Lyn Swinburne was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993 and underwent surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone-blocking therapy. As a result of her experiences, she became a committed advocate on behalf of women with breast cancer and their families and, in 1998, founded Breast Cancer Network Australia...
In 2000, Lyn was one of three Australians invited to sign the Charter of Paris Against Cancer at the Elysee Palace in the presence of the French President, Jacques Chirac.
A passionate advocate for consumer input, Lyn has represented women with breast cancer on many state, national and international committees and boards. Lyn has been an invited keynote speaker at conferences around the world including in the USA, the UK, New Zealand, Japan and across Europe.
Her contribution to the Australian community has been recognised with many awards, including Melburnian of the Year in 2007, a finalist in the Australian of the Year (2006) and two Order of Australia Honours – AM in 2006 and AO in 2018. In 2017, Lyn was named as one of The Financial Review’s Australian 100 Women of Influence, where she topped the Social Enterprise Category. She has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Social Sciences by Swinburne University.
Since her retirement as CEO of BCNA in 2011, Lyn has held a range of non-executive director positions including nine years as Board Chair at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne. She recently served three years as President of the Royal Melbourne Golf Club – the first woman elected to that role in the Club’s 130-year history.
Lyn is a proud mother of two and grandmother of five.
Kathryn is Chair of the Board of the CSIRO and is on the boards of listed companies National Australia Bank, Djerriwarrh Investments and Medibank Private. In the non-for-profit sector, Kathryn is Inaugural Chair of Watertrust Australia Limited, as well as being a board member of the Grattan Institute, The Myer Foundation and the Champions of Change Coalition. Kathryn was a member of the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia from 2013 to 2018, Board Member of Boral Limited 2014 to 2021, including as Chair from 2018, and Non-Executive Director of Incitec Pivot Limited 2014 to 2019. She is a former President of Chief Executive Women (CEW), a former Chair of Parks Victoria and the Melbourne Recital Centre and a former board member of the Australian Centre for Innovation. Prior to becoming a non-executive director, Kathryn enjoyed an extensive senior executive career in banking, manufacturing and logistics across Australia, New Zealand and Asia, after commencing her career as a petroleum engineer with Esso Australia and working as a management consultant with McKinsey & Co. Kathryn was awarded an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2019 for her distinguished service to business and finance, to the central banking, logistics and manufacturing sectors, and to women. She has also been awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering by the University of Queensland and in business by the University of New South Wales. In 2023, Kathryn was admitted as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Kathryn was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in 2012.
Jacinta is an Aboriginal woman from Townsville who has worked in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in higher education for more than two decades. She currently consults to Cancer Australia and Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand. Previously, Jacinta was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous) at Monash University. Jacinta was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 and also oversees our First Nations advisory group.
Dr Mellissa Naidoo is a specialist medical administrator with more than 20 years’ experience working in clinical, health leadership and medical executive roles across both the public and private sector. Mellissa holds a Masters in Health Management, dual fellowships with the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators and Australasian College of Health Service Management and certification in health informatics.
Having experienced healthcare from the perspectives of doctor, patient and carer, Mellissa is passionate about person partnered care and health innovation to support improved access and outcomes for all communities.
Mellissa was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013.
Clare has been a senior Partner in professional services for over 15 years, with a focus on risk, controls and governance. She was the lead Internal Controls partner across a number of major Australian companies. Clare has three sons and balances work with family. She is a Board member of St Kevin’s College Toorak, Great Ocean Road Health and Peter Mac foundation audit and risk committee. Clare lost her mother to breast cancer.
A lawyer by profession, Sarah holds both a Bachelor and a Master of Laws and a Bachelor of Business Administration. Sarah worked at Herbert Smith Freehills and the Australian Securities Exchange (including through the global financial crisis) before joining Westpac in 2011. Sarah is an ally for GLOBAL (Westpac's Employee Action Group for LGBTIQ+ employees) and also a member of Women of Westpac. In 2014, Sarah was diagnosed with breast cancer; a story all too familiar among young women in her family. Sarah chose to continue working full-time throughout treatment, and the benefits she observed sparked a personal mission to challenge the way organisations – and each of us as individuals – think about serious illness.
