Who We Are

 

CHAIRMAN

Dr. Quintus DeZylva – is a Consultant Physician practicing at Moorabbin and Epworth Richmond. Previously a consultant at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Tutor at the Medical Faculty University of Melbourne. Awarded the Overseas Services Medal by the Commonwealth Government in 2005 for services rendered to Sri Lanka soon after the Asian tsunami of 2004. AUSLMAT have visited Sri Lanka more than thirty times since the first visit two days after the tsunami. His work and AUSLMAT’s has centered on the south and east coast and AUSLMAT were responsible in convincing the Victorian Government of the need to build a new Accident & Emergency Unit at the Karapitiya Hospital, when the Hon. Steve Bracks was Premier of Victoria

 

 

 

 

PRESIDENT

Dr. Erosha Premaratne – is a Consultant Endocrinologist and General Physician practicing at Austin Health, Northern Health and Warringal Private Hospital in Melbourne. After graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1996, she received a further Doctor of Medicine degree (MD) from the same university in 2006 and is currently an honorary academic there. She is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and has been a clinical examiner for the College and an educational supervisor / professional development advisor for junior doctors for the past 8 years. She specializes in the treatment of diabetes and obesity, insulin pump therapy, general endocrinology and obstetric medicine.  She continues to be engaged in clinical research in the areas of diabetic kidney disease and gestational diabetes. She has conducted many public health seminars and has provided health advice on ethnic radio programs.

Erosha has initiated and participated in many charities in Sri Lanka over the years, including establishment of a scholarship scheme for students in the Central province of Sri Lanka whose parents are affected by chronic kidney disease, supplying medical textbooks to rural medical schools, raising funds for dialysis machines and installation of water filters in rural schools.

 

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Preethi De Silva – is a credentialed Diabetes Educator working in the community health settng in North Western Victoria.  She also has many years experience in surgical nursing, mostly in urology in senior positions at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Cabrini.  Her current work involves clinic consultations, group education and presentations to community groups.  She is also involved in the Stepping Up project in collaboration with Melbourne University, Department of General Practice, to help GPs manage insulin initiation in the community.  Preethi has been involved with AUSLMAT for many years.  She will be making her 3rd trip in 2017.

 

 

SECRETARY

Sajini Perera – is a final year medical student at Deakin University with a keen interest in public health medicine. She has had some experience volunteering in rural communities in Sri Lanka which has sparked her interest in addressing some of the health inequities that exist within these areas. She is also keen to use her experience in social media, marketing and graphic design to help promote AUSLMATs work

 

 

 

 

 

TREASURER

Gordon Miles – has been in the Information Technology industry for most of his career and became involved in AUSLMAT back in 2005 in building a data link between the Karapitiya Hospital in Galle and Melbourne so that visiting doctors could monitor patients remotely between visits.  He visited Sri Lanka for the first time in 2010 and fell in love with the county and its people.  He has been AUSLMAT’s Treasurer since late 2015 and has been instrumental in Registering AUSLMAT with the ACNC as a recognised charity, attracting the ACNC’s “tick of approval”.  He also negotiated with the ATO to have AUSLMAT registered for tax deductible donations, a process otherwise known as achieving Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status.

 

 

 

 

 

LOGISTICS COORDINATION

Chin (Chinthaka) Weerakkody – is a Podiatrist working for Barwon Health and in Private Practice in the South-West region of Victoria. Chin’s clinical application and interest is in the High-Risk foot, particularly as a result of Diabetes complications – highly relevant in mother-Lanka, as Sri Lanka has the highest incidence of Type 2 Diabetes in the World. Chin has been involved with AUSLMAT since 2013, delivering lectures on High-risk foot complications and best practice management to our colleagues in Sri Lanka during this time, as well as more recently serving on the AUSLMAT Committee.

Lately, Chin’s work has been centred around service capacity development and integration of services accessing Barwon Health in the Community Setting, in particular addressing barriers for access to services for patients. He too also hopes to attend his 4th visit to Sri Lanka in 2017 with AUSLMAT.

