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Our Board

Prof. Warren Harding, AM – Chair

B.Sc Hons; Grad Dip. Media; Brit Council Scholar LSE; Adjunct Professor, CBS

Warren Harding was appointed to the Board in 2018/19. Warren has over 30 years of strategic management consulting and other NFP board experience. He was the former Ministerial adviser to a state Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development and held various senior government roles including Treasury.

Warren has a very broad international experience with PwC, Deloitte and Accenture at Managing Partner level in Asia Pacific serving some of the world’s largest companies in energy, mining, telecommunications; life-sciences, health and public sector.  He has been an External Adviser to McKinsey & Company. He has led major organisational transformations involving complex OPEX/CAPEX budgets; major technology change and has a track record of building culture and developing talent.

He was a co-founder of the Future of Work Institute in WA and has been a regular speaker on future work skills, and the human factors of digitisation; AI and Automation and digital health accutive technology and wearables.

He was the Minister for Health’s Nominee on the Sustainable Health Review (2017-2019) and has strong views around financial sustainability, addressing inequity of regional access and delivery, the opportunity for digital health and assistive technology to support care in the home, and importance of workforce training. He has real-lived experience with dementia as a carer. He was appointed by the State Government to the Board, Disability Services Commission in 2020.

Warren holds a Bachelor of Science (First Class Hons) from the University of Western Australia, a Graduate Diploma in Media (AFTRS); was a British Council Scholar at London School of Economics; and holds an Adjunct Professorship to the Curtin Faculty of Health Sciences.

Dr. Sean Maher – Deputy Chair and Honorary Medical Director


Dr Sean Maher is a Geriatrician and recent Head of the Department of Rehabilitation and Aged Care at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. He graduated from the University of Western Australia and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. He was the Federal Secretary for the Australian and New Zealand Society for Geriatric Medicine (ANZSGM) from 2008 – 2012 and is a current Federal Councillor. He has interests in delirium and dementia and coordinated the ANZSGM’s Position Paper on delirium, as well as assisting to develop the WA Department of Health’s Model of Care for Delirium and the Older Person. He was a senior lecturer in Geriatric Medicine at Edith Cowan University, and Honorary Research Fellow at Curtin University. He helped initiate the successful Vascular Geriatrics perioperative care program and is assisting with implementing the Dementia Care in Hospitals Program at SCGH.

Mr. Matthew Budge – Finance Director

Matt Budge joined PwC in 2001 and has over 17 years’ experience in providing tax advice to Australian and multinational companies. Matt was appointed partner in 2012 when he returned to Perth six years ago after eight years on secondment in Melbourne and Sydney.

Matt has a very broad range of experience in diverse industries having worked on transactions in the Perth, Melbourne and Sydney markets serviced by PwC. Matt focuses on assisting clients through transformative transactions involving major acquisitions, restructures, refinancing and investments into significant infrastructure.

Matt successfully led a global reorganisation involving similar transaction steps from initial planning phase to the end of an audit of the reorganisation by the ATO.

Matt holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia, Masters of Taxation from the University of Melbourne, Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, Member of the Tax & Regulatory Committee for the Association of Mining & Exploration Companies of Australia and Chair of the Council at University Hall, University of Western Australia.

Ms. Susan Downes

Sue graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Management) as a mature graduate in 2003 followed by a career that was cut short when her husband, Tim, was diagnosed with Fronto Temporal Dementia (FTD) at the age of 54 years. Sue nursed Tim at home until he passed away in 2013 aged only 59 years.

She is a Dementia Advocate with Alzheimer’s WA (AWA) and has presented her dementia journey with Tim to aged care students, education and training workshops, local government employees and UWA medical students. She has been invited to speak at various dementia seminars and conferences, has been interviewed on live ABC Radio with Geoff Hutchison, and has participated in live ABC Radio forums on dementia. Sue and Tim’s journey with dementia was also featured in AWA’s Christmas Appeal 2015.

Sue is passionate about making a difference to the lived experience of those caring for someone with dementia, with a particular focus on the unique set of challenges faced by people diagnosed with Younger Onset Dementia (YOD) and their partners/carers, especially those still in the workforce.

Vera Riley

Vera Riley is an Occupational Therapist with more than 40 years of clinical experience. Having worked mostly in the public health system, she has predominantly developed and provided occupational therapy services in neurology, including stroke rehabilitation, and aged care.

In addition, Vera has had a strong commitment to teaching and mentoring occupational therapists and occupational therapy students. She has held a tutoring position at Curtin University and has taught occupational therapy courses interstate.
Vera gained her Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy locally. She has worked as an Occupational Therapist in WA and the USA. Since 2012 she has provided occupational therapy services to the Memory Clinic in the department of Geriatric Acute and Rehabilitation Medicine at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, which merged with the Memory Clinic at Osborne Park Hospital in 2022. Vera’s role in the memory clinic aims to determine the person’s ability in daily living activities, the impact of cognitive impairment and identify the resources and strategies to promote the person to continue to perform in daily life.

Her strong interest in people living with dementia has been present throughout her career. In the late 1980s Vera was part of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association as a committee member and as editor of the ADARDA newsletter. She had the privilege of being involved in the establishment of the in-home respite service and also in the establishment of the Mary Chester Centre. Vera has also co-authored a book entitled ‘Guiding Occupational Therapy Practice for Persons Living with Dementia in the Community’ and has carried out research related to occupational therapy assessment in the Memory Clinic.

Mrs. Majo Merriam – Director

Majo Merriam is a recently retired experienced social worker with extensive knowledge of the aged care field, dementia and related community services. Having worked over twenty years in aged care, she is familiar with the experiences of people living with dementia and that of their carers.

Majo was an accredited assessor and delegate to the Aged Care Assessment Team at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital as well as being an aged care specialist in social work. Throughout her career, she had a special interest in assisting people with dementia and their carers. Developing and maintaining good working relationships with aged care providers were central to this role.

Majo holds a B.A ( Psych) and Master of Social Work from the University of Western Australia.

Ms. Ella Dachs – Chief Executive Officer

Ella Dachs has 20 years of international experience in organisational/human capital strategy; specialising in aligning people with strategy; leadership and talent development; executive coaching; and culture/change management.

She has had an extensive consulting career specialising in strategic change and business transformation across multiple industries and sectors to develop and implement transformation initiatives.

Ella holds a B. Bus. Organisational Psychology and Human Resource Management (University of Cape Town) and a Post Graduate Diploma Marketing (IMM).

Ella has worked for international professional service firms EY (London), KPMG (Sydney), Korn Ferry (Perth), Heidricks (Perth), and BDO Spencer Steward (Cape Town).

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