Our Board and Supporters
Our Board is a hand-picked group of people – each is an experienced and respected specialist in one (or several) key fields related to our work.
Maggie’s hope for every Australian to have a good food life leads her to work on many levels, with the hope of encouraging everyone (young, old and in between!) to enjoy quality, seasonal cooking every day. "I have gathered around me a committed Board for the Foundation, all with skills I’m in awe of, and over the last several years I have found a group of committed passionate people in all areas of aged care, all of whom want to make a difference to the quality of life of residents and aged people needing care in the community. I feel it’s like a huge jigsaw with pieces that we can pull together over time to make a wonderful picture that we can be proud of." Maggie Beer
Chair, Maggie Beer Foundation
Jon Clarke is the former managing partner of Cowell Clarke lawyers, and now the principal of Jon Clarke Advisory. Jon combines the experience and knowledge of almost 40 years at the frontline of the legal profession with his core asset of communication – the essential skill in finding solutions to corporate, business, probity and procurement issues. Jon also has governance expertise, is Chair of several not-for-profit organisations, a Founding Director of Kick Start for Kids Pty Ltd, and Director Resthaven Inc.
Olivia Nassaris is the Executive Director of The Hospital Research Foundation Group – Stroke in SA and Parkinson’s in SA, NT and ACT. Olivia has extensive experience in communications and advocacy in aged care, higher education and health both in Brazil and Australia. These roles have enabled strong expertise in business development, key strategic partnerships, philanthropic grants and communications. She believes in maximising choice, independence and wellbeing for older people and with this is mind, THRFG’s social enterprise, the Brain x Body Fitness Studio was founded which focuses on active ageing and body and brain health (neuroplasticity) through evidence-based exercise protocols. Olivia recently helped transition Stroke SA, Parkinson’s SA & NT and Parkinson’s ACT to become charities of The Hospital Research Foundation, ensuring increased capacity to improve support to people affected by these conditions, increase awareness and increase investment into research. She is passionate about community health and is a Treasurer of the Rare Find Foundation, a childhood dementia charity. Her appointment to The Maggie Beer Foundation combines her passion for positive ageing and her love language food - which her colleagues, friends and family knows is demonstrated by cooking for others. She loves the ethos that “every bite counts” for nutrition and joy.
Robyn is a Chartered Accountant with over 25 years experience across various organisations, predominantly in the Australian media industry. Robyn is an exceptional and respected leader, who initiates business growth and sustained profitability through operational efficiency and improvement, change management and strategy development. Not only does she have a wealth of experience leading finance teams and delivering finance transformation projects, she also brings a passion to the Foundation for improving food and nutrition in Aged Care through personal experience with her Mum. This is Robyn’s first Board position and she will be focussed on finance and governance for the Foundation.
Professor Kurt Lushington
Kurt is a Clinical Psychologist and Research Professor in the Justice and Society Unit of the University of South Australia and affiliated with the Centre for Brain, Body and Behaviour and Centre for Workplace Excellence. Kurt is interested in the psychophysiology of sleep and, as well, healthy ageing. His clinical speciality is sleep medicine, both applied and theoretical. He is a member of the Australian Sleep Association sub-committee for Behavioural Management of Sleep Disorders, and a fellow of the Australian Psychological Society, World Sleep Association and Sleep Research Society. Kurt is currently working on projects examining the impact of sleep disruption on daytime functioning and pathophysiology in children with sleep disordered breathing and working with industry groups examining the impact of fatigue on workplace performance. He is also leading cross-disciplinary teams looking at healthy ageing with projects examining financial capability, housing security, malnutrition and aged care and digital literacy. Since beginning his academic career in 1996, Kurt has published 125 peer reviewed papers and 19 book chapters. Over the period 2012-2020, Kurt was the Head of School for the School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy and over the period 2005-2020 Head of the Discipline of Psychology at UniSA. During his tenure, Kurt was responsible for introducing new degree programs in cognitive neuroscience, ageing and disability and counselling. In 2012, Kurt and his team received the Australian Government’s Office of Learning and Teaching award: ‘For introducing work-integrated learning and enhancing student experiences and professional development into psychology undergraduate degrees through nationally-recognised curriculum renewal’. Under his leadership he had oversight of the rise in the discipline of psychology’s Excellence in Research Australia ratings from 2 (below world standard) to the maximum possible of 5 (well above world standard), placing the discipline in the top six in the country.
Professor Ralph Martins
Ralph is a leading expert in Alzheimer's disease, whose career spanning 30+ years, has resulted in 350+ publications in mid to high impact journals. He has established a research unit currently comprising 60+ research staff and postgraduate students, who are working to understand the cause(s) of AD. His research has led to the identification of 3 novel drug candidates, attracting Federal funding and the interest of key commercial partners. He is the winner of a number of awards, including 2010 WA Australian of the Year, 2011 WA Citizen of the Year and was awarded an Australia Day honour Officer of the Order of Australia (OA) 2013. He holds board memberships of 3 research foundations, several committees for national research organisations. His research is world renowned and is considered an international expert in his field.
Jane is the Chief Executive of the Council on the Ageing in South Australia (COTA SA), an older people’s movement promoting the rights, interests and futures of South Australians as they age. Jane joined COTA SA in 2015 from ACH Group where she had been part of the Executive team since 2001, initially leading the Health and Community Services Division and then heading up People and Innovation. Prior to that Jane was the Manager of the State Government Office for the Ageing. Jane is the Chair of the SA Circus Centre (home of Cirkidz), a past winner of the SA Innovation Award in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards and of an aged care scholarship winner. Jane has a Masters’ Degree in Social Work, majoring in social policy and research, from the University of Michigan.
Previous Board Members
Libby Davies Bruce Dowton Sarah Goodwin Wendy Holdenson Liz Isenring Peter Kenny Wendy Lacey Kevin Reid Trevor Richards