Leadership Team

Sean is the CEO and a founding director of the Mito Foundation. He is responsible for the development and execution of the Mito Foundation Strategic Plan and all aspects of Mito Foundation operations.

Sean has lived and worked in Australia, the UK and the US with broad industry experience in both private and government sectors, covering software development, business consulting and general management. Sean holds a degree in Computer Science and Pure Mathematics (BSc) from Sydney University.

With multiple generations of family members affected by mito, Sean is deeply motivated to drive the impact of the work of the Mito Foundation in supporting the mito community and ultimately finding a cure for mito.

Beyond the world of mito, Sean lives with his wife and two children in a tight-knit community in inner Sydney.  He has a soft spot for classic rock hits from the '70s & '80s as well as American muscle cars from the ‘60s.  Sean also pretends to play saxophone in a Brazilian drumming band.

Toni Catton

Toni Catton

General Manager

As General Manager, Toni steers key strategic and operational projects, leads the Support Services team and provides HR and risk guidance.

With over 20 years' experience in Human Resources in a large corporate environment, Toni brings a strong focus on effective ways of working, project management, enabling technology and team wellbeing.

Toni’s passion for the cause developed when her daughter was diagnosed with mito in 2016. It is through this unique lens that Toni strives to ensure families are supported, and the pathway to a cure is advancing.

Toni is deeply involved with the foundation. She participates regularly in The Bloody Long Walk, raises funds, and spreads awareness about mito. Although family activities fill up most of her time at home, she is dedicated to reigniting her creative passions.

Lauren Batchelor

Lauren Batchelor

Marketing and Communications Manager

Lauren is passionate about building sustainable change through communications and marketing. She's responsible for shaping strategies that broaden the reach and deepens engagement and understanding of mito.

Lauren's 'work' has seen her build the world's largest LEGO Star Wars model and host a surf lesson for Red Bull's F1 team. And it's even seen her play Ultimate Dodgeball live on breakfast TV.

Out of the office, Lauren spends most of her time running after her toddler at the beach. She also fancies herself as a karaoke queen.
Penny

Penelope Frew

Development Manager

Penelope is our Development Manager and she loves hearing all your fundraising ideas. With 11 years in the charity fundraising sector, with a focus on events, she is always excited and humbled to hear the myriad ways communities find to support the causes they are passionate about.

Penelope has a Masters of International Development, loves to climb mountains and explore the world and her local playgrounds with her family.

Isabel

Dr Isabel Lopez Sanchez

Research Manager

Isabel is responsible for Mito Foundation’s research investment strategy. In her role, she ensures that Mito Foundation supports high quality research that has a positive impact for people affected by mito.

Isabel has a PhD in mitochondrial biology and has extensive knowledge of the mito research landscape, from discovery to clinical research and commercialisation. Her vision is for mito research to be impactful, collaborative, and responsive to the challenges faced by the mito community.

Outside work, Isabel loves spending time in nature, hiking or at the beach. She loves coffee, dogs and learning about different cultures through travel, music, and food.

Clare Stuart

Clare Stuart

Policy and Advocacy Manager

Clare leads Mito Foundation's work to advocate for improvements to health, disability and social support for people living with mito. She has a master's degree in Public Health, has worked in policy development with NSW Ministry of Health and has managed another Australian rare disease organisation.

Clare played a key role in the establishment of Rare Voices Australia and was a member of the steering committee for the first National Strategic Action Plan for Rare Diseases. Clare's passion for improving the lives of people with mito and other rare conditions is fuelled by her experience as a sister of Lizzie, who lived with a rare genetic condition.

Originally from Sydney, Clare now lives in Orange in the Central West region of NSW. Outside work, she can often be found on the ultimate frisbee field, on her stand-up paddleboard or volunteering as an ethics teacher at her children's school.

Team (in alphabetical order) 

Laura Barker B&W

Laura Barker

Peer Support Coordinator

Laura is a Peer Support Coordinator based in Perth. Laura worked in emergency health care for 15 years and currently works in the intensive care unit as a registered nurse.
 
