Board and Executive

Executive Committee

President – David Veness

David joined the Board as a non-metropolitan representative.

David was diagnosed with Parkinson’s seven years ago and immediately joined his local support group in Bathurst.

He strongly believes in and plays an active role in all of the group’s activities.

He enjoys exercise and encourages all those with Parkinson’s to try and exercise regularly. David joined the Board with a desire to represent country areas of NSW. He understands the difficulties providing direct support for those living with Parkinson’s in country areas and is passionate in gaining more nurses for regional areas. As a member of the PNSW Board, David is willing to travel and meet support groups throughout NSW to help lobby our politicians for more nurses in regional areas.

David is retired and his background is in hospitality and banking.


Treasurer – Jamiee Thompson

JaimeeThompsonJaimee has over 17 years audit and risk management experience and is the Chief Risk and Assurance Officer for Downer EDI a mining, rail and construction company. In this capacity she oversees the risk management framework, helps drive improvement in business processes and oversees fraud investigations. Prior to joining Downer, Jaimee spent her career predominantly in Professional Services. She was a Partner at Deloitte in the Risk Services Division. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, beach days and spending time with friends. Jaimee has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and a Bachelor of Computing. She is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. She is also a Member of the Company Directors Institute.

Secretary – Lawrence Gray

LawrenceGrayLawrence joined the Board as a non-metropolitan member in early 2015. He is the current Secretary of the board. He is one of the  leadership group of the Newcastle Support Group.

Diagnosed in 2011 Lawrence attended a two day workshop for the recently diagnosed in early 2012. This was his introduction to the broader canvas that is the important work of Parkinson’s NSW. He made the decision to become involved.

Lawrence is a graduate in Commerce and Law from the University of NSW. Now retired, he was a long term practitioner in criminal law and a NSW Crown Prosecutor, a career rudely interrupted by Parkinson’s.

Board Members

Andrew Whitton

Andrew was diagnosed with PD in 2007 and began his association with PNSW shortly after. He has served on the PNSW board for some 5 years, the last two as President.  He initially comes from a corporate background – state and national roles in sales and marketing and more recently running his own small business.  He is on the board of a family company and over the years has held numerous voluntary roles – coaching junior rugby teams, school councils etc.

Andrew hold a BBus (Charles Sturt University) majoring in Accounting and a MA (Macquarie University) majoring in Marketing.

Andrew is passionate about increasing the awareness of PD and improving the support and services provided to PLWP.

Rodney Chaplin

Rodney Chaplin is the Sales & Commercial Director for Landis & Gyr’s Services Business in Asia Pacific. Landis & Gyr is a subsidiary of the Toshiba Corporation, one of the world’s largest technology suppliers to the Energy Industry. Based in Sydney, Rodney has spent the last 10 years working in the Energy industry in the technology sector, including leadership roles at IBM and SAP. Rodney has recently joined PNSW as a non-executive director, following previous pro-bono strategy work for the PNSW management team. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Intech Credit Union (encompassing Telstra Credit Union) and currently serves on the Governance Sub-Committee. Rodney has a Class One Honours Degree in Telecommunications Engineering and a Diploma in Electrical technology. He has also studied business strategy at INSEAD/China Europe Business School whilst with IBM.

Colin Hall

Colin is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Assoc Director for Macquarie Bank working as a project manager and business analyst for the finance trading division. He is excited to have the opportunity to bring his finance, project management and business skills to Parkinson’s NSW and help promote Parkinson’s NSW.

Ramy Soussou

Ramy is the General Manager of Regulatory Affairs and Stakeholder Relations for Red Energy and Lumo Energy, the retail divisions of the Snowy Hydro Group Limited. He is responsible for the coordination of policy objectives and stakeholder relations for the retail business as well as energy issues impacting on retail operations. His role also encompasses the management of emerging markets. Ramy has extensive experience and knowledge in the energy and renewable industry having led large teams in sales, marketing and operations within the retail industry. Ramy was also the Deputy Chief Executive of the Energy Retailers Association of Australia (ERAA), where he led advocacy on energy policy that impacted its members. Prior to this he was the Acting Chief Executive for Energy Assured Limited, where he established the self-regulated industry initiative to ensure the best practice of door to door sales for energy contracts. Having studied in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Australia, Ramy holds a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from Sydney University, an Executive Masters in Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Management and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He was formerly a director on the ERAA board (2007 – 2009 and from 2014-2015) and has sat on various committees inclusive of the Ministerial Advisory Council for Victorian Advanced Metering Infrastructure Program, member of the NSW Smart Meter Task Force, advisory member of the Commonwealth’s Smart Grid Smart City initiative.

Bryce Vissell

Bryce Vissel is a Professor of Neuroscience and the Director of the Centre for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM) at University of Technology Sydney.

The goal of this Centre is development of new therapeutic approaches and developing models for better practical care for people with neurological disorders. He brings strong expertise in Parkinson’s disease treatment and research. As Director of CNRM, he brings advocacy as well as leadership, management, funding, philanthropy and media experience. He has worked with a range of small and large not-for-profits, in publicly listed biotech companies, as well as advisor to State and Federal Government. He also received several prestigious awards – a Human Frontiers Award, a Fulbright Award and a Lieberman Award. He was recently highlighted as one of the “Australian Stars of 2016” –

After being awarded his PhD in medical genetics from the University of Melbourne in 1991, he was awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council CJ Martin Fellowship to pursue neuroscience at the world-leading Salk Institute in San Diego, USA.  

In 2003, Professor Vissel returned to Garvan as Head of Neurodegenerative Diseases team, where he provided new insights into synapse function and shown that the brain has far greater potential for regeneration and repair than previously thought. He now leads the neuroscience Centre at UTS where his work is focused on neurodegenerative diseases; medical research and patient care practice, seeking new ways to deliver better outcomes to patients. He has authored a number of seminal studies describing molecular mechanisms that regulate synaptic function and their role in neurological diseases. His work has been cited approximately 4200 times. Work in progress is showing new mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease, and investigations of the potential of functional brain repair. He is Chair of the Advisory Board of Cellmid Ltd, was an Advisor to Amgen in the USA.

He is a member of the Board of Parkinson’s NSW, and scientific advisor to Alzheimer’s Australia and SpinalCure Australia.  He has worked with numerous community groups and advised Government. In addition to his work with Parkinson’s NSW, he collaborates with Cure Parkinson’s Trust in the United Kingdom and Michael J Fox Foundation in the USA, and with leading scientists and medical practitioners worldwide.