Our Executive Leadership Team

Executive Leadership Team

Dr Claudia Giurgiuman

General Manager

Claudia is the General Manager of Wesley Medical Research and reports to the Wesley Medical Research Board.

Claudia is responsible for the achievement of the strategic goals of Wesley Medical Research and provides strong academic and research leadership for the organisation, whilst facilitating the overarching management and development of the organisation in Brisbane and beyond.

Claudia’s experience over 20 years in the conduct and management of medical research includes work as a biomedical researcher in the field of epithelial pathobiology and hepatology before transitioning to senior management positions in research and not-for-profit organisations including the Children’s Hospital Foundation, Icon Cancer Centre and Mater Research.

Claudia has a PhD in Medicine, a Postgraduate Certificate in Project Management and is studying for a Master in Business Administration at the University of Queensland. She is Chair and President of the Women in Technology Board, Chair of the Sunshine Coast Hospital Foundation (Wishlist) Research Advisory Committee and former Member of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institute Research Strategy Network Steering Committee.

Samantha Birrell

Senior Research Manager

Samantha is the Senior Research Manager and a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

Samantha is responsible for the Clinical Trials Centre, the investigator-initiated research program and biobank at Wesley Medical Research.

She has extensive experience in conducting and managing medical research across the entire translational research pathway, gained from industry, research institutes and not-for-profit organisations. In the not-for-profit sector, she has established research frameworks and been instrumental in designing multi-institutional, multi-investigator research and non-research grant schemes, leading high performing teams, managing multi-million dollar research budgets, and liaising closely with the fundraising function to develop funding proposals.She also has expertise in managing comprehensive clinical trial portfolios having worked nationally and internationally for large pharmaceutical, collaborative and biotechnology organisations.

Samantha holds a Bachelor of Biotechnology Innovation degree with honours and a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health from Queensland University of Technology.

Raushen Perera

Senior Marketing &
Philanthropy Manager

Raushen is the Senior Marketing and Philanthropy Manager and a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

Raushen is responsible for the strategic design and operations of the fundraising, marketing and communications portfolio at Wesley Medical Research. This includes growing revenue through philanthropic giving, gifts in wills, recurrent giving, annual giving and corporate partnerships. She is also responsible for brand marketing strategy, corporate communications and public relations and media.

Raushen has considerable experience in fundraising and marketing roles at the Uniting Church in Australia Queensland Synod, The Children’s Hospital Foundation and Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie) in Brisbane. Prior to this she has held senior roles at two of the world’s leading global advertising companies – Leo Burnett and Wunderman Thompson (formerly JWT) and has worked with multinational clients including Pepsi Cola International, Unilever and HSBC. She has a degree from the University of London and an Advanced Diploma in Marketing from Australia. She is a Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute, a member of the Fundraising Institute in Australia and an Associate of the Institute of Company Secretaries and Administrators (UK).

Simon Smith

Senior Finance Manager

Simon is the Senior Finance Manager and a member of the Executive Leadership Team.

Simon is responsible for the financial governance and reporting functions and reports to both the Audit and Risk and Investment Committees.

He is a highly experienced executive who has held roles as Chief Finance Officer in health and education across profit and not-for-profit organisations, in both the private and public sector. With a focus on philanthropic financial accounting and financial management, he has also held non-executive director roles. Previously Simon has also had oversight of Information Communications Technology and Project Management.

He is a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) with a Masters in Commerce and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Queensland.

Wesley Medical Research

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