She was diagnosed with mitochondrial myopathy (CPEO) in 2016 after having symptoms since childhood. During a progressive phase and post-diagnosis, she struggled to accept the reality of living with mito. But she realised how little people knew about such an impactful condition, igniting a passion to raise awareness of mito. With her own experience of a sense of belonging and understanding, she aspires to contribute to the individuals impacted by mito.
 
As a member of the mito community, Laura takes pride in seeing Light Up for Mito, where local monuments light up green for the annual World Mitochondrial Disease Week in September.
She enjoys travelling in her caravan with her husband and two labradors, Charlie and Lola. She fulfils her creative passion by baking and decorating celebration cakes.
Lauren Buck_B&W

Lauren Buck

NDIS Navigator

Lauren is the NDIS Navigator in the Support Services team.

Lauren has been an Occupational Therapist for 16 years, working predominantly within the disability sector. Her last role was as Manager for an Early Childhood Partner for the NDIS. Lauren is motivated to drive change within the disability sector. She's passionate about ensuring everyone has the knowledge to access and navigate the NDIS to make sure they get the support they need.

Lauren spends most of her spare time chasing around her two young children and husband, keeping them out of mischief. Lauren also enjoys a good coffee and reading a book in a quiet space.

Rebecca Davis

Rebecca Davis

Senior Project Officer

Rebecca supports Mito Foundation's work to advocate for improvements to health, disability and social support for people living with mito.

Rebecca joined the team in April 2014. During her time with the organisation she has had the privilege of meeting and working closely with hundreds of members of the mito community, their families, researchers and clinicians. She is continuously in awe of the strength and resilience of this community.

Rebecca holds a master's degree in research and has previously worked in local government. She spends any free time trying to keep her plants alive, perfecting her downward dog, and teaching her children the Taylor Swift back catalogue.

Heleen Fourie_B&W

Heleen Fourie

Relationships Manager

Heleen is our Relationships Manager. At the Mito Foundation, our relationship with the community is key, and Heleen’s role is to connect with those members of our community who support the Foundation with major financial gifts.

She loves to get to know people and is captivated by their stories. Our stories define what we care about and who we are willing to support.

Stories have defined Heleen’s life. She started her career as a social issues and medical reporter, became involved in supporting the growth of communities, and has now harnessed those skills within philanthropy for the past 5 years.

This love of stories spills over into her passion. Outside work, Heleen uses movement and art to incite transformation in others.

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Kana Frazer

Communications Officer

Kana joined the team in May 2019. Hailing from Tokyo, she brings diverse perspectives into communications strategies. She loves managing social media platforms with a passion for effective and fun storytelling to raise awareness about mito.

Outside of the office, she is a DJ. She presents a show for a radio station and is proud of her ability to eat a copious amount of chips there.

Kana is in charge of the office playlist until Nellorie kicks her off.

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Michele Hemmings

Pathways Telehealth Nurse

Michele began her career in 1984 as a Registered Nurse at Sydney Hospital. She continued to work in the hospital system administering acute and chronic paediatric care and later found herself in the community sector, looking after children with chronic care needs, paediatric case management and as a clinical nurse consultant. She went on to receive a degree in paediatrics, family and community care.

Michele’s passion to help families allowed her to travel to the Middle East and Africa to work in a high care paediatrics unit with a community focus. She found this opportunity educational on a cultural level, where she would exchange western magazines with the local mothers for coffee and beads they made. These encounters enforced a philosophy Michele lives by, which is "To give love by a simple heart by a simple act of caring is better than a thousand heads bent in prayer." (Mahatma Gandhi)

When Michele began her family in 1990, it prompted a change in her career. Michele began work in adolescent health, focusing on school health and later, youth within the Justice health system - a rewarding experience that saw many ‘troubled teens’ turn their lives around. It wasn’t until 2017 that Michele made the transition into adult care, primarily working in aged care.

Jane Hudson - Project Manager

Jane Hudson

Project Manager

Jane looks after all things Bloody Long Walk for the Mito Foundation, having joined in 2016. Her background is in business development and marketing/advertising, via a couple of short stints in finance.

Jane has an interest in interior design and can parallel park like a boss.