Emma is a Specialist General Practitioner and Associate Professor at the University of Tasmania, School of Medicine. Emma has a Masters in Mental Health and is passionate about awareness and education in health so that people can be empowered to make choices that are right for them.
Emma has a long-held interest in effective communication, preventive health and meditation and has led research on the effects of mindfulness practice. In 2018 Emma found herself on the other side of the patient doctor relationship, after being diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in her 40s. Emma has written several articles about her experiences and is keen to share her knowledge to help others.
Stuart is General Manager of Thredbo Resort. Stuart’s business experience is wide and varied. He has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Hospitality Studies) and has worked across many areas of the corporate spectrum, including a career as a corporate speaker. His experience working with large teams allows him to bring his people skills to the Board, with a real focus on people’s welfare at the core of what he does. This, coupled with his personal experience of tragedy having lost his first wife Sally in the 1997 Thredbo Landslide and his most recent wife Rosanna from metastatic breast cancer in 2015, gives Stuart the ability to speak from insights as a carer and someone who has overcome tragedy to continue to live a happy and productive life. He is passionate about getting good treatment outcomes for everyone with breast cancer and sees BCNA as a great way to achieve this goal.
Kirsten Pilatti was appointed CEO in March 2018.
She has an exceptional understanding of the cancer sector having spent over a decade at BCNA and five years at Cancer Council Victoria where she was responsible for delivering communications and campaigns around prevention messages.
Kirsten has held a variety of roles at BCNA including:
- Director of Programs and Services
- General Manager, Strategic Projects – State of the Nation
- Partnerships Manager
- National Marketing and Communications Manager.
Highly regarded for her passion and focus on Australian women and men who have been affected by breast cancer, she is committed to giving everyone a voice and reducing the disparity of care across the country.
Kirsten firmly believes that members are at the heart of what we do at BCNA and is dedicated to delivering services and supports that ensure women, men, families, colleagues and friends affected by breast cancer have a place to turn to for information, connection and support.
Her deep connection to our 175,000 members was cemented after spending 18 months travelling around Australia interviewing more than 3,500 women and men about their experience of breast cancer treatment and services to find out where the gaps in service delivery are occurring. The findings were outlined in the State of the Nation report, which was delivered to Federal Parliament in June 2018.
She is also proud of the work she has done to turn the spotlight on important issues such as access to breast reconstruction for women in Cairns and driving changes to the Australian healthcare system including access to drugs through the PBS such as the CDK inhibitors for Australians with metastatic breast cancer.
Taking up the role in BCNA’s 20th anniversary year was not lost on Kirsten who is committed to working closely with members, staff and partners such as Bakers Delight, Berlei, Sussan and Red Energy to ensure that we can continue to ensure that Australians affected by breast cancer receive the very support and care appropriate to their individual needs.
Born and raised in Western Australia, she lives in Melbourne with her partner and two sons.
With a background in nursing and a Master of Education in Leadership Policy and Change, Vicki brings extensive health leadership, governance, research, clinical and health management experience to BCNA.
She has been appointed to a number of committees, including the Medicare Benefits Scheme Review Liaison Group, the Victorian COVID-19 Cancer Network Taskforce, and the Australian Access to Breast Reconstruction Collaborative Group.
In January 2023, she was appointed President of the ABC Global Alliance General Assembly and a Board member of the Alliance, an international multi-stakeholder platform for collaborating on common projects relating to advanced breast cancer. She is a non-executive board director of the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA) and Chair of their Governance and Risk Sub-committee.
Sandra has over 25 years’ senior leadership experience in the for-purpose sector, including with arts and health organisations, and local government in Canada and Australia. She has led many successful, multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns, and has academic qualifications in marketing and market research. She has a special interest in impact evaluation and has spoken on this topic at conferences in Australia and Singapore. She has received scholarships to study executive leadership at Harvard University and not-for profit governance with the AICD. She is a Board member of the Australian Youth Orchestra and Chair of Polyglot Theatre.
