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.

Peter Verveniotis

Peter Verveniotis – Chairperson

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.

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.

Pat Bollard

Pat Bollard – Secretary

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.

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)
Yiannis Androulakis

Yiannis Androulakis – General Committee Member

Yianni moved to Melbourne in 2013 from Crete, Greece to pursue a career in HR. He currently works at Fronditha Care as a human resources and recruitment officer.

Yianni joined the TASCA committee as he has friends with thalassaemia  and would like to contribute to raising awareness of these conditions.

Karen Parr – General Committee Member

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. 

Shakeel Sheik

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.

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.

Samuel Lam – Health Promotions Officer

Sam has been in the role of Health Promotion Officer since 2019 and is excited to continue to contribute to the awareness raising work of TASCA in the community. 

Sam is passionate in advocating for improvement to the access and standard of support being provided to those living with haemoglobin disorders in Australia.

Sam holds a Bachelor of Science and Master in Public Health.

In his spare time, Sam loves to cook and play ultimate frisbee.

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.