Meet the team

Mr Peter Kerr

Peter is the Chief Executive Officer at Mount Gibson Iron Limited following a long stint as the Chief Financial Officer. Prior to this Peter held the CFO position at Bannerman Resources. 

An Australian Chartered Accountant, he has more than 20 years’ experience in the mining industry in Australia and Canada. 

Having been part of Diabetes Research WA’s board from 1997 to 2000 and impressed by the work of the organisation over a long period, Peter kindly re-joined us in October 2015. 

Peter was appointed Chairman in May 2017 and is passionate about research into all forms of diabetes.

Dr Joey Kaye
Deputy Chairman

Dr Kaye is a Consultant Endocrinologist and the Director of Diabetes Services at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Western Australia.

Joey completed his undergraduate medical training at The University of Western Australia, physician training at various hospitals in Western Australia and completed specialist training in Endocrinology and Diabetes in 2001. Joey undertook a PhD in neuro-endocrinology at the University of Bristol, UK from 2000-03.

Ms Sally Bruce

Sally has over 18 years’ experience in estate litigation and succession planning and holds the position of Special Counsel at Jackson McDonald. Estate litigation is a major part of Sally’s practice. She has acted in many family provision disputes and strives to achieve cost-effective mediated outcomes wherever possible.

Sally believes assists with ensuring we are on the right track and has a particular interest in Wills and Bequests.

Mrs Maria (Janette) Lano

Maria is a highly experienced group accountant at Ramelius Resources Limited. Prior to this, she worked at Perseus Mining Limited and Mount Gibson Iron. Maria joined our Board in May 2017, replacing Peter Kerr as honorary treasurer. 

Maria has a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy and is a member of CPA Australia. 
Maria understands first-hand the power research makes for those living with or at risk of diabetes.

Maria lives with type 2 diabetes and believes research will change the future for many people at risk of developing diabetes.

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Ms Sherl Westlund FAIM
Executive Director

Sherl joined the Diabetes Research WA team in 1997 after returning to Perth following a stint in Geraldton and Northampton (Midwest WA) as the Clinical Co-ordinator of the Northampton Asthma Service and  Asthma WA.

Sherl is dedicated to ensuring world-class diabetes research is both funded and the focus at DRWA. She believes through fostering and developing trusted collaborations and partnerships within Western Australian research can and will change the future.  Knowing diabetes is one of the most challenging chronic conditions of current times, investment in quality research is vital, necessary and urgent.

Diabetes Research WA Committee Members

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Professor Elizabeth Davis
Committee Member

Liz is a clinical researcher focused on paediatric (childhood) diabetes. She received paediatric endocrinology training in Perth and the University of Pennsylvania, and received her PhD from The University of WA.
She is the Head of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Perth Children’s Hospital and co-directs the Children’s Diabetes Centre at the Telethon Kids Institute.

Ms Liz McGrath
Committee Member

Liz is a writer and communicator with more than 25 years’ experience working in Australia, London, and New York. Recently Liz left her position as Media Advisor and Uniview Editor at The University of Western Australia to become a freelance journalist.

Liz has a daughter with type 1 diabetes and is determined to assist in ensuring research remains a focus for us.

Mr Brad Russell-Lane
Committee Member

Brad recently retired from his role of CEO North West Shelf & Vice President Australia Business at Woodside Energy where he worked since 1989. He is now dedicating his time to two WA organisations in the NFP sector adding his skill and expertise where necessary.

Brad is a committee member at Southern Capes Motorcycle Club and has been instrumental in building this club up from scratch.

He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 36.

Brad is an advocate for workplace and corporate giving and believes diabetes research in WA is world-class.

Dr Erica Smyth
Immediate Past Chairman

Erica was been involved with DRWA for over 20 years and held the role of Chairman for 10 of these. Under her guidance DRWA evolved into a well known charity awarding annual research project grants in both basic science and clinical/translational research.

Erica has a Master of Science degree in Minerals Exploration and enjoyed a long career in the minerals and petroleum industries. She is now a professional company director and an independent director of Emeco Holdings Ltd, ANSTO, the Deep Exploration Technologies CRC, and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Western Operations). 

Erica was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1998 and has seen many positive and welcome changes to treatment regimes through research during this time. It is her belief that through research we can make an extraordinary difference in the future.

In 2013 she was included in the Women in Mining (UK) worldwide list of 100 inspirational women in mining and inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame in 2016.

Mr Ken Pettit SC
Retired Committee Member 2019

Ken is a Senior Counsel and has practised at the Independent Bar since 1995.

Spanning a 20 year commitment to Diabetes Research WA (DRWA), Ken was integral in the DRWA initiaitve to establish a Centre for Diabetes Research in Perth in 2004 which conducts world-class research into diabates in Western Asutralia.

We are grateful for his contribution over so many years.

Mr Mervyn Rothstein
Retired Committee Member 2019

Mervyn retired from the Diabetes Research WA Committee in October 2019 following a 30 year involvement. Mervyn contributed greatly to the governance and legal compliance associated with a not-for-profit. Mervyn was a commercial lawyer and immigration agent before retirement. We are grateful for all that Mervyn has given and in recognition of his efforts, was nominated (and accepted as a worthy recipient) for the 2019 WA Seniors Award.

Medical advisory panel

  • Dr Joey Kaye (chairman) - Consultant Endocrinologist and Director of Diabetes Services at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
  • Professor Elizabeth Davis - Head of Perth Children's Hospital Diabetes & Endocrinology Department and; Chronic & Severe Diseases Research including Diabetes and Obesity Research at the Telethon Kids Institute
  • Dr Gerry Fegan - Consultant Endocrinologist and Head of Adult Diabetes Services, South Metro Health Services at Fiona Stanley Hospital
  • Dr Seng Khee Gan - Consultant Endocrinologist at Royal Perth Hospital; Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of WA
  • Clinical Professor Tim Jones - Head of Diabetes and Obesity Research at Telethon Kids, Clinical Professor at The University of Western Australia and Co-Director of Medicine at Perth Children’s Hospital.


to advance research
to help find a cure
to raise awareness