Hania Hussain

Hania Hussain

Community Insights Research Analyst

Hania is our Community Insights Research Analyst making sure that the voices of the mito community are represented across all the work that we do.

With a Masters in Public Health and a background in research across diverse populations, Hania has a passion for all things public health related.

When she’s not writing, Hania can be found reading a book in a quiet, sunny corner of a park. Her other hobbies include hiking, snorkelling, and roller-skating.

Nellorie

Nellorie Iceton

Team Administrator

Nellorie ensures the foundation remains operational with her steadfast support of the team, and additional responsibilities with the services team. With a background in Human Resources and recruitment, she is well-versed in providing solutions regardless of the area of need. Nellorie is passionate about providing quality customer service with a smile (as long as she’s had her morning coffee).

Outside of work, Nellorie can be found on a golf course, testing out a new baking recipe or just kicking back with a glass of red wine.

Tabitha Jimenez

Tabitha Bethany Jimenez

Research Analyst

Tabitha is a Research Analyst with a passion for science and making a difference. Her work involves understanding and communicating the impact of our research funding and contributing to our work to accelerate access to mito therapeutics.

Tabitha was raised in Canada and has a M.Sc in Systems Neuroscience from McGill University. She enjoys eating interesting foods at fine restaurants and trying to replicate the flavour at home, as well as getting stronger through resistance training.

Abbey Mason - BW

Abbey Mason

Support Services Officer

Abbey is a member of the Support Services Team based in regional Victoria.

She's also a member of the mito community. In 2018, sadly, her son Tyler passed away after being clinically diagnosed with Leigh's Syndrome. With a background in administration, community services and disability support, she is determined to help improve the lives of people with life-limiting conditions.

Outside work, she enjoys photography and loves spending time with her young family.
Kirralee - Bio profile pic

Kirralee Peterkin

Support Services Officer

Hailing from Brisbane and with a Master’s degree in Public Health, Kirralee is part of our Support Services team. Kirralee can be found assisting with helpline calls and Mito Connect events for the community.  She's also involved in implementing projects to improve the lives of those with mito.

Kirralee brings lived experience of dealing with a complex and rare inherited multisystem disorder. She understands the difficulty of navigating complex health systems to receive treatment and care. These experiences drive her to empower people to advocate for their own care and medical needs. Kirralee is passionate about improving quality of life outcomes for the mito community.

Kirralee keeps busy with an array of ever-changing hobbies: dabbling in learning to play the wheel vielle, tinkering with computer builds, growing a variety of fragrant flowers, hiking, and socialising with friends over games of the video or tabletop varieties.

Aaron Smith - Systems Analyst

Aaron Smith

Systems Analyst

Aaron has a love for tech, having developed and launched over 100 websites over the last 10 years. He has also developed digital marketing strategy for some of Australia’s biggest brands including Coles Insurance and Kia Australia.

In March 2015, Aaron’s dear friends Sam and Lisa Por sadly lost their daughter Gabriella to mito, which inspired Aaron to volunteer for the Mito Foundation in December 2015. While volunteering, he supported the development of the foundation and Bloody Long Walk websites, including a full rebuild of bloodylongwalk.com.au, before joining the foundation full-time in July 2018.

Aaron is a mad Cronulla Sharks supporter and loves spending time at the beach with his wife and three kids.

Suzan Shuhaiber_BW

Suzan Shuhaiber

Bookkeeper

As a financial services and operations expert, Suzan joined the foundation in February 2024. Over the past 25 years, she has delivered exceptional customer and stakeholder services, including in the not-for-profit sector. She has supported organisations and different teams to achieve efficiency and process improvements.

Outside work, Suzan loves cooking good food, walking and spending time with family and friends.

Lindsey Woollard

Lindsey Woollard

Communications Officer

Lindsey is a member of the Communications team. Her background in the disability sector sparked a passion for accessible communications. She loves that her work has a positive impact on people’s lives. She also likes the design and analytical aspects of her role.

Outside of work, Lindsey is an avid reader and always has access to a book. She also enjoys embroidery and origami. Her partner has been trying to teach her to cook with varying success.