Chief Executive Officer
I’m inspired by potential and possibility, for individuals, teams and community. My work is targeted to discover, facilitate and achieve them both in a number of capacities.
I am the GSNV Chief Executive in a part time capacity which allows me to also be the Director of Bold and Brave Consulting and Toilet Training Educators, Treasurer of the Balibo House Trust, Honorary Fellow of Melbourne University and member of the Central Queensland University Regional Engagement Committee.
Experience in senior leadership roles in Government, Education, the private sector, international projects, education including a Masters of Business Administration and a commitment to community provide a foundation for making a difference across a range of sectors.
What I’m good at:
My work has allowed me to develop many skills over the years and I continue to utilise these and build more:
- Business Mentoring
- Strategic Planning
- Facilitation and Training
- Decision Making and Problem Solving
Things I love to do:
- Spend time with my family – I have two sons and a large family.
- Hiking – I’ve done part of the Camino, The Overland, Three Capes, Routeburn, The Heafy…
- Scuba Diving – I’ve dived in Australia, Phillipines, Timor-Leste and Vanuatu.
- Anything to do with the ocean – looking at it, being in it, under it, on it
- All Sports – Love the Bombers, Cricket, Tennis, Soccer – watch a lot and should play more!
- Working in Emerging Countries – I’ve been involved in Timor Leste for years and love working with the challenges of emerging countries.
- Travel – So many places to go……
Louisa Di Pietro
Education and Advocacy Consultant
I am the former Group Leader of the Genetic Support Network of Victoria (GSNV) and currently hold the education and advocacy strategy advice portfolio. I’m an experienced researcher and educator with a particular interest in the testing and diagnosis of genetic and rare conditions, the psychosocial impact of diagnosis on individuals and families and the delivery of ethical medical services in a genomics era.
I am actively involved in professional and community engagement and sit on numerous professional boards and advisory groups within the genetic health space. I also employ my professional and ‘lived’ experience/knowledge of managing a genetic condition to assist in the continuum of care delivered to Australians and in linking them in with specialised support/services and assisting advocacy efforts. My current work also focuses much on the training and exposure of genetic health professionals to the ‘psychosocial impact and personal stories’ behind a diagnosis and living with a genetic condition, the understanding of patient needs and expectations in an increasingly sophisticated genetic services environment, equity of access and the ethical application of new and emerging health technologies.
In 2017, I was inducted into the Department of Health and Human Services Lifetime Achievement Honour Roll for services to the community. Honorary Academic – University of Melbourne
- Life Time Achievement Honours Roll – DHHS
- Working Group – Genomics Health Future Mission Steering Committee – Ethics Legal and Social Issues (ELSI)
- Member – Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance (MGHA) Consumer Advisory Group (CAG)
- Carrier Screening Reference Group – Cystic Fibrosis Victoria
- Lay Committee Member – Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
- Honorary Member – Italian Society of Human Genetics (SIGU)
- Member – Human Genetics Society of Australasia (HGSA) and SIG
- Former Group Leader – GSNV
- Former Coordinator – Thalassaemia and Sickle Cell Society of Victoria
- Former member – Human Genetics Society of Australasia, Education Ethics and Social Issues Committee
- Former Committee member – Human Genetics Society of Australasia, Tas/Vic Branch
I work voluntarily as the co-founder and Director of UsherKids Australia. I am a fierce advocate for early diagnosis of Usher syndrome through genetic testing, the education of clinical professionals as well as support for families around the country to share research and information about the current generation of USH kids. I divide my time between work at the Genetic Support Network of Victoria, volunteering for UsherKids Australia, Paediatric Vision Impairment Alliance and is also on the Board at Genetic Cures Australia (www.geneticcures.com.au), a charity I established with my husband to further accelerate Australian research and therapies for genetic conditions such as Usher syndrome.
Project & Policy Assistant
I’m fascinated with the inherent intersection – and the often disregard of – population health and social justice. Most diseases impact groups of people along the entire cascade from infection screening to care and quality of life living with a disease. I completed a Bachelor of Biomedicine, majoring in Immunology, before pursing a Masters of Public Health, I am hopeful that my role at the GSNV will influence reform and improve experiences of those living with and care for people with rare, undiagnosed and genetic diseases.
Outside of the GSNV, I swap my chinos for shorts as a keen runner and café hopper. I’ve represented Australia in track and Field, but it is the simplicity of running and its friendly community that sees me tying my laces each day. I love to dream of European beaches, and reminisce of the successes of St Kilda football club (not much to reflect on!) If I were a food item, I would be a mushroom, wild and versatile, but can inflict harm (in the form of cogent advocacy resources!)
Communications & Administration
I came on board with the GSNV to support all things Communications, Volunteering and Administration in a part time capacity in January 2022 and am very excited to join the team and learn so much more about the inspiring and amazing work that the GSNV does. On my alternating days I am a Project Manager for a specialist family violence service and am very passionate about making the world a safer, more equitable and just place for all!
Over the last 8 years my working background has been in the not-for-profit and Government (both Local and State) sectors, working predominantly in the social justice, gender equality and family violence space- all of which have been drivers for my passions in righting injustice and inequity. I hope that I can bring these qualities, learnings and adaptions to the GSNV in my work with the team and the incredible volunteers to help make a difference in the genetics support and connection space.
Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, especially my partner and 2 daughters on our beautiful property in country Victoria. I love cooking and I am a chef by trade (a childhood dream I fulfilled and still love- more so as a passion now than a career!) and exploring of our beautiful countryside.