Parkinson's NSW Board and Executive

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.

Vice President – Margaret Scott

Margaret Scott was appointed to the Board of Parkinson’s NSW in November 2019 and Vice President in March 2020.


She has more than 30 years of experience in senior fundraising roles for a variety of health and disability related not-for-profit organisations. In addition, she has operated her own business as a fundraising consultant since 2013.


Margaret was on the Board of the Fundraising Institute of Australia from 1998 to 2008. She held a number of key roles on that Board over the years including Chair, Vice Chair, and Chair of multiple Committees.


She was also on the Bloom Asia Board from 2017 to 2019. 


Board Members

Director - Janina Jancu

Janina Jancu was appointed to the Board of Parkinson’s NSW in November 2019.

She has more than 30 years of experience as a senior executive in the not for profit, government and corporate sectors. A qualified lawyer she brings extensive experience in the areas of finance, risk management and corporate governance.

She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, served as a director of UNSW and has acted in an advisory capacity on not for profit boards.

Janina has previously held roles with Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, UNSW, the City of Sydney and Spotless Services Limited. She is currently the Director of Operations at ReachOut Australia.

Director - Steve Schiemer

Stephen Schiemer was elected to the Board of Parkinson’s NSW in October 2018. He is a fitness instructor and entrepreneur who has been living with Parkinson’s for the past eight years.

In addition to experiencing Parkinson’s himself, Stephen runs tailored fitness programs for other people living with the disease.

He has a Bachelor of Business degree and 30 years of experience in running his own businesses, including finance, risk management, logistics, people management, training, and digital marketing.

Director - Nicole Schleicher

Nicole Schleicher was appointed to the Board of Parkinson’s NSW in November 2019.

She has more than 20 years of experience in key roles within the not-for-profit sector. Her experience includes managing service delivery and systems, quality, strategic projects, research and evaluation and administration.

Nicole has held program development, operational and policy management roles with The Smith Family, Baptist Community Services NSW, Wesley Mission, and The Benevolent Society.

She is currently General Manager of National Services for RedKite

Director - Edward Shepherd

Edward Shepherd was elected to the Board of Parkinson’s NSW in October 2018.

He has firsthand experience with Parkinson’s disease within his own family and is a carer, along with his father and five siblings.

Edward has a long-standing affiliation with Parkinson’s NSW as a financial contributor and participant in the annual Unity Walk over the past eight years.

He has 15 years of corporate experience in public and private sectors and ASX Top 100 companies. His management experience includes 10 years in human resources, strategic and organisational capability, and people and culture roles.

Director - Denise Thomas

Denise Thomas was appointed to the Board of Parkinson’s NSW in March 2020. She is an accomplished senior health care executive with diverse experience in a range of health care settings and is currently the General Manager of MetroRehab Hospital.

Denise started her career as a Registered Nurse at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and then went to hold management and senior executive roles in both public and private sector health care and in independent hospitals, publicly listed groups and government organisations. She has held personal budget accountabilities up to $39million.

In the private sector, Denise has managed large scale national and international projects and has worked in senior executive roles in acute and sub-acute hospitals, radiology and pathology businesses. In the public sector, Denise has directed state-wide screening programs and implemented programs to establish clinical services in areas of need.

In addition to being a Registered Nurse (St Vincent’s Hospital), Denise has a Masters Degree in Health Law (University of Sydney), Bachelor’s Degree in Health Management (University of New England), and an Acute Care Certificate (NSW College of Nursing

Chief Executive Officer - Jo-Anne Reeves

Jo-Anne Reeves has thirty years of experience in the for-purpose and related sectors.

She worked in a variety of senior roles including communications, fundraising, bequest management and corporate relations before being appointed CEO of Parkinson’s NSW in early 2017.

Prior to taking up her current role, Jo-Anne was General Manager of Fundraising and Marketing for Disability Services Australia. She has a wealth of experience in the for-purpose sector and has worked with organisations such as the University of NSW Foundation, The Children’s Hospital Westmead Fund, and the NSW Breast Cancer Institute.

In her role as CEO of Parkinson’s NSW, Jo-Anne is responsible for diversifying sources of funding to enable the expansion of services for people living with Parkinson’s. She is strongly focused on advocating and seeking funding for the placement of more community-based Parkinson Neurological Nurses in Local Health Districts across NSW.

Other key projects she is directing include the development of stronger governance and more open communication with 87 Support Groups across the state, and forging industry partnerships to deliver more cost-effective services such as Parkinson’s-specific exercise classes.