Who we are - Whirled Foundation

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Who we are

Whirled Foundation is an incorporated, tax-deductible, voluntary, not-for-profit, organisation dedicated to assisting individuals living with vertigo and chronic imbalance and dizziness problems – sometimes described as like living in a constant merry-go-round whirl when dizzy episodes (attacks) are happening.

The word “Vertigo” comes from late middle English “whirling” and Latin verter “to turn”.


Our history

Whirled Foundation was born in the lounge room of one Menieres disease sufferer who wanted to make a difference. Today it has evolved into a national organisation with international links focusing on helping all with vestibular disorders.


Our mission

Our vision is that by 2025, vestibular disorders will be a recognised major health problem and those living with a vestibular disorder will have a level of community recognition and access to quality medical health care and consumer information comparable to that currently available to people living with other major chronic conditions, e.g. depression, cancer, asthma and diabetes.


Our values

We aim to :

  • be an open, transparent collaborative group of individuals
  • provide exceptional support and understanding to our members
  • identify and promote evidence-based information and support to individuals suffering from chronic imbalance
  • deliver efficient and effective services
  • practice good governance and accountability.


Our People

We rely on our members, volunteers and a small staff.

Executive Committee

President – Desley Ward

Vice President – Beatrice Tarnawski

Treasurer – Peter Clarke


Secretary/Public Officer – Neil Wingrave


Management Committee

Colin Spain


Colin has had various work roles in accounting and in the allied health industry. Since being diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease in March 2010, he has been a ‘preacher’ of ways to manage both himself, and others he has met through the Meniere’s Disease Facebook page. He enjoys helping people to make their lives more liveable. At present, he is in a ‘burn-out’ stage of Meniere’s and is enjoying a somewhat normal life. He has been married to Lyn for 43 years and they have 2 grown children and 4 grand children. His hobbies are gardening, travel, photography (landscapes and flowers) and they are looking forward to touring Australia in their motorhome – one day.


Richard Rundle, CPA


Richard is a former member of the Board of the Institute of Internal Auditors, and a member of the Audit Committee of Ballarat Regional Industries which provides employment opportunities for people unable to compete in the open market for jobs. Despite having Meniere’s disease since the 1980’s Richard was able to pursue a career which involved a variety of senior roles including:

  • Senior Executive of the Australian National Audit Office
  • Advisor to the Auditor General for Afghanistan
  • Advisor to the President of the Supreme Audit Institution of Kazakhstan
  • Director of Corporate Services for Hepburn Shire Council
  • Senior Accountant responsible for the public financial reporting for the Comalco Group

Richard has skills in working as a Board member, governance, financial management, risk management and quality management.


Monica Byrnes


Monica is formally qualified in Business Management and Property Law. During her career she has managed several complex businesses  including the full financial management of same and involving both working accounts,  trust accounts and mostly financial reports. Her qualification as a Licensed conveyancer also saw her working in a regional law firm for several years managing a team of conveyancers , dealing with all types of property transactions including the buying and selling of homes, large rural holdings and complex businesses transactions.

Monica moved on to Corporate Property Management which involved the management of acquisition of easements and/or land parcels, either by agreement or compulsory method, of parts of properties required for rail or water pipeline construction projects, and management of the disposal of any surplus land holdings for same corporate bodies.

All position throughout her career have involved extensive liaison with government offices, surveyors, valuers, accountancy and legal firms, local government authorities and the general public and have required a very high level of organisational , financial , administration and communication skills, which she is happy to now utilise in a voluntary capacity so as to assist Whirled Foundation going forward.


Ian Tracy

Ian Tracy





From left: Sonia, Micky, Shalina

 Administration Officer – Sonia Taylor

In 2009 Sonia answered our call for a volunteer office assistant as we transformed from a state-based organisation to a national body. In 2010 she was employed as our Administration Officer.

Her role as Administration Officer includes front office reception, being the first port of call for those contacting Whirled Foundation, looking after memberships and resource orders, co-ordinating volunteers for mail-outs, liaising with Regional Peer Group Co-ordinators and assisting the Community Development and Finance Officers.

Sonia enjoys spending time with her family and you will generally find her around a hockey field, being involved at club, regional, state and national levels, either in the capacity of administrator, manager, technical officer, coach or umpire.


Finance Officer – Shalina McClintock

Shalina commenced her role as Finance Officer with Whirled Foundation in May 2014. Shalina has previously completed a degree in law, practicing corporate and property law in the United States before moving to Australia. She completed a Certificate IV in Accounting in 2012 and was employed as a bookkeeper providing accounting and financial services to a variety of small to medium sized businesses prior to joining Whirled Foundation.


Community Development Officer – Michelina Sinopoli BA, BSW

Michelina (Micky) joined the Whirled Foundation team in 2007 after completing a Social Work Degree at Monash University. Her initial role as the Administration Officer for the Meniere’s Support Group of Victoria allowed her to learn all about Meniere’s and other vestibular disorders by talking directly with members about their experiences, liaising with allied organisations, attending conferences and meetings with a variety of medical practitioner guest speakers and reading the valuable information Whirled Foundation publishes in their newsletters.

In 2010 Micky became the Community Development Officer for Whirled Foundation. Her role includes working with peer support groups throughout Australia, counselling members, editing “Whirled News”, the organisation’s eNewsletter, coordinating fundraising activities and working on a variety of special projects as directed by the Committee of Management and managing the Whirled Foundation office.



We are privileged to have many volunteers assisting us with a range of activities.


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