About Us

Who We Are

Epilepsy WA employs a number of dedicated staff, including CEO, Education Manager, Fundraising & Marketing Manager, Support Group Coordinator, Administrator and qualified Nurse Educators/Trainers.

The organisation is overseen by The Board, a committee of skills-based volunteers who are elected as office bearers.

Epilepsy WA has a seat on the Board of Epilepsy Australia, the national coalition of state-based epilepsy associations.

Epilepsy WA is an associate member of the Neurological Council of WA, a group of organisations who work together to provide greater understanding of neurological disorders.

All our volunteers are motivated by improving outcomes for people living with epilepsy.

As a not for profit organisation, Epilepsy WA is seeking to enhance the wider community’s understanding of the condition, to fight against stigma and discrimination and improve seizure management confidence.

Our CEO

Emma Buitendag

EMFIA, MICDA

Our BOARD

Our Board of Management, elected at the last Annual General Meeting is:

Chair: Associate Professor David Mountain
Vice-Chair: Andrew Crean
Treasurer: Deborah Martens
Secretary: Claire Meiklejohn
Committee Members:
Catherine Harrison
Mark MacLeod
Grace Dunn
Emily Degenhardt

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.

Deborah Martens (Treasurer)

Qualifications: B Com, CA, CTA, MBA

Deborah Martens is a Qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Master of Business Administration. Deborah has been in public practice for over 25 years and is Director of a Perth based accounting practice. Business management, restructuring and strategy are areas of special interest and expertise.

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.

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.

Mark Macleod (General Member)

Qualifications: Prof Dip Stockbroking, GDip AppFin

Mark is a qualified financial planner and stockbroker who has a wealth of financial industry experience and has dedicated many years to serving as a volunteer on the board of Epilepsy WA.

Grace Dunn (General Member)

Qualifications: Student – double degree in English and Creative Arts and Community Development

Grace is a student at Murdoch University studying a double degree in English and Creative Arts and Community Development. Grace has a background in not for profit volunteering, facilitation and community development. As an individual living with an epilepsy diagnosis, Grace brings a wealth of lived experience to the board.

Emily Degenhardt (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.

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.

Our Mission:

We are committed to providing support to improve the quality of life of people with epilepsy and increase community awareness of the condition.

How We Started

Our first meeting was held at Royal Perth Hospital in 1963. The organiser, Ruby Hutchinson, MLC, called that meeting “to fight discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities.” Our name has changed from the West Australian Epilepsy Association and Ruby is now deceased, but that vision continues undiminished today.

We have grown since that first meeting. We moved to 14 Bagot Road, Subiaco in 1965, and we changed our name to the Epilepsy Association of Western Australia (Inc), (EAWA) in 1998. We moved into our present location adjacent to Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital at the corner of Aberdare Road and Hospital Avenue, Nedlands in June 2002. We share this location, known as the Centre for Neurological Support – The Niche with 14 other neurologically based organisations, the Independent Living Centre (ILC) and Cystic Fibrosis.

What We Do

Support Groups: We coordinate monthly meetings in various areas, to support people living with epilepsy. Details are available on our website

Information Seminars: We organise regular seminars for our community with expert speakers including doctors, health care professionals and other service providers, to share the latest information on epilepsy, treatments, and other relevant topics.

Resources: Epilepsy WA is able to provide links to many resources, that help people with epilepsy cope with the day to day challenges of the condition. For information, please contact our office or visit our website.

Library: We have a library of books and videos that may be accessed at our office. Our borrowing service is available to members free of charge.

Training: Epilepsy WA offers a range of online and in person training opportunities

Epilepsy Smart Schools Program

  • Compassionate Ear Support Service – every Friday 10am-1.30pm
  • Seizure Alert Technology Display
  • Free Seizure Alert Bed Mat Loan Program
  • Awareness Raising & Community Education
  • Resources and Advocacy
  • Face to Face Support

DISCLAIMER

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.

EVENTS

  • Purple Walk For Epilepsy WA - March 2021
  • Purple Lights for Purple Day – March 26th
  • Morning Tea for Epilepsy WA Purple Day

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