Go to Top


Learn more about the leading Parkinson’s experts presenting at the Newly Diagnosed Forum.


Institute of Drug Discovery, Griffith University; PQI President

George Mellick obtained a PhD from the University of Queensland in 1996 (in the field of Medicine). Following postdoctoral research at the Karolinska Institute Sweden (Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics) and the University of Queensland, he was appointed Lecturer in the School of Medicine (University of Queensland) in 2004. He joined the Eskitis Institute Griffith University in 2006 as Associate Professor and was made Deputy Director of the Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery in 2013 and full Professor in 2014. He also holds Honorary appointments in Neurology at the Princess Alexandra and RBWH, Brisbane and an Adjunct Appointment at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research. George is an interdisciplinary scientist who works on all aspects of neurodegenerative disease with an emphasis on Parkinson’s disease and related disorders. He has authored over 130 peer-reviewed research publications and is a regularly sought after reviewer for International Granting Agencies, Advisory Groups and Research Journals. George is also is an advocate for people affected by Parkinson’s disease and has been a member of PQI since 1999. He has previously served on the PQI Management Committee as the President and Vice-President and on the Board of Parkinson’s Australia. Prof Mellick is currently serving as President of PQI and is Vice President of Parkinson’s Australia.


Board member, Support group coordinator & a person with Parkinson’s

Ruth Coleman is a Part-time Sales Consultant in Townsville and is also the serving Management Committee member and Support Group Coordinator for Townsville. One of her main missions is to be able to let every person diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease know that there is support out there and that they are not alone. Ruth hopes that her knowledge and experience as a person living with Parkinson’s can contribute to Parkinson’s Queensland.

RN, Nurse consultant, Movement disorders, Neurosciences Queensland; PQI Vice President

Karen O’Maley has worked as a Registered Nurse in the specialty of Neurology since 1990. This specialty area of medicine has allowed her to gain firsthand experience into the diagnosis and treatment of movement disorders which includes Parkinson’s disease. Karen’s Master of Nursing degree was a research project evaluating education to people living with Parkinson’s about their medications. She has been clinically involved with PwP and their families for over 15 years. Most of this time has been in assisting neurologists treating PwP using advanced therapies. This also includes providing ongoing, long term support of these people and their families, as well as other healthcare professionals. This role has provided Karen with valuable and privileged insight into how PwP and their support people manage a diagnosis of PD, manage therapy and treatment while meeting the everyday challenges we all face. It is her aspiration that PwP and their families, support networks and healthcare providers have a trusted, value add association for information, education and resources. It is hoped this can be achieved with a strong cohesive Parkinson’s Queensland.


Jenny Potter is a retired primary school teacher living in Charters Towers, regional Queensland. Her husband Dennis is also retired after a life time of working with trucks and in various engineering workshops. Together they have two sons and a daughter and four wonderful grandchildren. Since 2007, they have been living with Parkinson’s disease, a diagnosis Dennis was given which has shaped their lives ever since.
Their shared passion is cycling, which gives them great pleasure, excellent exercise and a social outlet. Together they are members of the Parkinson’s Support Group in Townsville. Jenny is involved with the local branch of the Queensland Country Women’s Association and has recently taken up line dancing; both activities provide her with a varied circle of friends.

Principal, Sports Med North QLD

Paul graduated in 1991 from University of Sydney. He is the Director of Sportsmed NQ and Core Movement Physio. Paul has provided physiotherapy for a number of sporting teams including the Townsville Crocodiles and North Qld Fury, with a strong bias towards exercise prescription for rehabilitation. Recently he has completed the PD Warrior for Parkinson’s program training in Sydney with excellent results. This is an exercise program directed at neuroactive exercise prescription to get central nervous system adaptation. Paul also has a strong interest in rehabilitation with post operative knees and shoulders.


Speech Pathology Team Leader, The Prince Charles Hospital

Ann is the Speech Pathology Team Leader for Rehabilitation at The Prince Charles Hospital, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Brisbane. She is an experienced clinician with a special interest in neurological rehabilitation of speech, communication and swallowing.
For the past five years, the clinical component of Ann’s role has been devoted to people with Parkinson’s Disease, including the provision of the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT LOUD®). She is researching a supported self-management model of care which promotes the maintenance of communication following intensive speech treatment and allows for flexible access to speech pathology in response to the changing needs of people with PD.
Ann is a PhD candidate with The University of Queensland, under the supervision of Professor Deborah Theodoros and Dr Anna Rumbach.

Director of Neurology, Townsville Hospital; Townsville Neurosciences Clinic

Richard is the Director of Neurology at Townsville Hospital, and partner in the Townsville Neurosciences clinic. He trained in North London at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, and National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queens Square, before becoming a consultant at the Walton Centre, Liverpool in 2002. He was Training Program Director and active in research as local investigator for several multicentre trials, and was local stroke research network strand lead. He has been a proud to be a North Queenslander since 2012. In Townsville his clinical and research interests include stroke, headache, and Parkinson’s disease.



RN, Parkinson’s disease nurse, Townsville Neurosciences Clinic

Rachael is the Townsville Neurosciences Clinic, Parkinson’s disease nurse. Prior to this she was a Nurse Prescriber and Stroke Nurse Co-ordinator in a large NHS hospital. She has worked as a Nurse researcher and been involved in numerous multicentre stroke trials. She moved to Townsville with Richard in 2012, where she has combined being mum to four boys with development of advanced Parkinson’s disease treatments at the Mater Hospital, Townsville.




Newly Diagnosed Forum - Townsville