Meet our board of directors
Gyl is an IT executive who has many years of experience as a senior manager in Australia and the UK. She has been recognised for her ability to drive innovation, in the way services are both delivered and used.
Over a period of more than 10 years with Queensland Police Service, Gyl built an award-winning capability that helped drive a transformation in the way Police use technology to fight crime and protect public safety.
Before that, she was extensively involved in a series of nationally-driven Modernising Government initiatives designed to improve the quality of Scotland’s public services.
Gyl has a Bachelor of Business, a Graduate Certificate in Management and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, as well as having many years of experience in corporate governance and in managing stakeholder relationships across government and the private sector.
Mark has an extensive background in law and is a Principal at Macpherson+Kelley Lawyers where he practices primarily in commercial litigation and commercial advisory work.
Mark also has experience in advising the not-for-profit sector and in particular, churches, church and community owned hospitals and aged care facilities and the RSL. He has been a member of the Board of the Wesley Hospital, served on its Finance Committee, and has served on the Ethics Committee for Blue Care.
Michelle is a Chartered Accountant with extensive accounting and taxation experience, specifically with small and medium business clients.
She has a keen interest in the community sector, from both fundraising and Board management perspectives, and is suitably skilled to assist Spinal Life Australia with financial matters and deliberations after joining the board in mid-2019.
Michelle has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Taxation degree from University of Queensland, is a graduate of the Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Governance Institute.
Del has spent 40 years in public and private education, with roles ranging from teaching, management, curriculum and professional development to marketing, consulting and regulatory compliance.
She used her lived experience in spinal cord injuries to take on the position of co-facilitator of Spinal Life’s Far North Queensland member network in 2012, forming links with a variety of non-government and community organisations.
Professor Phillip Morris
Phillip has an extensive 40-year history in research, particularly focused on biology and human molecular genetics, with more than 140 publications in international scientific journals. He has more than 20 years’ experience teaching in universities in Queensland and South Australia, and also brings expertise in successfully applying for grants, developing new technologies and more.
Phillip is currently a ‘retired’ Adjunct Professor at the Queensland University of Technology’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, where he continues to mentor students and researchers. He is a passionate advocate for improving outcomes and quality of life for people with spinal cord damage, with lived experience having sustained an injury in 2005.
Gerard was appointed a Director of Spinal Life Australia in April 2019. He is also the Deputy President of Surf Lifesaving Sunshine Coast.
Previous Directorships include Colgate Palmolive PNG, Surf Lifesaving Queensland, Buderim Ginger Limited, Australian Industry group and Baking Association of Queensland.
He also has extensive experience in the Australian and international consumer goods sectors, including a number of Managing Director roles.
Meet our Executive Management team
Mark Townend AM
Chief Executive Officer
Mark has decades of experience working in local government, commercial and not-for-profit industries, including 19 years as Chief Executive Officer of RSPCA Queensland before joining Spinal Life Australia in October 2019.
Mark is skilled in organisational development, process improvement, innovation, strategic planning and implementation of motivated workplace cultures and has been recognised with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Federation Medal for significant services to the community.
Executive Manager, Commercial Services
Pauline has extensive experience in human service delivery agencies including child safety, youth justice and most recently disability services. Prior to commencing with Spinal Life Australia, Pauline was the General Manager, Statewide Service Delivery for Disability Services Queensland.
She has undertaken private consulting work involving a review of the Community Visitor Program for the Office of the Public Advocate, Queensland, a review of access pathways and assessment processes for the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and a project working with regional staff during a change management process within the Hunter Region of the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care, New South Wales.
Executive Manager, Business Development
After beginning her nursing career in Princess Alexandra’s Spinal Injuries Unit, Frances decided to move into a community-based job, which is how she began work with Spinal Life Australia in 1988. Frances gained a Masters in Human Services which gave her the grounding to further develop the services of the organisation.
She has led the organisation’s client and member services areas and has been involved in developing new services to meet the needs of members and clients. In recent years Frances has focused her energies on building sustainable commercial businesses to move the organisation into the future.
Natalie von Snarski
Executive Manager, Corporate Services and CFO
Natalie is responsible for the oversight of the strategic and operational Finance, HR and IT activities of Spinal Life Australia including its people and systems. She is a Chartered Accountant with over 15 years of experience in managing the senior accounting function and has extensive experience leading finance teams in the mining and resource industry.
Natalie works well in challenging and deadline driven environments that require high degrees of accuracy.
Executive Manager, Member Services
Holding a Master of Business Administration through the University of South Australia, Ross has built his expertise and skills across a broad range of sectors.
He has worked for many organisations both in Australia and internationally, including the CSIRO, RSPCA, the Sunshine Coast Council and the State Library of Queensland.
While employed with Sunshine Coast Council, Ross played a key role in the amalgamation of the library services of three former councils, leading to council being awarded the best public library award in 2008 by the Queensland Public Library Association.
He is passionate about supporting Spinal Life members to live an accessible, equitable and empowered life, particularly through advocacy, working with individuals and all levels of government to achieve positive outcomes.