Director, Patron of Think Pink Foundation and Founder of The Living Centre
Irene Hendel is a breast cancer survivor, having been first diagnosed in 1995 and then re-diagnosed in 2003. Irene joined The Think Pink Committee in 2000 and became involved in organising the annual Think Pink Ball.
While undergoing radiotherapy at the William Buckland Radiotherapy Centre at Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital when fighting her second bout of breast cancer, Irene came into contact with many young and single women who were, due to their breast cancer, finding it difficult to hold down their jobs and make ends meet financially.
In 2004, Irene became Chair of The Foundation, and later fulfilled her dream of creating and opening The Living Centre – a unique, non-clinical based sanctuary for people with breast cancer, their families and carers. In February 2015 Irene became Patron of The Foundation.
Irene was born in England where her professional and commercial background was in the fashion industry. For many years she worked with fashion house French Connection both in England and here in Australia. Until retiring from business in 2015, Irene successfully operated her own giftware business for twenty five years called Private Lives Interiors in Port Melbourne.
In recognition of her commitment and dedication to Think Pink and for her support of hundreds of breast cancer patients in the community over the last seventeen years, Irene was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (O.A.M.) in the 2015 Australia Day Honours List.
Irene is still very much committed to and involved with Think Pink continually raising funds for the Foundation and speaking publicly on its behalf.
David Hendel has been associated with Think Pink for over sixteen years and is our Patron, Irene Hendel’s husband of thirty years.
David brings to the Foundation considerable commercial experience, having operated businesses in such diverse fields as textile production, real estate development, veterinary pharmaceutical distribution and audio visual hire.
David has been instrumental in organising our Masquerade Ball for the last fifteen years and also in the establishment of The Living Centre. On an ongoing basis David is responsible for and manages our events such as the “Putt In For Pink” Golf Day and the Think Pink Coffee Lid Campaign each year.
As Irene’s soul mate and partner, David brings to our Board the experience and perspective of being a carer for and partner of a breast cancer patient.
Greg joined the Board of Think Pink in January of 2014 and has been a friend of the Foundation since 2005. Greg holds a Masters of Business Administration(MBA), a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and has completed executive business courses at the London Business School.
Greg is an experienced Executive Director of private organisations in Australia and internationally, with an emphasis in the Asia Pacific region. His business interests and experience span international trade, manufacturing, export, import, marketing, mergers and acquisitions.
Greg brings a wealth of business experience to contribute to the growth, well being and development of the Foundation.
Doreen Akkerman, AM retired in 2010 from the position of Director at the Cancer Information and Support Service at the Cancer Council Victoria, a position she held for twenty years.
At the Cancer Council Doreen was responsible for numerous cancer support programs for people experiencing cancer and their carers. She was also responsible for two innovative health professional education programs that were a first in Australia and both are a huge success: The Breast Care Nurse Distance Education Program, a tertiary level education program for Breast Care Nurses, and the Victorian Cancer Clinicians Communication Program, a unique communication program for oncologists.
Doreen also established the first ‘Sexuality and Cancer’ seminars and workshops for health professionals, patients and their partners.
Doreen was the inaugural President and current serving Board Member of the International Cancer Information Services Group and has published many articles and presented workshops and seminars by invitation in Australia, Europe, United Kingdom and the USA.
Doreen was awarded as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007 and was inducted into the Women’s Victorian Women’s Honour Roll in 2010.
Secretary to the Board
Murray is a qualified Accountant and an accomplished Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary, having held these positions within various local and international organisations over many years.
Migrating from his native New Zealand with his family, his wife Viv and his two children in 1989 Murray has been involved in diverse industries such as manufacturing and retail including Dimmey’s, Myer Direct, D-Store and more recently Private Equity ventures involving local and international manufacturing, export and trade. Murray is currently a Business Coach and Advisor for Geyer Accounting assisting private organisations to improve their business processes, records management and cash flow performance.
An experienced company director and CFO, Murray’s appointment as Secretary to the Board assures the Foundation’s Governance matters are well in hand. Murray works closely with the Foundation’s Executive Management, the Foundation’s Legal providers and the Foundation’s Auditors to ensure compliance on all matters while keeping the Board fully informed at all times.
Murray has experienced first hand the personal tragedy of losing a loved one to Breast Cancer, with the passing of his wife, Viv, from the disease in 2013. It is this life experience that motivates Murray to do what he can for Think Pink, to help others.