Meet the team
We’re proud and privileged to be able to count on so many people across Australia who share our values and want to help make change.
Our staff, leadership team and Board work tirelessly every day to cure and conquer blood cancer – with care.
We don’t have the space here to introduce all our staff but we’d like you to meet our CEO and Board.
Leukaemia Foundation CEO – Chris Tanti
Chris has a long-held passion for improving health outcomes by making sure everyone gets the care they need, regardless of their circumstances and background.
His career has been characterised by the development of game-changing health services and he’s an accomplished CEO both in Australia and America, working across mental health, disability and aged care.
Chris has a background in social work and over the last 25 years has held national and international senior executive positions, including as CEO of Australia’s National Disability Services and Headspace.
In recent years he has managed his own consultancy, working with universities and health services.
Chris has considerable experience working with governments and in advocacy, program and organisational innovation, with qualifications from La Trobe and Melbourne universities and the Harvard Business School.
Lucio Di Giallonardo (Chair)
Lucio has been a long-standing Board member of the Leukaemia Foundation. Lucio is a Chartered Accountant and Managing Partner of HLB Mann Judd, Chartered Accountants in Perth, and brings vast financial, governance and strategy experience to the Board.
Lucio is very passionate about the work of the Leukaemia Foundation. In the mid-1990s Lucio was approached by one of his clients, Tim Goyder (who had just been diagnosed with Leukaemia) to join the Board of LFWA with Tim and to help in growing the organisation in Western Australia.
Lucio’s father-in-law was then diagnosed 10 years ago with a blood cancer, Myelodysplastic Syndrome and sadly passed away three years ago.
Michelle is a Chairperson, Committee and Board member with over ten years of Board level experience across the commercial, government and not-for-profit sectors.
She has been a Chief Information Officer and Chief Operations Officer across a number of industries. Michelle has had a direct experience with cancer and is pleased to be able to apply her skills and experience to the Leukaemia Foundation.
Professor Mark Cormack was appointed Honorary Professor at the Australian National University (ANU) College of Health and Medicine in 2020, following a long career in the Commonwealth, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales Government services.
His professional background covers early work as an allied health professional, and health services manager. Professor Cormack has served as a Chief Executive (ACT Health and Health Workforce Australia) and Deputy Secretary (Commonwealth Departments of Health, Veterans’ Affairs and Home Affairs) and has had portfolio responsibilities covering a wide spectrum of public policy.
These included national health policy on mental health, health financing, primary health care, public hospitals, health technology assessment, health and medical research, health provider compliance, health analytics and digital health.
Dr Angela Ferguson
Angela (Ange) has a deep passion for the work of the Leukaemia Foundation, and has been an active member and volunteer since 2011 when she joined the local Albany Creek Branch, taking over as convenor in 2018.
She finds the Vision and Mission of the Leukaemia Foundation to be truly inspiring, and has been particularly touched by the patient stories she’s heard over the years, at annual Member conferences.
Ange has a number of personal connections to blood cancer (recently within her extended family) that have also underpinned her commitment to the Foundation.
Ange has a PhD in Clinical Psychology, is an Industry Fellow with the University of Queensland, and has worked as an Early Intervention Psychologist with Queensland Health.
Since 2015, Ange has been the Director of Research Services in the Department of Education, Queensland, where she leads the ethical and risk review of studies conducted with students and staff in Queensland state schools and administers the only research grant scheme for education research in Australia – Education Horizon. She is based in Brisbane.
Jane’s passion has always been improving the outcomes of patients, whether as a nurse or as a senior organisational leader. She is excited by the great impact the Leukaemia Foundation has the opportunity to make.
In her current work as Chief Executive at Central West Hospital and Health Service, based in Longreach, Jane has worked closely with the community to understand what they need and how best work in partnership with them to improve access and outcomes.
Nigel Harris MBA CFRE FFIA GAICD
Nigel Harris is Managing Director of Nigel Harris & Associates, an advisory and consulting practice specialising in philanthropy and fundraising leadership. He is also Founding Partner of Giving Architects Australia, a fundraising campaign and impact investment consultancy.
Throughout his 40-year career, Nigel has held executive leadership roles in non-profit organisations, most notably serving as Chief Executive Officer of Mater Foundation (Queensland) for 24 years. Under Nigel’s leadership, Mater Foundation’s annual fundraising revenue grew from $2m to over $70m, establishing the Foundation as one of Australia’s largest health charities and a major funder of medical research and clinical services.
Holding an MBA majoring in fundraising as well as qualifications in Public Relations and Marketing, Nigel is also a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). In 2012 Nigel was recognised as the Arthur Venn Australian Fundraising Professional of the Year and has also been recognised through other non-profit management awards.
Currently a Director and Deputy Chair of Act for Kids and a Director of the Leukaemia Foundation, Nigel also serves on the Board of the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy and the management committee of Braille House. He is a Fellow of Fundraising Institute Australia and the Institute of Managers and Leaders and Certified CEO through the CEO Institute.
Peter is a highly experienced Board Member of substantial commercial organisations, including his current position on the Board of Medibank Private Limited.
With a professional background as an actuary, Peter provided his expertise with AMP from 1985 through until 2007. As Chief Actuary he had a leading role through the process of demutualisation and listing in 1998 with later roles including General Manager Strategy and Human Resources.
Peter has strong functional skills in finance, strategy and people and brings these three perspectives together in a coaching/challenging role as a Director.
Having spent many years engaging with senior leaders in business and government, Peter is committed to being a strong advocate for the Leukaemia Foundation in these circles, in both business and social contexts.
Peter’s strong interest in supporting the work of the Leukaemia Foundation primarily arises through the journey of two sisters who have each experienced (unrelated) leukaemia. His younger sister is a survivor from 20 years ago when Peter was fortunately able to donate bone marrow, and his elder sister was diagnosed 12 months ago.
With a background as a pharmacist, Sian has spent her career in leadership roles in the pharmaceutical industry across the world.
Sian has recently completed her Masters of Public Health, with a focus on health-system strengthening and patient empowerment. Sian describes the Leukaemia Foundation as a “formidable organisation” and is excited by the goal and the opportunity afforded by the National Action Plan.