Board of Management

Stroke Recovery Association NSW > About us > Board of Management

The Board of Directors provides the overall management, governance and direction of the Stroke Recovery Associations’ services. There are seven members (of whom at least four are people affected by Stroke), who are elected from the general membership of the Association at our Annual General Meeting.

John Garbutt – President

John Garbutt is a Stroke Survivor, having had a major Stroke in 2003.  He was appointed to the Board of the Stroke Recovery Association in 2007.

Prior to retirement in January 2005, he held senior management positions in a number of departments and has a background in human resource management and providing executive support to a Chief Executive Officer, Board of Directors, advisory and consultative bodies.  He has completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Business.

John participated in a Stroke mentor programme on the Central Coast and was the face of a major Stroke Awareness campaign on the Central Coast in 2006/2007.  He is an active member of the WAGS Stroke Support Group and co-chair/coordinator of the men’s support group “Scallywags”.

John now represents the Association on the Health Consumers Network of NSW and is serving on that committee in the capacity of President.

John is currently the serving President of the Stroke Recovery Association.

Judith Thornley Vice President & Secretary

Judith Thornley is the coordinator of the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Stroke Recovery Club.  She has been a member of the Stroke Recovery Association since 2009.  She is married to Ray who had a Stroke in June 2009.  Prior to Rays’ Stroke they were enjoying a wonderful around Australia caravan adventure which was cut short due to Ray’s Stroke. 

Judith and Ray joined the Hornsby Kur-Ring-Gai Stroke Club and very quickly became indispensable members.  Judith is responsible for the organisation of all the events and outings at the Hornsby/ Ku-Ring -Gai Stroke Club and is passionate about members attending all the Associations events as it enables members to connect with other members of the Stroke Community. 

Judith has been involved in the Associations online groups and is particularly committed to the Carers support focus of the Association.  Judith is currently a serving member of the Hunter Stroke Olympics Committee and take responsibility for the organisation and running of the dominoes at this event every year.  Judith is a founding member of Aphasia NSW and also served as its President.

Prior to her retirement in 2003 Judith worked in child care. 

Judith has long history of Community involvement with both she and Ray being involved in the Scouts and Guides movement for many years.  Judith is also a first aider with the Hills District Men’s Shed. In her previous community service involvement Judith was privileged to receive Life Membership Awards of the Parents and Citizens Association and Arthritis NSW.

Judith was honoured with a community Service Award from the Rotary Club of Pennant Hills in 2013.  She has also received the Outstanding Service Award from the Scout Association NSW.

Judith has a very strong commitment to improving the quality of life for survivors and carers after Stroke through her involvement with both the Association and Aphasia NSW.

Judith has been a member of the Board of the Association since 2015 and believes she will bring to the Board a wealth of experience and knowledge from the carer’s perspective.  Judith is the current Vice President of the Stroke Recovery Association.

Karen FeltonPublic Officer & Treasurer

Karen Felton became a full-time carer in 2009 when her husband Paul experienced a heart attack and Stroke, leaving him with severe aphasia and physical limitations. With the assistance of their two daughters, Karen continued to work as a part-time Optical Dispenser, while helping Paul gain significant improvements in mobility and speech and becoming involved in groups together.  

Karen and Paul’s involvement with SRA began in 2011 when they became founding members of Aphasia NSW. Karen went on to be Treasurer from 2012 and assisted in organising events, conferences and administration of the website for Aphasia NSW. She was also an active member and Treasurer of Sydney Inner West Stroke Recovery Club. Throughout this time, she gained an understanding of the effects of living with Stroke and the importance of Stroke awareness.  

Sadly, Paul passed away last year. Karen still works part-time and is enjoying valuable time with her family and her 4 grandchildren. She continues to be involved with Stroke Recovery and is so honoured to be the new public officer of the Association. Karen looks forward to using her experience of Stroke and Aphasia to advocate for Stroke survivors and carers and to promote Stroke recovery.  

