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The Queensland and Northern New South Wales Lions Medical Research Foundation Ambassador Program engages Lions members from the Q Districts of Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

Our Ambassadors are strong advocates for the work undertaken by the researchers funded by the Foundation. They offer support by giving of their time and energy, raising the profile of the Foundation, bringing awareness to the work of the researchers and encouraging people to invest in the future of medical research.

Lions Clubs of Queensland and Northern New South Wales are the constituent members of Lions Medical Research Foundation (LMRF) and as such are vital to the ongoing success of the Foundation. Commencing in 2018, the Ambassador Program offers a growing team of passionate and committed people who are helping to further the aims and ambitions of Lions Medical Research Foundation across Queensland and Northern New South Wales. They provide a voice for the Foundation, activate and maintain lasting relationships across Lions, Lioness and Leo Clubs and the broader community, help to raise funds, and build support and profile. Our current Ambassadors are:

JOHN BURNHAM – Lions Club of Samford, District 201Q3 (Zone 9)

NEIL PHILLIPS – Lions Club of Ashgrove The Gap, District 201Q3 (Zone 7)

TIM HANNAYLions Club of Rockhampton Fitzroy River, District 201Q4 (Zone 11)

DONNA HEDGES – Lions Club of Brisbane Bunya, District 201Q3 (Zone 7)

CARMEL GOLDSWORTHY – Lions Club of Toowoomba Wilsonton, District 201Q3 (Zone 3)

PAUL RYAN – Lions Club of Golden Valley Keperra, District 201Q3 (Zone 7)

ELOISE FLEMING – Lions Club of Warner, District 201Q3

GAY REBGETZ – Lions Club of Townsville Barrier Reef, District 201Q2 (Zone 6)

RACHEL DAVEY – Lions Club of Cairns Barrier Reef, District 201Q2 (Zone 1)

MAX GEHRING – Lions Club of Richmond, District 201Q2 (Zone 11)

NICOLE PHILLIPS – Apple-MAQ Lions Club, District 201Q1 (Zone 9)

DR JOYCE ARNOLD – Lions Club of Brisbane Bardon, District 201Q3 (Zone 7)

AILEEN KNOWLES – Lions Club of Roma, District 201Q3 (Zone 1)

ROD SOMERVILLE  – Lions Club of Maroochy North Shore , District 201Q4 (Zone 2)

DR TRACEY BJORKMAN – Former Lions Medical Research Foundation Senior Research Fellow

CAREY DOBSON – Lions Club of Upper Coomera, District 201Q1 (Zone 4)

SHARMAINE HOLCROFT  – Lions Club of Townsville Barrier Reef, District 201Q2 (Zone 6)

JAN BARSBY – Lions Club of Proston, District 201Q4 (Zone 5)

NEVILLE LUCKEL – Lions Club of Boyne Island, District 201Q4 (Zone 9)

ROBERT (BOB) BLAND  –  Lions Club of Gympie South,  District 201Q4 (Zone 3)

AUSTIN LANPHIER – Lions Club of Townsville Northern Suburbs, District 201Q2 (Zone 5)

LION HUNTER – District 201Q4 Quarterly Publication

DONNA SEWELL – Lions Club of Noosa Heads, District 201Q4






Lions Club of Samford

District 201Q3

Appointed February 2018


By 11 May 2018, John completed 20 years of service in Lions and has been a President of both the Pine Rivers and Samford Lions Clubs. In 2002, John was instrumental in setting up the Samford Lions Club and in that time has been Club Secretary, Club President (three times) and Treasurer twice. He has also been Membership Chairman & Bulletin Editor, Tail Twister and the Lions Medical Research Personality Quest Coordinator from 2004 to 2016. He was on Q3 Cabinet in various roles until 2017 and propounded the benefits of both Lions Medical Research Foundation and Lions Medical Research Personality Quest from 2012–2017. He is a Melvin Jones Fellow, has a James D. Richardson Honour Award, as well as an Ian Frazer Humanitarian Award. John also writes a fortnightly column for the local community newspaper ‘The Village Pump’.


