Josephine Nicholls


Josephine began her career in advertising and marketing thirty years ago and was at the forefront of event production and management as it began to boom in Australia. She founded Brainwave Australia after experiencing firsthand the reality of a child with a neurological disorder when her eldest son was diagnosed with a brain tumour at the age of six.

Brainwave grew and evolved from what was to be a one-off fundraiser.  Josephine has worked passionately and tirelessly over the years driving fundraising initiatives, facilitating the provision of equipment and services to children in need and spearheading the development of the family events program—a calendar of events that brings together families to enjoy some respite, socialising and fun.

Josephine was a Director of Corporate Business Productions, managing business events, and is currently studying Nutritional Medicine.


Trent Brooks – Chairman

Trent Brooks Managing Director and founding shareholder of Guardian Medical Pty Ltd with 20 years’ experience in the management of a medical group of companies comprising Medical Centres, Dental Practice, and Property Division. Trent also consults to the healthcare industry on the implementation of management systems to medical practitioners and operators as well as consulting on the establishment or expansion of medical facilities and groups.

David Blackley

img-headshot-blackleyRetired Chairman of Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne

David was with the Clemenger Group of marketing communications companies for 36 years, and was a member of the Worldwide Creative Board of BBDO New York, representing BBDO’s interests throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia on that Board. David has been involved with Brainwave since its inception in 1994 and joined the Board in 2008.

Paul Gordon

paul-gordonPrincipal and Head of the Healthcare Practice, Aon Hewitt, Pacific

Paul joined Aon Hewitt in 2012 with extensive experience across banking, finance and consulting with corporations such as Deloitte, Lend Lease and St George Bank. Paul’s role at Aon Hewitt is to work with major clients in order to bring them the best of Aon’s insights and services.
Paul is an expert at examining issues and providing world class thought leadership and solutions. He is a published author and highly regarded presenter.

Bernie Bicknell

bernie-bicknellCFO Godfreys Group Limited

Bernie Bicknell is an experienced Finance professional, having held senior management roles in both Australia and internationally.  Bernie is currently CFO at the Godfreys Group and was previously CEO and CFO of Mitre 10, and CFO for ICI Paints in New Zealand and North America. He was also previously a Director and Chair of The Lighthouse Foundation, a not for profit organization working with homeless and at risk young people. He is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) and a member/graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Karen Passey

Karen Passey comes to Brainwave with a strong working background in the not-for-profit sector, having been a CEO for close to 20 years, a role which saw her manage a broad range of business aspects from governance, financial accountability, human resources and strategic planning. With a background in the health sector and local government she has a sound understanding of the needs of our clients and a desire to add value to the work of Brainwave, to ensure its long term viability and more importantly, availability, to the families that need the organisations support, now and into the future.

Neil Kearney

Neil is Chairman of ASX listed salmon farmer and processor Huon Aquaculture Group Ltd, and of privately owned FGB Natural Products Pty Ltd, a manufacturer of natural eucalyptus, tea tree and lavender based products

Neil Kearney has senior executive experience in the food and agribusiness industries within Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe; across a range of functions, including Finance, Marketing, Business Development, Strategy, and International Trading. His career included working for; Goodman Fielder, Warrnambool Cheese & Butter, National Foods, Nestle, Pacific Brands Food Group, Plumrose and Fosters.

Patricia Collett OAM

Consultant, CCI

Patricia has spent most of her career in the NGO sector and held the position of Executive Director of the United Nations Association of Australia, Victoria for 17 years until her resignation 18 months ago. Over this period Patricia developed the potential of the organisation through the introduction of a range of programs designed to educate and inform all sectors about the role and important work of the United Nations. Prior to that time Patricia was a consultant to CEDA, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.

Patricia has also held numerous voluntary positions during her career including as Vice President and then President of Alzheimer’s Australia, Victoria for a period of ten years and also as the inaugural Vice Chair of the Alzheimer Australia Research Foundation. During this period she played a significant role in the development, from inception, of both organisations, in Victoria and Nationally. She is an honorary life member of the Association.

Patricia has a passionate interest and proven skills in developing the potential of NGO’s by engaging with stakeholders at all levels of community, business and government.