Dialog Box

Board of Directors

Kate Vines

Founder and Head of Patient Care

Kate was born and educated in New Zealand and moved to Australia at age 17. After initial roles in sales and marketing, Kate spent 15 years with Sydney Automotive Paints, the last six of those as Marketing Manager. In 1991 Kate was diagnosed with a rare Medullary Thyroid Cancer and was forced to take an extended break from work.

In 2000, Kate established her own event company promoting motivational speakers in Australia. Kate successfully ran this business until 2006. In the following years, Kate worked at the Australian Retailers Association and also at Progressive Business. In 2012, Kate together with husband Richard Vines, formed Rare Cancers Australia. 

As Founder and Head of Patient Care, Kate’s main role is to provide support, guidance and information for patients and their families. Kate works diligently with government, clinicians and industry to ensure that rare cancer patients voices are heard and advocates for change to ensure patient needs are met.

Richard Vines

Founder and Chairman

Richard attended University of Melbourne where he studied Maths and Statistics. He then trained as an Actuary but was seduced by the fledgling IT industry before qualifying. After several years working in software development, Richard formed his own software company which he then sold in 1990 before embarking on a second software venture in Europe.

In 1996, Richard returned to Australia where he was retained by an American company to establish a sales channel in Australia. In 2001 Richard left the IT industry and has since worked in a number of not-for-profits associated with retail, politics and health.

In 2012 Richard and his wife Kate established Rare Cancers Australia, a patient advocacy group whose mission is to improve the lives and outcomes for rare cancer patients. Richard is now a highly sort after spokesperson for cancer patient advocacy issues and is a member of a number of committees. In September this year, Richard was named Co-Chair of the Cancer Drugs Alliance Committee, a stakeholder coalition tasked to promote timely access to drugs for cancer patients.

Mark Brennan


Mr Mark Brennan is the former Australian Small Business Commissioner.

He has a strong track record of achievement in the small business area throughout his extensive career.

Mark sits on the board of the Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand and is a member of the International Council for Small Business.

Mark served for seven years as the inaugural Victorian Small Business Commissioner (VSBC), the first such position in any jurisdiction in Australia. The VSBC model implemented by Mark is widely regarded as best practice and he has been consulted by those states which have subsequently introduced their own small business commissioners.

In 2011, Mark was named the Council of Small Business of Australia’s (COSBOA) National Small Business Champion for his work in guiding and developing the role of Small Business Commissioner in Victoria.

In 2010 Mark was appointed Director of Liquor Licensing in Victoria, having served as the VSBC since 2003.

Subsequently, Mark served as the inaugural full time Chairman of the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, established to deliver integrated regulatory functions for liquor and gambling. 

In 2013, he became the Australian Small Business Commissioner. Mark completed this post in 2016.

Mark has owned and operated his own small business as Principal of MA Brennan and Associates. The firm provided advice to government on legislative reviews and policy issues. It also advised businesses and industry membership groups on government relations.

Mark has previously held a range of roles in the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments including as Executive Director of Small Business in the former Department of State Development. Mark has also worked as a barrister and solicitor in private practice.

Mark is highly respected across all levels of government and by the business community.

Trevor Burns


Trevor is a highly respected government affairs practitioner with more than 25 years direct experience in Canberra.

Trevor has worked for global companies, Australian institutions, and all levels of government, including in federal ministerial offices. This gives him a unique perspective on how to interact with government, and importantly, how to achieve results.

Trevor spent ten years as the Head of Government Affairs with Australia’s global financial services provider, Macquarie Group Limited. He had responsibility for external relations, public affairs, and government relations across the Group

Prior to this, Trevor was Head of Government and Parliamentary Relations for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), and Director of Communications and Government Relations for the Australian Automobile Association (AAA).

He has worked in ministerial offices and held senior positions in Federal, State, and Local Government in Australia.

Nina Parker (nee Vines)


Nina Parker is the Azure Sales Director for the Public Sector team at Microsoft Australia.

Nina has been in the ICT industry for over 20 years and has vast experience in technology solutions, specifically cloud, for both private and public sector organisations. Nina’s experience brings to RCA a deep technology focus for solutions, that ultimately help improve the health outcomes of those living with a rare or less common cancer.

Nina earned a Bachelor of Social Science from The University of Melbourne. Nina is also a mother of two boys and a passionate advocate for gender diversity and inclusion of women in the workforce.

Leah Graeve


Leah holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Monash University and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

She brings a broad range of commercial skills and over 10 years’ experience negotiating commercial outcomes both in the corporate world and more recently in the private sector. 

She hopes that this experience together with her passion for reducing inequity to the access of pharmaceutical drugs will serve RCA well.

In her spare time, Leah can often be found running with her two golden retrievers or enjoying a game of tennis.

Mathew McCrum


Mathew co-founded Omega Global Investors in 2008, a $4.2 billion dollar fund manager specialising in quantitative portfolio management. Mathew has over 27 years of experience in financial markets.

Prior to co-founding Omega, Mathew was Head of Fixed Interest at Vanguard Investments for over 10 years, where he built and managed the growth of global and domestic fixed interest capabilities to over $18 billion. Mathew also worked at Treasury Corporation of Victoria for 7 years and was responsible for managing $30 billion against a liability benchmark.

Bruce Goodwin


Bruce has more than 35 years of experience in the Global Biopharmaceutical industry having previously been employed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. His career with Janssen included more than a decade in General Management roles including Managing Director Janssen Australia & New Zealand, as well as President & Representative Director Janssen Japan.

Bruce is a respected Industry Leader and is currently a Selected Director and Board Member of Medicines Australia. Whilst in Japan he served as the Vice Chair of the Japan Based Executive Committee of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

Bruce has a strong track record in advocating for policies that support timely and affordable access to innovative medicines and since 2018 has been a Director and Board member of the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre (Omico). In December 2020 he was appointed as Director and Board Member of Rare Cancers Australia.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Macquarie University, and is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.