“As a past Q3 Cabinet representative of the Lions Medical Research Foundation and Personality Quest, I have always had a strong belief in the aims of the Foundation and support for the work that is undertaken by the researchers who are funded by the Foundation through funds raised by Lions Clubs”.




Lions Club of Ashgrove The Gap

District 201Q3

Appointed March 2018


Neil spent most of his working career in the stockbroking industry. Along the way he held voluntary roles with a school P&C, gymnastics and cricket. He has been a Lions member for more than forty years. Neil has held various District Cabinet positions including Cabinet Secretary and for several years was a Director of the Lions Medical Research Foundation including a term as Chairman. Neil was also a member of the Host Committees for both the 1991 International Convention and the 2011 ANZI Pacific Forum. He is the current President of the Lions Club of Ashgrove The Gap.


“My time as a Director of the Foundation allowed me to clearly see how valuable the funding is that we provide for prospective medical research. Building the Foundation’s financial health in order to ensure our work continues is important to me, and it’s why I choose to be an Ambassador”




Lions Club of Rockhampton Fitzroy River

District 201Q4

Appointed March 2018


Tim currently works full time as a Safety, Risk and Compliance Officer for a Health Care organisation in Central Queensland. Over the last 20 years, his community service involvement has consisted of volunteering with Cancer Council Queensland, and as a Relay For Life committee member where he has been an active participant for 8 years. He has also been involved in school boards throughout his children’s primary school years and currently sits on the school board at the Cathedral College in Rockhampton. Tim has been a Lion for 14 years and is currently District Governor for District 201 Q4. He believes promotion and stability are the key ingredients to ensuring that Foundations like the Lions Medical Research Foundation are here for the long haul.


“As a past director and supporter, I am a strong advocate for Lions Medical Research Foundation. My passion for facilitating the ongoing financial support as well as promotion of the Foundation and its core mission of funding for medical research is paramount to the ongoing success of the Foundation”.  




Lions Club of Brisbane Bunya

District 201Q3

Appointed March 2018


Donna has been a teacher and administrator spanning 40 years, teaching in locations across the state. Over the years, Donna has given freely of her time volunteering in the communities in which she lived. Donna joined Lions in 1999 with Brisbane Bunya Club and over the past 20 years she has been an active and committed member, serving in various roles at both club and district level, including Company Secretary of Lions Medical Research Foundation for over ten years. She is currently District Governor for District 201 Q3.


“The role Lions Medical Research Foundation plays in research development within Queensland and Australia is understated. As a past Foundation Secretary, I have a good understanding of the Foundation’s mission and purpose and appreciate the need for the Foundation to continue raising monies to support the funding of our research fellowship recipients”.



Lions Club of Toowoomba Wilsonton

District 201Q3

Appointed March 2018


Carmel commenced her working life in the field of nursing in 1967. She worked in many towns around Queensland – at Dalby, Chinchilla, Mt.Isa, Emerald and Toowoomba – before retiring from the workforce 5 years ago. She became involved in the Lions Organisation in 1980 in Mt. Isa where her husband Bob, was a member of the Leichhardt Lions Club. She was later invited to become a member of the Toowoomba Wilsonton Lions Club in September 2008 and since then has served in many positions on the Club Board, on District Cabinet and Multiple District. Carmel is Immediate Past District Governor for District 201 Q3.


“I have been a supporter of the Foundation for many years and believe in the Foundation. To be a Lions Member and be able to promote and support the wonderful work of the researchers can only be a benefit to all people who live in our communities and all people of the world”.


Lions Club of Golden Valley Keperra

District 201Q3

Appointed March 2018


Paul Ryan has enjoyed 18 years of service with the Lions Club of Golden valley Keperra (GVK). While serving in most club board positions and also serving some time on district cabinet, Paul is currently finance and membership chair at GVK. With 49 years in the finance industry, Paul has seen many Queensland communities while on transfer with his employer. Always keen to contribute to those communities, Paul has held leadership roles with youth, church and school communities. He was invited to be a Lion after his daughter Shannon was GVK’s Miss Personality Quest entrant in 1999.


