Our People

Our Board

All Board and Committee appointments are voluntary. The Foundation is most grateful to each appointee for generously donating their time and expertise towards advancing medical research within Royal Perth Hospital, the East Metropolitan Health Service (EMHS) and more widely.

Mr John Palermo FCA AGIA (Board Chair)

Mr John Palermo is a Chartered Accountant with 25 years’ experience in public practice. His areas of expertise include corporate transaction execution, strategic business management and business structuring. In addition to his role as Deputy Chair and Treasurer of the RPH Research Foundation, John is Chair of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and Director of West Australian Ballet. He is a former Executive Councillor of the National Trust and Board member of Lifeline.

Dr Rebecca McCrackan BSc(Hons) PhD M(IP Law) FITPA (Deputy Chair)

Dr Rebecca McCrackan has extensive experience in the life science and resource sectors and is presently a Principal IP Counsel for the global mining and metals group Rio Tinto. To give back to the community, Dr McCrackan works on various statutory and not-for-profit boards, particularly in the life sciences industry, leveraging her earlier experience as a biomedical researcher. Dr McCrackan holds a first-class honours degree in biotechnology, and a PhD in Immunology conducted at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Dr McCrackan’s academic pursuits further included a postdoctoral position at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre. Dr McCrackan has a master’s degree in intellectual property law.

Dr Lesley Bennett MBChB MD FRCP FRACP GAICD

Dr Lesley Bennett is the Executive Director of the Royal Perth Bentley Group, which includes Royal Perth Hospital and Bentley Health Service. Dr Bennett has worked within the Royal Perth Bentley Group since 2013 in roles including Service 1 Co-Director, Medical Co-Director Safety and Organisational Learning, and Director of Clinical Services. Prior to this, she held leadership roles in the United Kingdom, including Consultant Physician and Senior Lecturer at Oxford University Hospitals. Dr Bennett has a strong focus on leadership, strategic planning and innovation, and has been involved in a number of organisational and cultural change projects throughout her career.

Ms Amanda Cox FCA FGIA FCG (CGP)

Professor Daniel Fatovich MBBS FACEM PhD

Professor Daniel Fatovich is the Director of Research, East Metropolitan Health Service. He is also a senior emergency physician and clinical researcher at Royal Perth Hospital Emergency Department, one of the busiest Emergency Departments in Australasia, and has more than 30 years of experience in the design and conduct of clinical trials. Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Western Australia, Head of the Centre for Clinical Research in Emergency Medicine (CCREM) at Perkins and Adjunct Professor at Curtin University are some of the other impressive strings to his bow.

Professor Glennda Scully FCA GAICD

Professor Glennda Scully is the Director of Finance, Infrastructure and Digital Technology at Catholic Education Western Australia, and an Emeritus Professor at Curtin University. Glennda has over 30 years’ experience across a diverse range of sectors. She is a member of the Perth Archdiocese Financial Council and board member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.  She also held non-executive director roles with Curtin University, Mercycare and the Financial Toolbox. Glennda holds a PhD from the University of Western Australia and is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. 

Mr David Jones BSc, ADPA (WAAPA), JD (Hons)

Mr David Jones is a barrister at Francis Burt Chambers and practises in commercial law, public law and criminal law. Mr Jones graduated in science from The University of Western Australia and classical performance from the Conservatorium of Music before completing a Juris Doctor, graduating with first class merit honours. He was articled to the State Solicitor of Western Australia and spent seven years providing advice and representation on complex and contentious commercial and public law matters before being called to the Bar. He is a nonexecutive director of MSWA and Lost & Found Opera, an advisor to WAAPA, a peer to the Australia Council, and an artist with WA Opera.

Ben Noteboom BSc (Physiotherapy), MBA, MHA, AFCHSM, CHM (Nominee to Dr Lesley Bennett)

Ben is the Acting Executive Director, Royal Perth Bentley Group, which includes Royal Perth Hospital and Bentley Health Service.

Ben has worked in the health sector for 18 years with a background as a physiotherapist specialising in complex tertiary critical care. Other recent leadership and management roles include Professional Lead for Physiotherapy during Fiona Stanley Hospital commissioning, Service Co-Director of Cancer and Specialty Services for Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospital Group and Service Director for Cancer and Specialty Services at Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service.

Ben Noteboom was appointed as the EMHS Area Director of Allied Health and RPBG Director of Allied Health in 2022. 

