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 – Secretary/ Treasurer
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.
Janette Daniel – Director
Janette experienced an aneurysm whilst teaching in 2013. She was taken to John Hunter Hospital where her 23 year old daughter gave permission for the insertion of a coil to halt the bleeding in her brain. She experienced a Stroke during that surgery, which left permanent paralysis in her left leg.
At the age of 44, having previously spent seven years as a mature-aged student to achieve her dream of being a teacher, she was forced to re- learn many basic skills.
Since her Stroke, Janette has experienced a divorce, helped her two sons through their HSC year, assisted one son to get his driver’s license plus got her own license back after three years without it. She was determined to walk her daughter down the aisle at her wedding 19 months after the Stroke, and achieved this.
Janette is a long term member of the Great Lakes and Manning (GLAMS) Stroke Recovery Club. She regularly attends meetings, outings, events, Olympic Training, and conferences, and always looks forward to the Hunter Stroke Olympics each year. She eventually accepted the role of Treasurer of GLAMS, and has formed a close bond with their wonderful co-ordinator, Lesley.
Like most Stroke survivors, Janette was isolated during COVID-19, but GLAMS members
continued to maintain contact. She also joined the online Stroke support groups, participating in many of the activities offered from head office and made new friends along the way. Janette regularly co-facilitates the Trivia Tuesday and Aphasia Multiple Choice Quiz as part of the Association’s online Stroke support groups.
Having experienced the difficulties and setbacks that Stroke causes, Janette nominated for the Board of the Stroke Recovery Association when the opportunity arose. Janette is honoured to serve and be a part of such a supportive and positive community.
Judy Sumner – Director
Judy Sumner is the Vice President and Assistant Treasurer of the Tamworth Stroke Recovery Club.
Judy became a member of the Association in 2004, after her husband Alan experienced a Stroke in his mid-40s. Judy was working, managing her own business and still had one of her three children at school during this time. The impact of Alan’s Stroke on the family was immediate as Judy was unable to continue work due to the severity of his Stroke. Alan was hospitalised in Tamworth for five months, and was confined to a wheelchair for over five years. However, with Judy’s attentive care, he continued to improve, and was able to walk with the assistance of a walking stick. Unfortunately, in 2015, Alan had a second Stroke, which left him more dependent on Judy’s support and assistance with daily activities.
As part of her role within the Tamworth Stroke Recovery Club, Judy, along with her fellow volunteers, is responsible for organising the main fundraising events for the Club. The proceeds of this contributes to the many bus trip outings for members of the Tamworth Club. Judy regularly organises the Clubs involvement in the Hunter Stroke Olympics and is hoping to assist the Club to travel to the Combined Clubs Morning Teas and other Stroke Recovery Association events this year.
Both Judy and Alan are regular attendees of the Association’s online Stroke support groups. Judy believes that these groups have been essential for Alan to continue to connect with other survivors during COVID-19 lockdowns. Connecting with the Maitland Aphasia Communications group online has been a huge bonus for Alan, as he feels supported, safe to be able to speak up, and at ease while meeting with other people who have aphasia. Judy believes that Alan has also benefitted from meeting with the Working Age online group, as he now realises that he is not the only person of a younger age to have experienced a Stroke.
Judy is excited to be part of the Board of the Association, as she believes that the Association will benefit from have a rural representative. She is committed to the Association continuing to work in the virtual world, as this has opened up a whole new support network for her husband, Alan.
Kylie Tastula – Director
Kylie Tastula is the Neurosciences Nurse Practitioner at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. Her role has several focuses – she coordinates the hyperactue Stroke care at RPA, runs the Stroke call program including attending and leading all calls in hours, maintaining and analysing all the data around hyperactue care. Kylie coordinates the statewide Endovascular Clot Retrieval (ECR) service, and runs serveral 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.
Professor Shih-chang (Ming) Wang – Director
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.
Karen Felton – Public Officer
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.