Who We Are
Epilepsy WA was established in 1963 by Hon Ruby Hutchison MLC, the first female in the Upper House of WA Parliament.
Ruby believed in a fair go for the 1 in 25 people who will be diagnosed with epilepsy, and we do too.
We are a charitable organisation that relies heavily on the generosity of the WA community to keep our vital services available for the 27,000 West Australians currently living with epilepsy and their loved ones and the 1,500 new cases diagnosed each year.
We have been supporting the WA Community for nearly 60 years and we work tirelessly to raise vital epilepsy awareness, reduce stigma and to help people to better manage their epilepsy and to reduce their risk of epilepsy related harm.
- Information telephone support line.
- Face to face, phone and video-conference based support services. (conveniently located next door to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and close to Perth Children’s Hospital)
- Compassionate Ear Service manned by qualified and trained volunteers with lived experience.
- Largest seizure alert technology display in Australia.
- Free state-wide seizure alert bed sensor mat loan program for adults and children. (Terms and conditions apply)
- Free state-wide seizure alert NightWatch loan program for children aged 4 and above. (Terms and conditions apply)
- Largest seizure head protection display in WA.
- Community Education, patient and carer conferences, seminars and webinars.
- Schools program.
- Awareness raising to reduce stigma and misunderstanding.
- Support groups.
- Assistance with epilepsy management planning.
- Training in Understanding Epilepsy and Administering Emergency Medication.
- Epilepsy grief and loss support.
- Children’s free loan book library.
We are committed to providing support to improve the quality of life of people with epilepsy and increase community awareness of the condition.
Our Board and Leadership
Emma Buitendag (CEO)
Qualifications: EMFIA, FICDA
Emma has worked in the not for profit world for over two decades, in a variety of management roles, primarily in the Neurological Health sector. She has qualifications in business management and not for profit governance.
Associate Professor David Mountain (Chair)
Qualifications: MBBS; FACEM
Associate Professor Mountain is Head of Emergency at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and Clinical Academic at the University of Western Australia. He is currently the Emergency Craft Group representative on the AMA Federal Council and is a member of the Economics and Workforce Committee and the Healthy Ageing Sub Committee. Associate Professor Mountain is a Council member of the Australian College of Emergency Medicine and serves as Chair of the Overcrowding Sub Committee, member of the Standards Committee, member of the MCQ Sub Committee of the Fellowship Examination Committee and is an Examiner. He is a Clinical Association member of the SCGH Executive and Inter Hospital Liaison Committee representative.
Andrew Crean (Vice-Chair)
Qualifications: BA/LLB, Law, Arts (politics major)
Andrew is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer based in Perth, Western Australia. He is the father of a child living with epilepsy and is currently a Partner in the Corporate Advisory team at Mills Oakley, a leading national law firm.
Claire Meiklejohn (Secretary)
Qualifications: B.Com. (Accounting/Marketing), UWA, Dip.Ed Curtin
Claire is a Secondary School Business teacher and mother of a child with epilepsy. Her special interest is in education and supporting at risk and disadvantaged youth, especially those who are reengaging in school and finding alternate models of education to meet their individual and varied needs. Claire has extensive experience in volunteering for not for profit organisations in Australia and overseas and is passionate about supporting and engaging youth in regional and rural areas.
Dave Mohan (Treasurer)
Qualifications: B Com Accounting & Finance Murdoch University. CPA.
Dave’s areas of expertise include finance and strategic planning, P&L management, auditing and compliance, operating and working capital, cashflow management as well as modelling. Dave is a qualified CPA with over 21 years’ experience in finance and operations.
Dr. Catherine Harrison (General Member)
Qualifications: MBBS 1994
Catherine is a U.W.A medical graduate (MBBS 1994) who worked mainly in psychiatry and palliative care. As a mother of a child with epilepsy and a qualified doctor, Catherine not only brings to the board her background in medicine but a lived experience of caring for a loved one with epilepsy.
Rachel Brown (General Member)
Qualifications: B.Bus. (Accounting/Finance), Edith Cowan University, Certified Practicing Account (CPA)
Rachel is a Commercial Manager and a member of the WA leadership team with a strategic mindset. Having been diagnosed with epilepsy a few years ago, Rachel is passionate about making a meaningful contribution to Epilepsy WA.
Sandra Watson (General Member)
Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (Social Sciences), Graduate Diploma of Arts (Recreation), Project Management Diploma, Certificate in Engagement from IAP2 Australasia
Sandra has a strong community development, stakeholder engagement and extensive government background. As a parent of a son with Focal Epilepsy she is keen to help with attracting additional revenue through grant funding or corporate support in order to build the profile of the organisation and the condition, and increase support generally from government and the community.
Emily Whyte (General Member)
Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Strategic corporate communication, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Mass Communication/Media Studies, University of Johannesburg.
Emily is an experienced Media executive with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. She brings a background in communications, media and advertising to the board. Emily also works with charities in providing pro-bono work across media management and has a clear understanding of media and marketing processes within government.
As Emily has a sibling with epilepsy she is passionate about helping support those living with the condition and understands the impact a diagnosis of epilepsy can have on a family.
Important Message: The information contained within this website is not intended to take the place of individual medical advice. Do not make changes to treatment or medications without first discussing with your treating clinician.