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Head and Neck Cancer Australia Board welcomes three non-Clinical Board Directors

Head and Neck Cancer Australia is delighted to announce the appointment of Ron Bongetti, Claire McCarthy and Jim Zafiropoulos to the Board of Head and Neck Cancer Australia as non-clinical Board Directors.

In welcoming these appointments, Head and Neck Cancer Australia Chair, A/Professor Puma Sundaresan, highlighted the significant amount of energy, time and expertise our voluntary Board Directors dedicate to the vision of Head and Neck Cancer Australia.

“Ron, Claire and Jim are joining the Board at a pivotal time for Head and Neck Cancer Australia as we work to build on the momentum gained at our inaugural Parliamentary event in Canberra earlier this month, establish new partnerships and secure new sources of funding to support our transformation into a national organisation with a powerful impact on raising awareness of Head and Neck Cancer and improving outcomes for people living with Head and Neck Cancer across Australia.

“Our new non-Clinical Board Directors each bring a unique area of expertise and knowledge to our charity and I look forward to working alongside them towards our vision to save lives and ensure no one faces Head and Neck Cancer alone.

Ron Bongetti

Ron spent over 30 years as an executive of sporting organisations, primarily basketball and swimming. He helped to establish the E J Whitten Foundation, in memory of AFL Legend Ted Whitten including staging the first E J Whitten Legends Game, involving past greats of the game, aimed at raising funds for prostate cancer research.

Ron was diagnosed with tonsil cancer in 2014 and treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In 2021 Ron was diagnosed with a Squamous Cell Carcinoma of his tongue and jaw and had 60% of his tongue and 30% of his jaw removed with a flap taken from his thigh to reconstruct his tongue and jaw.

Ron credits the healthcare professionals who treated and cared for him during his recovery for literally saving his life. He is passionate about offering as much help as he can in the pursuit of a better outcomes for people diagnosed with Head and Neck Cancer and is looking forward to bringing his professional and treatment experiences to the HANCA Board.

Ron lives in Melbourne and is married with two sons with two gorgeous granddaughters, and another due in April 2023.

Claire McCarthy

Claire is a senior leader in fundraising and philanthropy with over 20 years’ experience working in the not-for-profit sector in Australia and Ireland. She is a committed advocate for philanthropic investment in initiatives to accelerate solutions to key issues facing the health care sector in Australia.

Claire is currently Head of Philanthropy and Fundraising with Calvary Health Care and has previously managed fundraising portfolios within HammondCare, Prince’s Trust Australia, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation and Bear Cottage Children’s Hospice.

Claire is a current member of the Enterprise Ireland Sydney Health Advisory Panel, and a previous mentor of the Enterprise Ireland Women in Business Mentor Program. She holds a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Counselling (ACU).

Claire brings to the Board a very personal experience shared with her husband during his journey through successful treatment for Head and Neck Cancer in 2016.

Jim Zafiropoulos

Jim is Group Company Secretary at Westpac and has experience across governance, legal, regulatory affairs, risk and compliance areas.  Jim is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia, Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Economics from the University of New South Wales. In addition to his experience in the financial services industry, Jim commenced his professional career as a solicitor at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.  

Jim’s father suffered from cancer that impacted his ability to eat and drink, and is passionate about supporting HANCA’s mission to improve the quality of life for people affected by Head and Neck Cancer.

These three incoming Directors will join Head and Neck Cancer Australia’s existing Board of Directors including A/Professor Bruce Ashford, A/Professor Ardalan Ebrahimi, A/Professor Dion Forstner, Terrie Gibson, Greg Graham and Carolyn Smith and A/Professor Puma Sundaresan (Chair).

For more information:

[email protected] 

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