“When at a Bunnings BBQ or community event, we are often asked ‘where does the money go’ – most Lions would say ‘medical research or community assistance’ and while Lions have many excellent Projects and Foundations, LMRF is our Foundation. It punches above its weight, supporting research that makes a difference”.     


Lions Club of Warner

District 201Q3

Appointed May 2018


Eloise currently works full time in marketing. Although she is only 21 years of age she has always taken an interest in helping the community. She joined the Samford Leo Club at just 14 and spent most of her teenage years giving back to others. Her parents are heavily involved in Lions, giving her the drive to be a youthful, energetic and community minded person. She was a Lions Medical Research Personality Quest Entrant for 2016/2017 and raised $11,500 in 12 months for Lions Medical Research Foundation. Eloise is a member of the newly chartered Lions Club of Warner and will continue to support the foundation through awareness.


“As a young person, I believe that medical research is the way of the future. When I found out about the Foundation, I couldn’t have thought of a better way to be involved in such a wonderful fundraising platform, knowing that one day our efforts could possibly save the lives of the people around me who I love”



Lions Club of Townsville Barrier Reef

District 201Q2

Appointed May 2018


Gay Rebgetz commenced her working life in a Solicitor’s office, but for the last 17 years, she has been a Funeral Celebrant where almost daily she has met, listened to and comforted many grieving people, ranging from very young children to the very elderly. At least two-thirds of the services she presides over are related to non-curable diseases. Gay has been a Lions member for 6 years and has a passion for what they stand for and what they do for the community, and because of her work she has a greater passion for Medical Research. While President of the Castle Hill Lions Club, her project was palliative care, and while this does not offer a cure, at the time, she felt it important to give to those in need. During her first three year in Lions, she was Social Co-ordinator, then President 2016-2017, Zone 6 Chairperson for 2017-2018 and incoming Zone 6 Chairperson for 2018-2019, incoming President of her new club of Townsville Barrier Reef, and Committee member and Co-ordinator of the Remembrance Service for Multiple District Convention 2018 in Townsville. Gay’s other volunteer work has included her involvement with young people and the Women’s Shelter.


 “With my work there have been many times when I have visited the hospital to talk to those who sadly are coming to the end of their lives.  I well remember sitting with a Mum and Dad who were waiting by their baby’s cot. Watching them suffer, along with the baby and hearing comments like “if only they had a cure, we would not be here today” still ring in my ears. So being a part of something bigger that helps to find a cure would be a wonderful way to help others.  Not just those who are ill, but the families who are suffering too.”



Lions Club of Cairns Barrier Reef

District 201Q2

Appointed May 2018


Rachel has been a Lions member for 16 years, holding many positions at Club, District and Multi District level. She has also been a Lioness for 6 years holding a position on District level.  Rachel has always been involved in the community through different organisations both in Cairns and Weipa, before joining Lions.   She is a retired school administrator but continues to work and is currently managing the accounts for the TPI veterans group and a plumbing firm.  She remains very active in her community and her clubs.


“Through the research that Lions Medical Research Foundation provides funding for, we can have faith to believe in a cure, and hope for the future. As an Ambassador, I look forward to promoting the Foundation and its causes.”  



Lions Club of Richmond

District 201Q2

Appointed May 2018


Max is currently a member of the Lions Club of Richmond and has been Zone 11 Chairperson since November 2015, finishing in this role in June 2018. Most of his life has been spent in Western Queensland and over the years this has given him a good insight into the problems faced by the people and communities in these areas. Specifically in relation to the need for medical help and assistance (including mental health) faced on a daily basis by people in rural and western Queensland. Max has been Secretary, Lion Tamer and Tail Twister of the Charleville Lions Club, Secretary of the Duaringa Lioness Club, Member of the Cloncurry Lions Club and Charter Secretary of the Hughenden Lions Club before transferring to the Richmond Lions Club.


“I am proud to be a Lion and represent the Foundation as an Ambassador supporting the fantastic work they do. I want to contribute in any way I can to support the lifesaving research that LMRF is involved in.”