Wayne has a Masters in Information Systems and has spent the last 20 years developing and delivering IT and digital strategies in Australia and Asia. He was recognised by the Project Management Institute for project excellence and as a global energy elite in 2015, and again in 2019 by Smart Energy International. He is the bestselling author of The Digital Utility and his most recent book, The Digital Director, helps executives and directors understand their role in digital transformations.
Giulia Gallichio is the Director of People & Culture and joined BCNA in May 2023. She is a senior leader with 20 years’ HR experience with organisations of various sizes and industries including HP, Westpac, CPA Australia, CCI and Defence Bank. While new to the not-for-profit sector, with a background in psychology and a strength in organisational development (OD), she brings expertise in strategy design and execution, culture and leadership, employee experience and engagement, talent and capability development, change management and internal communication. Accredited in multiple behavioural and coaching methodologies, she is passionate about building a values-driven culture and creating an environment where everyone feels safe, welcome and confident to be themselves.
Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) established a Strategic Advisory Group of leading health professionals to help inform and support our work.
The group’s role is to:
The Strategic Advisory Group comprises of health professionals from across a wide range of disciplines. Many of them also represent key breast cancer relevant organisations. In 2021, two Consumer Representatives joined the Advisory Group. Their role is to ensure all our activities are led by the consumer voice and underpinned by evidence.
BCNA is pleased to acknowledge and thank the members as listed below. Membership of the Strategic Advisory Group is honorary, so these people freely give their time and expertise to BCNA to help us work together to continue to improve treatment and care for women and men with breast cancer.
Raelene Boyle is an Australian sporting icon. Her athletic achievements are endless. She's also a survivor of breast and ovarian cancer and a founding board member for Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA). Stepping down from the board in 2022, her commitment to BCNA and helping Australians affected by breast cancer has been unwavering for more than 25 years. In fact, Raels, as we affectionately call her at BCNA has often said that her work in advocacy means more to her than all her sporting medals and accolades.
Jane Bunn has an infectious enthusiasm for the weather. She is 7 News Melbourne’s resident meteorologist, presenting for both 6pm and 4pm news bulletins as well as covering big weather events for 7 News nationally. She is also the founder and CEO of Jane’s Weather (janesweather.com), helping Australian farmers make decisions to take advantage of the weather. Jane joined BCNA as an Ambassador in 2017.
Hugh Greenwood is a professional Australian rules footballer who plays for North Melbourne Football Club. Hugh has been associated with BCNA since 2018, following the death of his mother 'Onny' in 2017 who passed away from metastatic breast cancer. Hugh is a regular ambassador for our Pink Sports Day program and participates in many BCNA events.
Jarrod and Thomas Berry are professional Australian rules footballers playing for the Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns respectively. The Berry brothers and their family were hit hard when they lost their mother, Jedda, to breast cancer in 2013. They joined BCNA as Ambassadors as it is a charity that is close to their hearts and allows them to raise awareness for breast cancer while honouring their mum’s legacy.
Oskar Baker is a professional Australian rules footballer playing for the Western Bulldogs. Oskar knows the impact that a breast cancer diagnosis can have on a family – his nan and aunt are both survivors, his mum Trudie lost her life to the disease in 2017 just months before he fulfilled his dream of being drafted to the AFL. Oskar joined BCNA as an Ambassador in 2021.
Sophie Conway is an Australian rules footballer playing for the Brisbane Lions in the AFL Women's competition. Sophie’s mum Christine was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, when Sophie was just 13 years old, and dealt with both that and brain cancer until she passed away in 2017. Sophie is passionate about raising awareness for breast cancer and joined BCNA as an Ambassador in 2022.
Sophie Locke is an Australian rules footballer playing for Hawthorn Football Club in the AFL Women's competition. She played her first game in 2022, two weeks after losing her mum to breast cancer following her diagnosis in 2013. Sophie joins BCNA as an Ambassador in 2023.