Who We Are

Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Australia is operated by a Committee of Management and a small group of dedicated staff.

The committee meets monthly. If you are interested in joining the committee or any volunteer opportunities, contact the office on (03) 7015 5637 or email us at info@tasca.org.au.

Pat Bollard

Pat Bollard – Chairperson

Pat has 35 years in secondary school teaching and now works in counselling and hypnotherapy.

Pat’s interest in the work of TASCA stems from the fact that thalassaemia is present in her extended family as well as her mother who is a carrier.

Pat’s husband suffers from a chronic condition so she understands first-hand the physical, emotional and mental difficulties that are associated with an ongoing medical condition, for both patients and their family.

Robbin Vissakodeti

Robbin Vissakodeti – Deputy Chairperson

Robbin is a carrier of beta thalassaemia. His daughter Amelia and wife Georgia both attend the Medical Therapy Unit at Monash Clayton for thalassaemia Major and sickle cell treatment.

Robbin has a background in IT.

By joining TASCA, he wants to make a difference and assisting patients and their families. 

Joanne Mucciacciaro

Joanne Mucciacciaro – Treasurer

Jo has a background in accounting and bookkeeping and has come to know about TASCA through a dear friend with thalassaemia. 

This has led Jo to join the committee of TASCA. Jo is committed to making a positive difference to TASCA and people living with genetic blood disorders.

Karen Parr – Secretary

Karen moved to Melbourne in August 2018, where she worked as the Communications Manager for AusBiotech, Australia’s leading body representing and advocating for organisations doing business in and with the global life sciences economy. 

Karen has worked in both science and conservation communication and engagement roles. Having lived in London for two years, Karen continues to embrace her passion for adventure and travel.  Experiencing new cultures and people has broadened her mind and her outlook on life. 

While Karen does not have a personal connection to thalassaemia or sickle cell conditions, she looking to volunteer with a board again and with the community. TASCA caught Karen’s interest because of her background in life sciences. 

Peter Verveniotis

Peter Verveniotis – Patient Voice

Peter is of Greek descent and has beta thalassaemia. He is passionate about advocating and supporting people living with genetic blood disorders.

Peter has a background in the early childhood sector and currently works as an Early Parenting Practitioner within the public health system. Apart from his involvement with TASCA, Peter is also a consumer adviser for the Monash Health Blood Committee.

Peter is committed to assisting fellow patients and members of the society.

Dr John Malios

Dr. John Malios – General Committee and Founding Member

MB, BS, (Monash), FRACGP, MACLM.

Dr John Malios is a general practitioner having practised in Oakleigh (1972 -2018) with an interest in Occupational Health and is an experienced medico legal examiner.  He was the Convenor of Medical Panels Victoria (2012-2017) and Deputy Convenor (2007-2012), and continues  to be on the Governor in Council’s List for appointment to a Medical Panel.

He has a long-standing interest in thalassaemia and was the Thalassaemia Counsellor – Queen Victoria Medical Centre (1973-1985), the Royal Women’s Hospital (1975-1978) and Clinical Assistant, Haematology Clinic, Royal Children’s Hospital (1975-1977).

Dr Malios has previously been active in promoting information and education regarding haemoglobinopathies and the role of screening in medical practice.

He was  co-author of a paper:  “Thalassaemia – a preventive approach”

RN Matthews, J Malios – Medical Journal of Australia, 1976.

This paper was also the subject of a presentation in 1976 at the New York Academy of Science.

Relevant current memberships:

  • Life member Australian Medical Association (Vic)
  • Life member Royal Australian College General Practice
  • Member Australian College Legal Medicine
  • Founding Member – Thalassaemia Society (now Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Australia)

Shakeel Sheik- Committee Member

Shakeel is an IT consultant by profession and has a passion to help where needed. He’s always putting a foot forward to do something good for the community. 

Shakeel volunteers his time at various not for profit organisation initiatives such as clean up Australia, various blood drives and is keen on helping out TASCA in its many activities and events. 

He is a father to 3 boys and is interested in travelling and experiencing new places.

Stephanie McCormick- Committee Member

Stephanie McCormick has a background in law and communications, and now works in digital media. Having Thalassaemia minor herself has made her very interested in helping out with TASCA and making a difference in the lives of people like her with haemoglobinopathies. In her free time, Stephanie loves exploring new places, hiking, trying (and mostly failing) to bake and following the Collingwood Football Club. 

Terry Morias- Committee Member

Terry is an IT professional who likes to keep fit and active, meeting new people, trying new things and lending a helping hand where it’s needed. He has an aim to make a positive impact to the community and takes joy in assisting others realise their potential and reaching their goals. 
Terry is a very proud father of two young adults Jasmine and James, and he believes the best lesson in life that he can teach his kids is to lead by example. He is excited to be involved with the TASCA organisation and is looking forward to being a valued member of the team. 

Peter Bol - Ambassador

Peter Bol is a Sudanese-born, proud Australian Olympian & keynote speaker.  
 
Starting athletics at the age of 17 with a goal to represent Australia both on and off the field of sports, his achievements on the track include 2 national titles, several state titles, 2-time world championships representative, Olympian and the current Australian champion over 800m.  
 
Off the sporting field he is passionate about helping others, being a mentor, coach and educator – with a focus on the importance of consistent actions. 
 
In 2021, he will look to add to his Olympic story, embarking on a quest for Olympic success at the rescheduled Tokyo Games.  

Peter will also spend 2021 working with TASCA to help promote our services through social media and in person representation.

Alice Cronin – Health Promotions Officer

With a background in public health and education, Alice brings to her role skills in health promotion, community engagement and advocacy. Her work is driven by a strong passion for improving the health and wellbeing of vulnerable communities. Alice has a range of experience with non-profit organisations both locally and overseas and has worked with a variety of communities. 

In her spare time, Alice enjoys baking and musical theatre. She is looking forward to working alongside and for the Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Australia community.  

Frieda Apostolopoulos – Administration Officer

Frieda Apostolopoulos is our Administration Officer.

She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position, having volunteered for a range of not-for-profit community groups over the years alongside teaching in the classroom.

Frieda’s interest in TASCA stems from her familial experience with Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell conditions. In her spare time, Frieda enjoys playing table tennis with the two young adults in her family (sadly she has yet to win a match), going to the movies and hiking through parts of Victoria and beyond.