APA Awards Night 2020 Nominations Now Open

Our Team

Stephen Mason (LLB BComm DipCM FCPA FCSA JP)

Chief Executive Officer

Stephen Mason was formerly CEO of Creative Brands Pty Ltd and Finance Director of ASX listed  Lemarne Corporation Ltd for over 10 years and Company Secretary of Lemarne Corporation for 20 years.

He is a Director of Heritage Brands Limited and is Chairman of its Audit Committee and is also a Director/Secretary of two other private companies.

Stephen has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from Melbourne University as well as a Diploma in Corporate Management. He is a Fellow of both the CPA and CSA, where he lectures occasionally, as well as a Justice of the Peace.

Stephen has had previous experience managing start up organisations and is a life member of three clubs and/or associations. He has had strong community involvement in various clubs and not-for-profit organisations, including, Lord Somers Camp, Powerhouse, the VAFA and Save our Suburbs.

Jas Streten

General Manager

Jas Streten has held senior management roles in the private sector across a number of business functions including Sales, Operations and Logistics.

His previous and current experience includes, board membership of two community organisations, Deputy Chair of the Community Advisory Committee, The Innovation Committee and Specialist Clinics committees at a Melbourne Public Hospital, membership of Consumer Health Forum and Health Issues Centre.

Wendy Benson

Administration Manager

Wendy Benson comes to join Australian Patient Association as Administration Manager after a serious illness caused her to reassess her life.   To this end she wanted to give back to the health industry in a ‘hand on’ constructive way.

In the past Wendy has had a very diversified background as a Director of various different businesses including Serviced Apartments, Trade Exchanges and Real Estate

She has a wealth of knowledge from a patient and consumer perspective and sits on many committees and project working groups at  some of our larger public hospitals   To this end she is currently serving as Chair of one of the Community Advisory Committees

Married with 2 children and 2 wonderful grandchildren Wendy wants to help to raise the APA to the next level of involvement and ensure that the Association name becomes the first thing that patients and families think of when they require assistance.

Michael Riley (BA Public Relations)

Executive Director Strategy

Michael Riley has over 30 years experience in corporate affairs, government relations and advocacy, media relations, issues management, stakeholder engagement and grass roots community campaigns. His background includes experience in the public and private health sectors, the global pharmaceutical industry, large ASX listed companies, a government owned authority, industry associations and as a consultant to companies operating in highly regulated industries. He commenced his career as a journalist with News Limited and has a Bachelor of Arts degree. In 2010, he founded the Australian Patients Association and has worked in the NFP sector advocating for victims of elder abuse.

Zahra Thompson

Chief Medical Manager

Zahra Thompson has a passion for helping to improve patients’ lives. To achieve her passion, Zahra trained and practiced as a medical doctor in Iran and obtained a PhD in Immunology from the Australian National University, Australia.

Zahra has spent several years studying and working at a range of universities including Kyoto University and Monash University. She is now conducting innovative research into how the immune system can be harnessed to cure blood cancers such as lymphomas.

In addition to her extensive research experience, Zahra has completed comprehensive training at medical clinics in Melbourne and developed her knowledge of the Australian Healthcare system.  Her depth of knowledge and breadth of experience in the fields of Medicine and Medical Science have been acknowledged in her appointment as Chief Medical Officer, Australian Patient Association (APA).

Laurie Brock Brisbane Qld 


Laurie has been involved in advocating on behalf of patients for more than 15 years. His desire to improve the health system is driven by surgery complications in the treatment of a family member. Laurie’s advocacy has involved establishment of the Fraser Coast Patient Support Group into Queensland Health, representing patients at the Davies Royal Commission into Health, preparing submissions for Parliamentary enquiries and the Royal commission into institutional abuse.Laurie’s knowledge as an Advocate for social justice and health stems over 25 years familiarising himself with the workings of not only the health system but family and child protection issues.His personal experience ranges from being a Parent-Aide, AFL junior coach/manager, and Advocate for child protection and Men`s Health.

Presently Laurie is advocating for the recognition into the Health impacts of forgotten Australians.

Jodie Guerrero


Jodie Guerrero is a triple cancer survivor, medical negligence survivor, transplant and GVHD x 5 survivor. She has survived six medical traumas any one of which she could have died from. Jodie is a young woman with several illnesses and disabilities as a result of delayed diagnosis. She mantains her passion and fire to see people with illness and disability & those vulnerable in society, given the chance to flourish.

Jodie is a blogger, inspiration & optimist with a successful website (www.jodiesjourney.com) where she discusses her on-going medical and health journey through Lymphoma, Pre-Leukaemia, and Transplant plus Graft vs. Host Disease’ (GVHD). Jodie has appeared on SBS as well as Channels 7 and 10. Her story has been written about in major newspapers including the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Jodie has overcome massive difficulties to now become a health consumer advocate, registered with the Consumers Forum of Australia.  Influential people are reading Jodie’s story, including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce,The Crown Princess of Denmark (Mary Donaldson) and The Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) plus top Australian politicians, amongst a few.

Jodie’s story knocks the socks of most people who read it. Delayed diagnosis of 11 months-21 doctors’visits-7 doctors-1 frantic trip to the ER, 10+ years fighting cancer x 3, Discipline of a former GP by her state medical board, plus she is Mum to two gorgeous disabled daughters. So far, she has endured 94 doses of chemo, radiotherapy and related treatments, to stay alive.

Jodie is currently working with an editor and NY based agent to prepare her full manuscript for publication.l