Jeff Newman, OAM
Jeff Newman's career with Channel 7 spanned five decades, and his work garnered him five Logies. Jeff spent 38 years as the anchor for Telethon, the annual 24-hour fundraising event broadcast live to raise money for the sick and underprivileged children of Western Australia. His commitment was so unwavering that it earned him the title of Mr Telethon, and he awarded the Order of Australia Medal in 1994 for his contributions to children's health and the community.
Jeff’s vision for a bright future for every child impacted by type 1 diabetes has guided the Family Centre from the very beginning.
Chief Executive Officer
Diagnosed with type 1 in 2001, Bec is passionate about making positive change in the type 1 community. She holds qualifications in Law and Arts (UWA), a Masters in Public Health (USyd), and a Diploma of Business (Governance). Bec is an Adjunct Research Fellow at Curtin University, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Community Directors and a Fellow of Leadership WA. She is the only Australian to have been selected as one of the 100 Fellows of the global Facebook Community Leadership Program.
Bec believes that there are no limits on life with type 1 diabetes, and she has swum solo across the 19.7-kilometre Rottnest Channel three times, sailed across the Atlantic, and become a SCUBA dive guide to prove it.
Rick practised law for more than 40 years and has been both a partner and director of national law firms. He is now a consultant with national law firm Johnson Winter & Slattery. Rick has served voluntarily on numerous sporting club and nonprofit committees throughout his lifetime. A surf lifesaver for over 45 years, Rick was the Foundation Chairman of the City of Perth Surf Life Saving Trust as well as the Hon Solicitor for over 20 years. A keen golfer, Rick was Hon Solicitor for Women's Golf WA. He assisted with the amalgamation of men's and women's golf in WA and served as an inaugural Board member of the amalgamated body, Golf WA.
With eight young grandchildren he is passionate about children's health and has worked tirelessly for the Family Centre since its inception.
Following a successful stockbroking career spanning 20 years, Rob has founded several companies and is the Managing Director of ASX-listed Triangle Energy (Global) Limited. In 2007 Rob and his family established the successful boutique Margaret River winery, Flametree Wines.
Alongside his unwavering commitment to raising funds for the Family Centre, Rob is an active participant in his community. A long-term member of several local sporting clubs, Rob has also served on the Christ Church Grammar School Old Boys' Association as a committee member.
Shelley is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds an MBA, and post-graduate qualifications in petroleum engineering. She is currently Executive General Manager - Energy for Mineral Resources.
Shelley is actively involved in her community, serving as a Fellow on the Guildford Grammar School Council, and as a member of the national Advisory Board of the Women Leaders Institute. Shelley is the recipient of an Order of Australia Bravery Medal, received in 2006.
Shelley’s son was diagnosed with T1D in 2004, and she believes that people with T1D should have access to the very best support and care. She brings deep knowledge of the lived experience of family life with type 1 diabetes to the Family Centre board, helping shape the Centre’s programs and services to effectively meet the needs of the type 1 community.
Dr Natalie Sumich joined the Family Centre Board in 2019, bringing a wealth of experience in chronic disease management to the Family Centre. A general practitioner for 23 years, Natalie has strong interests in psychosocial support, mental health, and community-based care for people with type 1 diabetes, alongside interests in family medicine with a special focus on women's and children’s health. As the Chairperson for the WA State Advisory Committee at MDA National, she is also passionate about doctors’ health and wellbeing and promoting gold standard community healthcare, further progressing this interest by joining MDAN’s underwriting committee in 2019.
Maria is a director of AMD Chartered Accountants and holds a Bachelor of Business and is a Chartered Accountant and a Registered Company Auditor. She is the Western Australian representative on the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Regional and Rural Advisory Committee and lectures in accounting at Edith Cowan University, South West Campus.
Maria is actively involved in her community, serving on the Edith Cowan University South West Campus (Bunbury) Advisory Board; the Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School Board; the Catholic Diocese of Bunbury Diocesan Finance Council; and as the Treasurer for the Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School Old Grammarians’ Association Inc and Treasurer of the Catholic Parish of Donnybrook. She brings exceptional governance and finance skills to the Family Centre board.