ABOUT LUPUS WA

WHO ARE WE?

 

INTRODUCTION

Lupus WA is a voluntary not-for-profit organisation.

We were formed in 1979 and became an incorporated body in 1986. Previously we were known as the Lupus Group of WA and became Lupus WA in 2017.

OUR AIM

Our overarching aim is to provide a gateway in Western Australia for improving awareness, education and support for lupus patients, the community and health professionals and to support lupus research activities.

OUR TARGET AUDIENCE

Our target audience is three-fold:

• lupus patients and their family/caregivers;
• the general community; and
• health professionals.

Young lupus patient and her daughter

OUR KEY AREAS OF FOCUS

Our five key goals are:

1. AWARENESS:

To increase public awareness, early diagnosis and treatment; and to engage public interest and support for lupus related activities.

2. EDUCATION:

To promote knowledge and understanding about lupus to people living with lupus and encourage them to become ‘active’ participants in their own health and wellbeing; and

To promote knowledge and understanding about lupus amongst healthcare professionals in order to support early diagnosis, ‘best practice’ treatment and management of lupus.

3. SUPPORT:

To provide peer support to people living with lupus, their family and care givers and to share lessons learned from “lived experience.

4. RESEARCH:

To support State, Commonwealth and International lupus research collaboration and alliances.

5. ADVOCACY:

To advocate for lupus awareness, education, support services and research in WA.

Key areas of focus of Lupus WA
Lupus research

INTRODUCING OUR BOARD

Our board brings together a wide range of experience and skills. We are collectively committed to improving lupus Awareness, Education, Support, Research and Advocacy in Western Australia.

Our Board Members are:

CHAIRPERSON W/Prof Hans C Nossent - MD PhD FRACP

Dr Hans NossentOriginally from the Netherlands where he received his medical training, and following a multinational work journey, Prof Nossent now holds the Chair in Rheumatology at The University of Western Australia and heads the Dept. of Rheumatology at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

Through his clinical work and through teaching medical students Prof Nossent actively works to improve the understanding and management of rheumatic diseases, which have significant impact on quality of life, life expectancy and health care economics. His main research interests are the epidemiology, and outcome of systemic inflammatory autoimmune diseases, with a special focus on the development and use of biomarkers in this field.

Professor Nossent has a major clinical and translational research interest in systemic autoimmune disease, especially Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. He has published over 140 papers in peer-reviewed journals and provided more than 250 conference contributions.

TREASURER Matthew Owen

Matthew is a chartered accountant with over 15 years of financial leadership experience in the UK and Australia. 

BOARD MEMBER Dr Aron Chakera - MBBS (Hon), MRCP, DPhil, FRACP, FHEA

Dr Aron ChakeraDr Chakera graduated in medicine from the University of Western Australia and completed his internship and residency at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship in 2000 and moved to Oxford to complete a DPhil in molecular biology before training in renal medicine.

In 2008 he was appointed to the Clinical Lectureship in Nephrology at the University of Oxford where he developed a translational research programme focussing on autoimmune diseases and functional measures of immunity.
In 2012 he returned to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital as a Consultant Renal Physician with clinical and research interests in autoimmunity and immunosuppression.

Dr Chakera is head of the Translational Renal Research Group, based in the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and Director of Research for the Sir Charles Gairdner and Osborne Park Health Care Group.

BOARD MEMBER Mary Erceg - Dip Ed, BEd

Mary ErcegMary Erceg is a former teacher and Public Servant in the State Government in senior policy and planning roles in the Education, Training and Workforce Development sectors. She brings experience in stakeholder engagement, strategic planning and policy/program development to the Board.

Mary has lived with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) for more than four decades since initial diagnosis in 1973. She knows first-hand of the many and constantly evolving challenges faced by patients, their families and the medical professionals.
Mary draws on lessons learned from over forty years of “lived experience” to support others to become lupus wise and live better with lupus. She is a passionate advocate for improving lupus awareness, education, support, research and advocacy in Western Australia.

BOARD MEMBER Dr Peter Hollingsworth

Dr Peter Hollingsworth

Dr Peter Hollingsworth recently retired from the positions of the Section of Autoimmunity and Immunopathology at PathCentre and as Head of The Department of Clinical Immunology at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

He was also Clinical Senior Lecturer in Pathology at the University of Western Australia and a former Examiner in Immunopathology for the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.

Dr Hollingsworth was a leading specialist in Rheumatology, Immunology and Immunopathology. His clinical practice focused on systemic autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis, allergy, immune deficiency and HIV infection.

Post retirement Dr Hollingsworth continues his commitment to the lupus community as a member of the Lupus WA Board.

BOARD MEMBER Jessica Bowker

With a background in corporate affairs, Jessica Bowker has worked in Australia and Canada for large companies, international joint ventures and public relations agencies. In 2015 she founded TrueType Communications, a Perth-based consultancy which provides communications and marketing services to businesses, non-profits and social enterprises. Her areas of expertise include communications and marketing strategy, brand management, stakeholder engagement, change management and internal communications.

Jessica was diagnosed was Lupus SLE soon after starting her consultancy and understands the challenges of living with lupus while managing a business and raising a young family. This prompted her to adopt a more collaborative consulting approach and become a passionate advocate for flexible working, which saw her recognised as an individual champion in the 2018 Champions of Flexible Working Awards. 

In addition to providing pro bono communications and marketing support to the board of Lupus WA, Jessica is a volunteer mentor with the Beacon Foundation MyRoad Program which provides career guidance to young Australian women in Years 10, 11 and 12.

 

BOARD MEMBER Mark Dowling - Grad Cert FP, Adv DP FP, Dip Fin, MAICD, SSA™

In 2008, at the height of the global financial crisis, Mark had a passion to help people with their financial planning needs, and established his own firm as founder and managing director of Life Insurance and Super Pty Ltd.

In the years since then Mark has grown the business by dedicating himself to professionalism and continued education while giving a personal touch to his clients.

Mark was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus after a long journey with his health battles. Living with a genetic form of Lupus he knows firsthand how challenging it can be running a business, having a family, studying and managing to keep on top of his health.

Mark is passionate about Lupus and wishes to promote research and greater education for Doctors, patients and families alike.