Board of Cystic Fibrosis Australia


Mr Patrick O'Connor - President

Patrick is Associate Professor of Economic Ecology at the University of Adelaide and the Managing Director of O’Connor NRM, a consulting company specialising in the design, creation, implementation and evaluation of markets for ecosystem services. Patrick designs and researches projects aimed at overcoming negative environmental externalities from agricultural production systems and has created markets for the conservation of soil, wetlands, biodiversity and for carbon sequestration. Patrick also works in program evaluation, designing and implementing evaluations to improve program decisions.

Patrick also has an interest in applied linguistics and is co-author of the book "Writing Scientific Research Articles: Strategy and Steps” which sets out a genre-based approach to training scientists to write research papers. Patrick runs a long-standing training program in this field for the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Patrick began his voluntary involvement with Cystic Fibrosis organisations in 1982 when he raised money and helped lead a recreation camp for people living with CF. Patrick was a Board member of CFSA for 15 years and has been on the CFA Board for three years.

Patrick was appointed President of CFA on the 2nd May 2015.


Mitch Messer President


Mr Mitch Messer - Vice President

Mitch has been a consumer advocate for over 30 years, working at local, state, national and international levels and has vast experience dealing with business, not for profit and government. Currently he is the CEO of CLAN WA, an organisation that works to strengthen family life by encouraging healthy relationships, effective parenting, emotional and mental health, support networks and community participation.  He is also Director of Thinking Beyond Pty Ltd a consultancy that specialises in helping to build and strengthen organisations through support with strategic planning, advocacy, lobbying and policy development.

He was previously Executive Director of Cystic Fibrosis WA (CFWA), an organisation that provides services and support for people facing the daily challenge of living with Cystic Fibrosis.  Mitch has continued his work with Cystic Fibrosis in a voluntary capacity and is the current President of Cystic Fibrosis Australia and a board member of Cystic Fibrosis Worldwide.  

For a full outline of Mitch Messer's experience, click here.


Feliciano Sanchez   

Mr Feliciano Sanchez - Vice President

Feliciano is an executive level engineer with over 25 years experience in capital projects and sustaining capital for the energy and resources industry.  He has worked at senior levels for mining companies as well as engineering services and technology companies, and is currently a Business Group Manager within GHD, a global engineering and technical services company.  Feliciano has worked as an engineer across Australia, South America, North and South East Asia.  

His involvement with cystic fibrosis spans 16 years where he has served on the boards of Cystic Fibrosis WA and Cystic Fibrosis Australia.  Feliciano has also previously served on the board of the Lung Institute of WA, a research institute working in the area of lung disease.  He is a passionate advocate for ensuring that cystic fibrosis is strongly represented at both state and national levels and is committed to working with organisations to improve the life expectancy of people with cystic fibrosis across Australia.  Feliciano has been married to Vanya for 21 years and has two children, Oscar and Marina who has cystic fibrosis.


Margaret Walker   

Ms Margaret Walker - Treasurer

Ms Walker is a Non-Executive Director of Defence Housing Australia where she also holds the postions of Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Nominations and Remuneration Committee.  Additionally, she is a Non-Executive Director of Buderim Ginger Limited where she also holds the position of Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee.  She is also a Non-Executive Director of Cystic Fibrosis Australia. 

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce and is a member of the Australian Society of CPAs and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Margaret has over 25 years of senior executive experience with a variety of organisations, including ten years in strategic roles as Executive Director and Director Operations of a Commonwealth Bank-owned subsidiary, Tactical Global Management (TGM).  TGM was then a pre-eminent global macro hedge fund firm with offices in Brisbane and London and US$1.2b funds under management.  Margaret was appointed to the CFA Board in July 2009.  


Laurence G Daly   

Mr Laurie Daly - Director

Laurie has over 35 years experience in accounting and finance, in both the public and private sectors, has worked as Chief Finance Officer and Financial Controller for large Commonwealth agencies, and has executive experience in the banking and consulting industries.

In these roles he has held responsibility for all internal and external components of the financial management, including financial reporting, budget development and management, and compliance with all statutory and legislative obligations.

Laurie has a Bachelor of Economics and a Graduate Diploma in Accounting from The Australian National University. He also holds a Graduate Diploma in Management from Monash Mount Eliza Business School and has studied at the Harton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

He is a Certified Practicing Accountant and is also an Associate member of the Australian Chartered Institute of Company Secretaries, the Governance Institute, and the Australian Chartered Institute of Company Managers.  Laurie was appointed to the CFA Board in 2013.


Ross Fraser     

Mr Ross Fraser - Director

Ross has an extensive career across a broad range of the energy sector spanning over 48 years.

Ross is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds an Honours Degree in Engineering (Monash University), a Fellowship Diploma of Electrical Engineering (RMIT) and a Business Certificate from the Australian Graduate School of Management (UNSW).

Ross was the Founder and Chairman of Energy Response Holdings Pty Ltd, Managing Director of Fraser Consulting Services Pty Ltd and an Executive Director of Independent Utility Services Pty Ltd (which operated major buying group services for energy purchase for thousands of small business consumers and their representative organisations).

Ross is currently Chairman of Cystic Fibrosis Victoria and a Director of Cystic Fibrosis Australia.


