Our people

Epilepsy Queensland has a dedicated and multi-disciplinary professional team who strive to optimise the well-being of people living with epilepsy.

From fundraising, operations, communications to providing specialist state-wide services, we are committed to making a difference in the lives of people with epilepsy and their carers and families. We aim to raise awareness in the community towards promoting better understanding, inclusion and participation for individuals living with epilepsy.

We are also supported in our functions by our outstanding volunteers, who generously give their time to work alongside our permanent team.

Our Patron - Wally Lewis

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 Team

Epilepsy Queensland is made up of brave, passionate and highly capable people across our organisation. All committed to optimizing the lives of people touched by
epilepsy. With an average tenure of 6 years, we maintain an impressive corporate knowledge to ensures our information is relevant, contemporary and accessible.

Our Leadership Team

Chris Dougherty – CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Chris joins Epilepsy Queensland 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.

Natalie Lee – OPERATIONS MANAGER

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.

Melissa Simpson – FUNDRAISING AND PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER

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. Melissa has a proven track record of stakeholder engagement and identifying strategic opportunities to build enduring relationships. 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. Melissa has a passion for improving health literacy and health outcomes, particularly in vulnerable populations, 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.

Karen Furnivall – COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Karen is a passionate not-for-profit professional with 22 years experience across the fields of communications, marketing, fundraising, project management, volunteer management and events. As a person with family members living with epilepsy, she has a special interest in ensuring families dealing with the challenges of epilepsy and other disabilities have evidence-based information available, community awareness and compassionate support. Karen’s qualifications include a Grad Cert in Business (Philanthropy and Non-Profit Studies).

Jenny Ritchie- CLIENT SERVICES COORDINATOR

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

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.

Sam Bryce- CHAIR

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.

Kim Davis- DEPUTY CHAIR

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.

Kalvin Booth- TREASURER

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.

Lousie Prychidczuk – SECRETARY

Board members

Charmaine Driver

Andrew Barnes

William Tuffley

Katrina Tune

Simon Watt