ADRF Board

The ADEA Diabetes Research Foundation Board comprises of the following directors who govern the foundation with independent advice from the ADRF Council comprising prominent health academics and researchers specialising in diabetes and healthcare. This includes providing advice on the most valuable diabetes research proposals to fund via research grants.

The ADEA Diabetes Research Foundation Program is overseen by the ADEA Diabetes Research Foundation Board and the Research Council. The Board appoints the Independent Chair and ratifies membership of the Council. The Council oversees the grant application process and makes recommendations to the Board regarding grant and fellowship recipients. Council operations are managed by the Executive Group.

Chair: Steven Brett (NSW)


Steven is a Customer Experience Executive, Entrepreneur and Business Management Consultant, founder of Manage Smart, a blogger on leadership and productivity, member, assessor and contributor to the Customer Service Institute of Australia and fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

With extensive experience in business management gained in property, health, financial services, construction, software and other service businesses both large and small over the past 20 years, Steven offers his sales and marketing, operational management and customer experience skills through his consulting firm.

Steven is passionate about improving customer outcomes through alignment with strategic business goals and he shows his clients (medium to large businesses) how to achieve this through increased customer intimacy in a multi-channel customer service environment. Additionally, Steven works with business owners, CEOs and executive leadership teams in their personal leadership development.

Steven has been an Australian Service Excellence Awards winner in many categories, including Best Customer Charter – National 2014, Best Small Business – National 2011 and Best Small Business – NSW 2011, 2013. His commitment to customer experience excellence led to his appointment to the judging panel from 2014 and his appointment as an assessor and consultant to the International Customer Service Standard in 2015.

Professor Trisha Dunning (VIC)

Trisha Dunning

Trisha is Chair in Nursing and Director Centre for Nursing and Allied Health Research at Deakin University and Barwon Health in Geelong, Victoria. She has been a Credentialled Diabetes Educator since 1988.

She is currently a Vice President of the International Diabetes Federation and serves on many local, national and international committees.

She is widely published in books, journals and magazines.

Trisha is the current Chair of the ADEA Diabetes Research Foundation Council.

Robert Biancardi (NSW)

Robert is a Marketing and Finance professional that has worked at senior management levels at a number of leading companies in the financial and investment sector, including Citibank & Westpac. He has recently been a director of Evolution Healthcare Ltd, a leader in Private Hospitals. Robert has also been a director of numerous companies, including RockRidge Private Equity, Hutchisons CC Ltd, Eroma.com.au and is currently a director Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd.He served as a Director and President of the Restaurant & Catering Association of NSW for 13 years. Robert has also been a Board member of The Heart Foundation of Australia for over 7 years. Robert joined the Board of the ADEA before joining ADRF.

Robert holds a Bachelor of Commerce and an AGSM Diploma in Professional Administration from the University of NSW.

Kristin Meagher (NSW)


Kristin Meagher is a corporate storyteller and marketing consultant who gets excited by projects requiring cat-herding, suspension of belief or untangling of knots.

She loves a good, can’t be done. She’s a content developer, writer and strategy consultant with a broad range of industry experience from blue chip corporate to start-up businesses.

She has a change management qualification and deep expertise and practical knowledge of marketing, branding, communications, advertising, people management and general business operations.

Helen Phelan (NSW)


As an ADEA member for close to 20 years, Helen has had the opportunity to work with many inspiring, thoughtful and professional people. She has held roles including the ADEA-NSW Chair, member of the Credentialing Committee, ADEA-NSW Conference Organising Committee, Project Officer on the ADEA Mentoring Program Pilot Project, and more recently as a reviewer of the ADRF grant applications.

As a paediatric nurse, clinical nurse consultant and Credentialled Diabetes Educator, Helen has held positions at a number of Tertiary Referral Hospitals and Diabetes Australia-NSW. More recently, she has held project management positions working to develop the NHMRC Evidence-Based Guidelines for Type 1 Diabetes and the Australasian Diabetes Data Network. She has been awarded a Master of Public Health and is currently enrolled in the PhD program at the University of Sydney. At this stage in her career, Helen has developed a unique skill set. She is a great communicator who has a real feel for the opportunities and challenges for diabetes education. She is passionate about the Credentialled Diabetes Educator role and is honoured to have the opportunity to contribute to the direction of ADRF as the new board director.