Apple-MAQ Lions Club

District 201Q1

Appointed June 2018


Nicole has been in the IT industry training and conducting technical support for the last 14 years. Nicole has been involved in volunteering since she was 5 years old as her parents have been involved in community work for the disabled and disadvantaged. When her parents joined Lions she became involved in local and overseas aid, palliative care and  supervising work for the dole. Nicole has been a Lion since 2003 and has held positions of Zone Chairperson, LMRPQ Chairperson, District Literacy Chairperson, President, Charter Secretary and Treasurer. Nicole is proud to have been an entrant in the Lions Medical Research Miss Personality Quest to assist in raising awareness of the Foundation and much needed funds. Nicole is 2nd Vice District Governor in District 201 Q1.


“Without medical research we are unable to find cures to saves lives. I am very proud of all the researchers we have supported over the years. Research conducted touches many people’s lives. I am passionate about promoting our OWN Lions Medical Research Foundation to expose its great work to the wider community. We have a GREAT FOUNDATION, let’s support it.”




Lions Club of Brisbane Bardon

District 201Q3

Appointed June 2018


Dr Joyce Arnold is a physician in private practice with experience in rural, Indigenous, child and adolescent, forensic and telepsychiatry. She is currently studying her fifth Masters program and is passionate about learning and research. She is also a member of the Board of the Doctor’s Health Advisory Service. She has been a Lion for ten years and is currently President of Bardon Lions Club, Guiding Lion for Herston Club Branch, Global Membership Team (GMT) Coordinator  for District Q3 and GMT member for Multiple Districts. She has four children and three grandchildren.


“I am a physician and a Lion, so LMRF is a Foundation that I am passionate about. The more research, the quicker we find cures and treatments to alleviate suffering and disability. This program has a long stable track record of seed funding researchers to launch their careers so also supports academics and people starting their careers. Please support your Queensland grown Foundation.”



Lions Club of Roma

District 201Q3

Appointed August 2018


Aileen has worked in Customer Service areas throughout her career of over 40 years, mostly in Roma, with some time in Longreach, Rockhampton and Brisbane. Throughout this time, she has actively served on the local branch of the Cancer Council, participates in Relay for Life, QCWA, Roma Show Society, Church committees and Easter in the Country committee. She has always been involved with and committed to community service and fundraising. Aileen has been a Lions member for 15 years, during which time she has always held leadership and board positions, as well as in recent years serving on District Cabinet and is currently a Region Chairman. She holds several awards, including a Melvin Jones Fellowship and Professor Ian Frazer Humanitarian Award.


“I believe in the Lions Medical Research Foundation and the importance of supporting and promoting the amazing ongoing work by researchers, and the funds required, for further research development, which has proved to be beneficial to all people, in our country and beyond.”




Lions Club of Maroochy North Shore

District 201Q4

Appointed November 2018


Rod Somerville comes from an accounting and finance background which spans almost 40 years. He is a Lion of 27 years’ service with a history that extends past his membership. Rod joined Leos in 1973 and was a Youth of the Year contestant in 1974. He was a charter member of the Mooloolah Valley Club in 1991, then charter member of the Maroochy North Shore Club in 2004. Over the last decade, Rod has been privileged to volunteer with Youth InSearch Camps and has served on the board of Camp Duckadang many times over the last 25 years. He has held various roles in District Cabinet for the last 22 years and in the 2017-2018 year, he served as 201Q4 District Governor. He is very committed to his community and has worked with local sporting, Scout and Progress Associations.



“Lions have a passion for people and that is fulfilled by our commitment to service. Medical Research has been at the forefront of Lions focus and the depth of success in the past is but a foundation for the incredible achievements that are yet to come.”





Senior Research Fellow, Perinatal Research Centre, UQ Centre for Clinical Research, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, The University of Queensland.

Appointed November 2018


Tracey is a Senior Research Fellow at the Perinatal Research Centre, University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research and a previous LMRF Senior Research Fellow (2011-2018). Tracey started her scientific and research career over 25 years ago and has dedicated her life to improving health outcomes for newborn babies at risk of brain damage. In an era of ever changing and challenging efforts to secure research funds, it is now more important than ever for LMRF to stand out from the crowd. She is proud to continue her association as an Ambassador of LMRF and looks forward to being part of the process to ensure that the LMRF can continue to support our medical researchers.