Professor Shih-Chang (Ming) WangDirector

Professor Shih-Chang (Ming) Wang, moved to Canberra from Malaysia when he was 11, and completed his medical training at the University of Sydney in 1979. He then trained in Diagnostic Radiology at RNSH. In 1997 he joined the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at the University of Singapore and went on to become Head of Radiology in 2000 and Professor in 2007.

Returning to Australia in 2008, he became the became the first full Professor of Radiology in NSW, at the same time joining Westmead Hospital as a Staff Specialist in Radiology. Ming has spent much of his career educating a new generation of doctors and radiologists. In 2009, he helped create a new RANZCR imaging curriculum at the University of Sydney.  

Ming has also served on multiple councils and committees. In Singapore, he established the National Breast Screening Programme, served at the National Chair of Diagnostic Radiology training.

Ming took medical retirement from Westmead Hospital in August 2012 after suffering a severe cerebral Stroke at the age of 55.

He is married and has two adult sons. These days he is very involved in two choirs, a speech group, and a Men’s shed. He also continues to follow any bike race wherever it is in the world, and at whatever time it is on. Along with cricket, tennis, films, current affairs and travel. 

Ming is a founding member of the KeyStrokes Choir and has been a member of the Stroke Recovery Association since May 2015. Ming has managed to deal with COVID-19 by plugging into the many online support groups as well as along with many other online activities.

Kylie TastulaDirector

Kylie Tastula is the Neurosciences Nurse Practitioner at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. Her role has several focuses – she coordinates the hyperacute Stroke care at RPA, runs the Stroke call program including attending and leading all calls in hours, maintaining and analysing all the data around hyperacute care. Kylie coordinates the statewide Endovascular Clot Retrieval (ECR) service, and runs several clinics including Stroke reperfusion follow ups, young Stroke, acute Stroke and secondary prevention clinics. She also works in the mild head injury/ concussion clinic, reviewing and triaging all patients following referral from ED, trauma services, allied health and GP networks.

Her role over the years has included service review and planning, hospital redevelopment, clinical consultancy, research, education and advocacy. She is currently the nursing co-chair for the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI).

Kylie has an interest in quality improvement, clinical leadership and patient advocacy.

John TassDirector

John Tass is a Stroke survivor of over 20 years.  He had his Stroke in March 1999.  Prior to having a Stroke John was employed at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for 25 years. 

After his Stroke he retired due to ongoing fatigue caused by the Stroke.  When he retired, he moved to the Central Coast and joined the Stroke Recovery Association. 

He has been a member of the WAGS group for over eleven years.  He was also a foundation member of the WYSS Stroke Support Group in Wyong.  He is also a member and co-chairperson of the Scallywags Men’s Stroke group.  John also participated in a Stroke Mentoring programme on the Central Coast.

John joined the Board of the Stroke Recovery Association in 2011 to 2019.  He retired due to ill health and has now recovered and wishes to put his credential forward again for the Stroke Recovery Association Board.

Amy JenningsDirector

Amy Jennings is a young Stroke survivor with aphasia, having had a Stroke in 2013 when she was just 32, Amy looks forward to bringing fresh ideas to the Association. She feels it would be a great honour to represent Stroke survivors and those with aphasia on the Association Board.

With the support of the Association, Amy established the Port Macquarie Stroke Recovery Club in 2018 and remains the President. She is regularly involved in Association activities and has built relationships with Association staff and members across the state and believes she could well represent the collective interest.

Amy is a StrokeSafe speaker for the Mid North Coast region for the Stroke Foundation and was recently successful in her application to join the Consumer Council of the Foundation.

Amy supports local Stroke survivors to assist their transition from the medical system to home and has participated in numerous research studies related to Stroke and aphasia.  Prior to her Stroke she worked as a Client Manager for a successful accounting practice.

Amy believes the skills she has developed through her career and post Stroke endeavours provide her with strong experience to join the Association Board.

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