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Who we are

  • Our history
  • Our mission
  • Our values
  • Our People

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

Whirled Foundation Committee from left: Neil, Andrea, Desley, Beatrice, Monica, Richard and Robert. (Absent: Anne Elias)

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

Executive Committee

President – Desley Ward

Vice President – Beatrice Tarnawski

Treasurer – Robert Quinn

Secretary/Public Officer – Neil Wingrave

Management Committee 

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.


Anne Elias

Anne has a legal administration background with a Diploma in Community Service. She has volunteered in various community roles and for many years has worked with asylum seekers, supporting them in their search for employment while waiting for their cases to be heard.

As a Meniere’s sufferer herself, Anne’s goal is to support others in any way she can. She joined Whirled Foundation back in 2015 and shortly after started the Sydney Peer Support Group, which she continues to facilitate to date.


Andrea Arnett

Andrea has an Associate Diploma in Applied Social Science  (Library Technician ) and has worked in various roles such as cataloguing, acquisitions, user services and reasearch and information at several libraries including State Library of Victoria,  State Film Centre Library, including operating the Melbourne Viewing Centre for the National Film and Sound Archive, a CSIRO library, Joint Departmental Library,  Nunawading Public Library and Tintern Grammar Library.

Having had Meniere’s since the 70’s, Andrea has been a member of Whirled since 1991 when known as the Meniere’s Support Group of Victoria.

Volunteer roles have included Committee of Management Yarrunga Community Centre and playgroup facilitator,  primary and secondary school parent association committee member and other school volunteering,  Guides assistant, Safety House Committee,  Volunteer Tutor at Adult English classes and tutoring school refugee students. Andrea has Completed an Integration Aide course and worked in a secondary school. More recently she volunteers at Biala kindergarten for special needs children.

In 2015 Andrea took on the role of Facilitator for the Whirled Foundation Melbourne East Peer Support Group.




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” and “Equilibrium”, the organisations various publications, maintaining membership records, coordinating fundraising activities, fielding enquiries from the general public and those requesting support and working on a variety of special projects as directed by the Committee of Management.



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


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