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"No disease is rare when it affects someone you love"

National Organisation
for Rare Diseases


SMILE ...…about our Board

Jonny Taitz

Dr Jonny Taitz

Jonny Taitz has a distinguished career in paediatrics and provides the SMILE Board with valuable hands-on experience dealing with children with rare conditions. He is currently the Director of Medical Services, Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW.
Jonny is registered as a Specialist Paediatrician in Australia, South Africa and the UK.

His interests range from rural paediatric health issues to his involvement with children’s charities such as the Humpty Dumpty Foundation and the Violet Foundation Supporting Meningococcal disease.

"As a practising paediatrician I am confronted by patients affected by rare childhood disease on a regular basis. While we have made great strides in research and treatment in this area, I find it difficult
to tell parents of children with rare diseases that we don't have a cure yet. SMILE is working to change

Helen Hamilton-James


Helen Hamilton-James, Financial Director

Helen Hamilton-James joined SMILE as Financial Director in November 2007. She has extensive auditing and advisory experience in the finance industry as a Partner at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Her background includes an Honours Law degree from Aberdeen University, Scotland and a Graduate Diploma in management from the Australian Graduate School of Management. Helen is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for Australia and the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales. Her key responsibilities include leading the Deloitte NSW Assurance and Advisory social responsibility project, focusing on health services.

Elizabeth Elliot

Professor Elizabeth Elliott

Elizabeth Elliott AM MBBS MD FRACP FRCPCH FRCP was made a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2008 for “service to paediatrics and child health as an academic, researcher and educator and through the establishment of the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit.” She is Professor in the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney and Consultant Paediatrician at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney. She is Founder and Director of the Australian Paediatric Surveillance Unit, a national research resource with a focus on rare diseases of childhood.

Elizabeth is involved in medical education and heads a clinical education program in Maternal and Child Health for health professionals in Dien Bien Province, Vietnam.  She has co-authored 6 books on scientific writing and evidence-based paediatrics and has been published widely. She is a member of many committees including the Intergovernmental Committee on Drugs Working Party on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders; National Health and Medical Research Council Committee to Review Australian Alcohol Guidelines and the Greater Metropolitan Clinical Taskforce.

Elizabeth Elliott

Kellie Wogas

Kellie Wogas

Kellie Wogas is a passionate advocate for children with special needs and rare medical conditions. Her daughter Georgia has the rare combination of severe Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy, scoliosis and chronic lung disease. A married mother of two, Kellie worked in the hospitality industry for 15 years before deciding to study Education Support. She has now been working in the field, supporting children with special needs since 2010. She has also worked as a casual teacher’s aide, working with children with severe and multiple disabilities. Kellie has been involved with two Schools for Specific Purposes, initially as secretary of the “Friends of Wairoa”, a registered charity and fundraising arm of Wairoa Special School, Bondi, and is currently P&C President of St George Special School, Kogarah. During her time with these schools, she has been heavily involved in the organisation of many fundraising events.



Ben Braysich

With over 15 year’s extensive experience in Private Banking and Wealth Management, Ben has held Senior Banking roles in both the UK and Australia.

Bens current position since 2011 is with Commonwealth Private Bank as a Private Client Manager where he manages a team of Private Bankers and Private Wealth Advisers attending to the financial requirements of high net worth individuals and families, prior to Commonwealth Private Bank, Ben was a Senior Adviser with Macquarie Private Wealth for over 5 years after returning from London where he held a position with the Financial Times.

Ben has been a supporter of SMILE since its infancy and was on the committee for the 2012 SMILE Spring Ball, Ben's other community presence is with the Wayside Chapel were he has volunteered his time with the youth crisis centre.

Ben brings a strong business and financial acumen to SMILE along with his passion to drive the awareness and make a difference for those families of children with rare diseases.


Dennis Tracey


Denis Tracey

Denis Tracey is the author of Giving it Away: in Praise of Philanthropy (Scribe 2003) and numerous other articles and papers on philanthropy. He was the first CEO of the Melbourne Community Foundation and has held senior posts at Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne) and the University of Sydney.

I was attracted to SMILE because of its innovative and imaginative approach to an important social problem and because of the dedication of its founders and the other Board Members. I feel honoured to be able to participate in such a worth cause.

Robert Williams


Robert Williams

Robert Williams is a Principal at specialist law firm Ryan Lawyers, where he advises clients in the hotel and tourism sector. A regular speaker at industry conferences in Australia and Asia, Robert works on acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures and management arrangements. Robert became involved with SMILE in 2009, whilst at former firm Baker & McKenzie, as the partner heading up the team providing pro bono legal support to us. Through working closely with SMILE’s executive team on events such as the Cycle for SMILE, Robert has been inspired by the charity’s success in raising awareness of rare childhood diseases and in putting donations to work through its financial assistance program for affected families and research funding programs. Invited onto the SMILE board in June 2012, Robert is delighted to continue his association with the charity and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to SMILE’s invaluable work.