Garry cared for his wife Drena who was diagnosed with a semantic variant of FTD in 2009 and passed away in 2021. Garry is committed to the belief that carer support groups are beneficial for carers and will ultimately save the community money and resources by reducing the need for medical contact and support.
He is a jeweller and diamond expert with two suburban Melbourne stores. He originally graduated as a geologist and is actively involved in diamond cut research with a team of leading scientists and engineers from Russia and India. Garry’s experience on boards has mainly been with the gem and jewellery industry in Australia and overseas.
Garry was one of the early and founding participants in the first carer support group in Melbourne established by Dr. Tracey Wardill.
He assisted in negotiations with Alzheimers Australia (AA) taking over the running of AFTDA’s carer groups. These negotiations led to the name change from AA to Dementia Australia.
Julane Bowen LLB, GDLP, BAPoliSci
Julane has over 30 years public sector experience, mainly with various Agencies and Not for Profits in NSW. Julane has held senior roles in organisational design and capability, corporate services, and service delivery. Julane also benefitted professionally from growing up in a commercially oriented family who owned and operated retail stores and restaurants.
Julane met her husband Jeff four decades ago while both were travelling in Europe. Jeff was a commercial pilot who travelled the world for a living. Over the years Julane was able to join Jeff on many trips, exploring the wonders of the world together. Sadly, when Jeff retired at 65 his heath deteriorated rapidly, two years later a diagnosis of FTD rocked all retirement plans. Julane experienced first-hand the difficulties of the unknown that is dementia. Diagnosis was slow and required constant advocacy to get the necessary tests required for answers. Legal problems became a daily occurrence, the most significant being the fight to get Jeff home to live out his days surrounded by family. Julane responded by returning to University and obtaining an Honours law degree where she hopes to help other families on the dementia journey navigate the Australian legal minefield.
Dr Amy Brodtmann MBBS FRACP PhD
Amy is Co-Division Head of Behavioural Neuroscience and NHMRC Clinical Career Development Fellow at the Florey Institute for Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne, Australia. She is a stroke and cognitive neurologist at Austin Health and Director of the Eastern Cognitive Disorders Clinic.
Her research focuses on imaging correlates of cognitive decline in stroke, post-stroke behavioural syndromes, and the diagnosis and management of focal onset dementias. She has received many awards and grants for her work in stroke and dementia, including Project grants and both NHMRC Post-Graduate and Post-Doctorate Fellowships. She sits on the editorial boards of Neurology and the International Journal of Stroke, the Dementia Research Grants board of Alzheimer’s Australia Victoria, is an inaugural member of the Wicking Strategic Review Panel, and a founding member of the Australian Frontotemporal Dementia Association.
Mirelle is a registered psychologist and has nearly 10 years of experience working with people with dementia including Frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Mirelle is experienced in cognitive assessment, clinical trial management, and providing psychosocial support to patients and families affected by dementia. Mirelle is also part of the team at the FRONTIER Frontotemporal Dementia Research Clinic where she meets with carers and families of people affected by FTD and provides them with support. She is passionate and committed to educating and supporting families about FTD and the ways in which they can still maintain a good and meaningful life. Her goal is to work with and impact carers and families on an individual level.
Scott cares for his wife Jane who has been diagnosed with brain damage affecting the frontal and temporal lobes, the diagnosis is still not completely defined.
He runs his own mobility aids and stairlift business in Hobart and has done this for over 7 years.
Prior to this Scott worked in private health insurance for a few years, but his main background is in banking and finance for over 32 years dealing in customer service through to senior management positions. Scott's experience on boards has been at a childcare centre where his children were attending and on several sporting organisations, holding positions of secretary and president along the way.
He is involved in the FTD Carers Support Group in Hobart and is passionate about carers gaining more information and assistance about how to obtain care packages through either NDIS or My Aged Care to assist them.
Olivier Piguet LicPsych MA(Clin Neuropsych) PhD MAPS FCCN
Olivier Piguet is Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology and NHMRC Leadership Fellow at the University of Sydney where he is the director of FRONTIER, the frontotemporal dementia clinical research group at the Brain and Mind Centre in Sydney, Australia. He is a registered clinical neuropsychologist with over 20 years clinical experience in the field of frontotemporal dementia and related conditions. Olivier trained in Geneva and Melbourne and completed his PhD at the University of Sydney, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research program investigates early clinical markers of frontotemporal dementia, prediction of disease progression and relations to biomarkers, genetics and brain pathology. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles on these topics, attracting >19,000 citations. Olivier is a founding member and President-Elect of the International Society for the Frontotemporal Dementias. He is current President of ASSBI, the Australasian Society for the Study of Brain Impairment.
Dr Tracey Wardill M.A. (Clinical Neuropsychology); PhD
Tracey has nearly 40 years experience as a clinical neuropsychologist. She is a principal neuropsychologist with Neuropsychology Melbourne, a private practice which provides neuropsychology services to private patients and public health providers throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria. She has also worked extensively in the public health system.
Tracey has worked in all areas of adult neuropsychology and is experienced in the diagnosis of dementia. She has a particular interest in young onset dementia and has worked extensively with FTD patients and their families.
In 2008 Tracey was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study frontotemporal dementia in the leading FTD clinics in the United States and England. As a result of her fellowship, she established the first support group for carers of people with frontotemporal dementia in Victoria, which she ran from 2009 to 2012. She currently co-facilitates the Gippsland FTD Carer support Group.
Tracey is the Chair of World FTD United, an international group which supports FTD organisations throughout the world and works to raise awareness of this disease.