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Committee 2016-17


edelman1Dr Sarah Edelman B Ec., Dip.Ed, MA (Psych), PhD PhD is a clinical psychologist, author and trainer. Sarah’s PhD was in psycho-oncology, and she became a passionate supporter of end of life choices whilst running therapy groups for women with advanced breast cancer. In addition to clinical work, Sarah runs mental health training programs for psychologists, GPs and business organisations. Sarah also teaches at Sydney University Centre for Continuing Education. Her book ‘Change your Thinking” (ABC Books) is a best seller in the self-help genre and she is a regular guest on ABC radio.
Life Member of Dying with Dignity NSW
Committee Member from 13 April 2008.
Vice-President 2009 to 2014
President from 5 April 2014 till 2017

Elected as President at the AGM 5th April 2014.

jophnson1Dee (Deirdre) Johnson-B App Sc (Computing) has had extensive experience in general management and organisational process. She was a founding Director and shareholder of a group of companies supplying information technology solutions and services to the professional accounting market. Dee is a passionate supporter of end of life choices and a firm believer in an individual’s right to choose their own destiny. Dee provided honorary bookkeeping services to the Voluntary Euthanasia Party NSW and now does this for Go Gentle Australia.
Life Member of Dying with Dignity NSW
Company Secretary since 13 August 2013.

Vice-President from 5 April 2014 till 2017

Philip BusfieldPhilip Busfield M.A. (Hons) Cambridge University (Mathematics) is a Risk and Finance consultant to the Private Equity and Banking industry. He has three decades of experience in various senior executive roles in merchant banking and investment. Philip was the Treasurer of Dying in Dignity UK for a three year term ending May 2014. Philip is the Co-Chair of Twenty10, which supports young people, communities and families of diverse genders and sexualities. He has chaired a charity for Parkinson’s sufferers and been actively involved in local community regeneration projects, together with his ongoing consulting work.

Treasurer from 5 April 2014 till 2017

judith_DaleyJudith Daley MBus (Industrial Relations) is a supporter of voluntary assisted death because she believes it is a fundamental human right. In addition, her late partner had a rare heart condition so she was forced to focus on his possible imminent death on many, many occasions. He was not worried about the destination, but he was extremely apprehensive about the manner of getting there. This personal experience made her very aware of the need for legislative change to provide choice. Judith herself has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and so has the same concerns about the nature of her own death.Judith has worked with the Older Womens Network, the Retirement Village Residents Association and the Aged Care Alliance for NCOSS. Apart from her volunteering, Judith does ad-hoc acting work in theatre and advertising.
Life Member of Dying with Dignity NSW

Committee Member from 12 February 2015 till 2017

harris1Helen Harris RN, RPN worked as a registered nurse in many areas, particularly mental health. In the last twenty years prior to retirement, she worked as a union officer at the NSW Nurses Association. Helen strongly believes that people should have the right to end of life choices and is very committed to doing what she can to achieve legislation that reflects that choice.
Life Member of Dying with Dignity NSW

Committee Member from 5 April 2014 till 2017

Shayne HigsonShayne Higson is a photographic artist who usually expresses her opinions through her visual art. However, following the death of her mother from an aggressive brain cancer in late 2012, she became a passionate and vocal supporter of dying with dignity law reform. In 2013, Shayne ran as the lead NSW Senate candidate for the newly formed Voluntary Euthanasia Party (VEP). She was the driving force behind the formation of the NSW branch of the VEP in 2014 and ran as their lead candidate in the 2015 State Election. Following her third election campaign in July 2016, she decided to step down from the VEP in order to join Andrew Denton’s newly formed, lobbying organisation Go Gentle Australia.

Committee Member from 3 August 2016 till 2017

Elizabeth JackaDr Elizabeth (Liz) Jacka BA (Auck), BSc (Auck), PhD (Syd) is a retired Professor of Communications (UTS Sydney) where she is currently an Emeritus Professor. For most of her working life she was an academic, initially in the field of Philosophy and later in Media and Communications. She also has several years of experience working in media policy and regulation for the Commonwealth Public Service. In 2013 Liz provided research support and advice to Cate Faehrmann MLC when she presented the Rights of the Terminally Ill Bill in the NSW Upper House.
Life Member of Dying with Dignity NSW

Committee Member from 5 April 2014 till 2017

Fiona Jackson1Fiona Jackson BA Comm., Adv Grad Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy is an experienced fundraiser and marketer who has worked in London and Sydney with a number of clients including Alzheimer’s Research UK, ActionAid, World Vision, Barnardos, Cure Brain Cancer, Muscular Dystrophy UK and Spinal Cord Injuries Australia. She is passionate about having choice at end of life and is committed to law reform to achieve this.

Committee Member from 21 September 2015 till 2017

geoff usher 100515Reverand Geoffrey Usher, a retired Unitarian Minister and former teacher. He served on the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of NSW Committee for several years during the 1980s before his work took him to England. Geoffrey returned to live with his family in Sydney in early 2011. He is a member of the Spirit of Life Unitarian Fellowship at Kirribilli. Amongst other voluntary work, Geoffrey is the Secretary of the NSW Executive Committee of the United Nations Association of Australia.

Committee Member from 20 April 2013 till 2017


Peter BaumeThe Hon Emeritus Professor Peter Baume AC MB BS MD HonLittD (USQ) HonDUniv (ANU) FRACP FAFPHM FRACGP (Hon) has had a career in medicine, politics and academia. He was in private practice as a gastroenterologist and physician from 1967–74. From 1974 to 1991 he served as a Senator for NSW. On leaving politics, Peter became Professor of Community Medicine at the University of NSW until 2000. He has since held an honorary research position with the Social Policy Research Centre (2001–2005) also at the University of NSW, pursuing his research interests in voluntary euthanasia, drug policy and evaluation.

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