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: 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 and 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, and is currently a director Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd. He served as a Director and President of the Restaurant and 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 recently completed his Leadership Certificate at the Harvard Medical School and holds a Bachelor of Commerce and an AGSM Diploma in Professional Administration from the University of New South Wales.

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.

Derek Finch (SA)

Derek Finch has over 22 years of experience in reengineering and is one of Australia’s leading contact centre specialists. Derek has worked in government, not-for-profit and corporates, both as a manager and as a consultant.

Derek is an experienced change manager, contact centre judge and conference speaker. He has been an active member of Auscontact and has held the role of National Director and National Chair.

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.