Back to News stories
Recognising our retiring Directors