Our Board is a mix of osteopaths and other skills-appointed Directors. The Board will always consist of a majority of five (5) member-elected Directors (osteopaths), and no less than two and no more than four Board-appointed, skills-based Directors. To ensure jurisdictional diversity at all times, at least one (1) member-elected Director on the Board shall have his or her primary practice and/or reside in any one of the following jurisdictions: Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania or Western Australia.
Osteopathy Australia strives to ensure that our Board reflects the gender, cultural and clinical mix of our profession.
Dr Michelle Funder (Osteopath)
B.Sc.(Clin.Sc.), B.Sc.(BiomedSc), M.H.Sc.(Osteo.)
Michelle first joined the Board in 2018 and was elected as President and Chair of the Board in 2020. She was a member of the Allied Health Medicare Reform Group during 2018 and 2019, advocating for osteopathy and currently chairs the Stakeholder Think Tank Group, which includes all stakeholders of osteopathy within Australia. Michelle is an advocate for women in leadership and has completed the Women in Leadership Advanced Leadership Course. She is a business partner in a group of multidisciplinary clinics throughout Victoria, which currently employ over 50 team members. She still practises as an osteopath and has a special clinical interest in rowing athletes. Career highlights include working with Serena Williams during the 2013 and 2015 Australian Open tennis championships.
Dr Georgia Ellis (Osteopath)
Originally from Melbourne, Georgia moved to Perth in 2011 after graduating as an osteopath from RMIT. This was meant to be just a small adventure, but Perth ended up becoming home.
She worked in a number of clinics in Perth before establishing the Wagin Osteopathic Service in 2016, a rural satellite clinic servicing the West Australian Wheatbelt, 250km from Perth. She has since set up her own clinic, Summit Osteopathy, in Perth in 2019.
She has been a director on the Osteopathy Australia Board since 2018 and chairs the research committee. She believes that research will play a huge strategic role in lobbying decision makers, educating consumers about osteopathy and campaigning for new osteopathic programs to be opened across Australia.
Dr Matthew Cooper (Osteopath)
Matt has been a practicing Osteopath for a little over a decade and is the director and owner of Melbourne Osteopathic Clinic Docklands. Matt has worked in an elite sports clubs and was thrilled to be part of the medical team at the Western Bulldogs during their drought-breaking premiership in 2016. Matt has spent the last number of years mixing clinical work with teaching at Victoria University. Matt is a husband and father to two fantastic little ones. Matt thrives on mentoring young practitioners and helping with their transition into practice. He hosts a podcast called PracReady with Osteopath Craig Taylor, which has the primary focus on helping the future of our profession to be “PracReady” from day 1.
Dr Brett Wiener (Osteopath)
B.Sc.(Clin.Sc.), M.H.Sc.(Osteo.), MAPP.
Brett is a proud husband, father and director at the Sports and Spinal Group in Melbourne. He has a history in the health, wellness and fitness industry, with experience in sports injuries, pain management, positive psychology, entrepreneurship and strategy, holistic health and fitness. He has a strong business development mindset and holds a Master’s of Applied Positive Psychology from Melbourne University. His thesis focused on the art of giving as a medical practitioner proactively, effectively and self-protectively. As a leader, he believes in creating a psychologically safe environment that facilitates three basic human needs: autonomy, competence and relatedness. By focusing on these three core elements, he has been able to mobilise and empower both individuals and groups to flourish.
Dr Donald Hunter (Osteopath)
Don graduated in 2003 from the University of Western Sydney and worked in Newcastle for over 15 years, founding Beech Health Osteopathic Clinic in January, 2008. He continued his osteopathic journey by undertaking many courses in biodynamics and osteopathy in the cranial field. Since 2013, he has been conducting research in the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of Newcastle, investigating the relationship between thoracic posture and shoulder impingement syndrome, and recently submitted his PhD. Donald is passionate about playing his part to promote working in rural Australia and the value and benefit research can offer the profession.
BAppSc, GradDipSportBus, MBA, MAICD
Cris is the Director of Saint George Consulting, a consulting agency specialising in strategy, management, governance, membership and allied health. His career has focused on service-based organisations across a variety of sectors including healthcare, finance and professional sport. Cris has held senior positions at the Bob Jane Corporation, St Kilda Football Club, CPA Australia, Australian Physiotherapy Association and Advent Health.
He is the current Chairman of BMS Risk Solutions (Affinity), current non-executive Director of Early Childhood Intervention Australia (Vic) and an independent member of the Exercise & Sports Science Australia Standards Council. He was recently appointed as the first public board member of the American Physical Therapy Association. He is the former Chairman of the Allied Health Professions Australia.
Cris holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, Graduate Diploma in Sport Business, and an MBA. He has completed the AICD Company Directors course, and the Executive Program in International Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
OAM FAHMS GradDipManipTher USyd MBiomedE UNSW PhD UNSW
Kathryn Refshauge, a physiotherapist, is currently Professor of Allied Health (Strategic Partnerships), University of Sydney, and immediate past Dean of Health Sciences.
She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course. She is a Director of the Board of the International College of Management Sydney (ICMS) and of other governing boards, as well as a member of Clinical Council, Central and Eastern Sydney Primary Health Network and various professional and research bodies nationally and internationally.
She has previously held many positions in the health sector, such as Chair of South West Sydney Research, a NSW Health hub, and executive member of other health hubs and committees in the health sector in NSW. She has served on the executive of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, Sports Medicine Australia, and human research ethics committees, and was involved in the Excellence in Research for Australia initiative.
Her research focuses on integrating her physiotherapy, biomedical engineering and physiology backgrounds to improve health outcomes, particularly for musculoskeletal conditions. She has published extensively in the area of musculoskeletal health and developed guidelines and position statements for best practice in diagnosis and management of various musculoskeletal conditions.
She holds several honorary professorial appointments internationally and has been a member of the editorial board of international journals. Her education excellence has been recognised through three awards for outstanding teaching, including a national award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, and the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Student Supervision.
EMBA BPharms (Hons) MRPhamS MPS
Joey Calandra has over 20 years of healthcare and leadership experience. Ranging from frontline roles as a pharmacist, to executive management, board directorships, innovation consulting and, currently, as the Head of Strategy for AIA Vitality.
Joey has expertise in strategic partnerships, collaborating and working with multiple stakeholders, including State and Federal Governments, Universities, Boards, Primary Health Networks, Private Health Insurers, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Companies. His experience also spans advocacy, membership growth, increasing scope of practice, developing models of care, new funding mechanisms, continuing professional development, including competency standards and accreditation as well as managing national and internal conferences as General Manager at the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.
Joey spent five years as a board director of the Victorian Pharmacy Authority and as a consultant for the Royal Australasian College of General Practice, Bayside Medicare Local, Australian Health Practitioner Registration Authority, National Asthma Council of Australia, Heart Foundation of Australia, Wandsworth and Hammersmith and Fulham Primary Care Trusts in the United Kingdom.
As an innovation consultant, Joey developed bespoke innovation and productivity capability training for Government, Health, FMCG, Pharmaceutical, Insurance, Banking, Law, Accounting, Entertainment, Charities and Software Industries.
Joey has completed the AICD Not-for-Profit Governance Program, has a Bachelor of Pharmacy with Honours and an Executive MBA with awards in Strategy, Financial Management, International Business (China) and Silver medal for the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation innovation program.