Our Committee

The everyday running of AusDoCC Inc is the responsibility of our Management Committee, which is composed of elected, voluntary members. All committee members have individual, designated roles and also belong to subcommittees. Committee members have been from all over Australia and also from New Zealand.

At the Annual General Meeting (AGM), financial members of AusDoCC elect our committee for a period of 12 months.  Members are entitled to a vote at this meeting either by their attendance or by a proxy vote available from the secretary. The 2019 AGM was held via the internet on August 13, 2019.

Meet our 2017/2018 Management Committee

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Kristina Coburn
AusDoCC  President
Social Media Officer

 

Congratulations to Tina on returning as president of AusDoCC for 2019/20.

Kristina (Tina) is the mother of three amazing young men, Connor, Hamish and Kyle. Connor (born in 1998) and Kyle (born 2006) both have agenesis of the corpus callosum and coincidentally they also share a birthday. Tina lives in Perth, Western Australia. She has a background in childcare and is a passionate advocate for her sons. They all share their mother’s crazy sense of humour.

After a lonely journey through the ACC world with Connor, when Kyle was diagnosed Tina felt the need to connect with as many parents as possible. She was unable to find a single support group for ACC in Australia. Facebook was a popular social network site so she decided to start an Australian Facebook group. This was the seed that grew into AusDoCC. Tina’s goal has always been to connect with as many Australian families, with a disorder of the corpus callosum, as possible.

kristina

Maree Maxfield
AusDoCC Secretary
Liaisons , Website & Events Officer

 

Maree is the mother and full-time carer of Abbie, born in 1990. Abbie has partial agenesis of the corpus callosum. Abbie was diagnosed at 21 months but her ACC was largely ignored as she was also born without a pituitary gland and ACC was almost unheard of in Australia.  After isolated beginnings with no internet, in 2009 Maree discovered the US based email Listserv and the US based conferences, many pieces of the mystery began to fit together. Abbie and Maree have attended four American NODCC conferences since 2010 and have been able to make connections with other young adults, families and key clinical and research professionals. Maree was very excited to discover the original Australian ACC Facebook group in 2011 and became a cofounder of AusDoCC after attending the inaugural AusDoCC meeting in April 2012 with several other mums across the nation.

She loves the opportunity to spread awareness and understanding of ACC to every nook and cranny of Australia so that the new generations of ACCers are supported with information to guided them through the educational and medical mazes. In 2019, Maree  completed a Masters of Public Health at Melbourne Uni which included a research project studying the lived experience of Australian adults with ACC. Maree is continuing her studies, undertaking a PhD to conduct further research into the life impacts on adults with corpus callosum disorders

maree

Maja Palacios
AusDoCC Treasurer
Creative Design Officer

 

Maja lives in Perth Western Australia her husband, Andrew and two daughters Eva, aged 11 and Andie, aged 9.
Andie was born with complete agenesis of the corpus callosum which, in her case, is considered a part of an undiagnosed syndrome. Until discovering the AusDoCC facebook group in 2013 the family had found it to be a very isolated and unknown journey.
Maja has a background in applied science. She has worked as a lab technician and then a quality control coordinator in a laboratory for a major fertilizer company for over ten years. While pregnant with Eva, Andrew and Maja endeavored to start their own Mobile Heavy Haulage repairs company. They have been successfully running this company for 9 years.
Maja is a motivated person who has an artistic flair, Her family has a background in photography and graphic design.
Having a undiagnosed rare child with complex needs, Maja wants to contribute to raising awareness about AusDoCC and help bridge the obvious gaps in the system.

 Niki Harrison
Vice President
Fundraising Officer

 

Niki's daughter, Abby was born in 2008 with an underdeveloped corpus callosum (dysgenesis of the corpus callosum).  Niki has also been involved with AusDoCC from its inception because she wanted to create awareness and support that was unavailable when Abby was born. Niki became a cofounder of AusDoCC after attending the inaugural AusDoCC meeting in April 2012 with several other mums across the nation

Niki lives in south east Melbourne, Victoria with her two daughters Abby and Tahlia. She is now working as a Support Worker and a merchandiser. Niki has been involved in fundraising for more than 18 years and is the key person for AusDoCC’s fundraising activities. She also advocates strongly for better facilities for people with disabilities, particularly more appropriate public places to change older children and adults with continence needs.

