The Board

Asanka Gunasekera

Asanka Gunasekera

Chairperson

Asanka is a legal practitioner who was admitted to practice in 2009.  Asanka practices as a Barrister at Francis Burt Chambers and specializes in all aspects of personal injury law. Asanka is also Secretary of the WA Bar Association (Inc) and serves on its Diversity Sub-Committee.  Asanka is a member of the Law Society of Western Australia and sits on its Personal Injury & Workers' Compensation sub-committee. 

Asanka has been a sessional lecturer in Occupational Health and Safety (Industrial Relations) at Curtin University. Asanka has been a past WAAC volunteer and has served on its Board since September 2013 in the capacities of Community Representative, Secretary and Vice Chairperson.

 



Emma Jarvis

Emma Jarvis

Vice Chairperson

Emma is an Executive Manager at Hope Community Services. Emma is experienced with clinical and organisational development, culture change, leadership development, dispute solution, risk management, governance and mentoring. Emma has over 17 years experience in the non government, government and corporate sectors.

Emma is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has a Masters in Applied Social Studies, a Post-Graduate Diploma and a Post Qualifying Award in Social Work, a Bachelors with Hons in Theology, and a Certificate IV in Coaching - with specialist streams in executive and workplace coaching. Emma is a registered as an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with the AASW.  Emma has been appointed to the Examining Chaplin's Committee by the Anglican Archbishop of Perth for a 3 year term - 2015-2018.

Suzanne Hillier

Suzanne Hillier

Treasurer

Suzanne is a legal practitioner who practices as a government lawyer. Suzanne provides advice on contract and commercial issues, compliance, audit and risk, human resources, investigations, occupational health and safety and environmental management.  She has previously managed the Legal and Legislative Services Directorate at the Western Australian Department of Health. Suzanne is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Suzanne is committed to making a difference in the not-for-profit sector. She is also Secretary and Board Director for HeartKids WA which provides support for families affected by childhood heart disease.

She joined the in-house and government lawyers advocacy organisation, the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association (now Association of Corporate Counsel Australia) as a Committee member in 2003 and has held positions as Treasurer, Vice President and President of the WA Committee and National President and Chair of the Board.

 

Darren Vernede

Darren Vernede

HIV Positive Representative

Darren acquired HIV and hepatitis C in the early 1980s through blood products. Darren is married with 3 children and he has served on the Haemophilia Foundation of WA for 12 years during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and represented WA in national forums. Darren was involved in several successful campaigns to gain better treatments for people living with HIV and Heamophilia. He has a Medical Technology Certificate IV (TAFE) and a degree in Mediation from Curtin University. He has just written and published a book based on his life story and dealing with HIV and Hep C and is currently working as an executive coach and motivational speaker. Darren has served on the Board since 2010.



Joanne Shaw

Joanne Shaw

Community Representative

Joanne is a Registered Nurse with post graduate qualifications in critical care, haematology and has a Masters of Nursing leadership and management. Joanne is the Nursing Director of Community and Primary Health Care at North West Hospital Health Service in remote Queensland. This role encompasses oversight of numerous departments and specialities including Sexual Health Service, Women’s Health Service and Indigenous Primary Health Care. Joanne is a member of the North Queensland Sexually Transmissible Infection Action Plan 2016-2021 implementation group.

Joanne has extensive knowledge with strategic and operational leadership of tertiary, rural and remote hospitals to ultimately provide first class, safe, sustainable and family centred care.  Joanne is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has publications in the British Journal of Haematology and is a member of the Australasian College of Health Service Management and the Australian College of Nursing.

 

Dr Ian Woolley

Dr Ian Woolley

Community Representative

Dr Woolley is an Infectious Diseases physician who has been working almost entirely in the HIV sphere since 1993. He trained in Melbourne and Cleveland, Ohio before returning to Australia in 2000. He holds an MD, FRACP and Diploma of Tropical Medicine as well as an undergraduate medical degree and has NGO experience working on short term projects in several countries in Asia and Africa. 

He is currently Deputy Director of Infectious Diseases and Director of HIV Medicine at Monash Health in Melbourne which involves clinical education and research work.





Steve Singer

Steve Singer

Community Representative

Steve is a consultant economist working on the evaluation and social impact of Australian mining and petroleum projects. He brings to the Board his skills in commercial negotiations, strategic thinking, policy formulation and economic analysis along with a passion for science including current medical/pharmaceutical research.

Steve has been an ordinary member of WAAC since the 1980s and has attended most member meetings of the association from its inception. He has previously served on the management committees of several LGBTI-focused not-for-profit organisations.







Dr Matthew Skinner

Dr Matthew Skinner

Community Representative

Matthew is a general and infectious diseases physician working in Perth. He trained in Melbourne, obtaining his undergraduate degree in 1996. Travel and volunteer work in Africa prior to 2000 sparked an interest in infectious diseases, especially HIV. Training was undertaken in Melbourne, before completing his fellowship in Perth in 2008. He returned to WA in 2012 to take up his current post at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

He keeps an active interest in HIV, working with research staff at Murdoch University, and providing clinical care in an outpatient setting there. He has an active interest in teaching and education, and looks forward to making a contribution to WAAC.

 



David Kernohan

David Kernohan

Chief Executive Officer

David joined the Council in September 2017 from the Mental Health Law Centre, where he had been CEO for over two years. He has extensive experience in the not for profit sector, with a strong background in mental health, and brings a diverse community based perspective with him.

Kristina Mitsikas

Kristina Mitsikas

Staff Representative

Kristina is the Coordinator of the Volunteer Program, joining WAAC in November 2016 after relocating to Perth from Melbourne with her Family. Kristina has recently received Coordinator Endorsement (intermediate) by Volunteering WA after completing a Master Class series. Kristina has also been invited to join the Volunteer Leadership Network for WA, taking on leadership and mentoring opportunities. 

Kristina has a Bachelor with Hons in Health Science majoring in Health Promotion and a Cert IV in Community Services. Kristina has over 10 years’ experience working in Health Promotion and Community Development within the Not for Profit and Local Government sector.

Our Mission

To minimise the impact and further transmission of HIV, other blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections. To reduce social, legal and policy barriers which prevent access to health information and effective support and prevention services.