Ben also previously held a Senior Clinical Fellow appointment with Curtin University School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science and a position on the School Advisory Board. He has collaborated on various research and education opportunities with leading researchers and academics at Curtin University, especially in the field of cardiorespiratory physiotherapy.

Ben is an Associate Fellow and Certified Health Manager of the Australasian College of Health Service Management and is currently a candidate of the College Fellowship program. Ben is also a member of the Australian Institute of Management WA Advisory Committee and an Associate Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. He completed a Master of Business Administration and Master of Health Administration at La Trobe University in 2022.

Board Advisory

Emeritus Professor Lawrie Beilin AO MB.BS. Hons (Lond), MD (Lond), FRCP (London). MA (Oxon), FRACP, FCSANZ 

Emeritus Professor Lawrie Beilin has been a Professor of Medicine with the School of Medicine & Pharmacology at the Royal Perth Hospital campus for The University of Western Australia and is the immediate past Chair of the RPH Research Foundation. In his semi-retirement, Professor Beilin continues to pursue his passion for medical research as an honorary senior research fellow at The University of Western Australia and the RPH Research Foundation. He has been the recipient of a number of International and National awards for his work. Most recently the World Hypertension League’s 2021 Peter Sleight Award for Excellence in Hypertension Research.

Strategic Research Advisor

Emeritus Professor George Yeoh BSc, PhD

Emeritus Professor George Yeoh is the RPH Research Foundation’s Strategic Research Advisor (part-time) and the immediate past Chair and President of Cancer Council WA. His world-renowned research into liver disease and carcinogenesis spans almost half a century, during which time he has established a reputation for excellence and strong leadership. Professor Yeoh received his PhD in Biochemistry from The University of Western Australia (UWA) in 1972. Shortly thereafter, he was awarded the CJ Martin Overseas Research Fellowship (NHMRC) and studied at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, and the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow, Scotland. Emeritus Professor Yeoh obtained an NHMRC Fellowship upon his return to Australia and achieved successive renewals to the level of Principal Research Fellow. During this time, he was a Visiting Scientist at a number of prestigious universities in the USA and in Europe. He undertakes research at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in the laboratory for Liver Disease and Carcinogenesis. He was a Board member of the Institute for Respiratory Health, member of the NHMRC Translational Research Faculty and Director of the UWA Centre for Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine. The Foundation is honoured to have Professor George Yeoh’s expertise and advice to guide our research funding.

Our CEO

Ms Cate Cassarchis BA GAICD MFIA AMICDA

Cate Cassarchis was appointed CEO of the RPH Research Foundation on 1 November 2021. With more than 30 years’ experience in the Government and not-for-profit sectors, both domestically and abroad, Cate has a strong background in governance and accountability, strategic planning and policy setting, program development, fundraising, community engagement, advocacy, negotiation, and public affairs.
Previously, Cate served as the CEO of the Perth Blood Institute which conducts medical research into blood disorders and facilitates access to clinical trials and treatment options for people affected by blood disorders. Prior to this, Cate was the State Archivist and Executive Director State Records where she was responsible for whole of State and local government recordkeeping (10 years). Cate has also served as a council member of the Institute of Public Administration WA and Director of the WA Museum Foundation.  

Our Committees

Scientific Advisory Committee
  • Dr Rebecca McCrackan (Co-chair)

  • Professor Daniel Fatovich (Co-chair)

  • Dr Tamika Heiden

  • Professor Margaret Jones

  • Professor Elaine Holmes

  • Professor Grant Waterer

  • Associate Professor Vicki Patton

  • Mr Neil Kavanagh

  • Mr Ben Horgan

  • Emeritus Professor Gavin Leslie

Fundraising & Communications Committee
  • Ms Cate Cassarchis (Chair/CEO)

  • Mr Ben Berthon-Jones

  • Miss Caitlin Swartz

  • Mrs Samantha Hambling

  • Ms Nikita Thomas

Finance and Investment Committee
  • Ms Amanda Cox (Chair)
  • Mr John Palermo
  • Dr Frank Christiansen
  • Mr Todd Schaffer
  • Ms Cate Cassarchis (CEO)
  • Ms Hena Park
Audit and Risk Committee
  • Mr David Jones (Chair)
  • Emeritus Professor Glennda Scully
  • Ms Cate Cassarchis (CEO)
  • Ms Hena Park
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