 

 

 

Abbie Kinniburgh
Adult Programs Officer

 

Abbie was born in 1990 and has partial agenesis of the corpus callosum (pACC).  When she was 2 years old after an MRI diagnosing her pACC,  Abbie's parents were told she would never learn to read or write. Since then she has completed primary school, secondary school (including VCE), studied at TAFE and has slowly but surely worked her way up to higher education at Victoria University. This year she is continuing a Bachelor of Social Work at Victoria University. Everything for Abbie is at a slow and steady pace, one week or even one day at a time, but the support she gets from her mum and all the people who work with her, helps her to persist and develop. Abbie has many daily challenges due to her DCC and other health conditions, such as social difficulties, anxiety, spatial awareness, tremors, temperature regulation... and much more! She gets lots of help and support to manage these things as much as possible. Abbie lives with her mother and her mini fox terrier dog, Scout, in Melbourne. Scout is Abbie's closest friend and often is a comfort for her. Abbie also has an old brother who is a musician and supports her as much as he can.

Through being part of and working with AusDoCC, Abbie wants to spread the word about this condition in Australia. She aims to find and support others who are like herself, living with this rare condition and may be isolated and lost in society, particularly adults. Abbie hopes that her new social work course will also have some benefit in supporting and connecting with a growing community of people with a DCC and their families in the future.

 

Michael Shanahan
Vice President
Research Officer

 

Congratulations and welcome to Michael as the first adult with ACC to join the AusDoCC executive team. Michael has a nursing background and is currently involved in further tertiary studies at two universities.  He has experience working in teams in professional environments, and a willingness to assist this community in whatever capacity he can.

Michael has great hopes for the future of this organisation, the greatest impact is perhaps our online presence once this is more established. He is  looking  forward to the development of the adult ACC community.  As an adult with a DCC he  wants to be a part of that community and also help establish it.

michael

Tanya Smith
Teens Development Officer

 

Tanya is the mother of two children, Kody and Ellie. Kody (born 2005) has partial agenesis of the corpus callosum. Tanya and her family of four have made the huge move back from Western Australia to northern NSW, where she will enjoy rural life near family and friends. Tania is a champion advocate and negotiator for her two children to gain resources for her family. In this term Tanya hopes to raise the profile of teens with ACC and their siblings.

Tanya has an extensive background in a number of roles including 20 years in building and surveying on the Gold Coast and volunteering for not for profit charities supporting families with special needs. Tanya would like to see AusDoCC continue to grow and become an organisation recognised for raising awareness and having a friendly support network for our members. She would like to see professionals recommending the organisation to other persons with a DCC for support and to build on resource information for teachers and teachers aides that will help them to teach our children.

 

John Jonker
Facilities Officer

 

John lives with his partner, Anna, who has complete agenesis of the corpus callosum (ACC).
John is  a groundsman who looks after a sporting complex for a local council. His interests include dog sports where he instructs in both agility and obedience at his dog clubs.

John is interested in learning more about ACC as well as helping people with similar conditions to Anna in their daily life needs. John is an invaluable member of the AusDoCC team, providing insights from another perspective and being a right-hand-man at all AusDoCC events.

 

Anna Uther
NSW Contact Officer

 

Anna lives in Sydney and was born with complete ACC. She was diagnosed in early adulthood and grew up with several siblings. Anna completed nursing qualifications at Avondale College of Higher Education and has worked in nursing. She has a passion for dogs and dogs’ sports and is a volunteer obedience and agility instructor with local dog training clubs, as well being as a competitor in dog agility events. This has provided a vast opportunity for friendships and new skills.

Anna brings a strong voice to the committee to represent adults with DCC. Anna has been enthusiastic about being involved with fundraising, organising meetups and connecting other DCC adults. She was excited to find other adults with a DCC and is keen to make connections and help build a supportive adult community.

Pieta Shakes
Grants Officer

 

Pieta is a nursing academic and is currently pursuing PhD research into the physical and mental health of people with a disorder of the corpus callosum. After involvement with the founding AusDoCC committee, Pieta stepped aside for several years due to her personal and caring commitments and has joined the committee again in 2018. Pieta's drive to assist AusDoCC to reach new goals and growth stems from her own experiences as a parent of a child with a DCC.

 

 

 

 

 

AusDoCC Executive Committee 2019

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