Our people

Board members

Bruce McMenamin – Chair

Bruce has practiced as a professional accountant for more than 40 years.  During his career he has spent time with Horwath, PwC and HLB Mann Judd, and has now established his own boutique advisory firm.


Bruce has strong communication, financial and analytical skills, along with a commitment to governance and operating with an unbending application to high ethical standards.  He is a trusted professional adviser to privately owned enterprises – and their owners – operating in a wide and diverse range of commercial and professional fields, across varying sizes and scales of operations.


Bruce has supported numerous not for profit organisations, charities, and community sporting groups. He is a former director of the Starlight Children’s Foundation (10 years) and the Doxa Youth Foundation (3 years).  In 2018 Bruce was appointed Chair of The Flicker of Hope Foundation.


He is a loving father to his two children and three wonderful grandchildren (so far). Bruce has been married to Julie for over 47 years and together they enjoy an active life appreciating travelling, when possible, and most sports – particularly, tennis, golf, football and walking .


Bruce holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) from Monash University, B Bus (Acc), and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (AANZ), FCA.

Anne Petropoulos – Director

When Anne & Con’s daughter Zoe was diagnosed with NF at just four months of age, the family began a journey along an unguided path.  They discovered very little was known about NF – from causes, treatment and support options, through to outcomes.  What became very clear was that significant medical research was urgently needed to find out more about the condition, and to explore viable treatment options for NF patients.


In September 2018 the Petropoulos family established The Flicker of Hope Foundation, with the vision to shine a light on NF by raising awareness and much needed funds for vital medical research into NF.


In under three years, thanks to Anne’s passion, determination and drive, the Flicker of Hope Foundation has donated over $1M to NF medical research.  A number of world leading ground breaking research projects have commenced thanks to the significant financial support of The Foundation.  Anne works tirelessly to continue to advocate for NF patients and their families.


Thanks to generous financial support from the Petropoulos family the Flicker of Hope Foundation has no overhead or staff costs.  Anne is grateful for the support of volunteers who assist in the ongoing fundraising efforts of the Foundation.


Anne is a former primary school teacher and Deputy Principal, and has served on many boards for various sporting clubs and communities.

Mark Nicholls – Director & Treasurer  

Mark has more than 25 years’ experience in the banking and financial services arena. Mark has held senior leadership positions in major financial institutions across Asia Pacific developing and implementing business strategy through engagements with business partners, clients, and stakeholders.


Mark’s strong financial background and family experience with NF is of great benefit to the Flicker of Hope Foundation.

James Mirams – Board Member

James has worked in the financial services industry for over 25 years. James holds a Bachelor of Economics, has post graduate qualifications in Applied Finance, and is a Co-founder, Director and Senior Adviser of the Paradigm Group, a provider of financial advisory and asset management services.


James has built relationships that span decades and communicates effectively by focusing on what’s important to the person in front of him, endeavouring to deliver the highest quality strategic advice and the optimum diversified portfolio solutions to his clients.


James is married to Melissa, and they have two teenage children. The family love to travel and experience new places. James is a keen golfer and tennis player. James was a member of the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne for a number of years, taking on Treasurer duties, and is now looking forward to assisting the Flicker of Hope Board to support fundraising activities to assist medical research.

Dr Gabriel Dabsheck – Board Member & Medical Advisor

Dr Gabriel Dabscheck is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and a member of the Australian and New Zealand Child Neurology Society. Gabriel a specialist Paediatric Neurologist and Epileptologist. Gabriel trained in paediatrics at The Royal Children’s Hospital and Sydney Children’s Hospital, and did adult neurology training at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne.  He completed a clinical fellowship in epilepsy and neurophysiology at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, in Massachusetts, USA, along with a clinical fellowship in neurofibromatosis 1 and neuro-oncology at Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School.


Dr Dabscheck works at The Royal Children’s Hospital in the Neurology department, where he runs the Emergency Seizure Clinic and Neuro-Oncology Clinic, and is the clinical lead in the Neurofibromatosis Program.  Gabriel heads a MRFF funded national research study about the genomics of tumours in NF1.  He is active in clinical and scientific research, and has many joint research projects with the Neurofibromatosis Research Program, the Neuroscience research program at MCRI/RCH, and with the Children’s Epilepsy Program at RCH.


His specialist medical knowledge and expertise is essential in guiding the Flicker of Hope Board in respect to future research project funding.

Michael Smith – Board Member    

As founder of APC Logistics – one of Australia & New Zealand’s largest privately owned customs brokers and freight forwarders – Mike has extensive knowledge and experience spanning 44 years in the logistics industry.  In 2016 Mike sold the business to a US Fortune 500 company, giving him time to enjoy retirement.


As a Flicker of Hope Board member, Mike is committed to advocating for the NF community as he actively raises awareness of the condition and continually explores fundraising opportunities for vital medical research.

Medical Advisor to Flicker of Hope Board

Assoc Prof Jonathan Payne

Assoc Prof Jonathan Payne is neuropsychologist in the Neurofibromatosis Clinic at the Royal Children’s Hospital and Co-Group Leader of the Brain and Mind research group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute where he is responsible for leading the neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) research program. He is an Honorary Principal Fellow within the Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne. Assoc Prof Payne’s research program is focused on understanding the clinical burden of NF1 on child development, the impact of NF1 on brain development and functioning, and he leads a number of clinical trials seeking to improve clinical outcomes of individuals with NF1.


Jonathan provides unique insight, expertise and specialist medical knowledge to assist the Flicker of Hope Board in respect to future research project funding.


Peter Daicos

Josh Daicos

Anthony Stevens