National Program Manager
Mary-ann Liethof worked as the Coordinator of Polio Network Victoria from mid 2004 to December 2009. During that time, Mary-ann was one of the Victorian representatives on the Management Committee of Polio Australia.
Following a small philanthropic donation and a private donation, Mary-ann was officially appointed as Polio Australia’s National Program Manager in early January 2010 on a part time basis, which increased to full time in January 2011 thanks to a 3 year donation from The Balnaves Foundation.
Mary-ann’s qualifications include a Diploma in Community Development as well as a Graduate Diploma in Education (Careers). In April/May 2008, Mary-ann visited 10 post-polio related services across North America on a Churchill Fellowship Study Tour grant, the purpose of which was “To identify techniques to better manage the late effects of polio”. Read about Mary-ann’s Churchill Fellowship Study Tour here: Churchill Study Tour
In April 2009, Mary-ann travelled to Roosevelt Warm Springs in Georgia, USA for Post-Polio Health International’s 10th International Conference: Living with Polio in the 21st Century and Wellness Retreat to learn the benefits of the holistic chronic condition self-management model. She was able to draw on this experience to conceptualize and coordinate Polio Australia’s first Late Effects of Polio Self Management Residential Program (also known as a Polio Health and Wellness Retreat) in April 2010.
In late August 2011, Mary-ann travelled to Copenhagen, Denmark to attend The European Conference on Post Polio Syndrome, which was held from 31 August until 2 September 2011. The Conference was hosted by the European Polio Union (EPU) and The Danish Society of Polio and Accident Victims (PTU) and was attended by 350 participants from 25 countries. During the Conference Mary-ann presented a paper on Polio Australia’s Health and Wellness Retreats. Her videoed presentation can be viewed on The Informed Scientist website. While she was in Copenhagen, Mary-ann also blogged her Daily Danish Doings.
Shylie volunteers for Polio Australia two days each week. She works out of the Post-Polio Network (NSW) office in Parramatta and assists with bookkeeping and a myriad of administrative tasks.
Shylie is married with two adult daughters and lives in Baulkham Hills, NSW. She grew up in Five Dock and completed her Leaving Certificate at Burwood Girls’ High School before attending Sydney Technical College where she did a secretarial course. Shylie worked for ten years in the insurance industry starting as a typist and worked her way up to secretary for the General Manager until she started her family.
After Shylie’s children started High School she returned to the workforce in various customer service positions until her retirement in 2006. She started volunteering one day a week at the Post-Polio Network (NSW) in 2007 and then after a trial period she increased her attendance to two days per week. Since mid 2010 most of Shylie’s time has been spent working for Polio Australia.
Apart from Shylie’s dedication to volunteering, her other interests are golf, family history and bushwalking.
Jill was born in England in 1946, contracted polio in 1955 and qualified in Occupational therapy during 1968. After working for 2 years in England as an OT she immigrated to Melbourne, Australia and worked in several different areas using her Occupational therapy skills before retiring in 2000 due to limitations from Post-Polio Syndrome.
After a few months adjusting to her new situation Jill found a satisfying life style mixing voluntary work with other interests. She came to Polio Australia in February 2011 as a volunteer after volunteering one day a week for 10 years at Polio Network Victoria (a service of Independence Australia). Jill looks forward to expanding her awareness beyond Victorian polio issues to the broader national focus of Polio Australia.
Jill has been passionate about horses since learning to horse ride as part of her polio rehabilitation and enjoys providing voluntary office support to dedicated volunteer groups across Australia gentling and re-homing Australia’s wild horses (Brumbies). Additional hobbies include horse riding, gardening, travelling and keeping up with friends in Australia and family in England.