“Having been the recipient of an LMRF Fellowship, I am very honoured to now give my support to the very foundation that supported me. I am excited to be able to promote LMRF and give first-hand insight as to the impact your support has on our collective capacity to help improve the health of all Australians”




Upper Coomera Lions Club

District 201Q1

Appointed November 2018


Carey has worked in the IT industry for the past twenty years, following on from a career in scuba diving. He currently contracts to the Department of Education as a Technical Delivery Manager. Originally from the UK, Carey now lives in the Gold Coast with his wife Laura, and two sons Harry and Oliver. He joined Lions in October 2016 and was a founding member and President of the Upper Coomera Lions Branch Club, and Charter President for the 2018/2019 year. He has been grateful for the opportunity to serve as District 201Q1 Zone 5 Chairman for the 2018/2019 year and looks forward to serving in Lions for many more years to come.



“When I was first introduced to Lions at an information evening in late 2016, I had no previous knowledge of any Lions activities. My lasting memory of that evening was the mention of the early support given by Lions to Fred Hollows and the support through LMRF for Ian Frazer and its contribution to the research leading to the development of the Gardasil vaccine. The scale of what Lions can deliver was opened up to me by these two examples, and helped me to realise that Lions activities reach far wider than just the local community, and that its impact can be felt for generations to come. I believe these success stories (and the stories to come) need to be shared to a much wider audience, so I am excited for the opportunity to help in this endeavour. Medical research is a long journey, and I look forward to encouraging many new contributors to step aboard…”




Lions Club of Townsville Barrier Reef

District 201Q2

Appointed February 2019


Sharmaine was born in Brisbane, the first child of four. In 1973, her family relocated to Townsville where she met her husband who was a soldier. They moved to Albury Wodonga, Perth, and Melbourne and spent the last 2 years of her husband’s service prior to retirement, in London. They have two sons – one in Brisbane with his family, including two granddaughters, and the other in Townsville. Sharmaine’s parents have been involved with Lions for over forty years, originally joining the Castle Hill Club in Townsville. The people they met then are still good friends with the family to this day. Her husband joined the same club, but back then the wife was a Lions’ Lady. As a couple they later became charter members of the Toolakeyah Beach Lions Club, joined a club in London and then joined the Lions Club of Townsville Barrier Reef and have been there since. Sharmaine has been secretary and is now Vice President of her club.


“Coming from a family involved with Lions over many years, the opportunity to assist in this very worthwhile Foundation is an honour.  To help in any way possible is very important to me. This is why becoming an Ambassador is such a privilege”



Lions Club of Proston

District 201Q4

Appointed March 2019


Jan’s journey with Lions began when her husband, Bevin was invited to join the Lions Club of Richmond Qld in 1972.  Following a transfer to Murgon, she joined the Murgon Lions Ladies Auxiliary (this was before ladies were allowed to join Lions) and in 1978 a Lioness club was formed.  In 1995 she joined the Lions club of Murgon and held executive positions in that club including Personality Chair. Her efforts were recognised with an Ian Frazer Humanitarian Award (No. 7). In 2009 she transferred to the Proston Lions Club. In 1997-98 Jan joined District 201Q4 Cabinet as a Zone Chair and since 2000-01 has held continuous service at cabinet level, including Lions Medical Research Foundation Personality Chair 2007-09, Cabinet Secretary 2012-2013 and District Governor 2016-17.  Over a long period of time she has had the opportunity to visit the research centres and been able to meet and speak with many Researchers. As Jan is now retired and lives at Proston, Lions occupies much of her time, but she also enjoys a game of lawn bowls, gardening and visits to her family.


