Meet the Team
Most of Shanta’s working life has been practicing as a physiotherapist, dedicated to caring for clients with musculoskeletal injuries and dysfunction, specialising in scoliosis in recent years. More recently, Shanta worked as the Volunteer and Engagement Manager for an incredible NGO, helping to close the gap in Indigenous health in Australia by sending Allied Health professionals to remote Indigenous communities. Her heart, however, has always been a desire to help those living in poverty overseas, with a special love of Africa, having travelled there many times and even meeting her kiwi husband in Malawi!
Volunteering is also something Shanta has treasured in life and she has had the privilege of mentoring single mums with the church-based COACH program for the last 6 years. She has also been on volunteer trips to Cambodia and Thailand and initiated and managed two art shows in honour of a friend who took her life, raising in excess of $40,000 for an organization that helps people with mental health issues.
Shanta has recently completed her post graduate studies at Deakin University in Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Action, having previously completed a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning. Most importantly, she loves to enjoy beautiful family time with her husband and 3 gorgeous daughters!
Shanta is thrilled to be a part of the Medical Mission Aid team and she feels privileged to be given the opportunity to contribute to the future work of this organisation and its inspirational local overseas partner organisations.
Meryl is married to John with 3 adult children and 7 grandchildren, and is a committed Christian with a heart for others reaching out in Christ’s name.
She attends St Mark’s Anglican Church, Forest Hill where she leads an English program for recent immigrants, a craft program and is also involved in a community meal program. She leads a Bible study group with her husband and has held various roles in the church.
Meryl was involved with Scripture Union as a participant and then as a leader on camps and beach missions. She has lived and worked in both city and country Victoria, Tasmania, Egypt and Switzerland and has been involved in Christian ministry and education in all these places.
A trained teacher with post graduate qualifications in Education and Administration, Meryl has an interest in textile arts with a qualification from City and Guilds (UK) and currently teaches at U3A Nunawading. She worked across various education sectors including TAFE, Special Education, Adult Education, ESL and regular schools and was founding principal of St Andrews Christian College Melbourne, a role she relinquished after 17 years to move overseas when her husband was transferred in his role as an engineer. She worked with the Diocese of Egypt for 6 years in cross cultural ministry, working with refugees, the poor and disabled.
A past board member of Scripture Union Victoria, Meryl is currently a board member and board secretary for Anglican Relief and Development Australia and MMA.
Jenny trained as a nurse, becoming Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife, and Maternal and Child Health nurse. She nursed full and part time for 42 years, which included one year in the US, following a year studying in a discipleship school there, and a year in a mission hospital in northern India.
Jenny worked in door-to-door cross cultural mission in inner Melbourne high-rise blocks and in running fellowship groups for overseas students. She is married to David and has one adult daughter.
She attends St Columb’s Anglican Church, Hawthorn, Melbourne, where she has served on parish council and participates in children’s ministry.
She is particularly interested in the training of nurses in rural areas overseas and would like to see this work expanded.
Jenny enjoys gardening, choral choir, reading and sailing.
Barry studied Chemical Engineering and Economics and has worked in the hydrocarbon and related industries for almost 40 years, 35 years of which was as a manager of capital projects, process plants and industrial sites. For the last 18 years, Barry was Managing Director of LyondellBasell Australia, serving terms on joint venture and industry association boards.
Sustainability of organisations and work-groups, within their local community, and managing change forthrightly, truthfully, and respectfully (demonstrating Christian compassion) have been key motivations throughout his career. He worked with many operations in Asia and South America and been energised through engaging with and learning from the approaches taken to develop sustainable solutions within the varying local community contexts.
Born in Roma (country Queensland, not Italy) Barry grew up in Brisbane. After graduating, he moved to Sydney, (where he married his wife, Pauline, in 1984). Together, they have lived and worked in the UK (where their 3 children were born) and the Netherlands. Barry and his family moved to Melbourne in 2003 when he took on his MD role. Melbourne is as far south as he will go!
In one of life’s symmetries, Barry attends St Columb’s Anglican Church, Hawthorn, where Pauline’s father commenced his ministry career, almost 60 years earlier. Additionally, Barry & Pauline’s extended family has been involved in missionary service for many years.
Barry is therefore pleased to join MMA, aligning his Christian, personal and business interests in developing and promoting local community sustainability.
David Bock studied chemical engineering at the University of Sydney, during which time he was converted. He spent his career in the chemical and plastics industry, retiring in 2010 when his employer closed operations. He and his wife Jenny, who happens to be the current MMA president, have one adult daughter. He has a Bachelor of Theology through Ridley College and spent several years at a previous church ministering to overseas students. He joined the Committee of Management of MMA with Jenny in 2017. He attends St Columb’s Anglican Church, Hawthorn, Melbourne. David’s main leisure interests are sailing, which he took up quite late in life, and reading. During retirement, he and Jenny have cruised the east coast and Tasmania.
Catherine has spent most of her career working as a Radiation Therapist, primarily at Alfred Health. Several years into her career, she undertook a Master of Public Health and during this time an opportunity came up to volunteer for 3 months at Papua New Guinea’s only cancer centre in Lae. This was to train the 3 local radiation therapists in new techniques after the country’s only radiotherapy machine commenced operating again after 10 years out of service. During this time she also worked with the University of Technology PNG to assist in setting up a Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy course to train more radiation therapists. Since this time Catherine has travelled to PNG many times to teach the student Radiation Therapists.
Catherine grew up in a Christian family whose beliefs centred around actions, in helping those in need, and this has led to Catherine’s work in PNG.
Over the course of her Radiation Therapy career she has also specialised in an area called brachytherapy, a focussed form of radiation therapy, particularly for prostate cancer.
This has led to brachytherapy teaching and training locally as well as international including running a training course in Malaysia and, with a couple of colleagues, assisting the team to commence a prostate brachytherapy programme at the National Cancer Institute in Kuala Lumpur.
When not at work Catherine is passionate about sailing, and has competed locally on Port Phillip as well as overseas in the UK and Sweden, often with an all women crew.
William studied Computer Applications and has worked in the Financial Services Industry including major investment banks, having spent his life in Europe, multiple countries in West Asia and the Caribbean Islands for almost 20 years.
William has worked as a Business Analyst and a Manager of Projects for close to 15 years and is currently employed in the Financial Services Sector while simultaneously pursuing a Master of Business Administration with the Australian Institute of Business, South Australia.
William moved to Melbourne with his family in 2016 and attends St. Thomas Anglican Church, Burwood, where he serves on the Parish Council.
William is passionate about volunteering and serving in the community and feels privileged to be given the opportunity to contribute to the work of MMA.
Brenton has a life long passion for improving the lives and outcomes for people living in remote and vulnerable communities. Brenton’s background in critical care nursing and health promotion led him to understand the importance of sustainable healthcare in achieving these goals.
Brenton completed a Masters of Public Health which developed his understanding of health policy and health administration. He has lived in Lautoka, Fiji where he completed a quantitative research project understanding adherence to medication regimens amongst people with Rheumatic Heart Disease. Brenton has spent much of his career coordinating international research projects including clinical trials where he has worked on successful grant applications and overseen ethics and research governance requirements. More recently, Brenton has been completing a post-graduate diploma of theology and enjoys the challenge of running a small business.
Brenton is married to Amanda, an obstetrician with a passion for International Health and together they have three daughters.