Richard Simons   

Mr Richard Simons - Director

Richard is a qualified accountant and obtained his Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Murdoch University in 1988.  He has been an Associated Member of Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia since 1992.

Richard commenced his career with international accounting firm Arthur Andersen in 1989, finally serving as Director of Strategy, Finance & Economic Consulting before leaving in 2000.  He then became a Founding Director of a national strategy & corporate finance-consulting firm, Mainsheet Corporate. 

In 2010, Richard joined ASX listed aluminium vessels manufacturer, Austal Limited as their Global Chief Financial Officer & Company Secretary.  He had full responsibility for the Group’s global finance, investor relations and risk functions managing teams in Australia, the United States and thePhilippines.

In 2013, Richard had the opportunity to bring together my strategic, operational, financial and leadership skills to take on the role of Chief Executive Officer of Thrifty WA and then Aus Fleet Solutions.  

Richard joined the Board of Cystic Fibrosis WA Inc. in 2009 and took on the office of Treasurer.  I held this office until 2013, when I retired in accordance with the Association’s Constitution and continue to serve as a Board member


Peter Wark   

Mr Peter Wark - Director

Peter Wark is a senior staff specialist in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle and a conjoint Professor with the University of Newcastle. In addition he is a senior investigator with the Priority Research Centre for Healthy Lungs and the Vaccines Immunology Viruses and Asthma research group at the Hunter Medical Research Institute. He is also a chief investigator in the NHMRC Centre of Excellence in Severe Asthma.

His research interests are in the area of infection and the impact this has on inflammatory airways disease, with a particular interest in viral respiratory infections and acute exacerbations of chronic airways disease. His group has developed expertise in identifying respiratory viruses in airway secretions and developing an in-vitro cell culture model of the airway epithelium that we use to model the effect of infection and inflammation. His main research focus is on factors that increase susceptibility to virus infection in asthma, COPD, Cystic Fibrosis bronchiectasis and pregnancy.

He is the centre director for the John Hunter Adult Cystic Fibrosis clinic that manages over 100 adult patients with CF in the context of a multidisciplinary team. He works in the severe asthma clinic as well as in general respiratory clinics at John Hunter Hospital and runs indigenous outreach clinics at Narrabri and Moree. He is chairperson for the Hunter New England Local Hospital network respiratory stream, responsible for the provision of respiratory services throughout the Hunter New England area, with a catchment population of 840,000. He was a member of the TSANZ executive board and chairman of the clinical care and resources subcommittee from 2011 to 2015.

Peter qualified as a Bachelor of Medicine at the University of Newcastle, Australia in 1991 and qualified as a specialist in Respiratory and Sleep Medicine as a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 1999.

From 2001-2005 he was a post doctoral research fellow under an NHMRC Neil Hamilton Fairley Travelling Fellowship at the University of Southampton and University College London, under the supervision of Professors Stephen Holgate, Donna Davies and Sebastian Johnston. 

From 1998-2001 he completed a PhD under the supervision of Professors Peter Gibson and Michael Hensley at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Peter is married to Katrina, and parents to Kirsty, Marden, Jasmine, Sarah, David, Charlotte and Eliza and grandfather to Elijah.


Sean Collins   

Mr Sean Collins - Director

Sean is an IT and Management Consultant. His diversified career has included teaching and marine biology before spending 25+ years in the ICT industry, progressing through operational ICT into management, predominantly within the public sector across the primary industry, forestry and health sectors.

Sean’s board experience includes the role of President of Football Federation of Tasmania since 2010 and he is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Sean’s voluntary involvement with CF organisations commenced in 2013 when he joined the board of Cystic Fibrosis Tasmania and he joined the CFA board in March 2016.


Mr Jong Chung - Director

Jong is a qualified accountant and has over 25 years in the public practice profession.  Currently holds the position of Executive Director at Enrizen Accounting based in the Sydney CBD.  He specialises in Superannuation and taxation is also a SMSF specialist adviser.

Jong, also holds the position of Non-Executive Director of DBA Global Shared Service Inc. which is an innovative technology company based in the Philippines.In both roles he is responsible for financial management, financial reporting and compliance with all statutory and legislative obligations.

Jong first became involved in the CF community via his appointment as Treasurer and Board Member of CFNSW.

Jong is currently the President of CFNSW and a Director of CFA.

Sarah Kelly   

Ms Sarah Kelly - Director

Ms Kelly is a Principal Policy Officer in the South Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet. Sarah has 15 years’ experience working in senior legal, policy, strategy and managerial roles in the South Australian and New South Wales governments. Prior to working in government, Sarah was a commercial lawyer for five years with Sydney law firm Blake Dawson (now Ashurst) specialising in competition, consumer and telecommunications law.

Sarah has extensive experience as a volunteer in the not-for-profit sector, having been involved since 2001 with the grass roots development organisation, Indigo Foundation variously as a project manager, coordinator and public officer, and fund raiser.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Law/Arts from the University of Adelaide, a Masters in Law (BCL) and M.Sc. Comparative Social Research from Oxford University, having been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship (SA) in 1992. She is admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Courts of SA and NSW.

Sarah was appointed to the CFA Board in February 2017.


Company Secretary - CFA CEO