 

 

MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS

Roger Fredman – is an IT and business process engineering professional by trade, with significant experience in the private and public sector.  He joined AUSLMAT in 2014 and was one of the non-medico attendees on the 2015 medical mission.  Both he and his wife Rebecca are from the United States and are now living in Australia, which brought them into the fold of AUSLMAT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS

Laura Tate – is a junior doctor who previously studied at Deakin University. She has a strong interest in community and public health medicine, with some experience working in rural communities outside of Melbourne. In 2018, she spent time as a student in Karapitya Teaching Hospital and Mahamodara Women’s Hospital in Galle,  and has experienced first hand some of the challenges faced by the Sri Lankan healthcare system. In addition, family on her mother’s side are Sri Lankan and this has motivated to help out ‘closer to home’. She joined AUSLMAT in 2017.

 

 

 

 

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Rebecca Fredman – is a highly regarded director-level and hands-on nurse with specialties in aged care, dementia, palliative care, sub-acute rehabilitation and immunisation.  She joined AUSLMAT in 2014 and was one of the medicos on the 2015 medical mission.

 

 

 

 

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Dr. Jennifer Johns – is a renowned Victorian cardiologist with a plethora of accolades. She was elected President of the National Heart Foundation of Australia in 2014 – the first woman to take the role since the charity was established in 1959. Dr Johns more recently held the position of Medical Director of Specialty Services CSU at Melbourne’s Austin Hospital, where she has worked since 1987. Dr Johns also practices in the Victorian Heart Centre at Epworth Hospital and has been President of the Victorian Heart Foundation Board since 2009.  Graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1976, Dr Johns’ postgraduate training included two years at West Suffolk Hospital in the UK and cardiology training at the Austin Hospital and Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

She was awarded a National Heart Foundation Clinical Scholarship and continued her studies at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston between 1984 and 1987, studying the role of recombinant tissue-type plasminogen activator in the treatment of acute coronary syndromes. Her major interests include the management of valvular heart disease, echocardiography, management of heart failure, health economics and teaching. Dr Johns also has strong interest in women’s health issues and is a mentor for female cardiologists.

In 2015, she was recognised for nearly 40 years of work in medicine by being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.  In a long line of achievements, Dr Johns received the Premier’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Victorian Public Health Awards in 2011 and an Australia Day Achievement Award in 2008 for work at the Austin Hospital. Dr. Johns will make her 14th trip to Sri Lanka this year (2017) as part of the Australia Sri Lanka Medical Team – AUSLMAT.  The group has helped vulnerable people following the Boxing Day tsunami, providing medical equipment, education and assistance at rural hospitals. She is the ex-vice president of AUSLMAT, having stepped down from the role at the end of 2018.

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Dr Michelle de Silva – is a Genetic Counsellor and Research Manager. Michelle gained her PhD studying the genetics of chemotherapy resistance leukaemia. She has more than ten years of experience working as a medical researcher in the areas of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, hearing loss and heart disease. Since leaving the laboratory, Michelle has worked as a research centre manager at the University of Melbourne and is making a career change into genetic counselling. Michelle has been involved with AUSLMAT since 2010, both as an office bearer and an ordinary member. She has made six AUSLMAT trips in that time.

 

 

 

 

 

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Ranjini Dassenaike – is Ranjini is a regular attendee on many of the medical missions, providing organisational, logistical and translation services.  She has also been the lead for our fundraising and awareness campaigns, and is continuing on a consultative basis.

 

 

 

 

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Lara Mayze – is an Oral Health Therapist currently working for NSW Health in the Southern Local Health District. She holds a Masters of Public Health through the University of Melbourne, completed in November 2016.  Lara’s main area of interest is Oral Health Promotion, and has implemented programs with this modus operandi at their heart, including the “Kinder Wide Smiles Program” which visits Government funded Kindergartens in the South-West Region of Victoria to perform Dental Screenings on pre-school aged children.

She also has implemented a program targeting adolescent youths in the Colac-Otway region, involving visits to School settings to perform Dental screenings on children aged 11-17 years of age, in response to data stating that adolescents in this area are quite high-risk for dental caries disease. She is compiling her work in the Colac-Otway region as part of her Masters, and results of this wonderful program will be published in 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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