“I have always been passionate about Lions Medical Research Foundation, having been involved in the Personality Quest and the Foundation for many years and admire the work that has been and will be undertaken by the researchers.  It is amazing what achievements have been made since its inception”



Lions Club of Boyne Island

District 201Q4

Appointed April 2019


PDG Neville Luckel joined the Lions Club of Bluff in District 201Q4 in 1985 where he was President for 2 years, Secretary for 3 years, Park curator, Youth of the Year co-ordinator and ALDAF club chairman. During this time, he received James D. Richardson Honour Award. At District level he was Zone chairman for 3 Years, Regional coordinator for 1 year and recipient of an International President Medal.  In April 2007, he transferred to Boyne Island Lions Club (Zone 9) and has been a member of the membership committee since 2008, Q4 Vice District Governor 2009/10, Q4 District Governor 2010/11, and 2011/12 District Disaster Chairman. In 2019 Neville is serving the second year of his second term as Zone 9 Chairman. He was involved with “Life Be in It” programs in Blackall and was involved with “Rural Youth” whilst working in Maryborough. Neville joined Queensland Rail in Locomotive grade in Maryborough in 1981, and semi retired in August 2012.  He has also been an Ambassador/Ombudsman for the New Apostolic Church since July 2011.


“I first became interested in Lions Medical Research whilst working at club level on the Miss Personality Quest. I became further committed after a visit to the Hospital and then later as District Governor. I was in awe of the research that was being performed, the fields that were being researched and the results. I am only too happy to be appointed as an Ambassador knowing that in some way I can make a difference to those afflicted with illness. This is my motivation and hope that Lions can work together to find cures or prevent illness and disease from worsening”.



Lions Club of Gympie South

District 201Q4

Appointed April 2019


Bob retired from paid employment in July 2017 where for a number of years he was employed as a soils and concrete technician. During the last twelve years Bob moved into moved Quality Assurance including Workplace health and safety. His community service involvement has consisted of Relay for life, driving for the Gympie and District Committee on the Ageing Community bus, Shave for a Cure and Lions Driver Reviver. Bob has been a Lion for 7 years and is Immediate Past President of his club and Zone 3 Chairperson.


“I will be a strong advocate for Lions Medical Research Foundation. I believe the ongoing financial support as well as the promotion of the Foundation and its funding for medical research is essential  for the ongoing success of the Foundation”.



Lions Club of Townsville Northern Suburbs

District 201Q2

Appointed July 2019


Throughout his working life, Aussie’s career spanned over 40 years in sales and marketing businesses in Victoria and North Queensland. As part of his commitment to volunteering and community fundraising, he was a scout leader for 7 years, a District Governor Q2 from 2002 to 2003, and is currently a Trustee of ALCCRF. As a Lion with 34 years’ service and having served on the board of Lions Medical Research Foundation for 6 years with the last 2 as Chairman, he recognizes the amazing work undertaken by Lions Clubs and knows the importance of contributing to organisations such as Lions Medical Research Foundation.


“Lions Medical Research Foundation is very important to me. As a past Chairman, I remain committed to the Foundation and am delighted to be able to offer ongoing support as a Foundation Ambassador”




District 201Q4 Magazine

Appointed August 2019


The Lion Hunter magazine is published each quarter and distributed to all Q4 Lions Club members and supporters. This magazine has come on board as an Ambassador and supporter of Lions Medical Research Foundation.



Lions Club of Noosa Heads

District 201Q4

Appointed November 2019



Donna grew up in Noosa and although she is a lawyer by trade, she also has diplomas in natural medicine.  A wholistic approach to life is a major focus for her as she wants to be able to solve problems for people by helping them achieve positive solutions, and to serve the community where possible by promotion of activities that contribute to a more successful and inspirational life. She has 2 young children and been a member of the Lions Club since 2009.  Donna has volunteered as much as she can throughout her life and with the clubs and tries her very best to help people as much and whenever she can.



“I am very happy to be an LMRF Ambassador as supporting research to find cures and treatments is important to me. I have witnessed illness in my family, friends and clients, but I have also seen the success of transplants for example. Medical research preserves and extends lives and I am happy to play a part in ensuring that we can continue to fund medical research.” 


Patron: His Excellency The Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland

The QLD & Northern NSW Lions Medical Research Foundation is a Deductible Gift Recipient so your donation will be tax deductible.

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