Board Members – MND and Me Foundation

Board Members

Board Members

The MND and Me Foundation Limited

The MND and Me Foundation Limited Board takes responsibility for the governance and strategy of the Foundation. A robust and formal reporting structure exists with the attendance of Directors at Board and appropriate Committee meetings.

The Board is united in the Foundation’s mission To Care and To Cure. Until a cure is found, the Board will continue to work together to help fund MND research and explore treatment initiatives.

The MND and Me Foundation Limited’s strategic intent is to continue to cultivate its service offering to meet the changing needs of people living with MND.

The Board strongly supports a partnership model whereby the MND and Me Foundation works closely with corporate entities, other Australian MND associations and progressive neurological disease (PND) associations in a financial and operational capacity to provide care and services to people living with a PND. This approach will ensure that no one faces MND alone.

Jane Schmitt LLB, LLM, GAICD (Chairperson)

Jane Schmitt joined the Board as Chairperson in October 2017. Jane is a Lawyer by profession, having worked in private and corporate arenas.

Jane’s move into executive management has seen her in roles at Australia’s largest medical indemnity insurer and Master Builders Australia, before taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer at AMA Queensland. Her expertise lies in initiating innovative operational and strategic changes to enhance the influence and profile of communities and businesses.

Jane is a strategic thinker, a straight talker and contributes vision and enthusiasm, strong leadership skills and business acumen. She is also a graduate of the AICD Company Director’s course.

Dr Beres WENCK

Beres joined The MND and Me Foundation Limited Board in 2018. Beres’ husband Keith passed away in January 2015, aged 66, after a long battle with MND.

Beres has been a GP working in Milton, Brisbane for many years and now practices from Red Hill Doctors surgery.

She is a Past President of AMAQ and an AMA Fellow and was a Visiting GP to Royal Children’s Hospital Brisbane for many years.

Currently, Vice President of MDA National and Chair of the RACGP Expert Committee GP Advocacy and Funding. Other roles are Medical Consultant to Adoptions Queensland, Vice President of MDA and National Chair of the Clinical Advisory Committee National Home Doctor Service responsible for clinical governance.

In 2012, she was awarded the prestigious Rose-Hunt Medal for her substantial and significant contribution to general practice. It is the highest accolade awarded by the Royal Australian Council of General Practice.

Catherine CAIRNS

Catherine Cairns is an occupational therapist who graduated from the University of Queensland in 1985. She  has worked in private practice, corporate and public service settings, with primary experience in orthopaedics and general medical, hand and upper limb rehabilitation, lymphoedema and workplace rehabilitation. Most recently she worked in private practice within the aged care space, seeing clients on Home Care Packages, Department of Veterans’ Affairs and NDIS.

Catherine has been involved with the Foundation since 2011 as a supporter and fundraiser, participating in events such as Muscle Up for MND, the Pies to Pacific ride, the New York marathon, the Everest Base camp trek and enjoying attendance at Gala dinners and balls.


Paul Olds is the inaugural Executive Officer of the Heritage Bank Charitable Foundation.  Paul is an experienced not-for-profit leader who brings not only extensive experience in both the commercial and not-for-profit sector but, importantly a passion for philanthropy.  In his current position Paul is responsible for developing the Heritage Bank Charitable Foundation’s strategies, relationships with key stakeholders, guiding the fundraising efforts and  working with it’s charity partners to make a meaningful impact in the communities it supports.

Before this role Paul was CEO of the MND and Me Foundation from 2014 – 2019. In his time Paul led the Foundation to grow in its service offering and research offerings. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Spark Neurocare Support Coordination program as well as participating in the many and varied challenges including running New York, Tokyo and Berlin Marathons and climbing to Everest Base Camp.


Norman Thurecht is a Chartered Accountant with the Fellow designation of the CAANZ.  He commenced his career in 1993 with Horwath Brisbane which subsequently merged with BDO.  He joined Pitcher Partners in 2003 where he continued to practice as a partner of the firm. During his time in practice he has been involved in accounting, taxation and valuation matters for family owned businesses.  He is a director of Pitcher Partners Corporate Finance Limited and Pitcher Partners Wealth Management Pty Ltd and a representative under the associated ASFL.

Norm has been involved with the Foundation since it was formed, participating in events big and small including the first Million Metres on the Gold Coast, running the New York Marathon in 2015 and cycling in the Pies to Pacific Ride. He has attended most Scott Sullivan Gala events and is an active participant in the Annual MW Swim Carnival with Pitcher Partners.

MND and Me Foundation Management


Jane joined The MND and Me Foundation in July 2018 and took over the role of CEO in February 2020. An experienced communicator, event manager and marketing professional, Jane was most recently the Community Development Officer at Lourdes Hill College in Brisbane where she managed an extensive fundraising, community engagement and outreach program.

Prior to taking up this role at LHC, Jane managed the electorate office for a State MP which involved all forms of IMC, coordinating community events, media management and stakeholder engagement. Jane has extensive communications and fundraising experience as well as a wide range of event management experience including roles as State Architecture Awards Director and coordinator of a number of sporting events. Jane has a B.Bus in Integrated Marketing Communications and a proven reputation for both strategic planning and hands-on execution of events.

Through her association with Norman Park State School, Jane knew Scott and participated in the very first Million Meters Swim. She and her family have continued their support of the Foundation attending many events over the years.

Sarah DURAND – Client Services Manager

Sarah joined the MND and Me team in the role of Client Services Manager in May 2019. She brings over 15 years’ experience in the Disability and Aged Care Sector to this role. Sarah initially began her career as a disability support worker and over time has progressed to achieve successful outcomes in a variety of management roles such as manager of Quality Assurance and Strategic planning, Operations Management, Accommodation, Day Program and Transition Services Management, as well as delivery of vocational training and assessment, and more recently MND specific Support Coordination within the Spark NeuroCare program.

Sarah is driven by her passionate commitment to social justice and is looking forward to utilizing her knowledge of the NDIS and My Aged Care systems to empower people living with MND to have the best quality of life possible and get the most out of the supports available.

Sarah’s professional skills and knowledge are further enhanced by her life skills, having actively participated in the delivery of palliative care supports and overcoming the odds to defeat an advanced cancer diagnosis. Sarah feels that her life experience has provided her with a unique insight into the importance of empathy and living in the moment with a firm hold on hope.

To contact The MND and Me Foundation Limtied go to [email protected] or call 07 3394 5333